Living With Lions play Music Trader in-store!

By Janet Adamana

Fresh off the European EastPak Antidote Tour with metal-core heavy weights, A Day To Remember and August Burns Red, is ’90s-esque punk rock Vancouverites, Living With Lions. After playing their biggest crowds to date, to sold out shows of up to 4000 people, the boys are back on home soil. They’re crossing the country on the five-city Canadian Hangover Tour, starting in Toronto.

The quintet formed in 2006, converging to create a fast-paced, passionate and anthemic punk rock sound, reminiscent of popular melodic rockers, Alkaline Trio, The Movielife and The Gaslight Anthem. Newly recruited vocalist, Stuart Ross, uses his raspy vocals and the band’s lyrical make up of sour relationships, tarnished friendships, a glint of hope hidden under youthful angst, to reach through the musical backdrop of guitarists Landon Matz, Chase Brenneman, bassist Bill Crook, and feverish drums by Loren Legare.

Since their formation, the earnest rockers have released the Dude Manor EP, and their two first full-length albums, 2008’s Make Your Mark and 2011’s Holy Shit. The latest conjured up some controversy for its original album artwork.

“We decided to name the record Holy Shit, and thought of making the album art look like a mock bible,” says guitarist Chase Brenneman.  Before the cover was changed it had also included a cartoon piece of feces depicted as Jesus Christ. Although the artwork easily offended many members of the Christian community, 23-year-old Brenneman insists that was not the intention. “It was just something we thought would be funny, like, ‘Holy shit, a Holy Bible, that’ll be hilarious.’ So we made it. And the thing is, there’s no content on the album that is anti-religious, nor do any of us really care about what religion you believe in or not.”

The band is currently signed to five different labels in four different continents, including Black Box Recordings in Canada, Ice Grill$ in Japan and 3Wise Records in Australia. Despite any flak they may have gotten upon its release, the boys are celebrating some sweet album victories with Holy Shit becoming their first internationally released record. “That was an accomplishment for us,” claims Brenneman. “We’ve previously never had [our records] actually available to everybody, so that’s cool to get the record signed to all [our] labels and have it put out everywhere.”

Living With Lions have spent the last few years sharing stages with the likes of American pop punk revolutionaries, The Wonder Years,  Fireworks and Winnipeg’s very own hardcore punks, Comeback Kid.

They make a stop in Winnipeg this Thursday, November 24, to help promote Holy Shit, and hopefully help pump some life into the lacking Canadian punk scene. “I hate to say it but I feel like Canada is sort of one step behind everyone else,”claims Brenneman. “There’s been this recent resurgence of awesome punk and pop punk bands coming out of the US and Europe. It’s blowing up all over the place, and it just seems like nobody gives a shit in Canada right now.” As a punk fan as well as a musician, Brenneman realizes both sides of the story. “It’s cool because we get to see it first hand so we know, we can’t just blame people who go to shows. It’s also bands’ responsibility and our responsibility to build that up,” he adds. “You have to tour, you have to make your music accessible for Canadians for us to actually grow.”

The free all-ages show takes place at 4 p.m. at Music Trader on 97 Osborne St.

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