The Skatterbrains at Pirahna Bar//Live Review & Interview March 28th, 2015

Montreal based band, The Skatterbrains, headlined their first gig on the 28th at Pirahna bar with Strange Perceptions, The World Forgot, The Prenups, and 3less.

The show started with 3less, an upscale-jazzy sounding band with mostly instrumental songs.  A members girlfriend got up for vocal and came out with a clean jazzy voice.  The band was made up of a bassist, drummer and keyboard player who switched the trippy sound up.

The next band that played was Strange Perceptions.  Made up of  a guitarist/vocalist, bassist and a drummer.  They brought a rock sound to the venue with a more poppy sound at some points.

The third band that played was called The World Forgot, a comedic, yet cute, 50’s pop boy band.  With super catchy songs and a kazoo duo with the vocalist and the vocalist/guitarist, they kept the crowd smiling and even got the venue singing along to their chorus of “Making Out in the Metro”, a song about PDA in the metro, something we all squint at.

The Prenups were next up with two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, singer and keyboard player they filled up the stage almost breaking The Skatterbrains member record.  The vocalist’s energy and the bands easy going vibe made it easy for the crowd to dance along to their super poppy, jazzy music.

The Skatterbrains shuffled on to stage, with 2 guitarists now, Iann Duthie and Joseph Anidjar, drummer Shayne Assouline, bassist Andreas Kapogiannatos, trombone player Luke Gossage, trumpet player, Matthew Richmond, and alto sax/lead vocalist, Dallas Page, they filled up the stage nicely.  They started off with “Riding The Fourth Wave”, a Streetlight Manifesto cover.

unnamed(From left to right: Iann Duthie, Dallas Page, Luke Gossage, and Matthew Richmond)

Unfortunately, their vocalist Dallas was sick so their second song, “Lost Song” by Cat Empire went without vocals. The crowd is never bored when each member has their own part, and with 7 people getting their own part in the spotlight it’s constant energy. Still super jazzy and ska, it was a slower song with great drumming.  The next song, “Chameleon”, was funkier while still being ska as funk. Cheers on a killer bass line, boys.

g(From left to right: Joseph Anidjar, Shayne Assouline, and again Iann Duthie with Dallas’ elbow)

The next song was a personal favourite called “Boska Nova”, this songs a perfect example of the bands incredible build ups.  Hitting you with quiet, then loud and a killer guitar part the song had insane energy.  Their fifth song, Ska mania had another cleanly done build up with a fast pick up.  Their “last” song was unfinished, but they played “Blue Line” anyway.  A snazzy, more rock sound with a heavier guitar part handsomely executed by their new guitarist, Joseph. Before they had the chance to start getting off stage, the crowd encore’d until they got what they wanted, not Free Bird, but “A Moment Of Silence”.

All in all, it was a jazzy night with great bands and chill vibes that everyone fed off of.  Thank you to all the bands for putting on a killer show.


Between sets I got the chance to interview The Skatterbrains.  The Skatterbrains are a Montreal based band of 7 Vanier students mostly studying Performance and Composition.  The back room was a tad jammed but the band was close enough to make use of eachother as pillows so it worked out in the end.

  So when did you guys start as a band and what made you guys want to start?

Shayne: we started October ish, and I started getting in to ska during the summer so I was like “I might as well start a ska band.”  I was listening to more punk-ska so we started off with a few punk songs like Streetlight Manifesto, Reel Big Fish, all those kind of guys.

Dallas: It’s pretty hard to say when we actually started because everyone kind of joined staggered.  We went through a lot of bassists first and then we got Andreas, and Shanade was our original trumpet player before Matthew came.  Joseph (second guitarist) was supposed to be there from the beginning but he wasn’t there, so Iann came in and Lukes been with us since November.  So really we became a full band sometime in November, after a couple months we really got it together.

What are your influences or favourite bands?

Dallas: Personally I’m an old rock, blues kind of guy, but Eddie Vedder is my God.  Our bands influence really is Streetlight Manifesto we do a lot of their stuff.  I don’t know, I would say Cat Empire.

Shayne: We’re really just learning how to play ska , we don’t really know how to play ska. I listen to some ska tunes, and I show the band and we play them and kind of use it in other stuff as we jam.  Our influences don’t really influence the band, we’ve just been learning the same way as a band.

Matthew: We’re not only ska, we play a lot of other things, like we play a bit of funk, too.  I bet at some point we’re going to play some Tower of Power because we have to. Yeah, so we’re not only ska, there’s some pop and metal, Joseph actually is our metal guitarist and we got this cool new song called Blue Line and it’s more metal and jazz, and funk, yeah it’s a lot of things.  But we’re not just one genre, we’re a lot of things, we don’t like to restrict ourselves like that.

Andreas:I started playing metal and I got to Vanier and started playing jazz and loving jazz.  So bands that influence me, Protest The Hero, Metallica, every kid plays mettalica tunes, Megadeath, Iron Maiden and then you got Ray Brown, you got Paul Chambers, but as far as ska goes, like they said I don’t know feck all about ska, but we’re learning.

Luke: For trombone influences it’s mostly funk trombone, like Fred Wesley, the trombone player for James Brown and Tower Power, any real like funk is my main influences, but I think fir the band which is pretty cool  is that we’re all different styles like in school, Matthew and I are classical musicians and everyone else is jazz but the main roots is a wide array of musical styles and it’s pretty cool how we’re all learning together.

Iann: Like Shayne said, our biggest influence at the beginning was all the old like punk ska like Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish.  I think the fact that we all have completely different musical influences and the other fact that we all really don’t know how to play ska really somehow makes it into a ska band, apparently, that and the ska puns.

Talk about your first gig and the feel of it.

Iann:  It was at this, uh, sick sketchy punk venue that will go unnamed.  But yeah, it was fun, there was a really small stage and six of us at the time because joseph wasn’t in the band.  It was weird, I’ve never played in bands with more than like three or four people so it was weird to have that many people and trying not to hit someone.

Shayne: I felt pretty nervous, it was a big and we were only together for about two months or three months. As a full band it was a few weeks before our first gig.

Matthew: That was actually my first gig ever, so I was really nervous for it, but it was fun and everyone loved it. It kind of motivated me to do more.

Luke: The first gig was actually fucking sick. We were in a really small space and everyone was feeling it pretty hard and everyone was dancing like crazy and it got me excited and it was a really good time.

Andreas: It was a pretty cool gig, a pretty compact a la max motherfucking gig, but it didn’t stop people from enjoying the show.  There was a good vibe coming from the crowd, a good vibe with us mingling with the six of us on that small ass stage. It was definitely a chance for the band to get closer.

What’s your favourite song to play?

Joseph: My favourite song to play is “Boska Nova” because I know it as opposed to every other song.

Shayne: It’s probably a tie between “A Moment Of Silence” and “Boska Nova”.  “A Moment Of Silence” because it was in the summer that I was like, “damn I really need to learn this song and it’d be super cool to play with actual people, I’m going to force it on actual people” so I did that and people played that with me and it was super cool, and “Boska Nova” because it’s an original composition that Iann, Matthew, Dallas and I all kind of contributed to. Those two song are equally two of my favourites.

Matthew: I kind of agree with Shayne on “A Moment Of Silence” because that was actually the first ska song I heard and it’s what Shayne sent me, and that’s actually what got me into the band, but my favourites are actually “Lost Song” and “Boska Nova”. “Lost Song” by the Cat Empire because it’s really mellow, and really chill to solo on. “Boska Nova” I like because half of it’s really upbeat  and then we do this like deathcore kind of thing in the middle, it’s a ska metal kind of cool thing. That ones  also super cool to solo on, even though our solos are only 16 bars which I kind of also asked for, so I shouldn’t really complain.

Dallas: I think my favourite song is a tie between “Boska Nova” and “A Moment Of Silence”. “Lost Song” is a close second for me, though. “A Moment Of Silence” was the first ska song I actually really tried to learn.  I’ve listened to Sublime a few times before, but that song is just really powerful to play and sing.

Luke: I think my favourite song to play is probably “Skamania” because the horn part is pretty sick and it’s amazing and fun to play.  “A Moment Of Silence” ia pretty fun, too,  because when we stop and then everyone starts cheering and then we continue.

Andreas: “A Moment Of Silence” is cool, I like the bass part for it, but “Song Of Storms” we don’t play enough of goddamn “Song Of Storms” from Zelda.  Myself being the biggest nerd of the group.

What’s the hardest and then most fun thing about being in the band with 7 guys?

Iann:  The hardest part of being in a band is bringing the shit to shows everytime you play.

(Have you ever lost anything?)

Iann: Yeah actually, nothing too important though.

Shayne: The hardest thing is definitely trying to get 7 people to practice at the same time all the time. It’s a real thing, yeah it’s the hardest part and the shittiest part. The most fun thing is generally just playing around with these guys and chilling and playing.

Matthew: So the hardest part is playing, and also the most fun part. We’re a band, but we’re all so different from eachother and we’re sort of learning to mesh and I figure it’s working over time, and it’s going to get a lot better over time. Its always weird coming up with new things that we all want to play, like we all have different suggestions, but it might not work and sometimes we don’t have the right parts and it’s weird to arrange and stuff, but generally playing is the hardest yet most fun, and I feel that’s what being in a band is.

Luke: I guess the best part is just sort of jamming and practice and figuring out what we want to do for shows, it’s really a cool atmosphere and there’s no strictness. Often times at school I’m only playing classical stuff and so this is a big fun change and everyone gets to have their input.

Andreas:  Well everyone already said it, the hardest thing is getting 7 fucking people to practice at once with school and all and extra stuff. The best thing to do is I guess smoking weed with these guys, it’s pretty fun. Oh, and video games, I played with matthew and Shayne.

Joseph: The hardest thing is practicing with everyone, but the most fun thing is just ska-ing around I guess.

Is there any message you guys want to send out there with your music?

Joseph: Hail Skatan.

Iann: Only do meth on weekends, kids.

Andreas:  Listen to all kinds of music, don’t be douches, and have an open mind.

Shayne: Just have fun and stop caring about the smallest things and Peoplpe should be super open minded and I completely agree with Andrea in the sense that you have to stop giving a fuck about what kind of genre it is and just listen and if you dig it then listen to it and if you don’t, then don’t. Don’t judge it, though.

Matthew: If I had to give a certain message, it’s that we all have different genres and we all play different genres at school, but when we get to this band feel I can really sort of cut loose and play anything, especially with improvising. Basically, if you want to do something, just do it no matter what everyone else says. Like going into music, yeah it might not be the most lucrative, but its definitely chill and fulfilling.

Dallas:  Take it easy, go with the flow, peace and love, that’s all it is, man.