By Daniel Jaramillo
CALGARY – Never ones to break a deal, Edmonton outfit Royal Tusk are determined to keep us rocking whilst taking strident steps as a band, persistently touring around the country and dropping a brand new sophomore album titled Tusk II (eOne 2018). The first single off the album, “Aftermath” brings to the table some heavy riffing alongside topical lyrics and a music video that uncompromisingly tackles the issue of mass shooting in America. It’s a difficult and complex issue to grapple with, but Royal Tusk has taken aim at hyper-violence and the toxic masculinity that comes as a consequence of it.
According to singer and guitarist Daniel Carriere, the story behind writing Aftermath and the accompanying music video is about making a statement and confronting gun violence head-on.
“When I wrote the song, it was a period when there was a new mass shooting and a new tragedy every day. It’s a very violent society we were looking at and it is weird that we are all so used to it! I remember waking up one morning and thinking ‘How the fuck am I sleeping soundly with all this horrible stuff going on?’ That was the question that ultimately inspired me to write the song,” Carriere explains. “We took that theme and put it into the context of a young man who is bombarded with ultra-violence by the media and toxic influences from friends and how regular that seems to be. With the character getting into street fights, we were thinking of the waves of attacking people that go viral online and just wanted to explore what is must be like for young people to confront violence in this cavalier manner.”
As barstool philosophers and observers of the human condition, Royal Tusk are a band who not only make you think, but also emphasize the importance of human connection. The members, including bassist Sandy MacKinnon, guitarist Quinn Cyrankiewicz and drummer Calen Stuckel, form a tight unit that thrives in a live setting. Putting guitar music back at the forefront of radio and video playlists, where it has not been for quite some time, is Royal Tusk’s mission. A quest that continues in earnest with the appearance of Tusk II.
“We all listen to modern rock and classic rock,” Carriere says “For me personally; it was the formative years growing-up listening to Nirvana, Silverchair, Filter and heavy bands like Metallica and Rage Against the Machine. That unapologetic guitar-riffing music, and the tonne of grunge music, really inspired us in the last 10 years, as well. Guitars seem like a forgotten thing and we were really sick of that attitude and just wanted to stand out loud and proud playing guitar!”
Whilst they have no interest in being the flavour of the month, Royal Tusk are building a loyal fan base in their hometown and across Canada. However, their aim is to be more than just a Canadian band and break through internationally. In the meantime, they are prepared to please the masses with an impressive new album that promises to shake us out of conformity with a potent dose of authentic rock music. Finally, someone is talking sense and taking these times of anger and confusion by the horns
Royal Tusk perform November 23 at The Pyramid Cabaret (Winnipeg), November 24 at Casino (Regina), November 25 at Bo’s Bar and Grill (Red Deer), November 26 at The Starlite Room (Edmonton), November 28 at Venue Nightclub (Vancouver), November 30 at CJ’s Nightclub (Kamloops), December 2nd at The Gateway (Calgary), December 3 at Coors Event Centre (Saskatoon)Bo’s Bar and Grill, CJ’s Nightclub, Coors Event Centre, Royal Tusk, The Gateway, The Pyramid Cabaret, The Starlite Room, Venue Nightclub