By the time our short interview was over the show was to start soon. I headed inside the venue where I ran into Mellevon, a young Montreal metal band who would be opening the show up. I pulled Red, the lead vocalist, to the side and asked him a few questions to get an idea of what we were in store for.
KL: What does playing this show mean to you?
Red (RN): It means a lot. This is arguably one of our biggest and most important shows. We don’t get to open for many international acts. Our whole band is one big fan of 36 Crazyfists and it’s a real honor to open up for them. Honestly, we’re very stoked.
KL: How do you measure success when it comes to making music?
RN: The way I measure success is in the amount of people who come to see you and the amount of people who know your lyrics and chant along. Anyone can buy a record and listen to you in their bedroom, but when they actually go out of their way to see you live and to cheer you on, I think that’s how you measure success.
KL: Alright, here’s a hard one. Kill/fuck/marry. The choices are the pope, George Clooney and Vladimir Putin.
RN: I’d marry the pope, just ‘cause maybe he’ll get denounced and fired and I can take over. I’d Kill Putin. As long as he went out with a Russian bullet I’m sure he’d be fine with it. And yeah, I’d fuck George Clooney.
KL: Alright, good choices; I’d probably choose the same. So I’ve seen you perform before and I’ve seen you jump on tables and scream into the mic. Should we be expecting a similar performance from you?
RN: You shouldn’t expect anything. It’s all about the vibe. Only one thing we can guarantee — it’s gonna be one hell of a fucking show. Don’t expect anything in particular, but do expect to see a very good live performance. I know the reputation follows me a bit, but it’s not because I do it for attention. I do it for how it feels. All I know is I feel good right now. Everyone feels good right now; I can’t wait.
KL: Are you inspired by any lead vocalists in particular, either by their vocal techniques or the way they perform onstage?
RN: Yeah, I’m inspired by the singer of Slipknot, Corey Taylor, and by Jonathan Davis, from Korn. I’m inspired mainly for their vocals; they’re so raw and powerful and real. You can just feel the emotion in their voices. Jonathan Davis is literally the soundtrack to a mental institution. I derive my energy from Dillinger Escape Plan; those guys don’t give a fuck and they go crazy onstage and play great music.
KL: Was there pressure coming into this band as a new vocalist into a pre-existing group of musicians? Did you feel pressure to fill the previous vocalist’s shoes?
RN: Not really, it was just figuring how to go about it. I have a very different style and it was about trying to figure out how to incorporate that into the band. It took time but eventually I found the voice to fit and it’s worked ever since.
KL: A lot of people are coming tonight to see 36 Crazyfists. Do you have any message for those people, who’ve never heard of you guys or seen you play before?
RN: Keep an open mind, cheer, scream, dance. I don’t care what you do. There’s never any rules when it comes to us. Just enjoy. Enjoy the music, enjoy the sound. You could even come talk to us. Don’t be shy. But more than anything, enjoy 36 Crazyfists.
Just like that, Red left the conversation to go up onstage and pummel the crowd with his agonizing yelps and jerky movements. Soon after, Toothgrinder were up and people were dancing to some of the most excellent musicianship I had seen live in a long while. The place really exploded when 36 Crazyfists went up though. “Are you ready, Montreal?” Brock asked the crowd. For a short second his eyes caught mine and then they began playing Vanish. I stood surrounded by the constant movement of a hundred bodies as he let his heart wail and as he became a monument to the people he loved.