Deadcity Serpents
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Deadcity Serpents

Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"No Cure For Cancer Boy - May 5, 05"

It’s not like Edmonton is hurting for great bands or anything, but really, we can never have enough furious underground rock acts keeping us on our toes. And so, enter the Deadcity Serpents, Edmonton’s newest group of rock miscreants slithering their way up the ranks with their killer sound and awesome live show—watching lead singer Cancerboy lean into the crowd while juggling a smoke, drink and microphone as the rest of the quartet blasts out gritty, punked-up garage rock is a rare spectacle. Most of the band members cut their teeth in rural Alberta playing in various punk and hardcore bands before moving to the big city a couple years ago. Their last project was a Grande Prairie-based psychobilly band called Flash Jackson and the Furious Five. “We were off the hook, man,” says Cancerboy. “We were heavier than anything they ever heard.” Tired of seeing bands rehash the glory days of ’70s stadium rock instead of coming up with something new, the Serpents are trying a different approach. “We just figured screw the icons, and that’s what we’re based on,” Cancerboy says. “Just screw all that stuff and try to write something new and explosive.” Still, that doesn’t stop him from embracing some aspects of the glory days, like when he jokingly takes on a rock-star persona to hammer his point home. “When you see us, you know we’re obviously full of it, so it’s like throwing rock ’n’ roll back in everybody’s face,” he says. “For me, there’s still a message in that—you know, pride before the fall sorta thing. If you’re just regurgitating old rock ’n’ roll and iconism you’re not setting a new example; you’re just reminding people of the past and not really doing anything. You’re just swimming in shit.” (Phil Duperron) - VUE Weekly, Edmonton

"reVUE - June 2, 05"

Some bands try very hard to be clever, but not the Deadcity Serpents, who try very hard to play like they’re mentally retarded or simply insane. But they do it in such a convincing manner you just know there’s a genius master plan behind it all. Unfortunately, frontman Cancerboy is too busy chain-smoking and pumping out brain-cell-destroying garage rock to explain it to anyone. This much is obvious, however: nobody who’s really as demented as these guys appear to be onstage could possibly deliver a show with this much controlled and calculated ferocity. I was hot for them halfway through the set, but after Cancerboy blasted his face with spraypaint, smashed his tambourine and kept playing with an itty-bitty piece of it, I think I fell in love. - VUE Weekly, Edmonton

"Music Notes - Aug 22, 05"

“It’s just kind of a joke, but it’s stuck I guess,” explains Deadcity Serpents vocalist Derek “Cancerboy” Porritt after Music Notes expressed some concern upon hearing his apparently inaccurate nickname. “I don’t have cancer,” he reassures, “but I smoke a lot.” This is an understatement. While onstage, Porritt tends to smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish and scream like a banshee—all at the same time, and usually without serious injury or all that much spillage. Of course, Porritt and the rest of the Serpents come by their hard-partying vices honestly: with most members hailing from rough-and-tumble Northern Alberta industrial wastelands (the rig-pig-infested berg of Grande Prairie and the pulp-mill-blighted mountain village of Hinton), Deadcity Serpents’ decidedly unpolished image is entirely authentic. Other so-called hardcore bands feel tough when they dive-bomb the audience or topple their amplifiers, but Porritt has been known to squirt himself in the face with spray paint and otherwise compromise his personal safety without missing a note, something he sees as integral to his band’s performance. “Bands like the Stooges and MC5 were all about screaming and making noise and throwing themselves around and trying to get people riled up,” he says of his musical idols. At this point, Music Notes felt it somewhat necessary to mention that, for all the anti-mainstream trappings of Deadcity Serpents, name-checking the Stooges doesn’t exactly set the band apart from many of the bands du jour whose artificiality the Serpents clearly eschew. For Porritt, though, this is less a contradiction than a simple coincidence. “We’re just sort of a fun rock band,” he insists. “We just don’t give a shit. We’d still be playing the same music whether or not anybody came to see us.” One has to wonder if Porritt would be as maniacally destructive without an audience (exposing one’s self to toxic spray paint with any regularity would eventually make Porritt’s nickname far less funny), but he maintains his spastic antics are more an attempt to live up to his own expectations than some kind of crass, choreographed routine. “We’re the band that we wanna hear,” he boasts. “I’d go see us.” Lest Porritt come off as less than humble, he quickly qualifies his remarks by reveal a total and utter enchantment with his back-up band. “When my voice is trashed I just sit back and watch them go,” he gushes. “I feel like an MC most of the time, because really I just get to introduce the best band in the world.” - VUE Weekly, Edmonton


Zombie Threat EP - 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


A streetlight cast a dim shadow. Nearby, a burned-down building smouldered. In the distance, the sounds of ten footsteps trailed the sounds of two. There was violence, there was despair, there was struggle. Men and women were not men and women – they were factions, they were gangs. They made friends and enemies, corpses and cadavers, but most important – music. In the Dead City, music was sacred. Through the turmoil that was daily life, it was the music that kept on playing. And music so revered by many, was sought after by every faction in the Dead City. Men killed for it, men sold their souls for it. But there to meet evil head-on were four men. With bats and chains, pipes and knuckles, these four men protected the music from the onslaught of rival factions. These four men were The Serpents.

Their knuckles were rocks. They have been to hell and back; all to protect the music. Their battle-cry is the sound of knives shooting in the air. Separate, they possess a singular power, but together -- they are invincible.

Tonight, there’s going to be a rumble. Word has got out that all the gangs south of the railway are gathering arms for an attack. For this one night, there aren’t a dozen gangs; there are only two. For this one night, it’s The Serpents and everyone else.

Nothing new, they all thought.

At their hideout, each one of the men began their preparations. If they were going live through the night, they needed to be ready. Relent is something they do not expect. A fresh bottle of tequila circled around the men as they tightened their boots and readied their weapons. They were ready to protect what was theirs, what was sacred.

The men filed out of their cave and headed down an alleyway. Not one word was said as their boots thumped on the pavement in unison. Necks were stretched, muscles were loosened and knuckles were cracked. Around the corner was an abandoned schoolyard; around the corner was their fate. The four men crossed the street and entered the schoolyard. They walked across the yard to a small playground and climbed up on a jungle gym which overlooked a distant hill. A cigarette was lit and passed around to each man as they calmly waited.

Across the park on the distant hill, a large shadow emerged. Brandishing pipes, bats, knives and swords, factions of men rounded the top of the hill and approached the playground. Every gang south of the railway was there.

The four men on the jungle gym slowly climbed down and began to meet their enemies head-on. A large clang of flesh and steel was heard as the two groups exploded into carnage. The violence continued, blood was drawn and lives were lost. But through the mayhem, one thing remained; one thing that started this whole mess. The music – through it all – kept on playing.