Hallowed old-school punk

By Myke Atkinson

With the recent surge of punk into mainstream pop-culture, The Black Halos are pulling up the rear and showing what the word punk truly means.

Originally from Vancouver, The Black Halos formed with the idea of starting an old-school punk band. Under the almighty Sub Pop label, the band released their self-titled LP. After three years of heavy touring, The Black Halos are ready to take on audiences with their second release, The Violent Years.

"There was just this awesome energy in the studio," comments Rob Zgaljic, the band’s drummer. "Compared to our previous encounters, this one flowed a lot smoother."

After rehearsing their songs, the band went into the studio with only a week to make it happen. The album was produced by Jack Endino, famous for Nirvana’s Bleach, but definitely does not cross over the line into grunge. Overall, The Violent Years is a straightforward old-school punk album dipping into the music of heroes such as the Clash or the Sex Pistols.

In support of their new record, the band is touring throughout Canada and the United States. In the past, they’ve shared the stage with everyone from Rancid at this year’s Vans Warped Tour, to Gob.

"After playing with some of these bands, I started to appreciate pop punk a little more," says Zgaljic. "Bands like Blink 182 and whatever, sure they might have been punk when they started. But now they’re just rock bands, and there’s nothing wrong with that."

Two days into their current Canadian tour, the band’s brand new van broke down. With experiences like this, they just want to get back to writing songs and recording.

"We’re going to go down to California next, but after that we’re just gonna try on writing some knew songs," says Zgaljic. "We’ve been playing the old songs for a while now, we just need to get something new going."

Hailed as the band’s best so far, their current tour has been enjoyable, something they hadn’t experienced until playing with Gob.

"[Gob] totally helped us out by putting us in front of the all-ages crowd," he says. "And I totally prefer playing all-ages shows. I just get a rush out of playing for the kids, ’cause they seem to appreciate it a little more."

High hopes are in store for the band’s future, trying to follow the footsteps of the Ramones and AC/DC.

"It’s not like we’re going to have the exact same songs on every record, but we’ve all found something that we love. There’s no point changing a formula that you’re happy with."

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