Local hardcore band Sinner played a roaring set and released their second EP, “In Filth” on January 13th. Alongside other locals Camper and Headrush, as well as two Toronto-based bands, Cold Shoulder and Speaker, Sinner played an intense set to a crowded, raucous Mikado’s Bar and Lounge.
“The best description I’ve come across is blackened hardcore,” said Phil, Sinner’s vocalist, in order to answer the problematic question of how to describe one’s own sound. “We’ve got quite a few black metal influences and then heavy breakdown riffs that transcribe into hardcore. We kind of play by our own rules.”
Peter, one of the band’s two guitarists, affirmed that it’s difficult to describe. What defines the band is that they don’t sound like any other bands.
“We don’t like to cloud ourselves with genre barriers,” continued Phil.
“We just play what we like to play,” added guitarist Kyle.
Tom, the drummer of the group, asserts that they’ve tried to blend a lot of timeless influences in heavy music, in order to create their own, unique sound.
On influences, Kyle is the first to put forward Rob Zombie as influential and inspirational. For drums, Tom prefers those who keep it simple. As opposed to Slipknot’s Joey Jordison’s insane, technical drumming, he loves Lars from Metallica. He keeps it simple and beats the drums.
“I try to keep my drum set up pretty minimal. Just what I need and nothing more,” explained Tom.
“For my personal influence, I don’t think it would be anything music-wise,” said Phil. “I’d like to think that I’m influenced by everyday occurrences. This music is certainly an outlet for me to express certain topics and opinions that normally you can’t talk about with regular people. Sometimes situations in life that put you down are the biggest influences. I like to tell stories with the lyrics. If something bad happens, I don’t dwell on it but it might be reflected in my lyrics.”
Although the lyrics are neither political nor philosophical, they are often fictional stories inspired by real life events. Their newest EP “In Filth” deals with familial relationships, but often the darker shades of them.
The goal of the group, resoundingly, is to keep playing music. To drive around and keep playing music they like in shows to new people is the goal. You always have to be prepared to be disappointed, too, added Phil.
The EP released last Friday has been in the works since last year. After releasing their first EP last August, the group kept writing. Five songs later, “In Filth” was complete. On their process, the group agreed that their process is often left to jamming. Through simply coming together and playing, Sinner finds their way to new ideas, melodies and rhythms, and take the process forward from there.
Although Phil writes all the lyrics, he first plans out vocal patterns. That way, when he does catch an idea, it’s like placing the pieces of a puzzle together. Some of the members are multi-instrumental, but Trent was singled out as a “Jack of all trades”.
“I just bought a synth,” said Trent, the group’s bass player. “I just do whatever I need to do. If I feel like I want to build a pedal, I’ll look it up and then build a pedal. If I want to do some wood working, I’ll look it up and then I’ll do it.”
The rest of the band, at this point, began to chime in with other things Trent does. Among them: tech guy, sets up the PAs, gear guy and driver.
“We wouldn’t be able to leave the city without Trent,” noted Tom.
As a final question, I asked the group what their favourite song was. An immediate, resounding answer came: “Rot”. Sinner alleged that the song was what they felt their sound is in a single piece.
“St. Catharines is at a point now where a lot of bands are coming out of this area, all sounding very different,” said Tom. “I’m really happy with the music scene.”