Sin Dealer
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SIN DEALER OPENS FOR EXCITER, MQMusicFest 2008!

Toronto's SIN DEALER will be directly supporting EXCITER at their 3rd MQMusic Fest on August 17th, 2008! The band has been part of the growing festival since its conception in 2006, playing alongside bands like Edwin, The Mudmen, Revolver and Crash Kelly. The show has found its home at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, a stage that Sin Dealer are no strangers to, 2 albums into their critically acclaimed career: aside from rocking out at MQMusic Fest 2007, they also earned the respect of W.A.S.P. fans this year as direct support for the legendary band at the venue! Discounted tickets are available for $15 directly from the band, by contacting them through www.myspace.com/sindealer.

In the last months, SIN DEALER have played with Joey Belladonna of Anthrax, Drowning Pool, Prong, Teenage Head and W.A.S.P. -- a string of high-profile gigs that are only the tip of the iceberg for a band that's on the verge of breaking out into the international scene...

To top all this off, the guys will be opening for THE MISFITS on October 22nd AGAIN at the Phoenix, and taking over the Bovine Sex Club on September 12 -- a venue that has hosted several classic Sin Dealer shows throughout the band's career. With the way things are headed on a large scale, it's hard to say no to a chance to see the band in an intimate setting, with free JD and merch giveaways like the good ol' days.

With all that's going on, the guys have still managed to find time to write new tunes for a new album due next year, and they're the best songs yet! Stay tuned to MYSPACE.COM/SIN DEALER for SIN DEALER news - blink and you might miss something BIG!!

--
Who: SIN DEALER w. Exciter
What: MQMusic Fest 2008
Where: Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., Toronto, ON
When: 9PM -- BE THERE EARLY!
How much: $15 through Sin Dealer, $20 otherwise.
Contact: www.myspace.com/sindealer
Official Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=29198489465
-- - Sin Dealer


I want take you all along for an excursion straight to the world of pure Rock 'n' Roll music. This crusade is offered by four Toronto, Ontario based rockers... name of the band is Sin Dealer! Born out of the ashes of bands like Seas Of Green, Sons Of Otis, Plasma Blast and Edwin & the Pressure, there's no fooling around or beating around the bush: Eric Kuthe (vocals), Jeff Zurba (drums), Frank Sargeant (bass) and guitar player Ron Bechard came together as one, rehearsals took place finishing a few songs for a first release...Sin Dealer was ready to unleash their Rock 'n' Roll power to the world!

A debut album appeared by the title of "13" in 2004, an independent effort fulffilled with songs coming straight from their hearts. Playing music the way they like and give a fuck about the rest is Sin Dealer's attitude. These guys' style of music reflects so many influences or inspirations...singer Eric said: "This is a collection of all we've seen, tasted, smelled and felt over the years, and ended up being a collaboration between a bunch of buddies that just 'get' the music together". Spoken words from the mouth of a brother who knows very well about what he speaks about.

In my opinion, the style of Sin Dealers is a mixture of styles like Classic / Southern / Stoner / Blues Rock and Sludge / Doom Metal...to announce a few comparable bands i'd like to mention: Cathedral, Hellyeah, Alabama Thunderpussy, C.O.C., Five Horse Johnson, Hell Yeah, Paradise Lost (Shades Of God, Icon albums),...extremely heavyweight guitar riffs varied with nice, quite melodic solo treatment assault my ears right from the beginning...i was hooked on it so i turned on the volume!

A second striking characteristic of the band is a very rough and raw, whiskey bottled kinda singer which matches completely with Sin Dealer's way of music. My conviction quality grows as the CD progresses, awesome! Also great to hear are the combinations of both bass and drum lines...hard knocking, heavy as can be! Production is very promising, sordid and greasy but it feels good to me. This type of music asks for a dirty production, so..."Dying To Live" contains 10 songs and a few that surely rock your heart out are: 'Betrayal', 'Dying To Live', 'Magic Woman' and of course a fantastic AC / DC cover of 'Walk All Over You' (best AC/DC cover ever heard).

If your heart ans soul is longing for straight up, solid heavyweighted Rock 'N' Roll music...don't hesitate to buy Sin Dealer's "Dying To Live". Without this album, your music collection won't be complete at all. Recommended all the way! Information can be find at: http://www.metalqueenmgmt.ca/ or www.myspace.com/sindealer MY POINTS: 87 / 100 - Metal To Infinity


This Toronto Canada based band is trying to give the Metal scene a punch of pure Metal at it's finest. They have done a good job in the form of their new album "DYING TO LIVE" These guys play some really dirty sounding Metal. There are influences taken from Sludge, Doom, Traditional, Stoner & Heavy Metal music with some touches of Southern Rock mixed within. The music is very rocking & grooving all through out. The vocals are done in an alcohol soaked gritty back bar style. Blend together FIREBALL MINISTRY, DOWN, MOTORHEAD, WOLF MOTHER & some AC/DC & you'd have a good idea what these guys are dealing! - Beowulf Productions


Toronto's Sin Dealer arose from the ashes of other Toronto bands such as Sea Of Green, Plasma Blast, Sons Of Otis and Edwin And The Pressure. The idea was to make music that was satisfying to them and not to succumb to making music just to attract record company interest. With many years experience and over a hundred different releases among the group's four members, Sin Dealer is a chance for a bunch of friends to make music together that they all enjoy. This new album Dying To Live is the follow up to the band's debut album "13" from 2004 and was recorded in a 110 year old converted farmhouse now known as Escarpment studios just to try to get the same "vibe" as bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin did in the 70's by recording in similar locations.

The sound of Sin Dealer is really just no nonsense, street level, blue collar heavy rock/metal that owes a lot to greats like Black Sabbath and Motorhead as well as incorporating the newer and more modern edge of bands like Down and Corrosion Of Conformity. Tracks like Lying To Myself and Got Into You, feature booming, heavy Sabbath style riffs as well as an angry and more modern Al Jourgenssen (Ministry)/ Rob Zombie-like vocal by vocalist Eric Kuthe. Crushing heaviness is attained with drop D tuning on tracks like Gasoline and Going Down; adding more of a classic Sabbath feel with the guitar riffs. Betrayal offers up more of a diving tempo with some of the "stoner" vibe of Down and COC with atmospheric interludes to break things up quite nicely. The title track Dying To Live balances a slower hypnotic vibe with clean guitar and vocal with booming heaviness for the chorus section. The speed and recklessness of Magic Women gives it more of a punk vibe with some solid lead guitar work and it's easy to see both the punk and Motorhead influences on this one. An interesting cover of AC/DC's Walk All Over You in drop D tuning is included here and it gets the full Sin Dealer treatment. The album finishes with a strange, atmospheric and ethereal track entitled Devil's War. Definitely an anti-war anthem, the slow hypnotic tempo, use of tape loops and the whispery spoken word vocal give it eerie almost black metal like qualities.

This album is being released independently (like their "13") album and should appeal to fans of very street-wise modern hard rock/heavy metal. Although the same vocal style gets a bit monotonous, the band breaks things up with some very different sounding tracks showing that they have a message to their music and are not all about punishing the listener with heavy riffs all the time. They are a staple in the live scene in and around the Toronto area and are opening for W.A.S.P. at the Phoenix Concert Theatre this Thursday, Feb. 28th in Toronto. If you're going to that show, show up early and be sure to check these guys out.
Killing Songs: Betrayal, Dying To Live and Magic Women
by Marty, www.metalreviews.com (75/100) - Metal Reviews


It's almost impossible to catch me with a rock sound these days... I once loved this music when it was young and real. I thought this kinda music was dead... hanged itself, being strangled by all these biz (and self-created clichés that put a once real music on a shelf, tame and clean, ready to sell.

I just wanted to quickly check this CD - wasn’t expecting much. But then
I just couldn’t stop listening! Sin Dealer is serving the timeless / honest rock fan with what he / she is looking for!!! This is simply the best *real* rock sound I've heard in ages! Full service! No clichés! EXCELLENT production! Great songs / intelligent arrangements (!!!) ALL VERY WELL DONE!!!! This will be the first rock release in my new (very selective) *to keep* collection! Will be back with playlists... - Lord Litter.de


Don't ya just love it when a band you've never heard or seen before walks out on the stage and kicks ya right in the fuckin nads? Well once the pain subsides, you at least look back with the utmost respect and have to agree that those fuckers were THERE. With fuck all for lights, no gimmicks up their sleeves, and half the crowd clueless as to who they are, Sin Dealer grabs ya by the collar, pulls ya up face to face and tunes ya in. Their balls to the wall approach to hammering out a hunk o' metal is reminiscent of the likes of Corrosion of Conformity which by the way pumped out my all time favourite metal album, Wiseblood, back in '96. I like a lotta different music but for me to throw that kind of comparison to a band I've never even heard before speaks volumes. Out of the five bands I saw that night, Sin Dealer, with it's meager six song set, raised the bar musically early on in the night and held it high as the other acts tried desperately to reach it. Never mind man. The opening act was impressive for a bunch of high school lads but as good and surprisingly tight as Exile was, they don't have the experience that Sin Dealer tucks under it's belt every day. Liquid Violence was heavy and fun but they were a little over the top with their Pink Floydian logos hanging on either side of the band and what appeared to be quite the Nazi-like white supremacist feel to them. Of course opening for W.A.S.P. this might be expected as the acronym may suggest. Fatal Smile from Sweden had everyone's attention visually, but musically a little on the cliche side.

Eric Kuthe holds front and centre microphone duties somewhat resembling Pantera's Vinnie Paul minus the southern drawl. Hey, that rhymes... If this guy puts his shoulder into your front door, he's fuckin coming in followed by the rest of his crew. That crew includes Ron Bechard, a Les Paul slingin axeman who's known to come up with most of Sin Dealer's riffs. This guy will smash you in the face with a wall of ass kickin chops and then tear you in half with his wisely fitting, finely woven lead work. Ron shares his time between Sin Dealer and Basia Lyjak, an incredibly sweet up n comer on the Toronto music scene. He played with Edwin for a stint and has some big gig experience that Eric jokingly admits he's jealous of. Frank Sargeant on bass puts in overtime with Sin Dealer and Sons Of Otis, the latter described as a "space-blues-doom" band who recently opened for Danko Jones, another band I fuckin love and MUST see on his next tour. Jeff Zurba has spent time with many of Toronto's finest drummers and musicians both on stage and in studio putting in time with everyone from Ashley MacIsaac to Billy Talent. One thing Eric told me that really stuck in my head was "this band is democracy with zero egos, I love it"... Democracy with zero egos. Hey.. I love it.

The six song teaser I witnessed on stage that night was just an appetizer. But I'm a big eater so I gotta get me another helping of Sin Dealer. Of the six tunes they played, Betrayal was the one that really hooked me. Betrayal put me right into a Corrosion of Conformity mood big time. I could almost see Pepper Keenan stealing this one and nobody would think twice about it. Magic Woman, Lying To Myself and Got Into You were the other tunes from the latest album they pulled off before finishing up with High On Sin and Rock n Roll Mass from their earlier release. I wanna see Gasoline live. I think that would be an instant cranium cave-in.

After the show Eric handed me Sin Dealer's latest album, Dying to Live, a technically straight forward and solid metal effort that I can't stop spinning. I fuckin love it. Right from front to back, this album kicks ass with my personal faves being, Gasoline, Betrayal, Goin Down Again and a deadly version of AC/DC's Walk All Over You. This is the kind of band that aint gonna bullshit you. They're the real McCoy. Ya gotta respect that. So do us all a favour. Go see em live if you get the chance. Go to their web site and order their CDs, buy some t-shirts and spread the word. Hard work deserves payback. And remember.... Sin is a good thing! - Rebel Reviewer.com


THURSDAY, MARCH 6TH - SIN DEALER @ ROK BOUTIQUE

While there are many live concert venues at Queen and Bathurst, the Rok Boutique isn't one of them. Or at least it wasn't, until Thursday nite, when Sin Dealer became the first band to perform there. The L-shaped stage at the back of the bar was barely big enough for the band, but the sound was fantastic as they ripped through a solid 10-song set which included their better-than-the-original version of AC/DC's Walk All Over You and ended with a cover of Pantera's A New Level. (Eric told me that they learned it for the Dimebag tribute show they played in December.) And of course, they bought shots of Jack Daniels for the crowd, as is their custom. I think I had three. Overall, the evening was reminiscent of one of the better nites at the Bovine, minus the trendy fashionista poseurs. I'd certainly like to see more bands at the Boutique in the future--as long as someone tells the DJ that he shouldn't be playing Green Day and Marilyn Manson at a heavy rock show! - Too High To Get It Right


Sin Dealer’s bio describes the band as a balance of the “heavy and the melodic….from AC/DC to Elvis, from Kiss to Johnny Cash, from James Brown to Motorhead.” Never having been a fan of Elvis or Kiss, I couldn’t tell you if that is true, and there’s very little of the Godfather of Soul that I could detect in this album. What I did instantly discover, however, is rock solid, Jim Beam and THC soaked stoner-rock, with more the a small nod to US acts like Monster Magnet, with the harsher, almost shouted vocals of bands like this island’s own Orange Goblin thrown into the mix.

The opening track “Lying to Myself” stamps the band’s stoner pedigree firmly on its sleeve, fuzz box laden guitars, chugging bass and drums, with the gravel voiced vocalist shouting over the top about an empty bottle filled life, complaining about how he can’t “get much higher but I’m trying.” This is the music of smoke-haze and booze laden venues, and I instantly imagine the band filling a smoky cellar crammed with tattooed and pierced fans, soaking in the wall of consummate sound that the band provide on this album.

The second number, “Got Into You”, carries on the distorted riffs that filled the first track, and characterize the entire album, firing straight into “Gasoline”, invoking the unmistakable image of the steaming sweaty Southern States of America that gave forth the likes of Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity and Down. The difference is that this band comes from the colder climes of Canada, but is as far from the commercial pop of Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams that this particular continent sized nation has disguised as rock as could be imagined.

By the time “Betrayal” cuts in you could be listening to early Orange Goblin, the laid back stoner style being invigorated by the harder, faster riffs reminiscent of “Some You Win, Some You Lose.” Interspersed are mellow arpeggio guitar breaks, a brief respite from the crushing aural assault designed to get the audience bouncing.

When the title track, “Dying To Live” cuts in, you can hear in every chord the time the band spent in honing their production skills from their first rough release “13”, layered vocals and an early Zeppelinesque build up of guitars, all coalescing into wave after wave of heavy yet melodic riffs washing over the listener.

The velvet wrapped assault of the title track it battered away by the uncompromising attack of the next song, “Magic Woman”, all unadulterated bluff and bluster, heavily tempered by blues protestations of loving prowess, interspersed by raunchy solos from the band’s resident guitar hero in waiting, Ron Bechard.

The remainder of the album continues in this vein, with deferential nods to classic acts like Captain Beefheart, establishing the band’s pedigree over 45 minutes as a solid entry into the premier league of stoner rock. With so many excellent established bands of this genre vying for venues, as well as new acts like Olde Crone, Sin Dealer have firmly staked their claim for attention. - Metal Team Uk.net


I must say that I really don't like the stuff that passes for hard rock these days, you know, Nickelback and the like... That shit's just too wimpy, like it's made for a female audience. But man, Sin Dealer plays hard rock with BALLS, the way it's meant to be, and it definitely comes through on Dying to Live. If you were to take a can of Sabbath, a can of AC/DC, crack a couple Motorhead records, and stir them in a pot, you'd get Sin Dealer. Whether it's fast, slow, or somewhere in between, the music hits ya like George Foreman's best Sunday punch. I said it before, but it's worth repeating; this is what hard rock is meant to be.

I mean, it takes balls to cover an AC/DC song on record, and great big ones to take an AC/DC song and make it heavier and ballsier than the original. I might hafta skip Track 3 when I listen to Highway to Hell now, cuz the Sin Dealer version of Walk All Over You just blows it outta the water. I'm not fucking kidding.

As someone who was raised on Sabbath and AC/DC, this record speaks to me on many levels. Whether it's the stoner riffs on Going Down or Betrayal, or the hard-hitting, straight ahead rock of a track like Got Into You or Magic Woman, it's a hearty helping of heaviness from start to finish. That being said, the title track doesn't do much for me, and track 10, well, with a name like Devil's War, I was expecting something epic and Sabbathy, so it ended up being a bit of a letdown, but otherwise, I've got no complaints. Dying to Live is the kinda stuff I like to hear, and I highly recommend it.

- Copyright Greg Harris, 2007 - Too High To Get It Right


Shortly before Sin Dealer opened for Prong on October 30th, I spoke with their lead singer, Eric Kuthe, who used to play bass in Sea of Green. It was a lengthy conversation, and what follows is a lengthy, but very poignant transcript. You're gonna wanna put down what you're doing and read the whole thing. Trust me.

Gruesome Greg: Sin Dealer has gotta be the most generous band I know, what with the free CDs, T-shirts, whiskey shots, long guest lists for shows… How can you guys afford to give all this stuff away?

Eric Kuthe: Well, that’s a tricky one to answer. I guess it’s me that does it, actually, without stealing any limelite from the other guys in the band. Here’s the deal: Sin Dealer rose from the ashes of Sea of Green. I played bass and guitar, and wrote a lot of the lyrics. That band had a really good chance of making it. We were signed to an indie label, toured around, made a lotta contacts, but once we got rid of the original drummer, it was the first sign of disaster. The singer/guitar player, well, we all indulged in different goodies, and he indulged a little too much, and started to become a different person, so that band had to end. I’m the kind of guy where I haven’t stopped playing music for the last 15 years. I’ve been in three main bands, I’ve done a few different side projects, I’ve managed a few different bands. But Sin Dealer is just a good buncha friends. I’ve known each guy for anywhere from 10 to 15, 20 years. I’m the guy who got it together, so I just wanted to make it easy. I have a full band’s worth of gear that I own, I own a guitar cabinet, I own a bass cabinet, I own a drumkit, and I said “Look guys, just show up, and let’s play, and we’ll see how it goes. I’ll pay for the jam spot, I’ll pay if we end up going in the studio…” I do pretty well for myself, better than my friends. I’m a telemarketer by trade, I do a lotta different things on the telephone; selling advertising, doing executive search consulting, which is finding people higher-end jobs, like VPs, and presidents of big corporations. My dad taught me to be a salesman when I was around 15 years old, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s just easier when one guy pays. In Sea of Green, we did do things as a democracy, in the beginning, but I would sometimes front the money for a recording. It was 3,000 bucks to record, and there were three guys in the band, so when it came time to collect the thousand bucks from the other two guys, we’d end up getting into fights. I found out that most bands, they fight about money. Money, and conflicts of interest in what they want songs to sound like. So, I wanted to rule that out with Sin Dealer, I wanted to rule out the money problems just by paying for things. Sorta like a Robin Hood thing, I guess, helping my band of stoned and drunken men out, and just making the machine run. I like putting out albums, and we put them out faster than a lotta bands can do. I like throwing a big party, and because I don’t go out to bars much anymore, when I put on a show, it’s just like putting on a big party. With Sea of Green, and the fact that my wife and I owned and ran a record label, called Twelfth Planet Music. We had five or six bands signed internationally at one point, all stoner rock stuff. You know, we tried the advertising route. In Sea of Green, and even in Sin Dealer, our last CD, I did the advertising thing, I took a full-page ad out in Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, put a song on Knuckletracks, took out a banner ad, and I realized that it doesn’t really help sell CDs for small level bands. If you do a half-decent ad campaign with radio, print ads, you end up looking at a couple thousand dollars. So I figured instead of pressing a thousand CDs, I’ll press two thousand, and give em all away, cuz when you press two thousand CDs, it costs about a buck seventy-five a unit. So, if I give away a thousand CDs, that’s like spending 1700 bucks, which is what it would cost me to run an ad in a magazine for a month. Giving away a buncha Jack Daniels shots, winning over a buncha fans, and getting the party starting, that costs maybe two-three hundred bucks, but it’s priceless. And you kinda get famous for it, on a micro-level. We’re not a big famous band, but people definitely talk about shit like that. I’ve had so many people come up to me on the street, or when I’m at a concert, wearing a Sin Dealer shirt, and they say “Yeah man, I saw some guy wearing a Sin Dealer shirt, or a toque,” at wherever they were the nite before, and I just kinda smile, and think to myself, “They probably wouldn’t have seen that guy wearing that shirt if I hadn’t given it to him for free.” You look at most bands’ merch booths when you go to a show, and there’s not a lineup around the block to buy shit. When I saw Nebula, they got off stage, and there was maybe two guys standing over there who each bought a CD and a T-Shirt. Bands are lucky if they make 10-20 bucks here and there. You hope just to make the money back that you’re spending on the merch. The simple answer to your question is that for me, giving away free shit, guest lists, shots, that’s my advertising budget. I don’t think you find too many rock guys that are businessmen first and foremost. Me, I passed my Canadian Securities course to be a stockbroker by the time I was 21 years old. I’ve been involved in business for a long time, so my mind just thinks that way. When I do an album, like Dying to Live, I think, “Okay, we’re gonna spend this much on the recording, we’re gonna spend this much on advertising, this much on swag, T-Shirts, stickers, or whatever.” I don’t plan on ever making a penny back, and I don’t give a fuck. You know what I mean?

GG: It’s about the music, and not the money, right?

EK: I just wanna keep creating, I wanna get it out there, I wanna play shows, and that’s what it’s all about. Just getting it out there. I’ve got so many friends in bands that can’t get in the studio. That’s why my wife and I started a record label. We’d meet so many cool bands, and I’d ask, “When are you guys recording, man?” or “Hey, gimme a demo!” after seeing a really good band, and they’d be like, “Oh, here’s one from three years ago.” “Yeah, but that song I liked, that you played on stage, is that on CD?” “No man, we haven’t recorded that one yet.” “Aww, fuck!” My wife and I, with the label, we’d just give bands 1500 bucks to hit the studio, and my friends that were in bands were like, “We can’t record for that!” I did a side-project when I was in Sea of Green called The Kybosh, and that was my first stab at singing. It was totally different guys, but I guess it was kinda like the beginnings of Sin Dealer.

GG: You know, one of the few stoner bands from my hometown of Calgary were called Kybosh…

EK: Yeah, they’re the impostors! We came first! Well, they mighta came first… I think they mighta officially had the name first, but since I was in Sea of Green, we were pretty big. I marketed us, got The Kybosh out to the magazines. The way it works, legally, is that there could be another Sin Dealer out in Calgary right now, and it doesn’t make a fuckin’ ounce of difference, if we get big. There could be 25 Sin Dealers around the world. When I was in Sea of Green, there was another Sea of Green, who were a stoner rock band, in New Zealand. We didn’t find that out until later. The internet wasn’t what it is now back in 1999. It wasn’t as linked up as it is now. There was also a jazz band called Sea of Green in LA. With Sin Dealer, the original name of the band was gonna be Sin Pusher. We were thinking up names, and Frank, the bass player, who also plays in Otis, said, “I got the perfect name: Sin Pusher.” When we jam, being the Robin Hood that I am, I like to make it easy for the guys in the band. I used to bring the beer, bring the bud, bring some pills. Whatever anybody needed, I had. Now, times are a little leaner for me, so it’s everybody BYOB, BYOD. But that inspired the name Sin Pusher. So we did a search, and guess what? There’s a Sin Pusher in fuckin’ Toronto! They were probably 16-year-old kids, cuz they kept playing these all-ages shows. They’re broken up now, but at the time we thought, “You know what, a pusher’s not a good thing, anyways. A pusher pushes on you what you don’t want, but dealers deal what you need.” So we thought that Sin Dealer was better in the end.

GG: Now, Dying to Live is the second CD you’ve released independently. You’ve told me that you promote your albums by giving them away. Do you feel that’s the best route to go for independent bands?

EK: Well, if there’s a young band out there that doesn’t have money, and they wanna record often, just go in there and record three to six songs every year. You’re better off doing that than doing these full-length, 10-12 song CDs that break the bank. CDs are really just snapshots in time, they’re photographs of where you guys are musically, as a band. But like photographs, they change. Some people grow their hair long, they cut it, they have a beard, they have a goatee, they’ve got mutton chops, a nose ring… Different trends, different fashions, you know what I mean? Some guys look the same way forever, same thing with some bands. They sound the same forever, whether that’s good or bad. If I was in a young band, I would just go in and record three to six songs. If you’re trying to get this infamous record deal, they don’t really exist anymore, because CD sales are down, things are going digital. Right now it’s a weird time, where big labels are caught in this haze of “What do we do?” Before, it was very cut-and-dried, “We’ll give you a millon bucks as an advance, and you gotta pay it back.” This much money for touring, this much for advertising, this much to press records or CDs. Now, we’ve gotta put our music up on iTunes, and it’s 99 cents a song, so people are paying to buy songs. So, how much does the band get of that, and how much does the label get? These labels, they don’t really exist. And the small labels that were cool, like Man’s Ruin, who offered my last band Sea of Green a deal… There was actually a bidding war over us between Man’s Ruin and The Music Cartel, who we ended up going with. But even those great small labels are dying out. The final one still standing is Small Stone, and I only give that guy a couple more years before he realizes that there’s no money in CDs. Bands trying to get deals are few and far between, and if you just wanna get music out there, and you do record 10 songs, then you should just release half, and keep the other half in the can, so you can release them six months later. Do it on your own, I’ve learnt that the hard way. And that’s what I love about Sin Dealer; we’re all guys who’ve played in small, to medium, to large bands before. Ron, the guitar player, was the touring guitar player for Edwin, the old singer for I Mother Earth. Jeff, our drummer, played drums for Ashley MacIssac, who was pretty big. Sea of Green, we were signed to The Music Cartel, and Otis, Frank’s band, were signed to Man’s Ruin. Otis might get a statement saying they sold 20,000 records on Man’s Ruin, but they don’t see a fuckin’ penny of it. And they’re like, “Well, you gave me a 3,000 US dollar advance, how come I don’t see a penny out of 20,000 records?” I mean, 20,000 records, that’s like 200,000 dollars in sales, so if the band gets a buck a record, that’s 20,000 dollars. There’s just so many horror stories of bands getting ripped off. Sin Dealer, we’re older guys now, and we’re not in this to get a record deal. Unless someone comes along and says, “Here’s a million dollars, you get a hundred-thousand-dollar signing bonus each,” then don’t even bother fuckin’ doing it. I don’t think it’s worth it.

GG: You guys are just better off doing it on your own, then.

EK: Just do it on your own, man. That’s it. We did our new album on ProTools, and I was kinda sceptical of ProTools, sticking to the old system of two-inch tape, but most of the companies that make two-inch tape just vanished, and even then, you’re looking at 200-250 dollars for a roll of tape that you can only fit three songs on. To lay down twelve songs, you’re gonna need four rolls of tape, and you’re looking at a thousand dollars, just in tape, before you even set foot in the studio. ProTools is free. It’s just hard drive space. Bands now don’t need to spend big bucks to record, and pressing it, you can do on your own computer at home. I know so many guys that go and press a thousand CDs for two thousand bucks, thinking they’re gonna sell them all at their shows, and they end up having 800 CDs in their basement. The average band on their CD release party, even if it’s a packed house full of people, are lucky if they sell 20-30 CDs. And that’s on your CD release party. There’s just no money in music. If you’re getting into it for the money, get out. If you’re getting into it for the love of it, stick around.

GG: Going back to the CD, I see that it was recorded at Escarpment Sound Studio and engineered by Gary Honess and Andrew St. George… How long did the whole recording and mixing process take?

EK: Andrew St. George is actually pretty famous. He worked with Slik Toxik, he worked with The Who back in the day, with the Killer Dwarves, a lotta 80’s bands. So we went out to Escarpment Sound, where he works, in Acton, Ontario, and it’s a 110-year old farmhouse, converted into this amazing studio. There’s one huge building that looks like a farmhouse in Scotland or England, and we were out there in January. It was kinda warm, with those weird winters we’ve had, and there was fog rolling across the hills. The guys were just blazing up the fatties, and with the second-hand smoke, I’m still getting high. You know, when you read about bands like Black Sabbath or Deep Purple recording in these English farmhouses in the countryside, it kinda felt like that. It’s only 400 dollars a day to have the studio, and you can record 24 hours, around the clock. Laying down the drums, the bass and the bed track guitars, we did all that in three days. I did a buncha vocals, but the only one we kept was Walk All Over You. It was the last song outta five I did, before we had to get the hell outta there on our last nite, and I just couldn’t reproduce the vibe that I had going on Walk All Over You. So that was the only vocal we kept from the first session. The bulk of the album was done in three days, then I worked with Gary Honess, who did the first Sin Dealer CD. He’s a frickin’ ProTools wizard, man! The studio we worked at was Q Music, which is right at Richmond and Spadina. The owner of that studio, he’s a multi-millionaire. He got famous, and made all his money, doing the soundtrack to Tomb Raider. He’s not a guy who’s into nickel-and-diming everybody. But yeah, the bulk of the record was done in three days in January, then we spent the next six months just tweaking it, doing vocals, fixing guitar parts, and mixing it. So we spent six months mixing it at Q Music, and we got an amazing deal on studio time there. I really can’t complain about it.

GG: Now, I’m assuming that some of these songs were a few years in the making, because you guys went on hiatus for a little bit there. I understand that you were competing in strongman events during that time—is that true?

EK: Yeah, sorta. Because of the way Sea of Green ended, I was a bit negative towards music, being in a band, and all. Then I got these guys together, did the first CD, and it went really well. Gary Honess, the engineer, who did some stuff for Sea of Green, and helped manage this band In December with me, he was always into working out. He’s a smaller, thinner kinda guy, and we’d end up being in the studio, smoking joints and doing lines of blow, drinking and talking about working out. He’d ask me for advice on diet tips, workout ideas, and that kinda stuff… When you do an album, you spend a week doing it, and then you don’t see each other for another year. But this time, after doing the first Sin Dealer CD, we decided to finally give it a go, join a gym together, and see if we could get ourselves in better shape. When you have a workout partner, it give you more motivation, because instead of waking up and going, “Nah, I’m not gonna go today,” when your buddy’s coming to pick you up at 10 in the morning, you know you gotta get outta bed and do it. The gym that we joined, there was a guy there, who had done some strongman competitions. He took one look at me and the weight I was lifting in there, because I have been powerlifting since I was 20 years old. I started working out when I was sixteen, but by the age of 20, I could bench-press over 500 pounds. It’s kinda funny, there’s these two different worlds that I’ve been dabbling in over the last 20 years, 20 years of music and 20 years of working out. My friends that are into music don’t give a fuck about the workout stuff, and the guys that are into working out love music, and actually lift weights to a lotta the bands I’ve been in, and heavy metal in general, but they don’t know much about what it takes to make an album, or anything. It’s kinda my Batman dual identity thing. At one point, after recording the first CD, I did find myself losing a bit of interest in music, I felt my goal had been reached. I recorded a great CD, I wanted to hear my voice singing, and I think the first CD was a great effort at singing, but when I got into doing the strongman stuff, I took about a year, almost a year and a half off from Sin Dealer. Although we’d all get together, go see concerts, and hang out, you know, I’ve gotta house, and the guys would come over for barbeques and parties. We actually saw more of each other not being in a band, and we realized that yeah, we really are true good friends. Then, all of a sudden, this buzz started happening on the street, because of all that free shit we gave away, basically. I swear to god, that’s what it was! People started talking, “What’s up with Sin Dealer? When’s Sin Dealer playing?” People would see Sin Dealer stickers at friends’ houses on the fridge, or a guy wearing a Sin Dealer shirt at a show, or a guy wearing a Sin Dealer toque, and all of a sudden, there was a bit us this buzz going around Queen Street, the music scene in Toronto. Guys were asking all of us “When are you playing? When are you playing?” and I guess it was just inevitable. We got it back together. It’s not that we broke up or anything negative, how most bands take a break for negative reasons, it was just me wanting to get into different things. World’s Stongest Man is the ultimate level of strongman competitions, and the weights those guys lift, I could never dream of lifting. Being the druggie that I am, I’ll do a line of blow, or whatever, but I don’t wanna do steroids. I don’t wanna do the performance enhancing drugs. I’d rather alter my mind than alter my body, so to continue doing strongman, to go somewhere with it… There’s even less money in strongman than there is in music, and we’ve already discussed how there’s no money in music. So, you go and you kill yourself in the gym, lifting these enormous amounts of weight… I’m kind of an all-or-nothing guy, I’m a very extreme person, so it’s all or nothing, you know what I mean? But now I’ve actually found a way to balance just going to the gym and staying in shape and just creating music. We jam twice a week now, and I’m pretty happy where things are at right now.

GG: Do you find any parallels between being a competitive strongman and a rock singer? Do those two worlds intersect in any way?

EK: I definitely would say that when we got back together to do the CD, the first two or three jams, the guys were like, “What the fuck, Eric? What’s going on?” I’m like, “Whaddaya mean?” “Your voice is just so much more powerful!” Back in Sea of Green, I mean, I could be the wasted bass player, whatever, you could be the wasted guitar player. Drumming is a very physical thing, but a lotta guys drink heavy, smoke a lotta dope, whatever. Cleaning myself up for the fact of loving weight training, powerlifting and strongman, the parallel is that if you’re in better shape, if you’re doing your cardio, if you can walk quickly on a treadmill for an hour, and then lift some weights after for forty minutes, a couple days a week, you’re gonna be a much better singer, because your diaphragm, and the amount of air you can hold in your lungs, well, it made me a better singer. I won’t say it works for everybody, because there’s that classic story of David Lee Roth, and I bring it up because I just saw Van Halen on Sunday. The story was that Van Halen did the first self-titled CD, and then that CD got them huge. They were drinking bottles of Jack Daniels, doing tons of blow, smoking packs of cigarettes, and then when it came time to record Van Halen II, David Lee Roth, who’s always been into martial arts, had this bright idea that he was gonna get himself in shape. I’ve read all these Van Halen books, and apparently, when he went in to start doing vocals for Van Halen II, Ted Templeman and the band said “Dave, what’s wrong with your voice?” And he’s like, “Whaddaya mean, man? I’m clean, I’m sober, I’m working out…” And they’re like, “Fuck that! Go get a bottle of Jack Daniels, a carton of cigarettes, and a buncha cheeseburgers. We want the old David Lee Roth back!” That’s kinda how I feel about seeing them live, too. I know they’re all clean and sober, but I kinda wish I was seeing a drunken, coked-up Van Halen up there, ya know? But for me, anyways, getting in shape helped. If you compare my vocals from the first record to this one, I think I sound a lot stronger, I’m getting more of my own sound.

GG: I also wanna touch on the fact that you used to play bass in Sea of Green… What’s the transition from being a part of the rhythm section to being the frontman like? Is fronting your own band something you had always wanted to do?

EK: Well, it goes back to a band I was originally in with my brother, and we were called Kuthe, which is our last name, in homage to Van Halen. Sea of Green came out of the breakup of that band. The original drummer of Sea of Green, Chris Bender, played drums with my brother and myself in the band Kuthe. My brother, Kirk, he sang and played guitar, and I was the bass player. But originally, I was the singer for Kuthe. We’re going back a long, long time here. And Ron Bechard, because he’s been friends with me for so long, he used to come out, and I used to sing, and he’d play bass or drums, when we were just jamming. The band wasn’t called Kuthe yet, or anything. This is back around 1991-1992, when I first started singing. My brother, cuz he’s an older brother, one day called me up and said “If you wanna be in my band, then I’m gonna sing now, and you gotta play the bass.” So, I went out to Long & McQuade, rented a bass, and we wrote three songs that nite. My first time ever playing bass, and we wrote three songs. I definitely felt that being a bass player was a natural feeling for me, but my secret aspiration was to always be a frontman. I was a kid in the 80’s, and I think that air guitar was more popular back then than it is now. I have an 11-year old son, and I never see him playing air guitar up in his room. I mean, I had a mirror on top of my dresser in the room that I shared with my brother, and the walls were plastered with rock stars, pictures outta all the rock magazines. There was this little mirror on top of the dresser where you could just see yourself, and the stereo was beside it. I wouldn’t play air guitar, I’d do air vocals, acting out David Lee Roth, and Robert Plant, and Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger. I wanted to be a frontman. In Sea of Green, writing lyrics and melodies, which always came very natural to me, I hated having somebody else sing my lyrics, because I’m writing these stories, and either they mean something, or they’re just a made-up story, but having someone else sing them always bugged me. I’d try to just sit with Travis, the singer of Sea of Green, and I’d be like, “Dude, this song is about a rocketship blasting off to outer space, it’s the first humans colonizing another planet, we’re heading out to the Orion Belt star system, and when we get there, we find out that planet already has life on it!” And he’s like, “Huh? What? I don’t get it, man…” So, if I’m writing the lyrics, I finally wanna fucking sing em. The only thing that sorta works against me is that you don’t see too many 270 pound, power-lifting, WWF-looking frontmen up there. Usually, they’re 150 pound, Iggy Pop-type guys, with ripped abs, and their shirts off. And they can move around a lot easier, and they can do a few things up there that I’m not capable of. Sometimes, I wish I could be a little more flexible, and run around a little bit more up there. It’s not that I get winded, or anything, cuz I definitely have the stamina to do that, but I’m sorta showing bigger guys out there, I’m not saying fat, but I’m saying that doormen usually come up to me after shows, and say “Holy fuck, that’s amazing, man!” But yeah, sometimes I think that if I dropped fifty pounds, I’d be up there with my shirt off being a real frontman. I’m not quite where I wanna be yet with my stage persona, but that’s coming slowly, over time.


GG: Do you write any of the riffs for the songs then, or is it just the lyrics?

EK: You know what, eventhough I did so much of it with my last band, I don’t think the well of riffs has gone dry. I’m actually gonna be starting a side band, because I figure all the other guys in Sin Dealer play in other bands, so I might as well. I’m gonna be teaming up with a drummer who’s been recommended to me, he’s a heavy, stoner rocky kinda drummer. I’m a huge stoner rock fan, and anything that comes outta me would be a stoner rock riff. I write more groovy, dirtier, nastier stuff. I wanna write the ultimate riff. When I write on bass, I’m looking to write that riff you’re gonna remember for the rest of your life. You’re gonna remember it when you walk outta the shower, wake up in the morning, whenever. With the direction of Sin Dealer, we’re slowly going heavier and heavier and heavier. We’re more metal. This album we have double-kick, the first album didn’t. In Sea of Green, double-kick was nowhere on the record at all. It was all wahs and talk-boxes. This album, this band, there’s no wahs, you know. So, I’m progressively getting heavier with the projects that I’m in, like with Sin Dealer, and that’s where I want it to stay. Ron is the epitome of the ultimate metal guitar player. Our stuff is crossover, where fans of metal and fans of stoner can dig it. There’s even some punky elements in a song like Magic Woman, not lyrically, but it’s a pretty basic sort of punk speed, punk energy to it. I just like my mind being open to just write the lyrics, and not the riffs. So I just leave the music to them and focus on doing that.

GG: Of course, there’s the one song on Dying to Live that wasn’t written by Sin Dealer—Walk All Over You. Why did you decide to cover that song? Of all the AC/DC songs out there, why did you pick that one?

EK: You know, that’s another funny story. Back when I was singing, before Kuthe, well, you know, when you’re just starting off playing music, a lotta guys learn covers, and we had a list of covers we would do back when the band wasn’t called Kuthe, but it was my brother on guitar, and an revolving door of friends drumming and playing bass. Walk All Over You was one of them, we would do Ain’t Talkin Bout Love, we’d do Working Man by Rush, NIB by Black Sabbath, just songs that were fun to play and kinda meshed into a set. I dunno, one day we were at our jam spot, and we always covered Zero the Hero by Black Sabbath, we just loved the song, so we’d play it at our jam spot, we’d never play it live. That day, we were talking about maybe doing a cover for fun on the record, and we were just sitting around, throwing out titles, and Frank just blurted out Walk All Over You. We just looked at each other, and said, “Yeah!” and I was like, “Fuck, that was one of the first songs I was singing, 15 years ago! Let’s give it a whirl!” Ron just kicked into the riff in double-time, and I didn’t even need to download the lyrics off the internet, I knew them right away, cuz I’m a huge Bon Scott fan. I was a huge fan of the Highway to Hell album, I wanted to be Bon Scott, and I even had a star made, like the necklace he’s wearing on the front of Highway to Hell. I brought the album to a jeweller in Chinatown, and said, “Here’s a buncha old rings and necklaces, and shit. I want you to make me a star just like his.” He fucked it up, he put it in a circle, but I still have it. But yeah man, the song just fit. Lyrically, the Dying to Live CD is songs about partying, just living live, nothing too serious. Nothing too flaky, nothing too surreal. That song, lyrically, the energy, and everything, just fit the album perfectly.

GG: The CD Release party was promoted by Inertia Entertainment, and you’ve landed an opening slot for the Inertia-promoted Prong concert at the Fun Haus October 30th. How long have you known Noel for, and what’s it like working with him?

EK: Oh my god, that goes back to the first band I was in with my brother, Kuthe. I’ve known Noel since back then, back when he was booking backs into a bar called The Generator, which was at the corner of Queen and Ossington. That was the first bar we ever played, and I’ve known Noel since then. It’s gotta be 15 years or something, I dunno, I’ve known him forever. And he’s a great guy to work with, I mean, he’s come and he’s gone, like a lot of us in the music industry. When I was in Sea of Green, he was booking the Kathedral and the Reverb exclusively, so we played there a lot. Then he had his own bar, the Rockit, over on Church Street, and Sin Dealer played a show there when we were promoting the last CD, and now he’s using the Fun Haus, although I heard they just sold it, so he’s gonna hafta find a new place to put on his shows… But the industry, it’s really just so small, and Noel knows that we’re professional musicians, we’re gonna show up, we’re gonna play our fuckin’ hearts out, and we’re gonna do our best to bring people through the door. If there’s not people coming through the door, then it’s not our fault, due to lack of promotion or trying to get people out. I know that working with him, he’s gonna do his best to promote the show from his end, he’s gonna come through with the things he promises. If he says he’s gonna pay us an amount, then he will, and if he says there’s gonna be a case of beer there, there’ll be at least one case. In this industry of broken promises, when you know people who can stick to their shit, and back up what they say, you work with them, and it could be a lifelong partnership. He’s definitely in the fold, you know what I mean?

GG: And finally, for the people going to see Prong on the 30th who might not be familiar with Sin Dealer, what can they expect?

EK: They can just expect a good, hard-rocking band, who’s gonna put on a good show, gonna get the party started, get the crowd warmed up for Prong. I think our songs are sorta like the classic stuff that I grew up on, where even if you never heard of us, after the first chorus of the song, you’ll probably be joining in for the second chorus. Our songs are sorta like that, where we want people to join in. It’s a very interactive thing. We just want people to come out, have a good time, hear some good rock, and you’ll probably be leaving with something for free, that nite. It’s not a lure, we don’t do it to bribe people out, we just do it because we know people don’t have a lotta money out there a lotta times, and we just wanna spread the music and get it around. We promote burning of our discs, we promote downloading. If you wanna burn it for 20 of your friends, go ahead. I couldn’t give a fuck. Just come on out, and have a party with us! - Too High To Get It Right


Discography

2007:
- Dying To Live

- "Betrayal" featured on Metal Queen Management Compilation Vol. 3

2004:
- Sin Dealer, "13"

- Knuckletracks: 3 Inches of Blood - Advance and Anguish. Grab It 10.19.04, featuring "Overdosed."

Photos

Bio

Dealers are purveyors of what you really desire. Pushers, on the other hand, force you to take what they have. In a music industry accused of pushing the latest trend and focusing on replicating the current fad there is at least one band focused on dealing in their own niche. Sin Dealer are providing real rock fans what they truly desire, their sophomore opus Dying To Live.

The Toronto, Ontario based quartet was born out of the ashes of the likes of Sea Of Green, Sons of Otis, Plasma Blast and Edwin & The Pressure in 2005. Eric Kuthe, vocals; Jeff Zurba, drums; Frank Sergeant, bass; and Ron Bechard, guitar, came together with a true sense of musical duty in an effort to make the music they loved without the expectation of a label. With over 100 different releases under their collective belts, one might surmise the veteran atmosphere allows for some unique interplay. As Kuthe explains, “This is a collection of all we’ve seen, tasted, smelled and felt over the years,… and ended up being a collaboration between a bunch of buddies that just ‘get’ the music together.”

The range of influences expresses itself from the big riff rock to the underpinned blues vibe. “We aren’t pegged as any one genre, it's windows down, peddle to the metal cruising music,” says Bechard. That shows forth from the opening guitar lines through the closing notes as the album pumps out a blue-collar work ethic and a classic vibe. From AC/DC to Elvis, from KISS to Johnny Cash, from Motorhead to Alice In Chains, Sin Dealer draws from the influences of those paramount artists that understood what being a true entertainer really was.

“Bands used to be these untouchable entities and that is what we aspire to,” tells Kuthe. “The atmosphere of a bygone day of pure rock and roll the way it was meant to be, stripped down and raw.” The unmitigated power of what Sin Dealer aspire to shines forth on their latest offering.

The record encompasses that timeless feel right down to the way it was laid down as drummer Zurba imparts, “We recorded in a 110-year-old converted farmhouse in a small town 1 1/2 hours outside of Toronto. The one memory in particular was when we were all in the main tracking room with the 60-foot cathedral ceiling and views out over the farm fields. This fog had drifted in; it was winter - January - so the trees were bare and it was reminiscent of the music we envisioned in our youth and how classics like Zep and Sabbath probably recorded.”

Recording at Escarment Sound was not the only throwback Sin Dealer undertook. “There was no pressure on us to accomplish anything, we just went in and jammed,” Sergeant explains. “We weren’t afraid to just try things… to just be spontaneous as a bunch of friends sharing ideas with one another and find a common ground to make us happy.” This element allows for the band to accomplish a pure sound out of their efforts.

Sin Dealer’s sophomore experience is a balance of the heavy and the melodic, the raunchy and the passionate, the reality of life and the roots of rock and roll. It really will leave you dying to live.

- Eric Doormouse Peltier.