By Jessica Robb
It was in 2013 that vocalist Logan Turner noticed there was a lack of an older punk sound in the Edmonton music scene. In response, he created the band Suicide Helpline that year as a recorded solo project, releasing his first album Ready To Die on December 25, 2013.
“It got a lot of people interested in that ’77 punk sound, as opposed to that modern punk sound that we largely see in the city,” says Turner.
Fast-forward four years and Suicide Helpline has transitioned into a high energy, four-piece group. Kevin Maimann, Stu Chell, Adam Orange, and Turner all knew each other through Edmonton’s music scene, but it wasn’t until a year ago that the boys decided to turn Suicide Helpline into a live project. Due to their unique sound, Suicide Helpline has been able to play at least once a month at a variety of different shows in Edmonton. Time between performances has been spent working on Suicide Helpline’s debut full-length Pink Jazz, out April 29.
Pink Jazz was recorded in Turner’s basement studio and put together almost entirely independently. The title reflects the juxtaposition of gritty punk and the smooth, neon lights of glam that Turner has always been fascinated by. It’s the diverse musical backgrounds of each band member that helps give Pink Jazz its unique sound.
“We all bring our own influences in some small way and it gives [the album] this strange flavour that you can’t quite put your finger on,” says guitarist Maimann.
Despite their varied musical history, it was the immediate energy and rawness of punk music that attracted the group to the genre.
“I comically know very little about punk. But rather than getting into it through listening to other people’s music, I really got into it by writing,” says Turner.
The inspiration behind many of the songs holds a deeper meaning for Turner. With the lyrical focus centering on suicide and depression, they reflect on what music has become for him both psychologically and creatively.
“Music is very much like a crisis line: something that you turn to in times of internal struggle and it has been that for me throughout my youth and hard times,” explains Turner. He adds, “The name Suicide Helpline means a lot to me.”
Since the release of their self-titled EP last year, the group has worked on expanding their sound and musicianship. The year has been full of live shows and testing their boundaries, a process full of musical surprises that has resulted in songs they originally never thought would work.
“Playing together for the past year has helped us figure out where we all should be,” reflects drummer Chell. “It’s cool ‘cause we’ve just grown organically.”
All told, Pink Jazz contains 14 tracks of catchy pop hooks run through a punk filter, which sums up Suicide Helpline as a band.
“It’s full of songs that you can share with your parents, but still be offensive to teenagers,” says Turner.
“Take everything you just heard with the title Pink Jazz and let’s start over.”
Suicide Helpline will perform April 29 at the release show for Pink Jazz (Edmonton) with Fashionism.Fashionism, Pink Jazz, Suicide Help