Right around this time last year, Moncton rock band Diablo Strange was celebrating the release of their self-titled EP. A short 12 months later, the group is celebrating the release of their full-length debut effort Sordid Tales with a show at the O.C. in downtown Moncton tonight.
Recorded in Moncton with engineer Derrick Aubie, listeners shouldn’t expect a whole lot of bells and whistles on Sordid Tales. The album does pick up rather nicely where the group’s EP left off, chalk full of chunky guitar riffs that will almost surely please fans of alt metal act Clutch. Diablo Strange’s Marty Surette says the group’s organic approach to making music is featured front and centre throughout the new album.
“We have never really been a studio-based or layered effects kind of band,” Surette says. “We are only a three-piece group so our sound is a stripped-down sort of sound anyway. We wanted to record the songs as we play them live. Staying conscious and true to the songs and how they are going to sound in a bar full of people was important to the band. Some bands sound great on record but then they don’t translate that same energy live. We wanted to avoid that with this newest record.”
Surette says Sordid Tales was recorded in under a week. It didn’t hurt that the group has been playing the bulk of their new songs live, affording them the opportunity to rework the songs as required long before they even considered recording.
Formed in 2010 from the ashes of Moncton band Tempting Tragedy, the group took a little more than a year to nail down a solid lineup. Currently comprised of guitarist-vocalist Marty Surette, bassist-vocalist Matt Cormier and drummer J.D. Thibodeau, the group has been steadily building a loyal following of fans.
Playing live is pretty much a given for many bands these days, as it is arguably one of the most surefire ways to build a fan base. Depending on who you speak to, live music has either never been more popular or has never been less popular with the general public. It all depends on whether you’re talking to music fans or those making the music.
Surette says in some ways, the live music scene is thriving in New Brunswick. He does admit that the potential for a decreased interest in people seeing live music is also very real.
“It is kind of hard to predict attendance at shows,” he says. “For what we are doing, it can really be a hit-or-miss kind of situation. In a way, I see attending live shows as being very much a generational thing, where those who have routinely gone to shows over the last decade continue to come out to shows.
“We feel as though people are still hungry for live shows and we’re more than happy to deliver.”
In the immediate future for Diablo Strange is spreading the gospel of Sordid Tales one of the only ways they know how: playing live. Undertaking a national, months-long tour isn’t in the cards due to the band members’ individual jobs and careers, but Surette says the band is hoping to build a regional following before eventually expanding their horizons towards Quebec and Ontario.
“Going on a three month-long tour isn’t in the cards for us but getting the band exposure in new cities is definitely a priority,” he says. “If we can make the odd long weekend out of a run of shows, that will be a bonus.”