It is no question that Kill of Rights have a significant group of well-experienced metal heads including Jacques Dupuis, singer of Countdown Zero, Kiran Mehta of Jackboot and the Oppressors, Bill Thompson of Mister Monster, and Marc Prevost from Top Johnny. Eddie Shahini of Dead Brain Cells decided to start Kill of Rights because he felt he wasn’t getting enough out of DBC. 80s thrash band Kill of Rights was born in 2009. The man is multi-talented. Not only does he play guitar in his band, but he also designs all the artwork for the band as well. Shahini took the time to allow me to ask him some questions about Dead Brain Cells, the possibility of a tour, his experiences judging the En Route Vers Heavy competitions, and future plans for his band, Kill of Rights. Their next show will be July 4th. Click here for more details.
What made you decide to start Kill of Rights, and not just push Dead Brain Cells further? You mention it “wasn’t enough” and wanted to push something more. What wasn’t enough?
Well, the original drummer doesn’t play for us anymore, and our guitarist Jerry passed away back in 1994. So we had two replacements that live in Halifax and they’re far. Phil was in Toronto, now he is in London, England. He is coming here in August, so that’s good news. DBC was more of a reunion show that we usually do every two years. Actually, we’re probably due now. It wasn’t a band where we wanted to create new music or record again. I then got the itch and realized I had all this music that I wrote from 1986 -2013 that wasn’t recorded and felt it was time to start a new band. I found the best five guys, went in the studio last year, recorded all thirteen songs, and Sign of the Crimes was made.
What do you hope to accomplish with the new album? You have been playing local shows – any upcoming tours outside Montreal?
Well, the idea is to definitely make our money back, so I have to sell this record. It’s a challenge when we are used to having a record label behind us and we get thousands of sales. It’s different without having a label behind you. We are going with word of
mouth at this moment. We just played two shows so far. We did our first show on March 15th at Il Motore, and our next show is July 4th. It will be a real introduction to the metal community because the first show was mostly our friends that came, and the second show was a Wednesday night, so there weren’t too many people, so I am hoping July 4th we will really introduce ourselves to the metal crowd. There will be followers of the other bands and hopefully the crowd will like us and then the next show will be a little bigger. Just like DBC’s first show – we backed up some big hardcore bands and we made a following. We are hoping by next year we will have a nice following. We would stick to playing in town. Toronto or Quebec City would be nice too. We are all older now and don’t think we could do big tours. I am happy with the outcome of the record, so now it’s just getting the word out there.
I hear a lot of 80s thrash influence on the album and with the song writing over the span of 28 years, I could hear the different styles popping out. Your album cover seems made more for a hardcore album as well. What inspired you with this design, and sound of the record?
Well, the sound – I wrote the music over the years. Some are even DBC songs like the last one which is a tribute to Quebec Metal where I got Snake from Voivod singing on it. That’s an old DBC song that never had lyrics. Then there are a few riffs that are DBC. The sound is my sound and I guess a little bit of influence of everything I have been working on over the years. Jacques Dupuis, our singer comes from an hardcore background which lead to the lyrics being about everything that he is pissed off about in the world; mostly environmental stuff, justice, stuff like that. So listening to this album – not that it’s a concept album – the lyrics influenced me to do the cover. I wanted a time capsule of what we’re going through today to pass on to generations. Looking at the big picture.
Have you proposed to the DBC guys about making a new DBC EP yet? If so, what would you do differently?
Yeah, we spoke about it a year ago. Phil really wants to re-record songs that were recorded on our third demo album that were never released. But I said, let’s maybe get some new material, even if it’s just three songs.
What would we do differently? Our first album was a very hardcore/thrash metal album. On the second album we really went crazy because we got to know each other more as musicians and got a lot more technical, then on the third, which was the demo album, kind of brought it back to the first album. We want more songs that are still heavy and fast, more chorus, and more verse. I think we could go back to that where it’s a little catchy and memorable.
If you were to play Heavy Montreal, which band would you prefer to play? DBC or Kill of Rights? Are you planning on signing up for the En Route contest next year?
BOTH! Haha. I’m actually going to work on that. We were the first Montreal band to get signed to a U.S. label. I think it would be an honour to play the festival. I go every year and look at how much it has grown.
What was your experience like judging the En Route Vers Heavy competitions? Any bands in particular that stood out for you? Disappointments?
It was a great time! I got to meet lots of great people; Slaves on Dope, members of Evenko. The food was great! Free beer! Can’t go wrong there! I really liked Pointe Blank Rage. They reminded me of our Universe album- not the singing, but the music. They were very heavy. I thought Red Skies were really good. I liked a lot of their grooves. It was a shock a metal band did not win the contest. The metal community doesn’t have much support and we finally have this festival to represent some big metal names and we don’t even have a metal band that won. But Eagle Tears are amazing, they’re great, I just hope the Slayer crowd won’t tear them down!
Written and compiled by Liz Imperiale