By Heath Fenton
VANCOUVER — Zimmer’s Hole just may be the epitome of the phrase tongue-in-cheek. They are named after their friend’s butt and they have their tongues permanently planted in the arse of heavy metal. Their comedic sense and the antics that follow Zimmer’s Hole is epic. That being said, there is no mistaking that a line-up that boasts three quarters of Strapping Young Lad means serious business. Since the early 1990s, Zimmer’s Hole guitarist Jed Simon, bassist Byron Stroud, and legendary drummer Gene Hoglan’s band have made fire trotting maniac noise in much the same vein. But Zimmer’s Hole, however, has a twitch of the classics. The tipping point is the mentally unstable vocalist, The Heathen. He turns the SYL boys on their head. With a wide ball grasping range and a nose for sarcastic timing, The Heathen delivers a sermon every time. Song subjects may cover anything from the grotesque, to the awkwardly corny, and then some bizarrely accurate observations of heavy metal culture. It is a spectacle to behold.
While it may be rehearsed, their live show feels entirely off the wall and seems ready to come unhinged at any moment. The Heathen is into strange theatrics and dabbles in pyro. At a show you can bear witness to anything. The anal curtain call, an ungodly birth, the human vagina, or perhaps the many eager minions that greedily mine at Heathen’s giant booze-filled strap-on: all this and so much more. You really have to be there. There is no telling what can happen at a Zimmer’s Hole show.
“Just keep your head up and watch your backs is all I’d say,” Simon laughs. See them while you can, because lately they haven’t been around too often which is a serious shame.
There was some talk that after the demise of Strapping Young Lad, the members would be able to concentrate more on Zimmer’s Hole and make it more of a full-time thing.
“Everyone is scattered around the continent now so the usual getting together every day isn’t as easy as it once was,” Simon says. “We’ve always wanted to be a full-time band, and we’ll just have to see how this next year pans out for everyone. I would love nothing more than to get a regular cycle going. I have enough material for years of releases. We will be spending some good time together soon, and a lot of magic has happened in the past when we are all in the same room. I’m looking forward.”
There is going to be a new album and plans for a proper world tour are in the works as well. The show at The Rickshaw marks a bit of a comeback and Zimmer’s Hole will be cumming full circle. Get in line.
Zimmer’s Hole performs at the Rickshaw Theatre on January 23.
ALBERTA TOUR UPDATE: Zimmer’s Hole performs on Friday, May 20th at Dickens in Calgary with Fuquored, Untimely Demise, and Kyoktys. On Saturday, May 21st, they play the Starlite Room in Edmonton with the same bill, replacing Kyokyts with Blëëd.AB, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Dickens, Rickshaw Theatre, Starlite Room, Zimmer's Hole