Music Interview: New Flames Grinder rocks C-town

By Sherri Shergill

In less than four weeks the regular hockey season will commence, beginning the Calgary Flames’ 25th season. Thanks to a crazy and brilliant revamp, the Flames are armed with new players all eager to bring the cup home. One such player is Darren McCarty, otherwise known as the gritty former right-winger for the Detroit Red Wings. Sutter has recruited McCarty with hopes he brings his hard-knock style of hockey to the Flames. But unbeknownst to Sutter, McCarty plans on bringing more than hockey talent to our fair city. Try to keep a straight face folks because this is a hockey player with a record contract.

Front man for the band Grinder, McCarty ignores the laughs about his music career and lets the band’s talent speak for itself. Ever confident about his second passion, Grinder is kicking off the season by rocking out in McCarty’s new home, Calgary.

“We’re going to bring a killer, kick ass party to kick off the hockey season,” boasts an excited McCarty. “Hopefully we’ll also be playing at the Stanley Cup championship party.”

Formed in 1998 and based out of Detroit, Grinder is a high-energy punk and rock band heavily influenced by ’60s and ’70s rhythms. With support from stars like Kid Rock, Grinder is continually increasing their fan base and gaining credibility as a legitimate talent, silencing the doubters of celebrity crossovers. Still, no matter how popular Grinder gets, McCarty is quick to point out that hockey is his first priority.

“When the hockey season starts the band goes on hiatus,” McCarty explains, “I’m going [to Calgary] to focus and concentrate on the hockey, but I’m excited to experience the Canadian music scene and ultimately have something to add to it.”

Wary about the country music he expects to hear blasting in the streets of Calgary, McCarty hopes Grinder can introduce Calgary to a fresh type of music outside the norm but following in the footsteps of talented artists like Iggy Pop, MC5, and Dave Grohl. If McCarty is hoping for Calgary to open up and give Grinder a chance, all he has to do is return the favour and help bring the cup to Calgary. Fortunately for Flames fans everywhere, McCarty seems eager for the challenge.

“I can’t wait to be part of the team Darryl Sutter has assembled,” McCarty vigorously states. “The team’s full of a lot of guys who just work hard and I’m happy to be a part of that. This is a slam-dunk fit.”

Debuting in the NHL in 1993, McCarty plays papa to three Stanley Cup Championship rings and hopes to come to within of completing a full hand by joining the Flames.

“I’m excited; it’s gonna be weird putting on a jersey as a new timer and moving to a new city, but I’m so excited to come to Calgary,” McCarty explains. “As a player, it was one of my favorite places to go and visit, so it’s gonna be a great place to live and play both hockey and music.”

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