TUNIC by Adam Kelly
TUNIC by Adam Kelly
New Music

9 albums that influenced TUNIC’s upcoming noise punk release ‘Exhaling’

4 mins read

Winnipeg is cold. Ice cold. And judging by the the emotional brawn and hardcore might of the three-piece TUNIC, it can get very very dark.

Winnipeg’s Tunic explore that darkness on the band’s new album Exhaling, a three track effort due on April 9, 2021 via Artoffact Records. Across songs like the title track, “Invalid” and “Fade Out,” the trio of David Schellenberg (Guitar / Vocals), Rory Ellis (Bass) and Dan Unger (Drums) use their visceral art punk approach to explore themes related to coping with the illness of a loved one, the dark side of creativity and dealing with toxic friendships.

“I’m not one to write about situations/emotions that I haven’t lived through,” remarks frontman/guitarist David Schellenberg. “I need that catharsis of screaming about these things over and over again. These are all things that have unfolded in my life and I use Tunic as a coping mechanism.”

Tunic was born of spite in 2012– formed after founder David Schellenberg was told he “wasn’t good enough” for another band leading to a subsequent decision to follow his own path. From there, Tunic sought out a sound inspired by the melodic approaches of Quicksand and Superchunk, venom and heartache in Converge and controlled chaos behind Botch. Since their 2016 debut 7”, Tunic have criss-crossed the globe relentlessly, zigging and zagging as part of more than a dozen jaunts in North America and Europe while logging shows with a varied lot like Ken Mode, Single Mothers and even Hank Wood and the Hammerheads. Tunic’s touring bloodlust eventually caught the attention of Toronto-based Artoffact Records, who signed the band immediately upon hearing the band’s intense demos.

TUNIC by Adam Kelly
TUNIC by Adam Kelly

The “Exhaling” single serves as a taste of demolition before the full length hits in 2021. This new song, and the legion of firepower on the band’s previous works, serve as fair warning of the brutality that awaits.

On Thursday, March 12 2020, we flew from Winnipeg to New York City for a couple shows at a festival. However, we woke up the next morning to everyone we knew cancelling tours and shows and knew that we had to do the same. We caught a flight back home that evening and were part of the first batch of people who had to quarantine. In the first week of quarantine I used that time to tie up all the loose ends of cancelling a month long tour and shutting down my business. The second week of quarantine was when I got introduced to the fine folks at Artoffact Records and after some video calls, emails and good conversations we decided it was a good fit and signed a deal. 2021 will see us release not one, but two releases that we can’t wait to share with y’all.

Here are 9 albums that influenced TUNIC’s upcoming release ‘Exhaling’:

1. The Coneheads

L.P. 1 or 14 Year Old High School PC-Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $$$ from Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L.P.

This record is perfect. Short, catchy, incredible tongue in cheek lyrics and 100% unique. As soon as I heard it I was hooked. Sounds like Devo was more punk and on speed. Our song Exhaling was me trying to write a Coneheads song and it came out rather different.

2. Converge – Jane Doe

Not much to say about this record that hasn’t been said already. It’s 19 years old and is still regarded as the best metalcore album of all time. The dynamics are incredible and powerful and changed the game forever. People are still trying to recreate this record and it’s had a massive influence on how I look at dynamics, vocal delivery and songwriting.

3. Condominium – Barricade 7”

Art-damaged hardcore out of Minneapolis. To put it simply the intro of “Barricade” changed me, it’s incredibly sinister and mixed with Matt’s deep gruff vocals it sets such an undeniable mood. The constant feedback and overall dissonance has left a massive impression on my songwriting. This is without a doubt my all time favourite band.

4. Animal Lover – Guilt

Another Minneapolis trio, Animal Lover is a perfect example of three individuals mixing their personalities to create some of the best noise rock of all time. Plus they are the nicest and most humble people on the planet and deserve way more recognition for this incredible record and their discography as a whole. RIP.

5. Fugazi – Repeater

Another classic. Incredible songwriting, extremely dynamic, great lyrics, unbeatable catchy hooks and DIY gods. The influence of this album is rather apparent on some tracks of “Exhaling,” especially on our track “Invalid” I feel.

7. Björk – Post

A bit of an outlier on this list, but this record is amazing, truly a beautiful piece of work and Björk’s melodies and emotion in this record are one of a kind. I always reference Björk’s melodies and emotion when I’m writing vocals and lyrics for any song. I listened to ‘Hyperballad’ every night before going on stage on our first European tour just to put me in the right headspace.

8. Spray Paint – Feel the Clamps

Years ago when we were touring across the US and Canada we had three friends all in different cities put on this record for us and say “Y’all like Spray Paint right?” And it was the first first time we had ever heard of them. So I decided to check it out and now I own their entire discography. Experimental atonal-noisy-kraut-like post-punk.

9. DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…..

DJ Shadow composes some incredibly moody pieces on this record and he does it all by sampling and layering. I often think about songwriting as layering. We only have 3 instruments and 1 voice, and everything needs to overlap just right to make it work. This record is a perfect example of layering to create the best songs possible.

10. Slint – Spiderland

This album falls into the same category as Jane Doe and Repeater. It’s an undeniable classic. A grounding breaking noisy post-rock record and really the first of it’s kind. The guitar tones are razor sharp and have influenced my guitar tone for so long and really showed me how to set a heavy vibe without being too heavy and how best to use dynamics in your songs.

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