Metal, rap, turntables and Greasy-B

By Nicole Kobie

A few people may learn to play an instrument or start a garage band to escape the dullness of every day life.

The members of the Calgary heavy metal rock/rap band, Hiatus, do much more. According to guitarist Sean O’Grady, getting away from everyday life is just what Hiatus means.

"[That name] describes the attitude and feeling when we play as a unit," he said. "It’s a complete break from the other aspects of our lives. We’re all basically working stiffs. Its not realistic to expect to make a living doing original music."

Hiatus started in the spring of 1997 as a three-piece band and O’Grady was joined by Tim Malcolm on bass and Jeff Towers on drums. The band traveled to Vancouver to record their EP, #1202. Shortly afterwards, two new musicians were added: Greasy-B on vocals and Grassy Knoel on turntables.

"This changed our sound from a heavy three piece to a heavy five piece with rap vocals, sampling and scratching," explained O’Grady.

Hiatus wrote songs for their new release over the past year. The band shares songwriting duties, with Greasy-B handling around 95 per cent of the vocal content.

"Tim, Jeff and myself write all the music, Grease takes care of the vocals and then Grassy adds his flavours and colours to the mix," said O’Grady. "Voila! It’s not rocket science but it works well for us. The writing process in this band is really smooth.

"People will be able to relate to the lyrics in some way or another, while being able to enjoy some hard grooves and some smooth DJ work," said O’Grady of the songs on the new CD, Instigator. "The songs on the album all carry heavy themes relating to all of our past and personal experiences. This album is meant to be an eye opener."

As any independent band does, Hiatus spends a lot of time on the road, playing frequently in Salmon Arm, Edmonton, Vancouver and of course, Calgary. The release of Instigator allows Hiatus to hit the road with a product to sell, which should help maintain interest in other cities. The band will be touring to help promote the CD

"Our live shows tell the story," said O’Grady of touring. "[They are] therapeutic for both us, and the audience. There is a ton of attitude and a whole whack of aggression."