Five Questions With The Ticks

Nanaimo, BC-based three-piece rock band, The Ticks are re-releasing “Rats”, a grungy indie alt-rock epic about the frailties of humanity, specifically the need to alter oneself to fit into a given group.

We see this all the time with politicians, business professionals, musicians, etc., and “Rats” is calling them out. Beginning with a ’90s era chord progression, “Rats” morphs into a palm mute jam as the vocals chant “You would be no fun / without your guns. You would be no fun / without your drugs.”

“The lyrics are a take on public image and how people change themselves to fit it,” lead singer Kyle Maciejowski says.

The vocals become coarse and dissonant guitar bends, steady bass, and rhythmic drums fill the chorus, reminiscent of something found on Nirvana’s Bleach. Soon after, a bright and lead guitar chimes in bringing the track to a close. And it begs for a second or third listen.

“We wanted a simple hard rock song that anyone could pick up and play,” Kyle says.

Check out “Rats” below, and find out more about The Ticks via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

We are the Ticks. A three-piece rock band, from Nanaimo, BC, made up of members Kyle Maciejowski (Guitar, Vocals), Scott Reynolds (Bass, Backing Vocals), and Zack Riddle (Drums, Vocals). We create a variety of music that fits in the genres of indie rock, hard rock, punk, and alternative pop—either way, it’s always raw and it’s always loud. We started playing because music was simply fun. There wasn’t a ton of knowledge of music between us. Kyle was a self-taught guitarist and amateur songwriter and Scott and Zack had only yet dabbled with playing music. Together we shared what we knew and began playing and writing as an actual band. Soon we found ourselves infatuated with it all. As our writing increased and improved our sound developed into what we are now.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

We like to keep things simple for the most part. Most songs revolve around basic chord progression with a crunchy tone and a driving rhythm section. We find that this style of music brings raw energy and a sense of relatability to listeners. Usually, there will be a rough draft of a song that someone brings to the band. After that everyone writes their own parts to it and we play it live together until we find an end result we are all happy with. Sometimes having a talk about the direction of a song can help but simply playing it usually works out the kinks. Lyrics usually happen quickly in the writing process of our songs. They are often introspective and are put together to describe the frailties of humanity, but at the same time, they are just a collection of thoughts and emotions that happen day today. All of our creative processes take place at our home/garage studio. It allows for a free and collaborative writing process all the way through to a finished product. Written, recorded, and produced from home while being mixed and mastered by our close friend Burke. This space has allowed us to expand our music and writing style.

What have you been doing to keep yourself creative during the pandemic?

I don’t think we had too much trouble remaining creative but whenever there is a lack of inspiration we like to be active. We enjoy going out hiking, climbing, and playing golf. Between all of our hobbies, it can be hard to fit everything in, so it always feels exciting to be back playing as a band. After coming home from our full-time jobs we are always happy to switch gears into our passion, what we really love, the music! Staying with the theme of house we have spent lots of time in the last year learning all about different editing and producing software, which has been a challenge all on its own.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Our song, ‘Tits for Jesus’ is one of the new releases coming out on the deluxe version of ‘Creatures’. It’s set to drop on all major platforms in late August. The song is a lot of fun with a rhythm that can drive almost anyone to get up and dance, yet maintains the crunch of stadium rock song. It is a great example of us blending the genres we love, and it really encapsulates the full spectrum of our sound.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

The most recent Canadian band we’ve really enjoyed listening to is Zeus, their compositions are always interesting and inviting to the listener. We also listen to The Sheepdogs, The Tragically Hip, and Daniel Romano quite a bit around our house. Black Mastiff is another great band worth mentioning, and of course, Neil Young. And of course king Chad.

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