The Agency

The Agency


A six-piece ska/punk act, The Agency began in 2003 in Barrie, ON. The songs that began flowing were an aggressive breed of ska crossed with punk and even hardcore influences. The Agency brings with them a full line of merch and a full length record, all produced completely independently.


The Agency
A six-piece ska/punk act, The Agency began in the fall of 2003 in their hometown of Barrie, ON based on a love of ska, punk and beer. The Agency consists of Andy Goetz (vocals), Scott Murray (guitar), Fred Burgess (bass), Matt McBride (trombone), Earl Niemann (trumpet) and Shawn Moreau (drums), and are an average age of 22. The band essentially formed from the ashes of two previous local favourites, but the first musical group formed from the bunch was even before that.
Fred, Murray and Matt formed a band called IFC in mid high school (2000) with singer Mike Tobin, with Matt playing drums. IFC did about half covers and some originals, and played a few shows but eventually began to change as high school ended. Fred left IFC in 2001 to join punk rock outfit Tried It with drummer Shawn and singer/guitarist Mickey Cardoni. Meanwhile, Mike Tobin was replaced by Andy Goetz and Fred’s spot on bass was filled by Ryan Seed. Under this new line-up, IFC changed their name to Poindexter, the second of the two bands mentioned earlier.
Poindexter began playing fast paced ska and punk, and over the time from 2000-2003 recorded the “Stand Up for Yourself” EP, as well as played many shows including a series of shows leading them to the college-based Ontario battle of the bands finals. During the same time, Tried It recorded a self-titled EP as well as a full length entitled “…so far undecided”. They also played shows around the area, playing with bands such as Live on Release, Jersey, and the River City Rebels, and even venturing off to Quebec and various places around Ontario on three separate tours.
After all this, The Agency was ready to be formed. Tried It called it quits in the summer of 2003, around the same time Poindexter’s bassist, Ryan, left for school. Seeing an opportunity to expand on Poindexter’s ska influence plans were made to create an all out ska act with the remains of the two now-defunct bands. Fred joined in and filled the bass position, Matt stepped away from the drum kit and picked up the trombone he’d played in high school band, and Shawn in turn took over drum duties. Andy is still on vocals; Murray remains on guitar. Enter Earl, a long time friend of everyone who just happens to have played trumpet years before. He grabbed a cheap trumpet to get things going and went from rusty to pro in a few practices. The Agency now had all their members exactly where they are in the band today.
The songs that began flowing from the six were an aggressive breed of ska crossed with much punk and even hardcore influences. Having been in bands before, The Agency set out to do things right this time. Before playing any shows, they recorded a 3 song demo featuring songs which would later be included on the full length record “Will Skank For Food,” already in the planning stages. The demo was handed out for free at The Agency’s first show in March of 2004 at a local club where they played with Winnipeg ska band The Barrymores, and instantly created a stir in the city of Barrie.
Throughout 2004 The Agency continued with shows in Barrie and around Ontario with bands such as Bombs Over Providence, Closet Monster, The Miniatures, The Flatliners, The Afterbeat, The Cheap Suits, Inner City Surfers, The Operators, Pridebowl, Jerrycan and Break the Silence. The year ended with The Agency winning a second place prize in a local band wars tournament. This, as well as Jerrycan’s generous donation of half their first place prize, made the new record affordable. They began its recording in February of 2005.
2005 brought first the new record and then an abundance of shows, so far more than twice as many as the previous year, and covering much more territory. The CD release show packed the 300-capacity Foundation Night Club in Barrie on March 16. From there, The Agency went on to play around Ontario with more big names: Youthinasia, The Heatskores, The Turbo AC’s, Million Dollar Marxists, Farewell to Freeway, The Divine, Dead Letter Dept., The Brat Attack, fellow agents the Angry Agency, General Rudie, and Catch 22. The summer brought “Skankin’ for Dimes”, a tour of Ontario with Over the Top, The Red Rockets and Explosure. The tour took The Agency and crew through 8 shows in 8 days in the latter part of August: London, Cambridge, East Caledon, Guelph, Barrie, Toronto, Sarnia (where The Agency was invited to stay and play a second night).
That brings us to the present. The Agency is now working on new material with which they intend to complete another full length record as soon as next year. Constantly looking to play shows, make friends, drink some beer and play even more shows, The Agency brings with them a full line of merch and a full length record - all produced completely independently. The Agency will continue to expand indefinitely until stopped by death or perhaps some sort of large impenetrable force-field.


All in a Day's Work

Written By: Andy Goetz

Sigh as the world dies in one day As I was sleeping I helped them dig the grave I heard the bombs break in a daze When I awoke I found the world ablaze And I’ve been waking up to no one The emptiness arrives with the sun There seems to be nowhere I can run I only escape it in dream Some days it’s hard to believe But the empty buildings reign and stain They’re all that remain in a world that begs for rain To wash away the pain I’m still waking up to no one Each day I hope that I’ll find someone I search for signs of life and find none This life is shadowed and bleak I can’t run, I can’t hide From the loneliness welling inside And when the tear drops in the night it awakes a fire inside I can’t live, I can’t die I will lose my mind

Pick it Up

Written By: Andy Goetz

I walk alone through the desert around me I cannot rest until I know what’s inside me Perchance to sleep but this chance is still not to dream Each day I fight and I struggle through my life I cannot do this and I still can’t do that right Somehow I know that I can’t do this all alone I keep on throwing in my two cents My lack of confidence keeps me right here standing where I stand I choke on change again but the door it was open And you came walking on in And this time I’ll do this the right way This time I don’t think it’s inside me I know So now think of where it all might lead It seems you are my key to feeling things inside of me I never want to go to sleep When I’m with you I feel I’m walking in dream So as we stand here take my hand And try to understand That I can’t expect to do anything better than the best I can do And swear to always be true

Here in the Den

Written By: Andy Goetz

The seasons they change and the girls they take them all away And the boys that remain are just like flowers in the spring I see no reason to not let boys be boys be girls but you say it once now kick him in the face again Her idea of free is not one that her parents can conceive The life she leads is not okay with her family She wants a girlfriend, she can't pretend to want a man but you say it twice, she pays the price again & again So punch them in the eyes again Punch them in the eyes ‘cause these kids will never pretend they're not safe out here in the den So say it again, till you're covered head to toe in your blood stain These kids are gay, stop calling them a dyke or a fag We won't play your game, and we think it's time to act your age but you say it twice now kick him in the face his face can't take much more of this Alright, tonight’s the night we win the fight with words and minds Out of the den and into the night


2004 - "Will Skank for Food demo"
Three tracks recorded independently prior to the full length as a sampler to hand out at shows.
1. Here in the Den
2. The Persistence of Memory
3. Fallon's Dead

2005 - "Will Skank for Food"
14 track full length record includes re-recorded versions of the 3 demo tracks. Selling for $5.
1. Intro
2. Burnout
3. Pick it Up
4. Shot in the Dark
5. Fallon's Dead
6. Alive
7. Blown Away
8. All in a Day's Work
9. The Persistence of Memory
10. So Blind
11. Here in the Den
12. The Old Vines
13. Room to Breate
14. Hide or Seek

Set List

We generally mix up the sets as much as possible so that no one will see the exact same set twice. Keeping things at least somewhat consistent, though, we try and get in the three oldest songs off the 2004 demo. And usually close sets with Hide or Seek, which has excellent opportunities for crowd participation. Gets the last of the energy out of a possibly tired crowd.
Sets are usually 40 minutes, although we've ranged to an hour or as short as 20 minutes.