So, the latest Music Feature is about a bunch of fellas from Oakville, Ontario who started a band in the year 2000, but broke up in 2006. They spent that time touring with other up-and-comers in that era such as Rise Against and Alexisonfire, rocking their sets full of complex melodic skate punk every time. Well, after a few years of quiet and one-off reunion shows, things happened to realign resulting in the return of The Fullblast!
There’s been a weird degree of separation haunting me when it comes to this band, and I’m going to share it because I can and it’s fun. I first heard about The Fullblast (around 2009) because an ex ladyfriend of mine had one of their tees, but I had learned that they were already defunct and couldn’t go see them. Bummer. A couple of years later (so about 2011), I find myself working at a Zumiez with a certain fella. At this time my band was still in its infancy. He told me stories of being on the road, little tips here and there about promoters, so on and so forth, and I loved these types of conversations. So naturally I was curious and had to find out who he played for. Low and behold, he was the original guitarist for The Fullblast. He suggested I check out a printing shop in Oakville where I should get my band merch done, and that’s where we’ve been ever since.
Fast forward to 2016, at my current job, and I hear there’s some new guy starting in my department. I’m thinking “Oh good, some guy I’m going to have to train. Fun.” Well…turned out he had worked there for years before, did his own thing for a while, then came back – hmmm, I sense a pattern here. Upon meeting this fellow we discover that he actually worked at the place I got my band merch done and that he’d worked on one of our designs. Hah, strange coincidence. Turns out he’s Mr. Andy Lewis, drummer of The Fullblast and my mind is blown. We then spiral into a conversation of all the people we both know, and other forms of common ground. Instant friends! And without these conversations I wouldn’t have had the courage to start this brand up. So thank you Andy, you lovely bastard!
Moving on to the important stuff…you know…the music. The Fullblast released their new EP “Attack.Sustain.Decay” back in February of 2017. Five solid tunes, played fast, played loud, just as you would expect from the Oakville natives. It’s an EP with great production where the intricate underlying guitar riffs really shine (i.e. the tapping in ‘Redemption’), and the drums pack one hell of a punch. The real standout for me, however, is vocalist Ian Stangers’ melodies and lyrics. Stanger combines aggressive punk vocals with catchy pop melodies in the “oh’s” that get stuck in your head for weeks…months….Seriously. His lyrics are widespread but personal, touching on the band’s breakup and reformation, as well as issues around mental health. The EP has garnered hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, and it’s clear why.
The boys returned to the stage playing four sold out shows at Lee’s Palace in Toronto in January supporting moneen’s “Red Tree Anniversary” tour, which also featured a guest opener every night. Having gone to a couple of those shows, the audience grew wilder for The Fullblast as the days went on with increased stage diving and more people singing along to the tunes off of “Contagious Movement Theory” and “Short Controlled Bursts”. It was amazing to see the excitement in their fans who still remembered every single word! Oh yeah, and their pals in Alexisonfire were one of the secret bands one night. Following the success of these shows, they headlined Hamilton’s Northern Rights festival with Protest the Hero’s side project Mystery Weekend, and headlined a couple of shows in London and Toronto (where they were kind enough to wear some of our tee’s!).
In just a few weeks The Fullblast will be heading down to South America with Face to Face and Ignite for the “We Are One Tour” which hits Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica. It’s become very clear that many places around the world have missed them, and hopefully it keeps the band from ever going away again! Dates below.
The Fullblast is:
Ian Stanger - Vocals
Darran Malcolm - Guitars
Brian Robinson - Bass
Andy Lewis - Drums