Vol. 20 No. 43 • October 23 - 29, 2014 In Our 17th Year Serving Greater Hamilton
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PANTYCHRIST



by Ric Taylor
July 21 – 27, 2005
For the members of Pantychrist, the road leading up to their debut CD, Never Love Anything (Amp Records) has been a mix of the invigorating and the infuriating. The foursome came together when two pairs of friends met by chance in a local bar. For years, they had watched other bands play and felt compelled to voice their own views. When Danielle ‘DanYell’ Delottinville (vocals), Izabelle Steele (guitar), Amy ‘Amy Hell’ Pudjunas (bass) and Patricia ‘Patty Christ’ Reece (drums) came together, a legion of fans would be introduced to a new religion—albeit, one with its own intrinsic crosses to bear. “Right from the first time we started playing, the first comment that we would get is, ‘I didn’t expect you to be so good,’ and that’s because they treat us like a gimmick band,” snarls Reece on the sexism the band has encountered from day one, even from fans. “Because there are four girls they expect that you’re going to suck, and that is sexism flat out. Do you ever see shows that are sold as ‘all boy’ shows? There’d be a lot more women playing if they didn’t have to contend with that. We can’t be hardcore, or a punk rock band—we have to be a girl band. They make being ‘a girl band’ its own genre.” “In the beginning our attitude was a little different towards being an all girl band,” chimes in Delottinville. “We thought it would get us somewhere but we’ve matured a lot and now it’s about being musicians. We’ve grown as a band. At first we thought an all girl band wasn’t really around and it would get us things.” “But it’s not a positive thing—it’s a limitation,” adds Reece. “It used to be one of the first things that we would say, but I’ve learned we’re just a band and it shouldn’t matter that we’re girls.” Despite both Reece and Pudjunas never having played their respective instruments in any other outfit, the foursome were not held back by the limitations of their on–stage experience. Instead, like some of their own heroes, Pantychrist envelop themselves in a cataclysm of energy—and what they lack in technical expertise they make up for in passion. It’s a raw energy that pulses through their veins and gushes out in a fury of sound when they’re on stage. Harkening back to old school hardcore, Pantychrist are rough and rugged punk rock, presented in a gritty and grunty style. The fact that this band is comprised of four women and three moms doesn’t take away from their passion, which comes out in every screech, squeal and squall. With chestnuts like the title track, “Carve My Name Into Your Chest,” “Suicide,” “Rough Me Up” and “The Cunt Song,” Never Love Anything is a declaration of four creative minds coming together for one cause. “The whole thing is about rebellion,” muses Pudjunas. “Three of us are moms, one of us spends 12 hours a day at work. We don’t have a time or place to rebel anywhere else in our life. We’re four girls playing music that we shouldn’t be playing. The name Pantychrist says it all.” “We watched everyone else do it and decided we had something to say,” offers Reece. “Other bands try to sound like their friends’ band. I think it’s hard to put a comparison to the sound of our music. “Danielle does it because she has to,” Reese reasons on the angry attack of the band’s lead singer, “because that’s how she expresses herself.” “I don’t practice dance moves,” laughs Delottinville. “I don’t know what’s going to happen before a show. I don’t go out there planning to smash my face into the floor or trip on something. I get up there and whatever happens just flows with the music depending on my mood. Some shows are really great, others are dead, others more intense. Either way, I have fun.” “We don’t expect to see hundreds of people at our shows,” offers Reece on what draws fans to the live show. “It’d be great if there was, but… It’s not really that we want to shock. We want to write our thoughts, and if they’re shocking, sorry. Sometimes what draws out the fans is a freakshow mentality.” “People want to be scared at a show, just like why they go to see scary movies,” reasons Delott-inville. “They want shock value—that’s what they’re looking for. I do what I do because it’s fun. I like to interact with the crowd, too, because I get into the music and they should get into the music too. I was supposed to play guitar for this band but I ended up just throwing things at people.” What are they rebelling against? The only sane response is to query as Brando did: what do you got? But homages to The Wild One factor less into what Pantychrist is about than the injustice, sexism, racism and alienation that run rampant in society. At a recent outdoor stage in Gage Park, the band had to acquiesce to a temporary name change, relenting to more conservative pressures. Their desire to play the event overcame their disgust at the political ploy. “At first they asked us to use the name The Spanking Mommies, and I was appalled,” winces Reece. “I think child abuse is a lot more offensive to me than a little tongue–in–cheek blasphemy. We were given the name The Punk Rock Mommies, which I still found sexist.” “You wouldn’t find another band being forced to call themselves the Punk Rock Daddies,” notes Delottinville. “We’re not trying to shock but we are trying to rebel, perhaps in a way that we don’t even really understand,” adds Reece. “I hate authority and I teach my children to fit in as best you can but always question everything.” That philosophical bent is the undercurrent to the waves of energy coming from a Pantychrist show, and while hardcore bands are usually relegated to the underground, more and more fans are converting to Pantychristianity. It’s so sacrilicious. The band is stoked for their debut release and the subsequent party. It’s been a couple of years of frantic stage antics, fury–filled performances, furrowed fan eyebrows and, most of all, fun for most involved. This party may be the celebration of the next phase of the band’s career, but for the time being Pantychrist is simply enjoying the moment. “We want to be bigger and get more exposure and I’d like to make a video,” ruminates Reece on the future. “But if it never got any bigger than this? I’m proud of what we have and what we have accomplished. We’d still do it because we love it.” “A free show is a great way to pay back the fans that have supported us along the way,” says Delottinville on one of the aspects of this weekend’s party. “All the street kids that know us, that can’t afford this kind of thing, can come and celebrate what we’ve accomplished. I used to live on the street. I know everyone there. So we’re all going to get toasted and party, like we do. Same show, every time—we’re just going to party a little bit harder because we deserve it, because we’ve been working on this CD so hard.” “People should come out and see this band, because a) we’ll defunct every girl band myth that you have, and b) we rock,” Reece sums up. “Either you’re going to love it or you’re going to leave the building, and either way, I don’t care. That’s what people want—they want their asses rocked off, and that’s what we do. You don’t watch a Pantychrist show and talk to your friend. You stand there praying that the little spitfire doesn’t jump off–stage and spit beer on you, or you’re mesmerized, or you have to leave the building. “If you like the band name you’re going to like the band; if you think it’s a stupid name or if it offends you, then don’t come because you’ll be scared.” Pantychrist releases Never Love Anything this Friday, July 22, at The Underground with Tsunami Death Toll, Snot Rockets and NPR opening. Admission is free and CDs will be for sale at the show. V PANTYCHRIST w/Snot Rockets, NPR and Tsunami Death Toll Friday, July 22 THE UNDERGROUND 41 Catharine St. N. 905.741.7625
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