Vancouver/Toronto rock & roll troublemakers THE BLACK HALOS just dropped their new EP “Uncommonwealth” on Toronto’s newest, loudest label Cursed Blessings Records, and today we’re giving it a closer look, through some more details about the band and special commentary by vocalist Billy Hopeless!
Although there have been a plethora of punk revivalists over the years, Vancouver’s the Black Halos look to a slightly different golden age than that of the Clash and the Buzzcocks; they’re more enamored of the glammed-up trash-rock of the New York Dolls, the sonic scuzz of the Stooges, and the snotty nihilism of the Dead Boys.
In 1999 the group released their self-titled debut record on Sub Pop imprint Die Young Stay Pretty before switching to Sub Pop proper, where they released the “Jane Doe/Russian Roulette” seven-inch and their Jack Endino-produced second album, “The Violent Years” in spring 2001. After a brief split, a new line-up of the band re-grouped for 2005’s “Alive Without Control” (Century Media/People Like You) followed shortly after by 2007’s “We Are Not Alone” (History Music/People Like You). The band split again shortly afterwards – vocalist Billy Hopeless formed the Bonitos, Matt Camirand joined Black Mountain, Rich Jones went on to play with Michael Monroe and Ginger Wildheart and Jay Millette joined Darlings Of Chelsea.
In 2016, founding members Jones and Hopeless reunited for the first time in 15 years for a riotous tour of Spain. Original guitarist Jay Millette re-joined the fold in 2019 and the band played their first Canadian show in over a decade to a sold out house at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. 2020 sees a new album from this line-up – rounded out by bassist John Kerns (The Age Of Electric) and drummer Danni Action (Midnight Towers) – and more shows in the pipeline.
Billy Hopeless comments: “….What can you do when life gives you lemons you ask ? Well squirt the juice in its eyes I reply, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this new 3 song E.P.! Just take the lyrics “It’s the punchline line of the century that Brian Jones sunk like a stone ” from the song Fossil Fuel and the line “So this is what it looks like under the bus!” from the title track Uncommon Wealth. We’re not talking ballads here kids. Finishing it off we got a cover of the song Shoot You Down by the British gem of the delete bin band, Birdland, that we fell in love with and used to jam in the early years. We Hope these three offerings will keep you burning until the upcoming, soon to be announced, full length…”
Black Halos are: Billy Hopeless – Vocals, Rich Jones – Guitar & Vocals, Jay Millette – Guitar, John Kerns – Bass, Danni Action – Drums
Words by Billy Hopeless (The Black Halos):
When we first started we weren’t in chic.
𝑊𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑡𝑜𝑜 𝑝𝑢𝑛𝑘 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑘 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑢𝑛𝑘𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑜 𝑝𝑜𝑝 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑜𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑦 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠.
Nonetheless we kept going touring non stop on nothing in vans that much like us were under priced driven to the ground and looked at as destined for the scrapyard.
We never surrendered our personal love of what we created no matter what was thrown in our way.
We became more notorized and recognized but we always stuck to the mission and remembered that it didn’t matter when we began.
At the final point of the last run I felt that the others in the band were trying to make the band into something else in hopes of getting stricking it big time. I was unhappy thus quit the band I had started . Now having jay and my original co founding partner in crime Rich back I’m excited and in live again as were back on track and the music rules.
The point of this is allot of the mist loved and legendary artists in history and our hearts are not always the hugest success stories or biggest household names. They’re works are sacred to us as and that’s all that matters .if you truly love something what yer doing hearing seeing or someone that is all that matters.
There’s nothing wrong with making money or if it becomes popular but never surrender love you’re soul or you’re gut feelings for these things. At the end of the movie it doesn’t matter if it was the top grossing award winner its if you enjoyed the flick and if you wish you could watch it again. Live a movie that you love enough to wish you could watch again.
The Black Halos are back in action! We hope you love the new underground classic trash cult cuts as much as we do and feel the same raw primal passion about your own picture.