High Five Drive
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High Five Drive

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Punk

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"Melody/Punk"

Stil (Spielzeit): Melodycore / Punk (42:09)
Label/Vertrieb (VÖ): Fond Of Live / New Music Distribution (13.04.09)
Bewertung: 7 /10
http://www.myspace.com/highfivedrive
Für alle, die so wie ich in den 90igern unter anderem durch MelodyCore sozialisiert wurden,
heute aber kernigere Kost brauchen, dürften Bands wie A WILHELM SCREAM das Maß aller
Dinge sein. HIGH FIVE DRIVE kommen zwar noch lange nicht bei den großen Vorbildern an,
machen sich aber gut und legen hier eine tolle Mischung aus Melodie und Spielfreude vor.
Und genau durch diese Kombination erinnern sie mich immer wieder an die Helden der
90iger, vor allem der skandinavischen Fraktion - bei aktuelleren Vertretern würde ich Bands
wie THIS IS A STANDOFF nennen. Die Stimme allerdings weckt Assoziationen zu STRUNG
OUT (aber irgendwie netter) und LESS THAN JAKE (der Gitarrist), schaukelt sich immer
wieder zu guten Hooks und Parts hoch - kann mich aber noch nicht ganz aus dem Sessel
reißen. Da fehlt dann doch irgendwie ein wenig der Biss - ein klein wenig mehr Aggression
hätte den Vocals durchaus gut zu Gesicht gestanden. Dadurch hätten die mehr als genug
vertretenden Melodien auch noch etwas dazu gewonnen. Aber eventuell wollten die
Kanadier einfach nicht nach Zeitgeist klingen, was ja erstmal keine schlechte Einstellung ist.
Das Quartett scheint sich dem Leben auf Tour verschrieben zu haben und so wundert es
auch nicht, dass sie wohl die meisten Platten bis jetzt direkt von der Bühne aus verkauft
habe. Und wenn sie ihre Songs - zwölf sind es übrigens auf diesem neuen Album - live so
dynamisch, sauber und leicht verspielt rüberbringen wie auf „Full Blast" kann ich das auch
gut nachvollziehen. Ich könnte mir die Vier zum Beispiel ziemlich gut zusammen mit THE
FLATLINERS vorstellen. Denn trotz der ganzen Spielfreude und dem technischen Können
passen sie von ihrer Melodik ganz gut zu dem, was man auf FAT WRECK erwartet. Wenn
sie jetzt noch etwa mehr Haare an den Eiern hätten und mehr Aggressionen und Brachialität
reinbringen würden, würde ich hier ziemlich wahrscheinlich ungläubig vor den Lautsprechern
sitzen. So reicht es zwar nur ganz knapp zu sieben Punkten und nicht zu einer Empfehlung,
aber trotzdem sollte man diese Band im Auge behalten.
Link: http://burnyourears.de/index.php/artikel-menue/cd-reviews-menue/3979-high-five-drivefull-
blast
Short Fazit: good record, could be released via Fat Wreck, everybody should have an eye on
this band, good review - Burn Your Ear (Germany)


"High Five Drive"

Über schönen Melodic Core habe ich mich bis jetzt noch immer gefreut. Dieses Mal geht`s
um die Canadier High five drive, die auf ihrem Album ganz stark nach No use for a name
klingen, jedoch die nötige Portion Eigenständigkeit mitbringen, um nicht nur als Plagiat
durchzugehen. Angenehm ist die Tatsache, dass das Quartett eine Spur härter zu Werke
geht, schöne Akustik Balladen am Start hat und hier und da Iron Maiden artige Lead Gitarren
einbaut, die sich perfekt ins Gesamtbild einfügen. Abgerundet wird das ganze durch ein
schönes Layout und eine druckvolle Produktion. Anspieltipps spare ich mir, denn hier knallt
wirklich jeder Song. Coole Sache. Note: 2 Marcel
Link: http://www.crazyunited.de/?page_id=10
Short fazit: awesome record, everything well worked out, really good review! - Crazy United


"Hardest working band in the Peg"

Ahhh... Another May, another High Five Drive self-financed tour kickoff!

Our latest album – From the Ground Up- just came out in Europe, says H5D front guy/sound man for hire Greg Rekus. We originally released it independently in 2006, and a label called Lost Records in Ontario re-released it. Now it’s also out in Europe on Bad Mood Records.
That same hi-energy skate-rock (for lack of a better term) album was also released along with H5D’s earlier full length called Service Engine Soon on a Japanese label called Fast Circle Records.
Overseas, they call our music skate punk or melodic hardcore, Rekus notes.
All this action is why High Five Drive is gearing up for another overseas tour with a bon voyage gig at the Royal Albert on May 14th with the Real Deal (Montreal), The Afterbeat, and guests.
The show is kind of a kickoff for our tour of Europe, Rekus says. The next day we play Kenora, then Thunder Bay, and then we fly from Montreal to Europe. We’re in Europe for 30 days. We have 21 shows booked to support the official European release of the CD.
As reported here in S-Beat a year ago and even eleventeen weeks before that fer U street beaters, The High Five Drive ers are busy working on their new follow up, still untitled album.
There’s no hurry. We still have a few vocal tracks left and we’re been mixing it since we got back from our last month long Canadian tour, Rekus says.
Since forming in 2001, the band has been on over 15 Canadian tours, plus a tour overseas. All of these jaunts have been self financed and independently set up by High Five Drive. To say that the young band is dedicated and hard working is a wallet pluckin inderstatement – somebody get them a gushin’ vat of tour ease!
This is my career right now. This is the reason I get up in the morning, Rekus says. It’s been a struggle for us to keep on the road this much. Even if the tour breaks even we still have to scramble to pay the rent we incurred at home while we were away because we’ve been on the road for 30 days.
We work out butts off to book our own tours. We’ve applied for touring grants and album grants for five years and we’ve always been turned down, yet the band is doing better than it ever has. Our audience is growing at home and abroad and we’re doing very well in Quebec, Rekus adds.
High Five Drive is also featured on the upcoming Tribute to Belvedere compilation album. Shout out Brandy Wine when ya go see em at the Albert. They’ll be glad U did.
- Uptown Magazine


"High Five Drive Escapes Through Music"

Melodic punk rock band High Five Drive are stuck in Pemberton, B.C., along Highway 99, which is closed due to land slides. What better time than this for a phone interview.
As vocalist and guitarist Greg Rekus chats, he recalls the many shows they’ve played in Thunder Bay and looks forward to rocking the city once again. With a new record under their belts, Rekus would like people to know that they can hear songs from the record on MySpace or Pure Volume.
Anything can happen at a High Five Drive show including flying guitars and gymnastics, so be careful!
Catch the High Five Drive show in Thunder Bay at the Office on March 21st with local x’s Foreyes, Orange 95, Forever Dead, Cheap Escape and more.

SPOT: What is your definition of the word music?
GREG REKUS:It’s our lives. This is what we’ve been doing for awhile. Playing music is about so many different things. We use music to get away from stuff and to express how we’re feeling. Music is everything.

SPOT: Do you find that your band name represents the music that you make?
G R: I’d say it does. It sounds energetic. We originally thought it would be cool if there was a street named that. We like to give high fives to people. We’ve gotten a mixed interpretation of our name. We just thought it sounded cool.

SPOT: The latest album is called From the Ground Up. Explain the title.
G R: We had a line up change and our original guitarist and bassist left. It was a big turning point in all of our lives. They were still involved but couldn’t commit to touring. We didn’t know if we should call it quits. We found new members and a lot of the songs are about continuing on. No Matter what happens, we’re building this band from the ground up.

SPOT: You hail from Winnipeg. How do you view your local music scene?
G R: I love it. There are tons of bands and genres and places to play. I’m pretty involved in the local music scene. I’m a sound engineer at the Collective Cabaret and I put shows on for bands coming through town. I think the scene is great right now and people are interested in checking out live music.

SPOT: Do you think that being from Winnipeg has influenced your sound in any way?
G R: I definitely think so. We’re not really from the west or the east. There’s no distinct sound, you make it up as you go. With bands like the Weakerthans and Propagandhi, There’s so much diversity.

SPOT: You have distribution in Japan. How was this landed?
G R: That just happened. We working out the final deal. We working with Fast Circle Records in Japan and Bad Mood Records in Europe, which is based in Switzerland. It’s the biggest thing that’s happened to us.

SPOT: What do you credit this European recognition to?
G R: I think a lot of it is the scene there. They’re into bands that play our style. The internet helps too. It’s a great resource for bands to get their stuff out there. MySpace, our website, and pure volume is a gigantic resource for people who might want to hear it.

SPOT: Your Bio states that you have a disregard for personal safety. What is the craziest stage antic you’ve ever pulled?
G R: Last night I was trying to do a cartwheel but the stage was too small and I crashed into Marty (guitarest) and landed on my head and elbows. The craziest thing that’s ever happened was probably in Regina when I threw my guitar in the air and tried to catch it. It hit the ground and broke in half. I cried a bit but I have the best guitar tech in Winnipeg who fixed it.

SPOT: What is your earliest childhood musical memory?
G R: My earliest was buying my first cassette tape, before I could even read. I bought Bon Jovi’s Slippery when wet and I listened to it a bunch of times. I don’t have the tape anymore but whenever I hear the songs I still give a head bang or a fist pump.

SPOT: What can people expect from a High Five Drive live show?
G R: Tons of energy, diversity and a great show. I guess we’re one of those bands who are honestly playing what they love. We’re not trying to fake anything. This is us.

SPOT: What is the truth about High Five Drive?
G R: We are actually secretly taking over the world. Just Kidding. Maybe that we’re not crazy people, We’re four normal guys who love to play music.
- Thunder Bay Spot


"High Five Drive"

These local punk rockers may feel more at home in Europe considering the tremendous response they’ve had to their touring there. The strong fan base has resulted in their latest album being released on three different European labels. Greg Rekus and company are poised to be a breakout success across the pond and possibly here at home as well. Fullblast is an apt title for this disc. It leads off with the furious paced Vengeance Theme and from there it’s a series of solid catchy, high energy punk rock songs. Despite some overreaching melodic sections, Fullblast manages to remain somewhat gritty thankds to great production work of John Paul Peters (Comeback Kid). Standout tracks include eight hour drives Foreign Mantras Make Great Role Models and Our Great War. (Fond of Life, No Reason, Bad Mood, www.myspace.com/highfivedrive
Kent Davies
- Stylus


"For the Ager"

I do this because no one else will do it. If I leave it for someone else to do they might do a half assed job. That’s why I do it myself, so bands like the Johnsons from Edmonton will have a place to play in Winnipeg when they tour, explains sincere indie gig organizer /Collective Cabaret sound guy /High Five Drive guitarist/vocalist Greg Rekus.
I love doing all ages shows. That way everybody’s able to come. Bar shows are easier because the bar makes their money selling booze and they’re cheap to do.
For example, a band can do a show at the Albert or the Collective for a hundred bucks, which includes sound and bar service, but I wanted the show to be all ages. The West End Cultural Centre is super expensive and they’re always solidly booked, so it’s at the Label Gallery across from the University of Winnipeg, Rekus says.
Rekus is another one of these rare n revered nuggets in the treasured show box of our independent music community. He’s entirely selfless, tireless, inventive and creative and his rock band High Five Drive tours non-stop – yet Rekus finds time to promote and put on shows for U all ager Streetbeatin ragers. At the expense of spending time on his own projects – an HFD album has been recorded for over a year and is still bouncing back and forth on the overpriced volly court of mastering hell (more on this later) he’s out making sure the kids are entertained.
It’s enough to bring tears to the eyes of apathetic nay saying pundits or seasoned seen it all vets who think the kids ain’t quite right. Why Greg? Why do U do this indie gig stuff?
I was going to a lot of shows, when I was 15 or 16, to see bands like the Bonaduces (post banned From Atlantis, Buick 6/pre Paperbacks, Cheerleader, Kicker). I really loved music and I just wanted to be a part of it. I was always the shortest guy I knew, so there was no way I was going to be able to sneak into a show. I started doing my own all ages shows, Rekus says.
He bounced around with early project Lacking Intelligence and some other less brainy antics before settling on his current touring blastro rock juggernaut High Five Drive – yikes – years ago. The current HFD lineup features Rekus, bassist Steve Nelson (ex-Resistance), Guitarist Marty L (he sings in Minority Justice League) and Steve Jowsey (ex-Gizmo) on kit.
I wanna just call our style fast and loud, but people think we’re a punk band, Rekus says. But what is punk these days? And we’re not metal even though we have double leads and our latest cover song is The Trooper by Maiden, Rekus retorts.
High Five Drive is scheduled to release it’s new ruckus raising alb From the Ground Up in November.
We recorded it a year ago, but the CD is still being mastered. Rekus relates. This is the fifth time, so hopefully it’ll work out. The problems with the mastering are it doesn’t sound as good as I think it should or it sounds great but it’s too expensive. We’re writing new songs all the time. Before you know it we’ll be ready to record another album.
See A Guy Named Greg Productions all ager arty upstager featuring the wall of sound splattering High Five Drive, The Johnsons, Asado, A Life Less Ordinary and near newbies 4th Floor on Sept 1st at the Label Gallery, 510 Portage Ave. Gig kix at 6:30pm
It’s downtown so there won’t be any noise complaints, Rekus assures
- Uptown Magazine


"Don't leave em hanging"

Fast and loud are the two words Greg Rekus uses to describe his band’s unique sound.
We’re known for being really fast and having a lot of energy, especially in our live show, said the member of the Winnipeg band High Five Drive.
The punk rock band will perform during a Remembrance Day concert on Saturday at the Silver Buckle. Doors open at 8pm. Local band, One Shot Left, organized the concert and will also perform.
High Five Drive formed in 2001 and is made up of Rekus, Marty LaFreniere, Steve Nelson, and Steve Jowsey. The band is on the road to promote their new album, From the Ground Up, Which will be officially released at a party in Winnipeg on Nov 25th. They hope to sell 5 000 copies of the new CD.
The band has released two other CDs, Something Better and Service Engine Soon. All three CDs contain original music.
A lot of the time I come up with the basic structure (of the song) and then we all put everything together, said Rekus in a phone interview from Winnipeg.
Rekus also came up with the unique band name.
I’ve always like giving people high fives. It’s always been our signature. If something good happens we all have to high five each other, he said. So one day I was thinking about if I was a mayor of a town all the different streets I would name. I’d have a High Five Drive. That was around the time the band was starting and I thought that might be a cool name for a band.
High Five Drive is looking forward to returning to Medicine Hat and joining One Shot Left on stage.
We love One Shot Left and we’re excited to play with them again, said Rekus
- The Medicine Hat News


"High Five Drive Fullblast"

“Full Blast is the third album release by HFD with “Service Engine Soon” and “From The Ground Up” being their previous releases. I can not compare this release to their previous ones though the tracks they had on their myspace all rocked in one way or another.

Track 4 I would say is by favorite song on this album. “Our Great War” is incredibly fast with extremely technical guitars and lyrics. Although nearly everyone it seems the band is trying to impress you with their technical playing ability and really this is not even the fastest song on the album I would have to say the song is really the medium of the album. Not the fastest or most technical but still way up there. If only these guys were a metal band I think I could fall in love.

This is a great technical very fast pop punk/punk rock release with the “new punk”sound that is very popular these days. - truepunk.com


"Avoiding Ukraine Cops"

In the 1996 novel Fight Club, an anonymous protagonist escapes the monotony of a nine to five job by bare-knuckle fighting other men.
It’s one of High Five Drive singer-guitarist Greg Rekus’ favourite books, and in a way, there are parallels between Rekus and the protagonist. Rekus, too, has escaped the nine to five lifestyle, only instead of resorting to fisticuffs, he does it by playing in a touring rock band.
High Five Drive will release its third full-length CD, Fullblast, this weekend at Ozzy’s.
Recorded last year with John Paul Peters, some of the songs on the 42-minute disc, like Foreign Mantras Make Great Role Models, take direct aim at those who think playing music isn’t a viable career option.
“There’s definitely a line in there about the people who think a band could never really be serious, and who think you’ve gotta work your day job,” Rekus, 27, said by phone from a tour stop in Toronto last week. He had just finished after doing laundry with his bandmates.
“But, we’ve been doing this for eight years and there’s no real end in sight.”
Rounded out by guitarist Marty LaFreniere, bassist Steve Nelson and drummer Steve Jowsey, the Winnipeg skate-punk band is quick to point out its accomplishments on its MySpace page: three full-lengths and one EP released internationally, and hundreds of shows on almost 20 tours, including two to Europe.
Oh yeah, and successfully escaping arrest by Ukrainian police.
Last year on tour, Rekus apparently disobeyed some traffic laws while navigating the band’s van. He soon found himself pulled over, thrown into the back of a cruiser with two officers shouting at him in Ukrainian – a language he can’t speak.
“I don’t know if they were planning on getting money from us or what, but eventually they wrote down a dollar amount and we paid them,” Rekus recalled. One hundred euros later, the group was let go.
It’s just one of a “barrage of crazy things that happen on tour.” There’s the time the band spent the night in a Slovenian bomb shelter. Or the time they were stopped by a herd of sheep in Romania en route to a gig, which you can see in one of the many tour videos the band has posted on its MySpace page.
“The video doesn’t do it justice,” Rekus said with a laugh. “There must have been a thousand sheep crossing the road.”
It’s experiences like those, coupled with all of the friends they’ve made on the road, that make being in a band worth it, Rekus said.
“Just being able to play your music every night is great. It’d be great to make a million bucks – if you don’t say that, you’re crazy – but there’s definitely a lot more to it than that.”
After the CD release party at Ozzy’s, High Five Drive will hit the road once again for eight shows out west. More touring will follow that string of dates.
“It’s nice to be able to disappear for three months. So, we’ll definitely keep doing that.”
- The Uniter


Discography

Service Engine Soon (2004)
HFD/Sentimental Split (2005)
From The Ground Up (2006)
Fullblast (2009)

Photos

Bio

High Five Drive finished off 2009 with the Japanese release of “Fullblast”, their latest record. Days later it’s 2010 and HFD is on an eight show tour in the USA. After a few months at home working on new material, the band tours several European countries in April with Canadian dates in late March. The band isn’t rich, and has only a small network of allies. Yet, they have kept a firm standing in the insanity of egos, opinions, and ostracism also know as the music industry. Alone they stare into the Icy Dawn.

In 2009 High Five Drive teamed up with European punk labels Fond of Life Records, No Reason Records and Bad Mood Records, to release “Fullblast”. The record was released recently in Japan through Fast Life Records and featured two unreleased acoustic tracks. “Fullblast” received killer reviews from both online and print media worldwide. The guys feel it is their best album to date, and features twelve tracks ranging everywhere from mind melting shreds to acoustic guitars. The album was recorded and produced by sound wizard John Peters who has worked with acts such as Comeback Kid, A Textbook Tragedy and The Waking Eyes.


In the past eight years High Five Drive has been to Europe on three occasions and has toured Canada countless numbers of times. They have released an EP and three full length albums in Japan, Canada, and in Europe. They have sold over 4000 copies combined. They have shared the stage with bands such as Comeback Kid, A Wilhelm Scream, Protest the Hero and the Cancer Bats. In the past, they have recorded with scene veteran Blair Calibaba whose credits include: Gob, Sum 41, No Means No, and have been produced by former Belvedere and current This is a Standoff front man Steve Rawles.

They have driven through the pouring rain, down icy roads, through blizzards, through unbearable heat, through all night drives and have always played their hearts out night after night. Whatever the future may hold, they’re facing it head on.