They Stay Dead, Joy Subtraction

They Stay Dead

Past and present members of: Wretch Like Me, Minutes Too Far, Euclid Crash & Black Flag/Screeching Weasel

Joy Subtraction

The subtraction of joy. It's not a new concept—individuals and organizations have been engaging in it for as long as there have been individuals and organizations. Some notable practitioners include the U.S. Congress, girlfriends and wives, Mel Gibson, anyone who thinks Ayn Rand had good ideas, Jonathan Franzen, Nazis, Gwen Stefani, every chamber of commerce, and Ted Nugent. But there is an entity that has made the practice a fine art, elevated it to a level higher than Mount Olympus. Because it's one thing to subtract joy—anyone can do that. But that is merely one tine of a forked tongue. That's just nihilism. There's no greater purpose being served. The trick is to subtract the joy of others while maximizing one's own pleasure. That's when Joy Subtraction can become art.

It didn't start out that way. The band had noble intentions. "It began as a vehicle to transmit the plight of the oppressed, a sort of electric clarion call, if you will," says one of the members. "But then my wife got this killer corporate gig as an attorney, so now we find that our interests often conflict with those of the oppressed. It's really hard for us. On the one hand, you want to care, but, on the other, you don't want to lose any money. So I'm still finding my artistic voice. This country has been so bad to so many people, but it's been so good to me and my family that I'm tending to look the other way. We'll see what shakes out." Of course, what started as looking the other way inevitably became the active dismaying of those around him, and that ethos soon became the modus operandi of the entire band.

Regarding the music, Joy Subtraction sounds like whatever you hate; whatever makes you feel ugly and insecure; whatever garnishes your wages. Do you like Radiohead? Joy Subtraction sounds like the exact opposite of Radiohead. Do you hate Black Flag, Burning Brides, NoMeansNo, Future of the Left, and The Beatles? Good—because Joy Subtraction kind of sounds like all of those bands rolled into one. Except way better.

Regarding your feelings, ha ha ha ha ha. Do you want things to work out for humankind? Joy Subtraction is here to tell you they won't. Do you like good times and great oldies?
Joy Subtraction likes the day the music died. Do you think Jesus wants you to be rich and successful, white and thin? JS is here to tell you he doesn't. He wants you to be killed and eaten by poor people.

Do you want math with your metal? Steam with your punk? Psycho with your billy? Stoner with your rock? Art with your house? Hip with your hop? Power with your pop? Alt with your country? Hard with your core? Shoe with your gazing? Well, piss off— you'll get whatever gruel JS decides to sling your way. Lap it up, lapdog.

Do you think glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity? Of course you don't—you're American. Well, so is Joy Subtraction. That and greed are the only things you both have in common. But it's enough, isn't it? So break out your mom's wallet and buy their music. Do it for capitalism. Do it for American especialism. Do it before your mom loses her job. Do it before we all go up in flames. Because, as Joy Subtraction will be the first to tell you, the firestorm's coming. It's on its way now. Feel the heat? You will.

Black Cat Attack

For decades, Punk bands have been split up into sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres based off of everything from sound, to content, to hairstyle but those bands worthy of praise often find themselves making music between those lines and turning the expectation for whatever style fans see them as having on its head. Black Cat Attack (BCA) is one of those bands.

Marrying dark lyrical themes and the soft melodic vocals typically associated with Horror Punk acts with a rhythm section based on the hard, fast and driving bass and drums of the Hardcore movement has helped BCA carve out a place in Southern Ontario's music scene that is truly their own.

"Since we've gone through such a huge change over the last few years we're kind of a different band now," said Valerie Knox, the band's guitarist, leader and only original member.

Originally seeing BCA as an outlet for her love of Rockabilly and traditional Horror Rock, time and line-up changes have morphed the band into something different and something more.

With Oshawa Punk rock standout Bryan Dickface bringing his thunderous bass skills and a stage presence that few can match to the line up, BCA took a step in a different direction. Now, with seasoned drummer, Ari Greenberg added to the band in 2011, BCA had solidified their brand of dark, eerie punk.

After releasing their first studio recording, a 7-track, 15-minute party starter titled Lonely Horror Stories, BCA started turning up in reviews and websites internationally. From America to Russia, horror themed music fans are taking notice and rightly so, BCA are one of those rare bands that that can rebuild styles and expectations.

BCA is currently recording their second studio album with Producer Dave Baksh, and Engineer James Welsh. Black Cat Attack can be contacted directly through their Facebook fan page:, or by email:



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