Interview with Kevin Keegan (Vocals /guitars), Barn Burner (February 2010)


You're a breath of fresh air within the Montreal technical death metal scene of such bands like Kataklysm, Quo Vadis and Cryptopsy. Was this a conscience effort on your part to play a different style, or are your influences just different from death metal?

KK: The funny thing is, I actually used to play in a technical grind core band when I lived in Vancouver but when I moved to Montreal, I started playing in Barn Burner. It's kind of ironic that as soon as I moved to the tech death metal mecca of the world, I stopped playing it. Regardless, I still listen to tons of death metal, Cryptopsy being one of my favorites, but yeah I got tired of trying to cram as many riffs into one song as possible and wanted to start writing songs that were a bit more memorable.

Can you please name the band members and describe what each one brings to the sound of Barn Burner.

KK: Well, we have Taylor on drums who has been compared to Keith Moon in his wild man antics behind the skins. I have a love/hate relationship with Taylor's playing. He'll show up two hours late for everything and I'll be furious with him, but as soon as he starts beating the shit out of his drums, all is forgiven and I want to move to the countryside and start a life together. Nick, although he suffers from acute "fear" as he calls it and often will go weeks without uttering a single coherent word, is the most solid dude in the band. He's the dude that if this band went belly up tomorrow, he'd still manage to keep spirits high with a simple, "Alreeet brother, party on!" Marc is who we call the "foreman" because he is the dude who keeps everything going like clock work. We wouldn't have been organized enough to tie our own shoes without Marc taking care of much of the business. Myself, I have the good fortune of writing songs and having these dudes stick around and play them with me.

When I listen to "Bangers," I hear Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Priestess, Fu Manchu and Corrosion of Conformity. Is this an accurate assessment of your influences? Can you describe your style and influences?

KK: We have been getting those comparisons and I think they are pretty accurate for the most part. None of us were actually big fans of COC or Fu Manchu necessarily, but the comparison makes sense. Our sound has been fluctuating since day one. We started out with a definite Thin Lizzy vibe but we have been moving more and more towards classic sounding metal like Maiden and Judas Priest. Between that and a constant rotation of melodic death metal like Carcass and At the Gates, things are getting heavier by the day.

Explain your joy of being picked up by Metal Blade.

KK: We were joyful indeed. We got overly excited at first and thought our lives were going to change overnight. However, eventually we realized that we still have tons of work to do on our own and just hope they don't drop our sorry asses.

Was "Bangers" already out on New Romance For Kids and then Metal Blade re-released it? Did you have to remix any of the songs?

KK: Yes, Bangers came out originally on Canadian label New Romance for Kids, but it was a very limited release within Canada. Metal Blade decided to release it worldwide and give it the push I think it deserved. The Metal Blade version is different, it has two extra songs and is completely remixed and remastered.

What do you hope to achieve with the re-release of "Bangers"?

KK: We hope to be able to tour like mad men and perhaps make enough money to buy a bag of potatoes and a few beers.

Can you tell me about the artwork? It looks like the skeleton dude wearing a toque is holding a huge bamboo bong. Who created it and what's the concept behind it?

KK: Haha, that is what we call a "wizard stick" that he is holding. It's a drinking game we like to play in which every time you finish a can of beer you tape it to the last beer you drank until you have a giant staff. The one with the longest staff at the end of the night wins! Our friend Cody Fennell created it, he is the mastermind behind the figure you see on the cover, our mascot: Bernard Burner.

Hailing from Bongtreal, as you state on your mySpace page. You guys must really like the sweet leaf!

KK: Actually we are kind of frauds in that department, although we dabble in the leaf, we are more prone to drinking heaps of beer instead.

What tours do you have planned?

KK: We are headed down to SXSW in Texas in a few weeks with some U.S. dates along the way. After that we have a Canadian tour planned for June, some east coast U.S. dates, as well as a European tour in August.

Any last words, comments or statements? Speak your mind please.

KK: Peace in the pit!

Thanks so much for answering my questions and I wish Barn burner the best of luck.

KK: Thank you!


Interviewed by Kelley Simms

Barn Burner - Bangers

Album available on Metal Blade Records.