November 17, 2018

By Colin Burrowes, Spoke News

Chicago’s Voice of Addiction will be making a stop at Harmony Lunch in Waterloo on Friday, Sept. 28, during their upcoming Canadian tour. They are on the road to promote the vinyl release of their album The Lost Art of Empathy and Punk Band, a documentary that captured the disintegration of the 2016 lineup of the band when filmmaker Bradley Pontecore followed them on a five-week West Coast tour.

Punk Band has had a limited theatrical release in the United States and is available for rental and purchase on Vimeo and Amazon.

“It’s basically a photograph of that period,” said bassist Ian Tomele, speaking via Skype about the documentary and the upcoming tour. “It’s kind of a downer in a way. People who were not aware of us before the movie get that snapshot because those people were only in the band for a blink of an eye in the history of its existence… The tagline for the movie could have been ‘Ian spends five weeks on the road with mental illness’, to be perfectly honest.”

The tour Punk Band covered was a learning experience for Tomele, but he says he has no regrets about the portrayal of the band in the documentary.

“I always describe touring as a pirate ship,” said Tomele. “You’re all stuck on that thing together until you get to the end. Everybody is going to have bad days. You’ve got to pick each other up when someone is having a bad day and hope they’ll do the same for you and all you are really trying is not to have a f—ing mutiny on your hands.”

Within a month of the end of the tour in 2016, the other members were out of the band, but Tomele had studio time booked and was not ready to give up.

“Just getting that album made became an enormous process. It was, for the most part, me and the engineer for two weeks, 12 hours a day, in the studio making it happen, so we ended up putting a little bit more time and money into it… but I’m very happy with how it came out. We’ve made a lot of top 10 lists and it’s been selling better than all our other records.”

This is Voice of Addiction’s first time playing Kitchener-Waterloo, but Tomele says they’ve “literally played everything around it.”

“The last tour, we played Guelph and that was a cool show,” said Tomele. “It’s always fun when you’ve been doing this as long as I have, and you get to play somewhere you’ve never played before, which is apparently going to happen in Waterloo.”

The band started when Tomele moved to Chicago in 2002. Tomele started the band with a childhood friend who had moved to Chicago two years earlier.

The first time Voice of Addiction toured Canada was in 2006. Living centrally in Chicago, Tomele has found ways to break touring into three separate legs, instead of one gruelling North American tour.

“It’s harder than ever to stay relevant in 2018,” said Tomele. “Even with touring and playing shows, we want to stay on top of writing and learning new material, so we can get into the studio and get something new out sooner than later.”

The Waterloo concert is being promoted by Kyle Wappler, who has made a name for himself putting on shows for local artists and national touring bands, such as the Cancer Bats, Heart Attack Kids, and The Flatliners, with his promotion company Have Hope.

“I am super stoked to have Voice of Addiction at Harmony Lunch,” said Wappler. “This will be the first time we have worked with the band. It was only recently that I came across them. I checked out their tunes and was floored by the raw intensity of their music.”

By chance Wappler had been putting together an event for Gurth, a young Toronto band, and had space to fill on the date Voice of Addiction wanted to play the area.

“Voice of Addiction has been making some waves through the punk community and definitely deserve your attention,” said Wappler.

Chachi On Acid, Killer Coins, and Gurth will be opening the show at Harmony Lunch, 90 King St. N., Waterloo, Ont. Tickets are available here.

Chicago’s Voice Of Addiction will be playing live at Harmony Lunch in Waterloo with Chachi On Acid, Gurth, and Killer Coins on Friday, Sept. 28. Illustration via Have Hope Shows.

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