Duane Timbers grew up in the area around the time that punk broke the first time around some forty years ago but didn’t start his first band until nine years ago and we only spoke about Prior Convictions’ recordings some three years ago. Timbers is coming into his own in 2020 with more activity than ever.
Timbers and the latest in carnation of Prior Convictions — including long time collaborator John Shields and new recruits Matt Ricci, Shane Anderson and Dan Beaudoin — have a release show for their newest EP, dubbed Lace Up Them Boots, happening next month but the single from that EP, “Bought and Sold” has been released as a split 7–inch with Kitchener’s Back Breaker and it also makes it as the first track of a new punk rock compilation. At fifty–seven, the former Canada Post employee is now retired and Timbers is seemingly trying to make all of his musical fantasies realities. The Lockdown Records label is set to release the first half of a four volume punk rock compilation album with a massive 16 band showcase at the Casbah.
“I’ve been a punk since 1977 loving the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones but punk has grown into so many different genres — these days I’m doing what I want, what I love, which is music,” says Timbers. “Prior Convictions began in 2013 and over the years, we’ve had some members come and go — it’s been a bit of a challenge but I think every band goes through that but we’ve got a new crew, a good solid line up and we’re recording again and having a lot of fun again. Me and John are in our fifties and the new guys are in their thirties but we’ve go a mix of new punk and old school, which is better for creativity. The new music is more modern with a NOFX style but I was never one to judge what we sounded like.
“The boys and I were joking around saying, ‘we’ll never be signed to any label’ so we decided to start our own label,” adds Timbers. “Dan had the title Lockdown Records Canada already so we went with it to release our own material. Then during a jam session someone suggested let’s put out a compilation, get 10 or 20 bands to submit songs and put it out but the whole think exploded to four compilation albums and 73 bands with a ton waiting. We’ve got bands submitting from the US and Europe and more, new bands, old bands, some veterans have recorded songs just for these releases.”
The compilations have a lively although not exhaustive Hamilton contingent that includes some thirteen entries from the likes of The Letdowns.ca, Artificial Dissemination, Youth On Drugs, Adelleda, D*Files, Barbed Wire Braces, Danger Death Ray, Wiggler, Doug Helle, martianrebel and more, while bigger names from around Ontario also make the list like The Liquor Pigs, Armed and Hammered, Random Killing, as well as Steve Stumble and the Lucky Ones. But with the music industry and particularly labels in a downward spiral over the last couple of decades, is it wise business for a punk upstart? Well, Ontario punks believe so and have bolstered the idea for Timbers and company.
“Compilation albums were great but not a lot of people are doing them these days because it’s a lot of effort and time and money but I thought it’d be a lot of fun so why not do it and the response has been overwhelming,” says Timbers. “I go back the era of K–Tel records where you can get various compilations of bands from the ’60s and ’70s. I used to love finding a band you never heard of and then going out to buy their album.
“We’re trying to do the same kind of thing with these albums and showcase the amazing scene we have in Ontario,” adds Timbers. “There are a ton of bands and a ton of talent. Hamilton is well represented here but there are more to be included — we were thinking of doing a Hamilton VS Toronto compilation but we’ll have to see how things go with these albums.”
With high hopes for a great promotional opportunity and a provincial punk community developing project, the Lockdown Records release show will have a smattering of bands from the compilation including Doug Helle, Wiggler, The Dominion, Danger! Death Ray, Nancy Vicious and the Nasty Bitches, Trauma Lanes, 4HATEU8, the Letdowns.ca, the Discarded, Stand Against Fear, Dirty Bird, Galgas, D*Files, The Essential Letdowns, Back Breaker and Welland Wasted. Prior Convictions is notably absent from this show but fans can rest assured, Timbers’ own band is planning a release party for their EP at the Corktown on April 10.
“This might be my first step towards maybe a punk rock picnic of sorts so there are a lot things in the works and we’ve secured the dates for the second release party for Volumes 3 and 4 at This Ain’t Hollywood on June 27,” says Timbers. “We’ve got sixteen bands going on hard and fast with fifteen minute sets — It’s going to be a fantastic evening of punk rock. A lot of people wanted to play the first showcase but there's a lot of scheduling concerns and this is who could make this show.
“Prior Convictions and the label are going strong and you can expect more music from us and more compilations through the rest of the year,” adds Timbers. “For this show, there will be a lot of beer drinking, a lot of old friends reuniting, a lot of band merch available so bring lots of money with you. I’m having fun and hopefully we get a lot of people out and the interest is exciting and more people want to get involved.” V
Lockdown Records Punk Rock Compilation Showcase happens Friday March 20 at the Casbah. Doors are at 8 pm and $10 gets you in. Click on lockdownrecordscanada.bandcamp.com