By Heath Fenton
VANCOUVER — Let us flashback to the early 1990s Vancouver metal scene. This was its heyday, and the band Process was at the forefront and they brought a new style of metal. What they brought was a hybrid of sorts that would bring a weird combo of grinding technical riffage, steadfast demon drumming, unique off the wall vocals, and then syphon it through a new school funnel that had yet to be explored. Their style would become a staple for the metal world from then on.
With influences ranging from Mr. Bungle to Napalm Death, Process were ahead of their time. They were also a bunch of 19/20-year-olds in their first band. Their reputation would land them high profile opening slots for the likes of Entombed and Carcass. They did numerous tours with The Smalls. They were packing tiny clubs, all-ages venues, and destroying secret after-hours joints across the city. Then they disappeared into the dark. Just like that it was over.
“We just came off of a crazy tour where a bunch of crazy stuff happened and when we got home we just kind of went our separate ways,” guitarist Maurice Williams says. Second guitarist Cam Kroetsch elaborates. “We were all real young and crazy. It was a band of five misfit dudes that were really good at playing music. It was kind of destined to implode. It was just one of those things.”
The effect of the band was still felt as the members would live on in the music scene and provide it with an obscene laundry list of great bands in this city including Minority, Punchdrunk, Subversion, Savannah, Strapping Young Lad, Front Line Assembly, Omega Crom, Tyrants Blood, Cocaine Mustache, and Delerium, just to name a few. Williams, Kroetsch, drummer Adrian White, bassist Vincent Lee Borden, and vocalist Jim Huhn are pretty much as accomplished as you can get. Now the five misfit dudes are back together in the jam room. That is right. Process is back and sounding better than ever.
“I started talking with Adrian and Jim around January 2015. No one had really talked to each other for a long time,” Kroetesch explains. “We didn’t know where Maurice was, for some reason we were told he was in Winnipeg or something. But it turned out he was living in Burnaby and he was down with getting the band back together.
However, there was one more obstacle. Original bassist Dean Zimmer had passed away a couple of years after Process split. Enter Borden. “I’ve known Vinnie for years and we’ve always threatened to jam together,” Kroetesch says. “He had heard about this. He didn’t ask for the gig, he just said the gig is his. And he made it his.” The perfect fit for a perfect storm brewing.
Process debuted their comeback last November at the Media Club, playing a complete set of old songs from the 1990s. And because their sound was ahead of their time to begin with, it was apparent that they had not missed a beat and were as relevant now as they were then. They are playing to a new breed and most of the crowd at the Media Club had never witnessed their attack before. After the show people left with the same feeling those had back in the day. The audience experienced a “what the fuck was that” moment and left with the feeling they had just found their new favourite band.
“Even though the first existence was a short moment in time, we are now here. We now have some recording opportunities to make those songs we wrote so long ago sound the way we want,” White chimes in. “It was maybe a year and a half or two years maximum. It just came and went so fast. We are now a brand new band and that is the best thing. We don’t have to rely on any sort of history. What we are doing now is brand new. Not a lot of people have heard it before and we are OK with that.”
An album is in the works. Process also wants to take their music overseas this time around. They plan to record their whole catalogue from the old days as well as bring in some new tunes. Process is older, wiser and more polished. You should definitely get ready for this. It is a guarantee that it will be some of the finest extreme music this country has produced. “These songs never saw the light that they should have. It is a very good feeling to present them the way they should have been from the get go,” White sums up. Do expect some new stuff to be included during their set at the Rickshaw in January.
It’s been a year since Process reconvened and it was 20-plus years in the making. Do yourself a favour and jump on board. Don’t miss the boat this time.
Process perform the Rickshaw Theatre on January 23.BC, British Columbia, Process, Rickshaw Theatre