The Gideons
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The Gideons

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Band Rock Alternative


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"Brent Randall Top 5 for"

"The Gideons - Hymns for Hers

These brats are friends from Halifax, but this aint no plug. Their debut release is dynamite and is often spinning in my car.
It's lo-fi and sloppy but it only adds to the charm. They have combined the best of 60's inspired garage (think
The Gruesomes) , 70's power pop (The Raspberries/Badfinger), and shameless Beatlisms (The Rutles?). Lots of fuzzy
guitars, pop hooks, classic pop song structures, and youthful exuberance. What Rock 'n Roll used to be about
but for some reason isn't anymore. If you are like me and can't relate to anything in this modern world, this
record is medicine. Put it on and do the monkey. Besides, I'm a sucker for a a band in matching turtlenecks." -

"Review - Flarm's #92 - February 2009"


The pop music is just as fresh and inventive as the title... some of the best crafted beatles-esque pop this side of squeeze.

A - Flarm's Music Review

"Screech and Swagger - Coast Interview"

December 11, 2008 - Music Feature

Screech and swagger

In less than a year, The Gideons have erupted on the Halifax scene with their punched-up dirty garage rock sound.
by Alison Lang

The Gideons are no "little shits" after a year on the Halifax music scene. (photo Julé Malet-Veale)

The first time I saw The Gideons, I stopped in my tracks, staring up at five boys in flashy outfits, all hair and impudence, playing dirty garage rock. There seemed to be too many of them to fit on the stage. Is this The Stance, I wondered? No---these boys were too young to be The Stance, although not too young to swagger about the stage with Jaggeresque bravado. They growled and screeched and swapped instruments, popped balloons and sneered at friends in the audience. Then one---the singer---leapt on one of the guitarist's shoulders and amazingly, stayed aloft. Then the show was over.

"What a bunch of little shits!" I thought. "I wish they had played longer."

Fast-forward a couple of months and I am sitting with The Gideons in a local coffee establishment. They're actually not little nutss---not entirely---but they are a rowdy bunch. And why not? For a group that's only been together since last February, The Gideons are reaping the fruits of the local music scene. They've played many shows over the past year, recently released their first album, the cheekily titled Hymns for Hers, and are fresh from a quick-and-dirty tour with the not-too-shabby likes of Windom Earle and B.A. Johnston in PEI and New Brunswick. And like all good young bands, they get into trouble. The group shares an example: While on tour, they and a group of PEI "bros" came to blows. As with all their anecdotes, The Gideons tell this story in fragments, finishing each other's sentences and peppering the exercise with frequent expletives, interruptions and digressions.

"These guys were chasing some girl down the street, and we were all like, 'Hmm, classy,'" says bassist/keyboardist Cailean Lewis.

"They came up to Cailean," Salter continues, "and were like 'What, are you a fag?'"

"And then he punched me," Lewis says. "I got punched three times in the face. "

"In all fairness, Cailean did say, 'I love the cock,'" says guitarist Lyle Peterson.

"As they were leaving, I did simulate oral sex on Stephan (MacLeod, lead singer of Windom Earle)," Salter adds. "Then I undid my belt and put my hand down my pants."

"At that point, they told us we were all going to burn in hell," concludes drummer Spencer Cantley. "They started getting pretty righteous."

"But the show was great!" everyone chimes in. "Write that down!"

Amidst this and other tales of drinking, punching and carousing, the band is quick to clarify that they are decent, upright citizens. Salter and guitarist/bassist Caleb Langille are both studying at King's and Dalhousie. Lewis is known to many as "that cute guy from the Superstore" (he now works at the "much better" Planet Organic) and was recently the recipient of a Coast psst! that read, "I want to steal your virginity." Peterson says he works at the "biggest law firm in Halifax" while Cantley has had a steady job at Dalhousie for five years. Overall, the band---who range in age from 21 to 29---are disparate in personality and experience, but as they speak, it becomes clear that something between them works. They've all been part of the local scene for years through playing in bands and attending shows. They rattle off names of musicians, local or otherwise, with a machine-gun fervour, praising the efforts of friends and idols. In short, they still find music exciting. And that in itself is kind of exciting. But Cantley says it's sometimes hard to show enthusiasm and still be a good band.

"It's an interesting debate, the idea of playing with energy versus playing tightly," he says. "It's really hard to have both. I think our album is tighter than our live show. But it's more fun to play with energy. We're a young band and we need to find a line down the middle. I don't think we're there yet."

In the meantime, the band says they'll play more shows and try to tour outside the Maritimes. And surely they'll be having a crazy release party for the album? The boys look at each other. Cups have been drained, bowls are empty. There's a pause. "Uh...yeah," they say. "Well, maybe. Are we?"

After some bickering, Peterson responds.

"Yeah, we are!" he says. "We'll book one in January. You can tell people you heard it here first. Write that down!" - The Coast

"Tom Bidell Quote - Q104 Interview"

"The live show is legendary" - Q104

"Gideons Release Debut, Hymns for Hers"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Local heartbreakers The Gideons are readying themselves (and their livers) for the official release show for their debut record, Hymns For Hers (with The Stance and PEI's New Royalty. February 7 at Gus' Pub: "the place where they have honed their chops and drinking problems for the past year.")

This momentous evening approximately marks The Gideons' one year anniversary—-their first show alongside The Got to Get Got, Brent Randall and his Pinecones and Matt Reid and Friends took place February 16, 2008 at Gus'.

The band warn the attending public to "expect some possible combination of the following: face painting, balloons, psychexploitation films/pulsating oils playing over the band, a dispensation from the Pope, smoke machines, seizures (drug and otherwise), and more (or less)."

Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Josh Salter revealed the album's classic theme, "Girls. Breaking up with, falling in love with, stealing, letting go of, marrying. It is a concept album for the dumb."

As any Halifax concertgoer knows, The Gideons' live show involves a lot of partial nudity, beer and human pile-ups. All of which usually responds well to being taken on the road.

"We are going to try and tour a bit on this album in the summer," says Salter. "No promises though. We want to see our friends in Montreal, garage capital of Canada."

But all these petty facts are trivial when faced with the meaning of life, are they not?

"I have always thought that Charles Baudelaire said it best: 'Don't be martyred slaves of Time, get drunk! Stay drunk! On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!' We also agree with The Rutles that 'Love is the meaning of life, life is the meaning of love,'" Says Salter.

"Alternatively the meaning of life is contained inside our record somewhere. "

Extra Q&A exclusive with Josh Salter of the Gideons (special focus on marriage and death).

Q: If forced, what member of your band would you kill?

A: Everyone would probably kill me because I break things the most often; strings, lights, pedals. I'd kill Cailean (Lewis, guitar/bass/keys/vocals). No question about it. We have a double suicide pact.

Q: If forced, what entire band would you kill? (anywhere in the world, alive or dead)

A: I'd like to say U2 but Bono's martyr complex would be fulfilled and he'd be billed as the new John Lennon. Nickelback would be pretty satisfying.

Q: If forced, what entire band would you marry? (anywhere in the world, alive or dead)

A: The Bangles as long as I got Susanna Hoffs. I feel like we'd fit along with the Shangri-las. They seem pretty tough and would make sure we weren't pussies. Have you heard the song "Out in the Streets"? Any girl that wants me to be dirty, bad, and messy haired is fine by me. Perhaps Plumtree. - The Coast

"Dalhousie Gazette Interview"

February 5, 2009

Young band 'not for the faint of heart'

Anna Demello
Staff Contributor

Don’t let the baby faces fool you. Halifax band The Gideons can rock out when it counts. The pinchable band is set to release its debut album, Hymns for Hers, at Gus’ Pub on Feb. 7.

The Gideons are a new development in the Halifax music scene, having only been together since last February. Still, band members Spencer Cantley (drums), Cailean Lewis (guitar, bass, and keyboards), Caleb Langille (guitar, bass, and keyboards), Josh Salter (guitar and bass) and Lyle Peterson (guitar and electric sitar) have not wasted any time establishing themselves as a band to watch.

Their debut album was a do-it-yourself effort but the band is happy with the result, says Lewis.

“It’s good. We recorded it in two days in a friend’s basement,” he says.

The Gideons claim The Beatles, The Raspberries, The Rolling Stones, The Black Lips, The Who and The Superfriendz as a few of the musical influences on their debut record.

“We sound like The Electric Prunes. Well, we’d like to,” smiles Salter, a student at Dalhousie and King’s.

Used to performing live at venues such as the Marquee Club, Blue Moon and The Khyber, Cantley admits the recording process offers a very different kind of satisfaction than performing in front of a live audience does.

“A live show is kind of instant gratification. When you play live you get the high, and when you record the album it’s a sense of a job well done,” says Cantley.

The five group members have known each other for quite a while. Salter and Lewis went to grade school together and Cantley and Peterson played together in local group the Sweet Tenders.

“Lyle was actually in a band with my sister – The K-Tells – about eight years ago,” says Lewis. “I knew him in like junior high and he even drove me to guitar lessons a few times. I met Caleb on the bus in high school; we were the only two with taste on that bus.”

Halifax has provided a base for the band and Lewis says the city has a special music scene.

“It’s very tight, very warm – a lot of really good music,” say Lewis. “It’s bizarre that some of my favorite bands are from here.”

“There is a sense of community in Halifax, among bands,” Salter agrees.

Among their favorite local artists are Dog Day, Beat Material, and York Redoubt.

Salter says their name, The Gideons, is meant to stir up images of a Christian organization that hands out bibles in hotels.

“We were looking for something biblical of epic proportions,” he says.

The band admits to lifting the name from The Beatles’ song “Rocky Raccoon”.

For those music enthusiasts thinking of heading to the show, Salter says to expect more than the average jam.

“Well, probably a lot of drinking,” says Salter, of what to expect at the Gus’ Pub show. “Face painting in the crowd, balloons, a good party atmosphere. In the true spirit of rock and roll!”

“We’re not for the faint of heart,” Cantley adds with a laugh. “We’re not playing at people, we’re playing with them.”

The Gideons will play at their debut CD release show for their first record at Gus' Pub on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 p.m. - Dalhousie Gazette

"herohill on hymns and hers"

"One listen to the acoustic heavy stomp fest, Count st. Germaine, should be enough to get you in the Gideons corner. The band combines 50’s harmonies, flourishes of electric guitar, keys and just enough twang in a way that shows a maturity and pop sensibility most garage bands don’t offer. "


"The Coast Pop Explosion Blog"

"After twenty minutes of respite I headed over to Gus' to check out The Gideons, who I realize most of you have seen probably a million times. They had a ridiculously short time to do a set of six or seven songs and they performed gamely, clustered on the stage in their turtlenecks and leather jackets, throwing balloons and silly string at people. I am sort of in love with all of them now, which makes me feel like a pervert. They were opening for some big-time bands like Statues and Horses and didn't seem nervous or fazed, which was great. Also, one of the guitarists looks EXACTLY like Bud Cort in Harold and Maude, which just about killed me."

-Alison Lang -


Hymns for Hers (LP) - 2008

Oxford Street (Double Vinyl) LP - 2009



The Gideons formed out of a mutual love for rock and roll and girls.

Leviathan guitars, the singing voices of seraphims and the good looks of young romantic poets, the Gideons are an immovable force.

Lyle Peterson(ex- Sweet Tenders), Josh Salter, Caleb Langille (York Redoubt), and Cailean Lewis practiced all summer in a graveyard until drummer Spencer Cantley(ex- Sweet Tenders/Death By Nostalgia), was jammed into place in late 2007. Spencer brought with him a love of the Black Lips and well-needed tattoos.

They played their first show to a packed crowd at Gus' Pub alongside Brent Randall and the Pincones and the Got to Get Got. The magic was instantaneous and undeniable.

Since then, they have honed their wild anything-goes stage show which has involved numerous balloons, feather boas, make-up, matching turtlenecks, smoke machines, beer-soaked shirtless swagger and everything in between.

They were featured in The Coast, Halifax's Free Weekly, in the Best of New Music Issue and have garnered praise from Arts Editor Tara Thorne who called the Gideons "our new favourite live act". They are a staple at Gus' Pub, and have also graced the stage of Reflections, The Seahorse, The Pavilion, The Bus Stop Theatre and the Marquee.

They have played numerous shows with Brent Randall and the Pinecones, Windom Earle, and the Grass as well as the Got to Get Got, the Stolen Minks, VKNGS, B.A. Johnston, Old Man Luedecke, Shotgun Jimmie, Statues, the Stance, Horses, the Maynards, Laura Peek and the Winning Hearts, Mardeen and countless others.

The boys have played the prestigious Halifax Pop Explosion festival alongside Horses, Statues, Malcolm Bauld and the Stance which attracted attention from the Coast Pop Explosion Blog.

They released a nine song record full of scrappy rock and roll that only a bartender could love yielding fiery hits like beatles cum bubblegum "Steal That Girl" and the garage grotesque of "Let You Go".

Most recently they went into the studio with Charles Austin (the Superfriendz/The Lodge) and Dave Ewenson (Laura Peek and the Winning Hearts/Brent Randall and the Pinecones) and have put the finishes on their masterpiece, the twenty song magnum-opus "Oxford Street".

From the dirtiest rock and roll this side of the gutter to Pyschedelic AM Soft Rock, the new Gideons record is projected to become an instant classic for anyone with an ample record collection and a heart.