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"Xplicit "Those Who've Been Spared""

Local metal quintet Xplicit has already imploded once since emerging from the basements of founding members Mark Fraser and Travis Thompson four years ago. But in true rock'n'roll fashion, the band has soldiered on, eventually regrouping with a revamped lineup and releasing this molar-rattling EP. Though we take issue with the cover art's suggestion that a certain other newspaper will be the voice of record when the apocalypse eventually comes, we found little to desagree with where the tunes are concerned. Fusing facets from metal's many different subgenres - Satanic Slayerish growling, meeasured Faith No More - like harmonies, and crunchy, Pantera-inspired guitar riffs - Xplicit's membership crafts an aggresive, auspicious debut that should ensure they don't have to play another basement show for a really long time. - The Wpg Sun


Metal dudes who were almost Canadian Idols

Some folks believe good things come to those who wait. Others believe you make your own luck. The heavy metal dudes of Xplicit are clearly in the latter category. Their relentless quest for world domination has included organizing their own summer festival, auditioning for Canadian Idiot ... er, Idol, happily aligning themselves with corporate sponsors (including a certain liquor whose name includes an umlaut) -- and now, answering my lame questions. See a review of their new CD All Paths Lead Here at right, and see them tomorrow at the Zoo.
- Who's in the band, how old are they, what do they play, and what do they do for real money?
Xplicit is the name and heavy metal is our game. Members include cellphone-selling whiz Mark Fraser (drums), lumber-yard lifer Travis Thompson (guitar/vocals), oil-change champion Rob Watson (bass/backup vocals), gargantuan graphic designer Dan Legrand (vocals) and new to the group, support technician Evan Barry (guitar).
- Give us the history of the band in 20 words or less.
Xplicit was formed in 2002 and suffered the usual lineup changes. Years and beers later, the newest incarnation is stronger than ever.
- Describe your look and/or image in 20 words or less.
Well, we look like a bunch of d-bags that have been used hard.
- Tell us about your latest CD or upcoming gig in 20 words or less.
We are releasing our first full-length album, All Paths Lead Here, tomorrow at the Zoo. Our new disc is a more matured and developed version of our EP. It's refined but maintains its brutality.
- Why should we buy your CD or come to your gig?
If you don't, your face will break out in hives and boils will cover your body ... That's right, we know witches.
- If you're so great, tell us this: How does your music make the world a better place?
Every second of airplay we get is one less second for all the Britney Spears types polluting the airwaves.
- What's your most original quality?
Our unwavering ability to consistently strive for any means to promote ourselves, especially when it comes to thinking outside the box. We've done this on numerous occasions, but the two most memorable would have to be the music festivals we've hosted called Summer Seance, and when Dan and Travis won their way to Toronto on Canadian Idol. Auditioning for Idol was kind of a joke at first, but we thought it might be great exposure. To our amazement, the producers loved us. They created a five-minute segment spotlighting us and our band. Dan and Travis both received gold tickets to Toronto, but Travis opted not to go and Dan quit after passing another audition in Toronto. We got e-mail from fans disappointed that we didn't continue on. We're particularly popular with everyone's mothers. We have the audition up on our MySpace page. It's quite ridiculous.
- Complete this sentence: This band runs on ...
Beers and cheers.
- What's your best song and what makes it so good?
Our best song would have to be Free ... At What Cost? It's very dynamic with many melodic hooks. Musically, it is painfully heavy with tons of catchy grooves. Lyrically, it's a message most can be passionate about ... unless complacency is your shtick.
- What are your favourite beverages?
Jagermeister, Heineken.
- What kind of food would you like named after you? And what would be the ingredients? Aside from ham, of course.
There already is a food named after our band ... It's called the Xplicit burger. It's pretty much just the biggest chunk of ground beef you can keep together on the BBQ. Being sure to cook thoroughly of course. Then dress with your favourite fixins.
- Any other favourite things?
Groupies are the best. Oh, and condoms ... or the groupies wouldn't be so good for you.
- Who would you be happy to be compared to?
Some have said we sound something like Lamb of God ... We'll take that.
- What's the best part of performing and/or touring?
The best part of touring is spreading our disease to new places and meeting new people. What can be better than travelling for free?
- What's the worst part of performing and/or touring?
Five guys, one van. Catch our drift?
- What are your pre-show rituals, superstitions and good luck charms?
Although not a pre-show ritual or superstition by any means. We feel that we play our best gigs right after we piss each other off.
- What's the coolest piece of merch you sell?
People seem to like our branded shot and beer glasses ... But all of our merch is pretty sweet.
- Pretend I'm a heckler at your next gig. I yell "You suck!" and throw an ice cube at you. What do you do?
We don't really have to do anything when that happens, If it's a local show, the security staff -- with whom we're generally pretty tight -- usually put on a vulgar display of power and toss their asses out.
- The Winnipeg Sun


You know you're a big deal when...
Need proof that Xplicit is buzz-worthy? Three words: chilled shot machine

By Jared Story

"It's 60 minutes of head-pounding metal."

That's Xplicit drummer Mark Fraser on the local metal band's debut full-length, All Paths Lead Here, set to launch Sept. 18 at The Zoo.

"We recorded at Private Ear Studios with John Paul Peters," says bassist Rob Watson, who, along with Fraser, is joined in Xplicit by vocalist Dan Legrand, guitarist/vocalist Travis Thompson and guitarist Evan Barry. "It took the better part of 2008 to do. We'd take off on a tour after we, say, laid down the drum tracks, so it was done in little spurts over 2008. We finally finished it up, all the mixing and mastering, early this year. It was a long process and we're looking forward to releasing it."

Seeing that Xplicit has been banging heads since 2002, with all its members in their mid- to late-20s, All Paths Lead Here is a long-time coming - but as Watson points out, it's not as if the band hasn't been busy. Xplicit has been a live presence in this city for quite some time and, in 2008, the band took on the incredible undertaking of organizing and presenting a metal festival called Summer Seance.

"I've got some property outside of the city, about five acres worth, so we decided it would be super cool. No one else has done it with any success, at least on an indie level and without big corporations stepping in and footing the bill," Legrand says. "So amongst the five of us, we methodically planned everything as to how we saw it unravelling. Being that we've made a mark in at least the Winnipeg scene, it was pretty easy for us to get bands involved, but from there it involved the things that most people overlook, like porta-potties, food, booze, building a stage - there is just so much to do. I congratulate all these guys for pulling it off because I wanted to cry the day it happened. It was just so draining."

Luckily, Xplicit can drown those stress- induced sorrows with hard liquor. The band is part of a cross-promotional campaign with Jägermeister, meaning Xplicit gets free Jäg swag, sticks and picks, a freaking chilled shot machine and, of course, the brown booze itself.

"It does give us some clout, seeing that there are only 36 bands in Canada on this cross-promotional campaign, two from Winnipeg (Dreadnaut is the other)," Legrand says. "Aside from all the good stuff they give you, you also get the reputation as the heavy-drinking band. 'Oh, they're sponsored by a liquor company, they must be fucking heavy.'"

And they are, with All Paths Lead to Here being a damn good representation of the massive and menacing metal sound the band is known for.

"We've always been a band that's about playing live and the thing I like about this disc is that we did do a lot of production work on it, but it doesn't sound over-produced," Thompson says. "It captures our raw live sound and that's where we shine." - Uptown Magazine


Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

The construction of Xplicit's Paths was a long, winding road -- the seven-year-old band cut this album piece-by-piece over the course of months. Not that you can tell. These 13 tracks are seamlessly assembled shapeshifting epics of thrash-metal might and majesty -- driven by galloping double-bass drums, built upon a massive edifice of craggy low-neck riffage and high-angle shredding, and crowned with duelling vocalists (one sulphuric and sepulchral, the other melodic and soaring).

- The Winnipeg Sun


Debut Full Length "All Paths Lead Here" (2009)
-Recorded by John Paul Peters (Private Ear Studios)

Singles "Fateless Faith", "If All Else Fails", "The Human Disgrace" (2007)
- recorded by Brandon Friesen (441 Studios)
-All three singles in rotation on Wpg radio station Freq 107

Single "Dichotomy" (2007)
-recorded by Lenny Milne (Bedside Studios)
-In rotation on Wpg radio station Freq 107

Those Who've Been Spared (2006)
-produced and recorded by Xplicit



Through their incessant effort and desire to make their mark in the music and entertainment industry, Xplicit continues to push the boundaries of what a typical independent band can strive for and accomplish. Since it’s beginning, the band has built a foundation on the principal goal of forming an unstoppable force that can’t help but be recognized.

In February of 2006 the band came together with 5 minds that shared this vision and set to motion a plan to harness the sound that conveyed the energy that was felt when they played together. Before showcasing themselves to the listening public, Xplicit set out to record their music. Having little at their disposal, the band opted to undertake the endeavor itself. With rented gear and borrowed knowledge Xplicit pulled together over a four week period and recorded its debut EP “Those Who’ve Been Spared”, a six song assault displaying the bands take on heavy music with a mixture of its member’s varied musical taste. As mixing and mastering moved onward in the background, the band turned its attention to live performances and began a fast paced schedule appearing three to four times a month in the bars of the local Winnipeg music scene. Included in the initial barrage of shows was an appearance in local new rock station FREQ 107’s Battle of the Bands, an early opportunity for the band to display its talent for an audience of listeners and industry personalities alike. Standing by their set goals steadfast and true, Xplicit found themselves in the finals of the competition in June of 2006, and won with overwhelming support from the music community. Carrying the momentum of their recent accomplishment, the band began to headline shows, growing their popularity in leaps and bounds while forming relationships with bands, fans and bar owners. On November 18th, 2006 Xplicit released their debut EP to a sold out crowd of 550 people, nine short months after its humble beginning.

Xplicit’s efforts have never tired and the band continues onward in its dream of worldwide exposure one step at a time. Xplicit can currently be heard on Freq 107, with four songs in regular rotation and has begun to move its live show to new cities playing in front of fresh listeners garnering respect with each stop. A whirlwind summer in ‘07 saw Xplicit showcased in front of the nation on the #1 hit television series Canadian Idol, with two of its members awarded a gold ticket to Toronto, not performing recreated works of already established artists but by going against the pop platform of the show and performing its own music and staying true to their heavy metal roots.

As each new plateau is reached the band looks to one up itself and aim higher. On August 25th, 2007, the five band members undertook what would be the biggest task they had ever faced to date. They methodically and meticulously planned, promoted, and hosted the first ever Summer Séance, a monumental outdoor event that saw 10 of the Winnipeg music scene’s biggest bands perform for nearly 600 patrons who came out to be a part of what has since been quoted on Facebook as the party of the summer!!
The Winnipeg sun described Xplicit’s debut EP “Those Who’ve Been Spared” as “molar-rattling” and Xplicit has since re-recorded a three song promo disc with producer Brandon Friesen at 441 Studios. Now, with a full length recorded in 2008 and set for release in early 2009, the band knocks harder on the door of success and will continue to do so… even if they have to kick it in!

Xplicit is proudly sponsored by:
The Osborne village Inn (Zoo)
Manitoba Film and Sound

Reference Letter:
My name is Chuck Green and I own and operate the Osborne Village Inn in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Our hotel includes two separate and distinct clubs. They are both well known and (thank goodness) very busy even in these extremely tough times. I've been here doing my thing since 1978. We have never swayed from our live heavy rock format through all those years. The Zoo itself holds 425 licensed seats. The physical size of the room accommodates in excess of 700. There are only two local acts that can consistently fill the Zoo at these times and they are Xplicit and Dreadnaut. I find that all the members off both these bands are both an absolute pleasure to work with and conduct themselves very business-like. I allow both these acts to pick their dates on my calendar and take priority over any local or touring acts. I can also clearly see them both playing our biggest room in the City, the MTS Centre down the road. Please don't misunderstand me. I've never seen either act. I've dealt with the guys for years on a personal level and always have my eye on the money. They bring in a serious drinking crowd and our sales are at the top of the list and continue to stay up there. I was approached by Jagermeister out of Toronto two years ago and asked which two bands would I think fit the bill as great Jag bands, willing to bot