The Maynards
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The Maynards

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"Coast Date and Destroy Cover - Nov 08"

The Maynards' date with destiny
They don't want to be big, but after three albums and almost 10 years of dance parties, The Maynards rule the dance floor and our indie music hearts.
by Sue Carter Flinn

Animal collectors: The Maynards new album, Date and Destroy, "leaves" the competition behind.
When you go on a date with The Maynards, they pick you up at the door. The Maynards actually ring my doorbell---no honking from the curb or impatient text messages from this band.

At first impression, you’ll probably think, like me, that they’re all cute with really good hair and eyewear. This night the trio is dressed up in nice sweaters and smiles. Then they shyly pull out a gift: A wrist corsage with a bright pink rose and a shiny, silvery band that snuggly fits over my fall jacket sleeve. (Although they don’t know this, pink roses express fun and happiness.) They have already made the plans---we’re taking a g-rated trip to The Chickenburger for milkshakes (sharing), onion rings (mutual onion-breath in case of first-base action) and chickenburgers (because that’s where you are). “Judy’s Turn To Cry” plays on the juke-box---Lesley Gore’s follow-up to “It’s My Party,” where Johnny comes back, sees her dancing with another guy and gets into a huge scrap. How appropriate. The Maynards’ new album Date and Destroy, which comes out Tuesday, is all about dancing and dating, minus the punches.

We get our food (they even pumped ketchup into those little paper cups for me) and take our trays to an empty table to get to know each other better. For almost 10 years---since 1999---The Maynards have made the dance floor sweaty with scraptacular art-house garage punk about boys, girls, kissing and dancing. Made for college radio and NSCAD students, the trio has been compared to Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, plus a dude. The band was born out of the ashes of the infamous Halifax rock scene of Sloan and Thrush Hermit, after the music industry attention waned and the pressure eased, the attitude became more about having fun. In the late-’90s there were a bunch of bands like Rick of the Skins and The Maynards who took a more lo-fi approach to their music.

Heath Matheson
Originally from Fredericton, guitarist/vocalist Heath Matheson had been playing music for about seven years before the band formed. On stage, he’s as intense as a throbbing neck vein, focused in his pursuit of filling the floor with bodies. Bassist/vocalist Kristina Parlee moved to Halifax for university, then got into seeing local bands, but it wasn’t until about 1996 that she picked up an instrument, playing in her first band The Hotties (apparently there are about four copies of their tape in distribution). It’s her vocal style that has drawn the most Sleater-Kinney references. Matheson and Parlee “crazy talked” about starting a band, and even had a practice, but it wasn’t until Chantal Tardiff, originally from Cornwall, Ontario, came along did band make three.

“There was this young band of boys playing music at the time. The drummer was eight years old or something. I was like, 'if he can play drums, I can play drums,’” Tardiff says, dipping her onion rings into ketchup. Even as a kid she liked music that made her head bop. “So I got this idea I wanted to learn.”

They practiced in Matheson’s upstairs apartment until the downstairs neighbour got pissed off.

“It was cool,” Parlee says of the early days. “I had been in this other band before. It was pretty basic. And so I wasn’t that accomplished a bass player and Chantal was just learning drums, but Heath had been playing guitar for years. He was a level beyond what we were at.”

Matheson interjects: “Hmm. That’s not how I felt about it. I was really excited. I had been in blues bands and rock bands because in Fredericton, there was no such thing as an originals band at that time. It was dire. It was fun to not be in a cock-rock band. Bands with boys, I don’t know, there was a lot of posturing. I felt like the intentions weren’t always as pure in a band with boys.”

“What about a band with two girls? Are the intentions as pure?” Tardiff asks coyly.

Leaning back off his stool, Matheson exclaims, “Pure! In a very different was fun to be in a band with people who were just excited to be in a band. It’s just a matter of time that you can do something before you get a little jaded and a little apathetic towards it. Music for me---my raison d’etre was to play in front of people and get excited and make people dance. That’s almost my entire motive for playing music. There’s nothing like being in a place full of people that are going nuts to your music. Chantal and Kristina were pretty psyched to make dance-rock. It was a good fit. They’ve kept me from being more cock-rocky. I think I needed an estrogen leveller.”

They played their first show with Matt Reid’s The Confidence Band. When The Maynards came onto the scene, Matheson recalls that dancing at shows was out of vogue. (Parlee shoots back lightening-fast, “ but voguing at shows was popular.” The Maynards always laugh at each other’s jokes.) Frustrated, Matheson started bribing people by giving away cigarettes. “It was incredible. You offer to give one cigarette away and 40 NSCAD students are vying for this one cigarette.” Then it became cigarettes and beer, candy, giant novelty cheques, certificates and a wrestling belt during a No-Cases show.So the dancers multiplied and the band stopped the rewards, mostly because “we outprized ourselves.” Until now: Matheson impulsively purchased a friend’s ’83 Honda Civic, and is thinking of giving it away as a huge dance-off prize at their CD launch show on December 5 at Gus’ Pub. He’s trying to avoid thinking about it too much---the plan has some pretty big holes---but he’s really excited to paint “Dance Party” on the side of the car.

Chantal Tardiff
Date and Destroy took three years to make, but the band has been performing some of the songs for two years. The first track, “Spinny,” is like an indie kid’s romantic dream, with Tardiff’s great drumwork echoing a heartbeat: Instead of running through fields, love is all about spinning around on the dance floor, until everyone disappears and you just want to lie down. Then it’s all Matheson: undercover as a loud-mouthed boasting punk “C.I.A.” Friends of The Stolen Minks will love the almost call-and-response stylings of “Art Attack,” that shifts from screaming to pretty whispers and back to yelling again, with a nice mix of Parlee and Tardiff on vocals. The album is a bit different from their two earlier albums as they all share more singing duties this time around; in the past it’s mostly been Matheson and Parlee.

“If you sit down and listen to a Maynards album, usually the person who sings the most on it is the person who brought the most to it,” Tardiff reveals.

“That’s one of the most interesting things about our music...we can give it three voices and three parts, put three different vocals in---we don’t have to play it quite as straight as a lot of bands do, with a singer and accompanying musicians,” says Matheson. “I think if you listen to all our records, there’s not one who stands out.”

By now The Chickenburger has emptied out, the onion rings have been eaten and the jukebox is silent. But the conversation continues, turning to The Maynards’ writing process. Everyone has busy lives so it’s infrequent that the band pens songs as a group, although Matheson says inspiration comes from anywhere. “Like, Chantal will say something funny and cute, and it will rhyme and be awesome, and we’ll go write an entire song based around this one phrase. Sometimes lyrically or musically the entire song is put together. Or we’ll just spontaneously come up with it.” Parlee gives Matheson credit for bringing whole songs to the table, but he goes modest and denies being the front guy or leader.

Although all the band members are well past high school age, they’re not so far detached from the emotional highs and lows of dating and its potentially destructive consequences. In many ways, this new album is about growing up, both as a band and as people.

Matheson has a theory. “I find that strangely, not intentionally, a lot of records become concept albums. Like the first one was named The Maynards Stole Your Lunch Money and it was---I think we had a lot of issues about high school we had to get out---it was this complete high school concept album. The next, Break Out the Makeout, I think that we were all entering, well, not all of us, well, a certain number of us were gung-ho...”

Tardiff cuts in,“...were coming out of long-term relationships. And wanting to cut loose.”

Matheson agrees. “Yeah, and it kinda became this love song to dancing and partying and making out. This one, Date and Destroy, is the natural progression of what happens after you either destroy, or get destroyed by what you wrought. But still in the theme, it’s still a party record. From start to finish, it’s dancing, but at times it’s screaming and sadness and bitching and moaning. My thought is that if we make three or four more albums, we’ll have a complete rock album. An entire rock opera.”

Parlee: “Then it will be senior citizens’ rock.”

Matheson: “It will be The Maynards: R.I.P."

No one likes that title. But Married to the Maynards, Soccer Mom Maynards and Retirement Party Maynards get a lot of laughs.

Kristina Parlee
For a while after The Maynards began playing, they had a hard time finding bands with whom they had things in common with, music-wise. But the scene is much different now. The north end and venues like Gus’ Pub have replaced downtown as the epicentre of indie music, and there’s something special simmering---everyone who plays in a band or loves local music is aware of the vibrancy. Just look at 6015 Willow, the recently released DVD of 20 Halifax bands performing (The Maynards bake cookies in the kitchen), most of whom are friends and chums.“I feel like there was a second explosion that didn’t quite crack the popular culture the way the first one did, but I think it’s just as interesting and maybe even a little bit more charming because there no expectations of breaking out or being found,” says Matheson. “A lot of people who were attracted to Halifax because of the first one, that first wave put Halifax on the map and all these wonderful people came. Halifax had quite the reputation and it drew all these fantastic people and it turned into this lovely music scene that we’re lucky to be part of.”

There’s a sense that this band exists solely for these friends to hang out and to make audiences dance their asses off. They downplay their popularity---Tardiff says it’s a pretty big compliment when people tell them that “I totally put on your album last night to get ready to go out to a party, or I totally had a make-out party at our house and we listened to your album.”

Their goals are modest: to have shows, CDs and tour around with other musicians. And they all love “hijinks,” like playing hockey in a garage with Windom Earle and Vancouver’s Fun 100 last February, to the tune of “Thunderstuck” on a toy keyboard. Cops came after the roman candles started getting tossed around.

Parlee says, “I think what was hard at some points with this record is that we achieved most of the goals we had for ourselves with the last record. It wasn’t that we weren’t motivated, but we had charted in Halifax really well and charted in Canada---we played shows in Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, Ottawa. And we had been on the CBC Radio 3 podcast and distributed by Scratch, so we had done all these things. It was hard to know how this record would fit in.”

“Break Out the Make Out had achieved all the success of a small, obscure Halifax indie rock band that likes to party,” says Matheson. “It had done everything we wanted it to do.”

The band plays their cards close to their chest, avoiding personal questions by making distracting jokes. It’s the only time they stumble over their words. If this was a real first date, this tactic would be sketchy, but with The Maynards, it’s simply part of the party persona. They do reveal a not-so-secret secret: the band is trouble with a capital T.

“We can’t help it. We’re like trouble magnets. We’re an innocent little party band that’s usually based on high school romance and heartbreak. But we get in trouble all the time. They’ve been pregnant like three times,” he points at Parlee and Tardiff who burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of it. So does Matheson. “No one knows who the father is. Oh wait, I went off my talking points, didn’t I? We don’t get in trouble.”

He gets serious for a moment. “One of the nice things about our band is that we all have different certain skills that make us a good unit. Where one person lacks, the other pulls it together.”

Tardiff: “We have a band dynamic and we all step up into specific roles.”

Parlee: “I think we’re all very different but it works well together.”

Tardiff: “It’s like magic. Synergy.”

Matheson: “We have a good dynamic. We’re three, we’re a tiny band and when we arrive, we can all sleep in the same double bed. We’re this completely modular little band and a lot times we tour without equipment, so it’s us, our suitcases in a bed.”

At the end of the date before we head home, there is a visit to the Titanic graves at the Mount Olivet Cemetery because Titanic is such a dreamy romantic movie. (In theory, this is cute, but again, in reality, taking a first date to a cemetery on a foggy night is a crappy idea.) There’s no awkwardness at the door, but it’s early and I’m left wanting more: perhaps a makeout session followed by a dance party. - The Coast

"Herohill Date and Destroy- Nov 08"

Cultural institutions in Halifax are few and far between. Despite the slow moving pace of the city, very few things actually remain in the favor of the masses. The Chickenburger? They changed the recipe and the quality is slipping. Pizza corner? Well, chances are you might get punched in the face before you even get to bite into your donair. Even the Farmer’s Market is moving to a new building away from the downtown.

Things are not much better musically. Venues seem to close daily and any band that attracts positive press outside of the city normally gets dismissed by the local scene. On the flip side, bands from out of town are finding more and more reasons to not make the 12-hour trek from Montreal.

But at the end of the day, thankfully, we all still have the Maynards.

It’s been three years since their last record and like the band, we’ve all got older and probably had our hearts ripped apart, but the Halifax trio is determined to make us dance around even when we don’t want to get off the couch. The songs are a perfect combination of staccato guitar notes, truncated chords, cymbal crashes and bass fill that keep you smiling even with the heartbreaking subject matter.

If I had to describe the band in one word, it would be lust. The songs are quick, hot and sweat inducing (almost every song comes in under two-minutes) and even though you know it's going to end with you holding what's left of your heart, you just don't care. The white-hot passion is worth the inevitable pain. Whether it’s the sing shout vocals of Art Attack, the Heath Matheson driven, cold war, spy theme In the City or the terrific, Mutant Pop style punk/garage rock (think Egghead if they had two female singers), it’s almost impossible to sit still when the band starts pummeling your senses.

Date and Destroy was years in the making and even though Heath, Kristina and Chantal still love science-fiction, seem to prefer the sour to the sweet and believe the never ending cycle of “dating, mating, separating” is still the preferred path, the record shows a change in the song writing and vocal responsibilities. Their voices bob and weave around each other instead of letting one person take the lead. While it might seem like a small detail, it gives these lo-fi recordings some depth and really keeps the record exciting. Honestly, I’m not sure you will find a more fun release coming out of Halifax this year. - herohill

"Panic Manual Live Review - Toronto Dec 08"

Concert Review: The Maynards, November 30th, Sneaky Dees [Wavelength]
01 Dec

The Maynards

It’s unofficial, The Maynards are Canadas sexiest band. Hailing from Halifax, this three piece dance rock gang spread their lusty, sweaty sweater loving all over Sneaky Dees last night.

From their myspace page you would think they were a twee pop trio. Tracks like Spinny and Dance Fight ’82 are twee greatness, but walking into Dees last night, they were anything but. They rocked it. What immediately got my attention was duo of Kristina Parlee on bass/vocals and Chantal Tardiff on drums/vocals. A girl drum-bass duo? Yeah. There is something about Chantals voice that sets her songs apart. She adds a such a sweet, melodic touch, then all of a sudden you see her rocking out on her kit at the back of the stage.

It’s also worth mentioning that The Maynards are one of 20 Halifax area bands featured in the essential rock DVD of 2008, 6015 Willow.

Captured in a house that has long functioned as a hub for creativity in the city, it follows a cast of musicians and artists as they record a document of their own time. Bands fill every room in the house, from the bathroom to the attic. On-the-fly, direct and genuinely urgent, 6015 Willow follows twenty Halifax bands over three days, sweating buckets and blowing fuses.

They had a copy of 6015 Willow at the merch desk, but after spending $20 on the Dee’s crappy veggie nachos downstairs before their show, I was out of dough. If you are reading this and are in a position to send us a copy, please do.

Here is track from The Maynards 2008 release, Date And Destroy, Spinny. That is Chantal singing. I would gladly have a menage-a-trois with any two members of The Maynards. That includes you too Mr. Heath Matheson (guitar/vocals). Yes, sexiest band in Canada. - Panic Manual

"BOTMO Review / Apr 06"

You know those groups who perfectly combine elements of some of your favourite bands to make one of the best records you've ever heard? The Maynards have crafted one of those CDs. The Nova Scotians are two parts Sleater-Kinney and one part Deadly Snakes, with elements of Stereo Total and Bikini Kill thrown in for good measure. Combine those sounds with some of the smartest songwriting from the east coast since Sloan were on Geffen, and you've got an instant classic on your hands. If the title track and "Robots In Love" aren't the biggest hits on CBC Radio 3 by the end of the year, I'll have to start a radio station and play them 20 times a day. Seek this out and buy it immediately. - ChartAttack / Noah Love

"BOTMO Review / Mar 06"

If, prior to The Woods, Sleater-Kinney had decided that instead of channeling Led Zeppelin they were going to get as horny as possible and make an album about it, they probably would've sounded like The Maynards do on Break Out The Make Out.

This description is a little problematic, however. After all, The Maynards are one-third male (in the form of co-lead singer Heath Matheson), and it's hard to imagine that S-K or their ilk would ever want to spoil the all-female party. More importantly, The Maynards are the rarest of grrl bands: they're apolitical, and they don't seem to have any intentions beyond being as raunchy and as fun to listen to as possible.

They're also really, really good at what they do. Break Out The Make Out clocks in at just under twenty-five minutes, and there's not a moment of wasted (or of unsexy) energy on it. Songs like "Hot Shane" and the title track (streaming on the band's site) prove that "punk" and "sexy" needn't be mutually exclusive terms, while even when they slow things down a little (as on "781.66092"), they still do so with a sultry swagger.

Admittedly, given current aspects of the political climate (especially south of the border), the suggestion of women having any sexuality is bound to be a political statement. In that respect, I guess, Make Out The Break Out is as political as anything the likes of Bratmobile or Bikini Kill came out with a decade ago. The difference is that The Maynards are fun to listen to at the same time.

- i (heart) music

"BOTMO Feature / Jan 06"

Girls never liked me when I was a teenager. Sure, I had a couple of girlfriends through high school, but by and large, I wasn’t such a hot ticket item with the chicks. So it was with a mixed sense of bitterness and joy that I recently listened to the latest effort by Halifax’s famed dance/rock band, the Maynards, titled Break Out the Make Out, recently released by King Amos Productions.
The band proudly describes their essence as a thematic holy trinity of Sci Fi, dancing, and shooting their mouths off. Not big fans of parallelism, sure, but they definitely make a great, poppy, upbeat, and dance-y rock album. Which is why BOTMO is such a wicked LP. For such a fun band to base an entire album (which only clocks in at around 25 minutes — the era of the two-minute rock song has returned) around the teenage ritual of making out, sex, girls and boys, and loneliness, it’s just too quirky to handle. Except it’s not. It’s perfect. It’s perfect dance rock. Fun, energetic, and catchy, with none of the riff-driven nonsense plaguing rock these days, Break Out the Make Out is one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve heard all year. Sure, it’s been a short year so far, but you know what I mean.
Rotating male/female vocals by guitarist Heath Matheson and bassist Kristina Parlee add an interesting feeling of dialogue that so often happens between boys and girls in their youth . . .
. . . I’m sorry, I just have to. “Naked naked naked you were naked in my bed.” Goddamn that’s some catchy, catchy shit. And that’s just a perfect example of what happens when you listen to this album. Spontaneous booty-shaking to the hand-clap choruses of “Amherst Flight,” conversation-interrupting exclamations of “I think I just wanna score!” in “Naked,” or even just a funky rock-out to the bass-heavy chunks of “Hot Shane”; they’re all common occurrences when BOTMO pumps its lo-fi rock on your stereo.
And none of it’s really all that dirty either, despite the way I make it sound. It’s just . . . fun. It’s the kind of album I could have seen myself listening to on my discman as I sat alone in a corner at a party in high school as all the kids started playing tonsil-hockey all over the place around me. Either because I was chubby and lonely, or because I love the rock, it doesn’t matter. Each are excellent excuses to rock out with the Maynards. And frankly, anyone who can write a rock song called “Robots in Love,” which is about, well, let’s just say robots need KY just like the rest of us . . . yeah, if you can write that, you rock. Go team Heath!
The only question that we’re left with after listening to Break Out the Make Out is: do they rock live? I can imagine that they do, in fact, rock it east-coast style, but if you’re a fan of Pretty Girls Make Graves, the Sweet Tenders, or local rockers You Say Party! We Say Die! and want to check the Maynards out live, head to the Marine Club on Friday, January 20. Fun 100 support. Yes, fun will be had by all.
- The Peak / Kevin Lalonde

"BOTMO Review / Nov 05"

Billing themselves as a "musical deconstructionist movement masquerading as a dance/rock band," quirky Halifax-based art rock trio the Maynards have fashioned a short and punchy ode to the importance of makeouts and good times couched in some pretty catchy tunes. Even though they can sound sloppy, and you can tell they don't take themselves too seriously, those things are outweighed by the album's sheer fun quotient. Alternating between the Sleater-Kinneyish wailing of bassist Kristina Parlee and slightly more restrained crooning of guitarist Heath Matheson, the Maynards have enough energy and teen-like enthusiasm to inspire makeouts until at least Valentine's Day. The Maynards join Wavelength at Sneaky Dee's Sunday (November 6). - NOW / Evan Davies

"Make-out music / Oct 05"

Halifax favourites The Maynards drop their latest, sexy disc Break Out the Make Out. Johnston Farrow gets his lip balm ready.

The members of the Maynards have an enviable relationship. Guitarist Heath Matheson, bassist Kristina Parlee and drummer Chantal Tardiff are the kind of friends who always one-up each other's jokes, finish each other's sentences and almost look alike. Perhaps not coincidentally, all three wear black-rimmed glasses.

The Halifax indie-rock band has been together for five years and it shows, not only in the way they interact, but also on their newest album, Break Out the Make Out. It's their best disc to date and the title serves as a band mantra of sorts. For example, while discussing their new record over a beer at a local drinking establishment, the group recites the lyrics from the title song.

Heath Matheson: "It's all about Break Out the Make Out. Step one."

Chantal Tardiff: "Ask them to dance."

HM: "Step two."

CT: "Get in their pants."

HM: "Step three."

CT: "You and me."

HM: "Step four."

CT: "Dance some more."

"It's always dance, make out, dance," says Matheson. "It never ends up with doin' it. It always ends with dancing."

Matheson is the most outspoken member, the one with the wittiest sense of humour. He is also the ringleader when it comes to The Maynards' live shows, often bribing the audience to dance with cigarettes and beer or breaking the ice with a dance contest complete with certificates for the winners.

Parlee is the Maynard who seems to have her shit the most together. She is often responsible for booking shows, radio mail-outs and getting the word out about her band and other local indie groups on her long-running, Monday night CKDU radio show, "Downbeat for Danger."

Tardiff is the quieter one, but she possesses a dry, wicked sense of humour. What she lacks in words, she makes up in her ability to keep time. Simply put, she kicks ass on drums and it's exciting to watch her let loose on a snare and cymbals. It's not uncommon to hear boys as well as girls whisper about her at shows. When asked about it, Tardiff struggles to speak, hands over her mouth. The other two Maynards bust out laughing.

"Gosh, I didn't know that…" Tardiff says, embarrassed, her red face showing in the dark bar.

"I think you're the only Maynard that didn't know this!" Parlee exclaims. "We should totally put that in the press kit. Indie sex symbol!"

The group recorded Break Out the Make Out over the course of a summer weekend at Ultramagnetic Studios with producer Charles Austin, who took an immediate shine to the group.

"I think we made a list of all the bands he thought we sounded like, which is atrocious, really," Matheson says, slipping into his best Austin voice. "He was like, 'Aw, man! This one is AC/DC! This one is your Motorhead song! You guys sound like the Bangles!' It was the AC/DC and Motorhead that was most embarrassing and impressive."

Although The Maynards don't really sound like those bands, the new album is heavier than anything they've recorded, but maintains a sense of fun. There are still harmonized vocals from all three members, but Parlee's bass takes a more central role and Tardiff's drumming sounds more like The Maynards' live show. The album includes songs about teen angst, robot love and, obviously, making out.

"Before this record, we would play shows and we'd be like, 'When did we become this heavy band?'" Parlee muses. "I think the difference in this record is both a difference in the style of songs we have written, but also that we spent more time thinking about how it sounded when we recorded it."

Next up for the band is their CD release at Gus' Pub on October 27, then the three-piece hits the road for its first real tour of eastern and central Canadian tour, including two shows in Winnipeg with Paper Moon.

"I want this record to bring on more dancing," Tardiff says. "I want people to play it at their house and have little impromptu dance parties. Or for it to help them be more courageous in their pursuit of love." - The Coast / Johnston Farrow

"Atlantic Buzz / Oct 05"

It's been a couple of years since dance rockers The Maynards released their acclaimed Stole Your Lunch Money album, so it's about damn time that they release its heavily anticipated follow-up, Break Out The Make Out. Recorded with Charles Austin and Kevin Lewis at Ultramagnetic Studios in Halifax and mastered by former Orange Glasser Ron Bates, the disc is the perfect to prelude the band's first formal (and whirlwind) tour, which will see them performing sporadic dates from Winnipeg to Halifax.

"When we booked this tour, we wanted to go as far as possible in the little bit of time we have," says bassist Kristina Parlee. "We all have full time 'other gigs,' so touring hasn't been something we've been able to accomplish in the last couple of years. It also doesn't hurt us that one of our band members' other gigs is working for an airline — we're hoping to hit Vancouver for a single night in January, too."

Following their two-night stand in Winnipeg, the band will team up with Cougar Party and Les Allumettes for a mini Ladyfest tour.

October 28 Winnipeg, MB @ Dylan O'Connor's Pub (w/Paper Moon)
October 29 Winnipeg, MB @ Dylan O'Connor's Pub (w/Paper Moon)
November 4 Montreal, QC @ The Green Room
November 5 Ottawa, ON @ Irene's
November 6 Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee's - / Jon Bruhm

"The Maynards / Oct 05"

Once upon 1999, a strange series of events resulted in the formation of one of Halifax’s favourite bands. A wrap party for a sci-fi television show, a night of beer guzzling, and a running joke between friends Heath Matheson and Kristina Parlee were the beginnings of the Maynards.

After their first practice, guitarist Matheson and bassist Parlee felt their sound needed something more. “We had a practice at my apartment and we were one member short,” says Matheson. That member was drummer Chantal Tardiff.

Soon after coming together as a three-piece of drums, bass and guitar, the Maynards shelved notions of naming the group Kearney Lake Road (thank goodness) and set their band-naming sights on another Halifax locale: Maynard Street.

Testing Halifax-scene waters as a dance band, the Maynards’ musical range was initially limited by their abilities. The Maynard’s retro sound, however, has become increasingly sophisticated. Peppered with Le Tigre-fashioned shout outs, their sound is like a conversation between your little brother — who speaks quickly and then slowly — and Brian Wilson or Chubby Checker when they weren’t crazy (well, maybe just a little).

Their performance abilities (known as get-it-on-ability at The Gazette) have not only improved: greater thought has been put into the record-making process and their new album, Break Out the Make Out, showcases their expanding abilities as songwriters, musicians and professors of rock ‘n’ roll made fun.

“Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You”

Heath Matheson, a guitarist of ageless quality, loves the colour orange and his cat Lips dearly. On the weekends he can be found playing with Lips in the backyard or stocking up on emergency candles at Canadian Tire. Scented candles make him weepy and are less practical during electrical storms, which, by the way, he eagerly awaits. If given the opportunity to appear on Survivor, he’s certain he’d be the catty one that thought they were winning — right up until they were the fourth person voted off.

Kristina Parlee is the bookish type. She loves nothing better than to curl up with a good book and a few slices of flax bread, ideally lightly buttered and sprinkled with garlic. Having driven great and dangerous distances to catch Pavement live in the U.K., she now escapes the confines of automobiles for strolls across the bridge. These jaunts also present the perfect opportunity to test the Maritime winds for incoming blizzards.

Chantal Tardiff is wired at 10 p.m. for projects, scrabble matches, the snarfing of tofu and maybe even lighting citrus-scented candles. But, to be honest, the Maynards seem to have a hate on for these things as a whole. She’s been compared to Andi McDowell but seems to prefer bearing an uncanny resemblance to Margaret Trudeau. She dreams of spending just one cozy afternoon with the late P.E.T., perhaps wearing a sharp, tweed blazer.

Heath’s belief

Heath Matheson wants us to cut the crap. He wants us to stop kidding ourselves and finally come to terms with the true, undiluted meaning of our existence. And lucky enough for us, he has already chiseled away all our complexities and created one simple theory to account for all our actions and inactions.

As far as he is concerned, every decision made — from going after world domination to choosing your caffeinated morning beverage — boils down to a common burning desire to get it on.

“But it’s not about doing it, it’s about making out,” says Matheson. “Doing it is like the end, it’s like the final copulatory end, whereas making out is all about being on the brink. It’s all potential.”

The Maynard’s guitarist believes this theory is most recognizable in teens. Limited responsibility plus the emergence of urges clearly equals an unparalleled desire to swap spit. “All they want to do is make out,” says Matheson. “When I was a teen, if my life was a pie chart, there was like three per cent devoted to daily tasks and 97 per cent was focused on making out.”


Matheson believes that even as we age, our appetite for action never leaves us. It seems fooling around is the inescapable motivation for almost everything we do. “Should I invade Kuwait? Do the ladies love a dictator?” says Matheson.

The chance to break out the make out is always on our minds.

Break out the make out! Make out tips from The Maynards!

According to the Maynards, there are only two things listeners should do to their music: dance or make out.

But both at the same time would be ideal; however, few are skilled enough to do both successfully. And some can do neither very well at all.

The Maynards have reached a consensus on the very best in make out advice.


When creating the ideal make out atmosphere, one must avoid scented candles. A good romantic companion is a considerate one — it must not be forgotten that scented candles make some weepy and put them in no mood for a session.

Dim the lights and set the tone: track 10, “Naked,” on the Maynards’ Break Out The Make Out will certainly get the ball rolling when played softly in the background. Spice is the variety of life, so for a change in setting Heath recommends five minutes in a closet with all your giggling friends outside, listening at the door.


Often the outfits that make you look your best are not conducive to heavy-duty make out extravaganzas. Matheson believes enthusiasts should stick with “something light, breezy and Velcro” or a garment flush “with the scent of booze.” Parlee recommends keeping incidents of polyester to a minimum. The main rule is, according to Matheson, to “dress confidently when planning your make out evening.”

Ready, set, go

Once the mood is set, the challenge remains in initiating the first kiss. If we’ve learned anything from Hollywood, a great way to do this is to tell your partner he or she has something on their lip and then dive towards his or her face in a fit of passion. Tardiff believes “lots of giggling and flirting” is another tried-and-true method to secure some lip locking.


Although Matheson feels a boozy kiss is best, Maynards make out expert Tardiff takes her time in pinning down the optimal approach. “Not sloppy, not quick. I would say firm and lots of kissing. Maybe some little bite-y lips.”

Well said.

Time constraints

When Matheson said you should make out as long as your lips can take it, he was definitely not talking about his cat, Lips, but rather that you should stop when you can no longer provide quality kisses. Tardiff agrees: “A good time to stop is when you’re so sleepy you can make out no more.”

And never ever

No talking! “If you’re talking, you’re not doing it right,” says Matheson. “That’s the first clue.” The Maynards all tend to agree on this small matter of etiquette when fooling around.

And what else should one never ever make the mistake of doing? Answering the phone.

“Really, does that happen?” asks Matheson when Tardiff brings up the number one don’t in the world of make out. “Yes, then we’re going to say never answer your phone while making out.”

Make out testimonials from the special make out message board

(cross-listed with the Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Duff message boards)

“there is this guy in my school. he is a most beautiful, sexy and i just dont know what to say — guy in the world... i love him at first sight. he deserves much much beautiful girl like me but i never wanted to go up to him and just talk to him. i wanted to make out with him. that is all — no talk just kiss. after i listened to the maynards cd i just tripped him in the cafeteria jumped on him and made out with him. he ran off but that was his problem."

"No talk, no talk, no talk. I will remember. I really thought I was being swift being able to multitask while kissing. You know talking on the cell phone while making out! LOL! Was I ever wrong!"


"YO... I don’t know what my problem is but i really like scented candles and cats. I think they set the mood. but then i realized that this was my odd obsession and the cats jumping around and smell of lavender really put a damper on my game. THANKS MAYNARDS! "

These are not actual testimonials and are for entertainment purposes only. Even though there may not be a lick of truth in the above quotes, we still support and love Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Duff (who is coming to town in January… OMG!).

* * *

Above all ideal settings and key moments, there’s a pinnacle for make out magic that stands alone. Gus’ Pub on Oct. 27 at around 10 p.m. is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make kissy face, and really mean it. It’s also the Maynards’ CD launch party for Break Out The Make Out. Be there — and bring your game. - The Gazette / Lindsay Dobbin & Bridgitte Sullivan


Date And Destroy, 2008
Break Out the Make Out, 2005
Octoberfest EP, 2003
The Maynards Stole Your Lunch Money, 2003
Radio Sweethearts EP, 2002
Sweethearts of the Science Fair EP, 2001



Just as the dance floors began to clear and the damage from 2005's Break Out The Make Out had been assessed, The Maynards have returned with their latest collection of party rock anthems. With crashing beats, gritty guitars and tales of weak knees and cold hearts, Date and Destroy is not just and invitation, it's an instigation.

Starting in 1999 as an outlet for Heath Matheson (vocals, guitar), Kristina Parlee (vocals, bass) and Chantal Tardiff's (vocals, drums) mutual fascination with science fiction and dancing, the bands' formative years were spent pushing a decidedly lo-fi yet high-octane brand of rock 'n roll all over Halifax. This period saw the group produce three acclaimed EPs as well as their debut LP, The Maynards Stole Your Lunch Money.

In 2005, The Maynards returned with their sophomore full length, Break Out the Make Out. Turning teen angst into rock anthems and sci-fi fandom into dance hits, the album quickly rose to sit in the top 10 of Earshot National Campus Charts. Exclaim! said of the band "What's not to like about the Maynards? Their snappy-but-scrappy take on nouveau garage pop is all about clever jabs and cynicisms, and their new disc is a slightly flirtatious, mostly friendly smack in the face."

On Date and Destroy, the band returns with eleven tales of romantic casualty. Leading off with the careful footing of "Spinny", the album offers a deceitfully sweet opener for a set of songs that deliver a slash and burn approach to garage rock. From the title track's echoing drums to "Mine Got Dirty's" manic guitar work, the disc writhes in raw energy. While incanting artists such as The Sonics and Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Maynards make it clear that in their eyes, the only good heart is a broken one.