Shed Island Presents: Botfly Tonight in St. John’s

Botfly. Photo by Alex Pearson

Botfly. Photo by Alex Pearson

botflyposterFriday, January 15th, 2016 — Shed Island and Not Enough Bookings are ready to drown out any hint of the seasonal blues that may linger in the whip of the bitter cold St. John’s air. As their first event of the year, Shed Island are throwing an off-season showcase featuring a very special visit from Haligonian hardcore trio Botfly. With an omnipotent sludge thicker than the slush puddled side walks that have moated the streets of St. John’s, Botfly’s lead-footed class of pulverizing harsh punk prepares to heat the house with the most appropriate of local company. Joining the heavy cast are St. John’s blackened crust punks Dark Era, the gashing hardcore of Mind Violence, and the unhinged freak punk of Animal Crimes. The show starts 11PM at Distortion.

Botfly have a slew of upcoming physical releases from the back catalogue of their digital discography, but their visit to St. John’s will be marked by a very specific souvenir exclusive to their visit. Hatch, Botfly’s latest 7 song release, will be available on a limited “St. John’s only” edition of 15 cassettes with handwritten inserts. Not that you would need any more of an incentive to head on down to Distortion tonight, but a hand-numbered addition to your cassette collection is definitely a reason to get down early.

Besides the late night bar gig, Botfly will also be playing a dry house show on Saturday. You can ask a punk for the address, and I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to guide you in the right direction (as long as you’re not a snitch). All ages welcome.

Check out our conversation with Botfly from earlier this week as we discuss the weather, their upcoming releases, and their visit to St. John’s this weekend.

Are you guys making it in just in time to enjoy the ice storm we’re getting in St. John’s? It was supposed to be a blizzard, but it seems to have been downgraded to a more of a wet and icy mess. If there was an off chance you folks could get snowed in here, could it be like a week residency of Botfly house shows?

Fingers crossed that it clears up by the time we board the plane. We figured we might as well follow the storm we got all the way to you because we would love another day spent shovelling! If we get snowed in we should do a fan favourites Bowie/Motörhead cover show.

I know I’m taking this trope of talking about the weather a little too far, but I’ve had the realization lately that I love the atmosphere of winter shows. Maybe it is because people embrace a reason to get out of the house a bit more, or maybe because people are less likely to hang out outside the show all night. Do you have a favourite season for shows?

Keegan:
For me personally, I think I like shows in the fall the most. There’s an overall good vibe about the fall to begin with, but also the heat has died down. There’s very little harsh weather to worry about and everyone is still in the summer fun mind set. I also find when I’m playing in the fall to winter months it helps me mentally cope with the winter blues.

Dewayne: Also, EVERYONE GETS TO WEAR THEIR PATCHED UP DENIM JACKETS.

Tell us a bit about the trip; is this a standalone visit to St. John’s?

The trip is a combination of things. We have friends in St. John’s that we haven’t seen in quite some time that we miss. As long as I can remember it was a spot we wanted to take the band. Dewayne had a fantastic time while he was there, with Crossed Wires, for Shed Island, so we all thought we should check it out. We want to play everywhere and anywhere we can while the band is highly active. The idea of doing a week long, or even long weekend tour in the middle of winter seemed daunting, but it’s the perfect time for us to get time off work…Originally we thought about touring France, but were told it “only makes no sense”.

Botfly have a split with Bonesaw on Significant Other, and I know the digital tracks are currently available, but I have heard a few words about a physical release. What is it shaping up to be, and when can we expect it?

The split (10″) is almost ready, it is in pressing and should hopefully be in our hands at the end of this month. We we’re really hoping to have it to bring with us, but the timeline didn’t line up. Hopefully we’ll be taking a few trips to the post office to send some over.

I also noticed while snooping through your facebook page that NewPact Records will be releasing the Host EP and Lunacy single. How did that come about, and is there any update on that release?

This was another release we were hoping to bring along, that didn’t work out time wise. We should have those tapes shortly after we get home. Colton Frausell contacted us about using a song of ours, on a compilation, for the unveiling of the new label he was creating. For a long time we’ve wanted Host and Lunacy to be on physical releases but never had the time to put into it. We contacted him, seeing as his label is new, thinking he might be interested in putting them out as a combo tape. Obviously, he was super down and it’s on its way to us!

With the Host EP being from 2014, and the Lunacy single from 2013, it really speaks to the idea that digital releases are the most effective demos these days. If you don’t have the means for a physical release yourselves, it is almost more worth your while to put it out there digitally and move along. There tends to be less of a stall in recording activity, and in a case like Botfly it seems most of the material eventually finds itself on physical format somewhere.

How much does Botfly plan releases? Do you typically have a specific goal on how you’d like batches of material released, or does it tend to be more of a spontaneous outlet?

We usually go in to a recording session with an idea of what kind of release we want to make out of it. With no real timeline for those releases we usually get excited and do a digital release immediately after getting the tracks back. We’d like to have everything we’ve ever recorded put out physically in some way, shape, or form. So far we haven’t repressed anything, I don’t know if we will, it’s kind of nice knowing there’s only so many of one release or shirt or patch or pin and then that’s it. It’s not like we make physical copies of things to make money, it’s just to have and enjoy!

Lastly: after St. John’s, what is next for Botfly’s winter plans?

After St. John’s we’re all going to cry because we have to go home. We have a show lined up back home for the end of the month, and then the record release show in February. We are also doing a mini tour in February with our friends in Scumgrief hitting; Halifax, Charlettown and Fredricton. Our honorary “fourth” member, Ben Brennan (Weed Thief/Geil), is out of town for a few months. Ben has been the engineer/producer behind every release, so we’re probably going to spend the last half of the winter/early spring, while he’s gone, held up writing/demoing the next record.

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