As this months’ feature we would like to introduce one of our favourite Montreal bands, The Great Sabatini. I’ve been an avid fan of theirs since their inception, and it took a good long while before I missed any of their Montreal shows.
So what’s so great about Sabatini? What keeps us coming back? For starters, their deep sludge experimental sound, and they way they totally disregard conventions and play what they want without holding back. I am a huge fan of how expressive they are on stage, and the energy they all have and exude as a band – not to mention, they’re all pretty awesome dudes.
The Great Sabatini came together as a group in late 2007, and released their first EP Burning Wilderness before heading off on their first coast-to-coast Canadian tour in late 2008. About a year and one line up change later, they released their first full length album Sad Parade of Yesterdays. The founding members included Sean, Joey, Rob and Will (the original drummer, who is now with Irn.) Will was also part of the first tour and is on a number of tracks from the first album, including one of my favourites, “Rosemary’s Abortion.” Although Will’s place as drummer has been filled by Steve Vargas (previously of the band Tugnut), there’s no bad blood between these guys; together with Thom of Animal Ethics, (a past Bucketlist Featured Artist) Sean and Will currently have a side project called Angles (formerly Hell’s Angle.
Touring every year since 2008 and often covering North America, last year marked The Great Sabatini’s first European tour. It was very successful and they have plans to do it again later this year. At present, they have four EPs and three full length albums in their growing catalog. Over the years they have also released a number of creative videos, the latest being “Ditch Diggers Unlimited” from their newest album Dog Years. Produced by Solar Flare, the video is somewhat comical but also intense, starring Steve as he struggles to get to his drum kit in the jam space while being timed by a sinister looking hooded figure.
Another thing you might notice about The Great Sabatini is that so much of the related art work is done by Sean a.k.a Wurmzilla who, aside from being a talented musician and writer, is also an accomplished artist who has worked with many other musicians, and is a professional tattooer at DFA Tatouage.
If you want to see these guys live you’ll have an opportunity very soon when they play ‘Foufs on April 17th. The Great Sabatini will be helping to celebrate and say goodbye to their figurative and literal brothers in Endast, who will be playing their last show. Also playing will be Crosstitution, Delta Oscar Tango (DOT), and Out Of The Ruins. This show is going to be one for the books.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by James Arsenian