When you’ve been a band since Grade 5, there’s little doubt you’ve gone through your share of names.
Before they were Treachery, the metal sextet from Maple Ridge secondary was Flying Aces, Tazer, Arocks, Too Close to The Sun and If All Else Fails.
They won their high school’s Battle of the Bands this year as May Gods Fall. Four months later, they reincarnated with their current name – a monicker that means a betrayal of trust or deceptive action.
“If we ever get signed, we should get a plaque with all our names chronologically,” jokes Connor Rasmussen, one of two vocalists for the band as they prepared to practice for their first local gig – a youth spot at Adstock on Sunday.
One band member was so stoked with the trademarked name “Tazer”, he wrote it on his only guitar. Sadly, the name didn’t stick.
The name changes though have done little to alter the band’s passion for heavy metal.
“We all progressed through the same way,” says Rasmussen, recounting how their taste have spanned metal’s ever-expanding sub-genres from Van Halen in Grade 6 and 7 to Avenge Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine in Grade 8.
“Then it got progressively heavier and heavier.”
We all have ideas of what we want to sound like, adds Rasmussen as everyone chimes into suggest just where Treachery falls on metal’s scale, a genre characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, bold beats and vocals straight out of Hell.
But that also makes us special, says rhythm guitarist Jacob McCallum, who shares the stage with lead guitarist Josh Collins and bassist Luke Dobishok.
Rasmussen prefers Djent (pronounced gent, an onomatopoeia for a palm-muted, distorted guitar chord), which is a sub genre of progressive metal, pioneered by bands like Meshuggah, Textures and Animals as Leader as well as the heavier breakdowns in grindcore.
Drummer Nic Landry, who also contributes to lyrics, prefers the complex side of progressive metal with its intricate riffs and solos. The latest song he’s penned for Treachery is about the universe.
“I think we are trying to be more progressive with maybe more spiritual stuff,” Landry adds.
“Our main goal is to break metal boundaries and evoke new emotions.”
When you mix the tastes of all five members, Treachery has aspects of metal-core aspects, prog, grind core, some trash and some djent.
However, preparing for their first big gig means more than perfecting death growls and power chords. Treachery knows stage presence is key to an unforgettable show.
“That’s what we’ve been dealing with. It’s being able to play your instruments so well, you can jump around,” said Rasmussen, who admits he and second vocalist Kelsey Fortin have an easier time throwing themselves across the stage because they don’t have instruments to worry about.
“I go to a lot of metal shows. Just the energy released from those shows is indescribable.”
Months from now, Treachery could resurface with a different name, given that the band came up with its current title in less than a week after being offered a chance to play at Adstock. There were a couple of other contenders but Rasmussen says Treachery stuck because they were under the gun.
“Maybe in a couple of shows we’ll come up with a cool back story,” he says with a laugh.
• Treachery will be sharing Adstock’s youth spot with Vacant Eyes, another metal band from Maple Ridge. Adstock is a free concert that takes place Sunday, July 6 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Memorial Peace Park.
Celebrating 10 years of Adstock
When Adam Rayburn threw a free concert in his parents’ backyard for his 18th birthday in 2005, he didn’t plan on kick-starting one of the most anticipated youth events in Maple Ridge.
He called it Adstock – a play on his own name and Woodstock, the most famous concert in history, and which featured legendary performances by Jimi Hendrix, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Joe Cocker, among others.
“I didn’t think there would be a second Adstock, let alone ten,’ says Rayburn, who returned to help organize the event this year after a short hiatus.
In the past decade, the event has featured experimental metal band NinjaSpy, local ska stars Los Furios and hardcore punk legends DOA.
When asked what gives Adstock it’s longevity, Rayburn points to it as an immediate panacea to suburban boredom.
“I think Adstock helps fill the void of alternative culture in Maple Ridge, especially the all ages end of that scene.”
This year, Rayburn is excited to hear Montreal bands Hellbound Hepcats and The Skinny because of the high-calibre of musicianship but is keen to see what young local metal acts Treachery and Vacant Eyes have on offer.
The Hellbound Hepcats bring back the sound of the 1950s with an aggressive, big-beat twist-seamlessly fusing elements of Johnny Burnette, Chuck Berry and Brian Setzer with the pure energy of rockabilly. The trio features frontman Alexander Brown, standup-bass player Jordan Peddie and drummer Sylvain Lemire.
Featuring Howie Woiwod on keyboard, Brian Choi on bass, Pat Gagnon on Guitar and Walid Elmounzer on drum, The Skinny call themselves “reggae pharmacists”. The band creates a sound that pleases both purist and enthusiast by combing old school reggae and ska grooves with the sultry melodies of classic soul and pop.
East Vancouver punk band The Rebel Spell closes Adstock this year. Passionate about DIY culture, community building and social change, the band is known for their raucous live shows. The lineup currently features Toddserious on vocal, Wretchederin on guitar, Elliot on bass and Travis on drums.