I caught up with a few anarchists changing the world one bar, musical or otherwise, at a time by dropping lyrical bombs wherever they go. Practicing what they preach, the tour marches through Canada, North an South, pushed along in a veggie fuelled VW. These mild-mannered MCs may sound gentle, but they explode when someone puts mics in their hands. Nancy O's transformed into fiend generator, March 26th 2013, with these three cranking out the amps.
Head over to the Alberta Brood website to see the interview in its entirety.
What’s your name? Testament: We tour under “Test Their Logik” I’m one half, I go by Testament. He (referring to his partner in crime) goes by Illogik. (The server brings us our beer) Cheers. (raises glass)
To a good show. Where are you guys coming from? T: We just did a show in Merrit, BC, last night.
Cool. How long have you guys been touring together. T: We [Test Their Logik] met up with Lee in Vancouver. Test Their Logik, as a group set out from Toronto and toured to Vancouver. Now that we met up with Lee we’re going to interior BC and the prairies.
Where are you headed to in the prairies? Are you heading to Grande Prairie area? T: No sadly, we’re headed to Smithers BC tomorrow, and making a few more stops before getting to Edmonton.
Where are you guys coming from? Illogik: Toronto.
OK, Test T heir Logik, and Lee Reed are all from out east, but met up in Vancouver to work their way back. Ill: Yeah, Test and I are from Toronto, and Lee is from Hamilton.
So how did the folks at CFUR radio know to book you. Lee Reed: Probably through a mutual friend. This guy named Tehreek, he went by Mother Tehreeka.
All right. Lee: I met him in Hamilton. He moved to Victoria, then at some point came to Prince George. Pretty sure he had a radio show at CFUR. He’s moved back to Hamilton and does shows out there now. We all know him well.
Well that explains the connection. So you guys drove the whole way out west, hitting venues all the way along? Lee: Actually these guys have been on tour a lot longer than I have. I work a pretty regular office job, so I flew out to meet them in Vancouver.
Test: I’ve been on our Colony Collapse tour since January 1st. This is pretty much a continuation of that tour. We got back from South Korea and spent about 2 or 3 days in Toronto then hit the road again.
South Korea eh? What’s it like over there right now? T: Cold. I guess it’s cold here too. (laughs) Lots of struggle and lots of occupation going on though. They recently elected their first female President, [Park Geun-hye]. She’s the daughter of South Korea’s former dictator turned President [Park Chung-hee]. So it’s pretty interesting right now.
Holy shit yeah. Looks like it stands to get more interesting too. I know Lee is pretty political in his music, what about Test Their Logik? T: Yep. A wee little bit. (smiles) Lee: (laughing) A lot more than I am.
(grin) I can’t wait to see this show tonight. (To Lee) You were born Lee Raback, correct? Lee: That’s right, Lee Raback.
Is your stage name, in part, a homage to Lou Reed then? Lee: In part. When I stopped with Warsawpack and knew I was going solo I toyed with a bunch of names really. I liked the idea of using my real name, or a least a real name. After bouncing a few around I liked “Lee Reed” a lot mostly because of the Lou Reed connotation. I love that his legacy was more respected, than honoured with cash.
Yeah, he almost avoided mainstream popularity entirely. It’s amazing that he could have easily jumped into the spotlight and had it all, but simply chose not too. Lee: It is incredible.
You keep your headquarters in Hamilton? Lee: Yep, I work there, I live there, and it’s a good place to make music out of. A lot of great music comes out of there.
A pretty strong music scene exists in Hamilton doesn’t it? Lee: Yes, very strong. A lot of great venues exist too; some host live music 5-7 nights a week. For a city that size it probably manages to host more acts compared to other similar places. It’s a great place to make music out of as well, because it doesn’t have much of a media structure in place like Toronto, Vancouver, or Montréal does, it relies much more on word-of-mouth to relay quality music. So it’s an honest place to make music, not a lot of pretension.
Hamilton has a little more blue-collar to it than most art scenes. Lee: Very much so, it’s also a small enough place that you can really get to know people. A lot of cross-pollination happens between people. They collaborate with each other. You see it more often now with the hip-hop artists. Every guitarist in Hamilton is part of 2½ bands. You know what I mean? A lot of the really good front-people are part of multiple projects as well. Hamilton has a very hybridized music environment.
So you would say you have an HQ, you’re not necessarily a ramblin’ wanderer of Canada. Lee: No, I would like to do that though. At some point, if I thought there was enough support, I would tour a lot more than I do now, but it’s hard. Traveling with these guys (Testament & Illogik) makes it interesting. They’re a lot more vagabond about music than I am, especially Testament. He constantly travels, plays, and distributes books and info. He doesn’t just do shows, but presents at book fairs and workshops as well. Rambling across the nation is something I’d like to do, but… small steps. I’m just getting into the idea of playing out of town and seriously taking music on the road. The couple years I’ve just played around Hamilton and southern Ontario. So I’m just starting to get back on the road again.
Do you guys write as well? Publish books or any type of material? Test: I’m part of a publishing collective called crimethinc. I mainly make material related to anarchy and revolution.
Does that involve manifestos, poetry or… Test: A little of that, poetry comes out too, covering current events and the world of resistance. Books also come out, some detailing different practices you can use, when engaged in struggle. More poetic content comes out the collective as well. The most recent book is an analysis of present day capitalism, including the different positions people play up and down the capitalist structure. It tries to debunk a lot of mythologies around work, and how you’re mutually conditioned to work more and more…
Find the rest HERE.