Attacks of various sizes, shapes and colours

By Joshua Goard-Baker

There is something to be said for loving your craft: playing sports for the love of the game, performing theatre just because you love to act and writing music just because you love music. Attack in Black is one of those bands that create music, in essence, for themselves. In the process, they hope music fans will love listening to their songs just as much as they loved making them.

The band was formed much like many other young bands, between a group of friends who enjoyed playing together in high school. After a number of members came and went the group finally formed around its core, brothers Daniel and Ian Romano. Daniel supplies the lead guitar and vocals and Ian the drums. The other two members rounding out Attack are Ian Kehoe on bass and Spencer Burton supplying backup vocals and guitar.

“We’ve all been friends for years, we’ve all been playing music since before we ever recorded anything,” says Kehoe. “I was in a band prior to this one with Spencer, and have been playing music with Dan for years now.”

Asked about their varied musical influences, Kehoe provides a list that might dictate a different sound than the band has produced thus far.

“We grew up listening to punk and hardcore bands, now we’ve branched out to more industrial and black metal,” says Kehoe. “Definitely right now we are all listening to a band called Ladyhawk from B.C.”

This past July, Attack in Black released their first full-length album, a blend of punk, folk and pop entitled Marriage. The album was well received and garnered the band the Favourite New Artist CASBY award, given annually by Toronto FM radio station The Edge. In most cases, a band would follow up an album with a tour promoting the albums release and a year or so writing new music for an encore. However, in the case of Attack in Black their love for the music brought them in Sep. to the Romano household and an old two-input recorder found in storage provided the stage. The band spent the next two days writing and performing music on the patio, each member providing vocals and, after they were done, the boys decided to release what they had created to the public. Thus in Nov., Attack In Black released its second full-length album called The Curve of the Earth. This album marked an exodus from the pop-punk, Ramones-influenced sound of Marriage and moved the band into a new realm of deep, melodic folk.

Asked whether the band was headed in a folk or pop music direction, Kehoe was decidedly non-committal.

“To be completely honest, we love them both. We want to play the music we feel is most appropriate to us at any given time,” said Kehoe. “I can’t see that going from one direction to the other, I think it’s probably going to be a mixture of both. It’s not something that we really plan. We just do it and that’s what it is.”

Kehoe joined the band after two former members decided to part ways. He was originally drummer, but upon joining the band picked up a bass guitar and has been doing that ever since. The ability and desire to pick up a new instrument for the good of the band is an example of the passion and enthusiasm that Attack in Black shows through their music. Asked whether it was tough being a musician, Kehoe responded in predictable fashion.

“No, it’s awesome,” says Kehoe. “We play music and we love it. Hopefully people come and hear us play in Calgary.”

Attack in Black plays Mac Hall Fri., Feb. 8.

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