For DIY punks and dirty hardcore enthusiasts, listening to Animal Ethics is like putting on an old, comfortable t-shirt: it fits perfectly, is worn in all the right spots, and makes you feel like you never left the pit. This quartet from Montréal, Québec, Canada has been together since 2012 and maintains a staunch focus on delivering what they themselves refer to as “noisy punk rock destruction”. With their new ball-tearing LP Human Riots in the can, a blunt-as-a-sledgehammer video for lead single ‘Ritual Sacrifice’, and plans to play any venue that will have them, shit’s getting real. So, isn’t it about time someone tracked them down and learned a bit more about them? Bucketlist thinks so and thus we had the pleasure to chat with guitarist/vocalist Thomas Aurele about the band and what keeps them in existence.
Your video for ‘Ritual Sacrifice’ seems to align historical, political actions with the predatory aspect of the animal kingdom. Is this intentional?
This is exactly what the name ‘Animal Ethics’ is about. Our name has absolutely nothing to do with the animal rights movement, it’s all about the ruthless, predatory nature of corrupt politicians, police and capitalistic corporations.
Right, so with such a strong intent, does Animal Ethics aspire to achieve anything in terms of social or political action?
Not really. Even though we have songs that are very political in nature, the only thing we’re really trying to do is put our view forward. It would be awesome if people acted on the issues in our songs and whilst we encourage people to think, it’s not our goal to control our audience, quite the opposite in fact.
Hmm, it’s hard for me to describe what the crowd goes through because usually I’m going pretty hard on the head-banging and screaming myself. For us it’s just a cathartic experience: let’s get all the steam we have inside OUT! We turn into different people when we’re on stage and, to be honest, I don’t remember much about performances. It’s like there’s a fuse burning down before the show and the second the first song starts….it’s akin to fireworks going off in a microwave!
So when and where can people experience this fireworks-in-a-microwave phenomenon?
Well, right now we have a small Québec and Ontario tour planned for November and we’re hoping to do a full coast-to-coast Canadian tour in the spring. Our live shows are very important to us and we would like to tour every country in the world eventually. People can keep track of our upcoming gigs on our facebook page.
Whilst you are touring the latest Human Riots LP, you also have the songs from your debut EP up your sleeves, too. Which of all these songs do you prefer playing live?
I love playing all of them. I still love playing the songs from the EP as much as I do the new songs. I just love them all equally, like a parent love’s their children.
And how does that process come to fruition? What is the song-writing and recording process like for such a high energy band?
The song’s just come out of pure energy and release! There is absolutely zero time put into moulding the songs into something easer to listen to or structurally more traditional. We write the songs and record demos of them on the spot. There have been days where we could easily write and demo up to five songs in an hour. Getting the songs ready for the studio is a slightly more staged process. Human Riots took about thirty hours of studio time. The process involved laying the guitars down to a programmed beat and then taking the guitar tracks into the studio to lay the actual drums and the vocals down. The atmosphere in these sessions is great: plenty of THC and cigarette smoke wafting through the air, that’s for sure.
So, in an effort to get people down to your shows, how would you describe the band’s sound and what are the influences that inform the band as a whole?
Man, for us this is fucked up! We listen to so much stuff that sounds completely different to Animal Ethics. For example; last night we got drunk and listened to Fine Young Cannibals! Having said that, some of the bands we do really dig are: The Great Sabatini, Fightface, Dany Laj and the Looks, Post Haste, The Faggots, SHIT TAX and The Killing Fields.
So why not download their songs, learn the lyrics and go and join in at the shows? They may not be Fine Young Cannibals but they are metaphorically placing fireworks into microwaves on a regular basis. What else do you want from a live band?