Hunter City Madness

Originally posted at (SLR-GIRL) on November 6, 2009.

Wearing a black and lime green George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelics (P-Funk) “Funkadelic” t-shirt with jeans and black Airwalk sneakers, Justin Gow is a far cry from his early days performing covers at his grade seven talent show.

In the midst of going to school at Algonquin College for Journalism and going in and out of Montreal for recording sessions, Gow took some time to sit down with me and talk about his life as a musician, fronting his southern metal/rock/hardcore band, Hunter City Madness.

During his 1st performance at the Stephen Leacock Public School talent show, and not feeling so confident in his abilities at the time, Gow found himself having to perform all alone up on stage for the first time ever.

“There have been plenty of times that I’ve been nervous, but i was really nervous then,” said Gow, 21. “My music teacher Mr. Powers basically convinced me to do it cause I wasn’t going to, but I did anyways. I played Green Day’s ‘Time of Your Life’. I messed up and forgot words, chords, the tune at one point, a bridge… but looking back it was a good decision to go on.”

Gow has no problem playing such easy songs as ‘Time of Your Life’ now-a-days. Quoting Every Time I Die as one of his favourite bands because they are “crazy, dirty, funny, shitty dudes,”  it’s no surprise that Justin has moved on to bigger and better things, playing clubs and venues in Both Ottawa and Montreal as often as possible.

“I’m glad I did it then cause otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten any good feedback and wouldn’t have been motivated to keep going and trying to get better,” said Gow. “I wouldn’t be where i am now.”

With the release of their first EP, See You In Hell, recorded at Red Dusk Studios in Saint Hysinthe, just outside of Montreal, Gow and Hunter City Madness find themselves in a great place for sure.

Before getting to this point, however, Gow discovered how hard it is to go on tour, especially for the first time, in the summer of 2009.

“We were on tour for 2 weeks making stops in places such as Kingston, Quebec City, Toronto and Windsor, as well as others along the way,” said Gow.

Although the Chubby Pickle in Windsor may have been the biggest venue the band played while on tour, joining two other local bands, one of the most memorable stops on the tour for Gow was the show in Kingston at the Frog Hop along Kingston’s Princess Street.

“We met up with some people who came up form Ottawa to see us play,” said Gow. “After the show, we went and partied in the forest on some land that my buddy owns and camped out for the night.”

Not only did the band members book the tour themselves, they also built up their on little trailer to get from place-to-place.

“We built a shitty trailer made of wood on top of an old trailer and pulled it with my five-person Intrepid,” laughed Gow.

After finishing the recording of their EP,  Hunter City Madness started playing more shows in Ottawa again preparing for a  chance to go on tour for round two, perhaps this time with a little more than a “shitty little trailer.”


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