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The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer Apocalipstick takes rock ‘n’ blues duo to the end of the world

Thursday 20th, April 2017 / 13:38
By Heather Adamson

Matthew Rogers and Shawn Hall take things to an indulgent state on their latest romp, Apocalipstick.
Photo by Jodie Ponto

VANCOUVER – With a new album, big tour and a debut music video on the go, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer are coming out swinging in 2017. Matthew Rogers and Shawn Hall make up this Vancouver-based rock ‘n’ blues duo who have been on fire in recent years, appearing on some of the most coveted festival lineups and venue stages across Canada.

Apocalipstick is the album and the name says it all about how these two artists approach their music and their lives. “The way we approached this album is if the world is going to end, let’s have a party and indulge in things,” explained Rogers. “The world is becoming a pretty shitty place in a lot of ways, so let’s turn it around and enjoy it.” This is further exemplified in their debut video from the album for their song “Forever Fool,” a passionate, reckless and take-no-prisoners visual story and concept. “It is a tune about vengeance and turning over a new leaf,” says Rogers. “We wanted the plot to have substance that reflected that.”

Speaking of substance, Rogers admits the songwriting process does not come easily and the fact that they wrote and produced a new album is a huge accomplishment, something they don’t take for granted. “Shawn and I have really different styles, so the songwriting process can be heated and difficult to get through,” says Rogers. “We have to do it because we are an original band, but we have to fight through it and hope for the best for what comes out on the other end.”

Known for their dirty, gritty, blues rock sound, they took Apocalipstick in more of a psychedelic direction with groovy hooks. “It is a little noisier and crazier, a bit out of the ordinary, including not just sticking to three-minute song lengths,” shares Rogers. “This album has also been a lot more collaborative for us. We went for a jamming, live-off-the-floor, Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street vibe.”

Looking ahead to their tour starting at the end of March at some incredibly beautiful venues across the country, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer are ready to bring their new music to audiences in a live show that is going to take it to a whole new level with the incorporation of a drummer and some other surprises up their sleeves. “We are always trying to evolve and do something a little bit different,” says Rogers. “We have a different process every time and thankfully we have never been unhappy with the results.”

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer perform April 22 at the Commodore Ballroom.

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