By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY — Since their humble inception over a decade ago under their initial moniker Awake for What?, whose origin story includes recording a “shitty EP” on VCR, Calgary hardcore band Stab.Twist.Pull has come a long way.
The group solidified around 2006. After seeing the phrase in a military tactics video, they changed their name to Stab.Twist.Pull.
“I always hated the name because it’s kind of like, awake for what? Shit man, life’s awesome! We’re awake because we want to be awesome, I don’t want to sleep my days away,” explains vocalist Mike Hoogaars.
Alongside Hoogaars, the current line-up consists of Dave “Corpsey” Mosimann on bass, Russ Bauer on guitar and Ryan Boyko on the drums. Boyko came on after his melodic death metal band Kilyakai had split. S.T.P was in need of a drummer to fill in for their first show at the HIFI Club.
After releasing two EPs, S.T.P released their first full-length This Reckless Life in April of 2011. This was a big step forward the group. Hoogaars says, “We were super proud of it, we really liked the direction everything was going and it sold a ton since it came out.”
Now, with a solidified line-up, their new album Lifeline is finally complete and ready to be unleashed. The album builds upon their previous work, including their usual fusion of straight-ahead metal grooves and traditional hardcore stylings, but unlike their earlier work, Lifeline incorporates a lot more of the sounds typical to Southern rock. Recorded at Electric Park Studio with Nate Renaud (Kyoktys) and Casey Rogers (Exit Strategy), Lifeline is nearly two years in the making. A lot of songs needed to be re-worked, and after the groups’ decision to part ways with their bass player, they enlisted Corpsey. Once he paired up with percussion powerhouse Boyko the group finally had found the blasting, technical low-end that they were searching for.
Although there were a couple of record labels who put forth offers to release their latest work, Hoogaars says: “We just opted to do it ourselves. We all have career jobs; why do we need a record label to lend us money when we can just borrow money ourselves. So we waited a little longer and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out, for sure.”
Talking to this band, it’s obvious how much love and passion they have for their music, and the Calgary music community that has been home to them since 2004. Lifeline, the band’s “hands down” best work to date, is a testament to that and the energy they’ve harnessed is absolutely contagious.
See Stab.Twist.Pull at Dickens on March 7 with False Flag and more during the release party show for Lifeline.AB, Alberta, Dickens, Stab.Twist.Pull