Sunday, 23 March 2014

Interview with MILLION DOLLAR FIX

Our good friend Cat Jones at Southern Cross PR advised me multiple times to check out today's guests on Sludgelord. I finally relented. I shouldn't really doubted Cat's musical tastes as she knows what she is talking about.

So I checked out the new EP - Psychedelephant – and I give it a few listens and I was hooked by the EP's style of Hard Rock and Stoner Metal riffs. Plus it doesn't hurt it has some Thin Lizzy style riffs thrown in for good measure as well.

I am talking about – MILLION DOLLAR FIX. A hard-rocking band who have already released 1 well received début album – BILLYGOAT – back in 2012.

But it's their new EP where the band are starting to make a name for themselves. I originally called the EP:

These Stoner Rockers have a great style of their own. High energy Hard Rock/Stoner Rock that pays respect to legendary bands such as Sabbath and Thin Lizzy while still having their own great sound. The 21 minute EP is an action packed ride from start to finish. 

Million Dollar Fix have delivered a hard-rocking EP that will have fans drooling with excitement. Lets see what they can do on their next full length record.”

I decided to interview these guys as they did a brilliant and funny as hell interview with ace UK Sludge/Doom/Stoner Webzine – The Sleeping Shaman and it's a great read. Highly Recommended. So I have decided to interview these insane Stoner Rockers as well.


Q1 – Hi Guys. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you all today?

Logan: Things are rad! Had a good day up in the far north, although it’s the second day of spring its cold as fuck! Just un-thawing a little!

Shibby: Pretty good day considering it’s a Friday, love what I do right now for work but Id sure rather be drumming full time!

 Brad: Just started a new job! Highlight of the day was getting home and baking cookies for the band! Chocolate chip!

Keegan: Mmmmmm Friday how tasty!!

Q2 – Can you give our readers a brief history of how the band started and where it is today.

Logan- the band started in 2010 with Shibby, Keegan, and me at a house party. It was a crazy night with loads of people. We were all musicians and the house had loads of gear so naturally we started jamming. Brad was also there that night but since the drum kit was lacking in hardware he ended up holding a rack tom for Shibby to bash on.

Shibby- Fast forward three years… and Million Dollar Fix is blessed by the lord Odin with Brad’s sweet fingers. It didn’t take long for us to find our true sound and the songs that would appear on Psychedelephant

Brad: So at the time of Million Dollar Fix’s beginnings I was in another band that hails from Calgary, always good friends with the guys and loved partying with them. Two years later I parted with said band and was a lone wolf taking a break from music. The guys approached me to replace a previous 4th member, and its been a beer slamming, tit grabbing hell of a ride ever since!!


Q3 – How would yourselves describe your sound.

Shibby: A lot of people have been comparing our guitar style lately to Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath, which is a major honour! We idolize both bands but aren’t really trying to emulate either. We love the stoner rock tag, but we feel that stoner rock is an extremely wide genre and we are on the outer most spectrum of the up-tempo side. (Kinda like the methane lakes on Titan.)

Logan: We love the fuzz and down tunings, but also love punk rock. I guess we would describe ourselves as a riff-riding beer-chugging love quartet.

Keegan: Riff heavy, fun loving hard rock! Dirty harmonies and heavy rhythm!
Q4 – Now lets talk about your new EP – Psychedelephant. Why that name and what does it mean.

Shibby : Psychedelephant is the 2nd album to come from a continual theme of powerful drug induced beasts. Billy Goat is a little tough to explain, but imagine if you will being fucked up as all hell on mushrooms, running down a British Columbian mountain, soaked from the rain, thinking that possibly this is the most “metal” moment you’ve ever experienced. Then, what would be more metal than metal? Simple… if a fucking rock and roll billy goat appeared at the top of that mountain and was smote down by not Zeus, but instead by Lemmy. Powered by an electrified Rickenbacker guitar.

Logan: For Psyhedelephant the artwork was savagely birthed before the EP’s title. The cover was designed by a good friend of ours, Dan Montague, who is exceptional at making all things trippy. 

Psychedelephant was named to follow suite to his amazing painting and our love for psychedelic animals.


 Q5 – Was it an easy or hard EP to write and record for, and are you happy with the final result.

Shibby: It was super easy. Our writing process is extremely fluid.

Brad: Like the cool and delicious PBR we consume.

Shibby: It wasn’t like we sat down with pens and pencils and started getting all serious and shit. All the songs on this album were written as a by-product of our new musical creativity found of Brad joining the band.

Logan: Music is our passion; we take the art seriously but love to have fun during the process

Q6 – What is your favourite track off the EP and why.

Logan: Jeeeeeez that’s difficult! Honestly mine keeps changing every time I listen to it! I’m super critical about the tunes we write, just love cranking the thing and driving my ‘95 Volvo like a mad man!

Brad: I’d have to say that my favorite song is “The Crow.” It’s one of the first riffs and songs that I brought to the band. I LOVE the duel guitar part! There is a denim chub in my pants every time we play that!

Shibby: Favorite song? “Kill the Banker”!! Two reasons… love the punch of the intro, and my pinnacle favorite point; the entire band is going nuts and the vocals cut in. Side note: I remember being in the studio doing the takes and Kirill ( the engineer) kept being like, “HIT THE DRUMS AS HARD AS YOU FUCKING CAN!!” So I did!! Hearing the playback, when the lyrics kick in, the vocal tone is definitely top five one of my favorite moments of singers entering songs!!!

Keegan: I love “Hoptical Illusions.” Its heavy with catchy riffs! And the chorus rocks really hard!!


Q7 – Now you have read my review of your new EP. How would yourselves describe it.

Shibby: First off thanks so much for the kind words in your review, we as a band can`t expect praise from every review or listener. From the bottom of our hearts we have put everything we can into this album, our sound, and our CD release. To get such amazing feedback on our hard work means more than you`ll ever know, and it`s only going make us push harder for the next full length album.

Logan: This album to us is a thunderous response to the music we love to play. Psychedelephant is a collection of our favorite riffs, beats, and jams. We really dig fancy fret work. Any time there is an opportunity to add a cool harmony or lick we take it. Brad and I realty take pride in the guitar pieces that we create and feed off what the other plays. Brad’s got a really cool style, we`ve got a really cool style and together the things that we want to write as a whole.

Q8 – You guys have a great sense of humour and fun to your music and that comes across brilliantly well. As you feel like crazy out of control party animals. Is that important to your music. Having one hell of a good time.

Logan- AW SHIT YEA! Having a good time is number one…. To be in Million Dollar Fix you gotta have fun. When we are jamming and writing we don’t get serious. If we gotta take a fart break, well it ain’t no thing! Periodic shot gun breaks, well that’s the life blood! Yes we have loads of fun…Some times jams turn into oompa loompa dance parties, always led by Brad!

Brad: Other than hosting the most incredible Canadian Oompa Loompa dance parties you have ever experienced, having a good time is definitely number one. I’ve been in bands where people take shit waaaaaay too seriously and it kills it. All I want to do is hang out with my boys, write good tunes, and party my ass off!!

 Q9 – Why did you choose the name Million Dollar Fix for your band. Any particular reason behind this.

Keegan: The name Million Dollar Fix comes from another awesome Canadian band, Die Mannequin. They were one of our favorite bands in our formative years, and one line in a song is, “I don't get my kicks so quick no more, million dollar fix to nix one girl.” We always really dug that line and it stuck in our heads. When we were tossing around band names when we started Million Dollar Fix came up and it stuck!

Psychedelephant cover art

Q10 – I love the EP cover. Who designed it and did you have much input into the overall design of it.

Logan- The cover was created by an awesome pal of ours Dan Montague. The guys is a brilliant artist and we have been huge fans for a long time. In 2013 we saw an amazing elephant painting that he did and approached him to design something for us. The design is totally by him, all we asked for was a Psychedelephant!

Q11 – Which bands and artists influenced you all as musicians.  As I can detect a whole range of legendary bands popping up on the EP.

All: We have a massive range of influences, form Exodus to the Eagles. Some of the major ones would be Mastodon, the Sword and Queens of the Stone Age. Testament, Deep Purple, and Zeppelin are major ones too. Shibby is really into the 90`s and digs the Tea Party, Silverchair, and Slipnot, but as drumming influences really come from Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine

Logan: I’m really into airy vocals, the tone that Ozzy got during recordings in the 70`s is incredible.  The shit Mastodon is doing vocal wise and guitar wise absolutely blows me away.

Brad – Scott Gorham, Jimmy Page, Slash and Gary fucking Holt! Cheers to the Lords of shred!!


Q12 – What is the song writing process in the band? Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

Logan: It’s a group process. Me or Brad usually come up with the basic song structure and then bring it to the band. Then it is morphed and changed until its something we are super stoked on. Keegan adds loads of weird subtleties and rhythm changes and Shibby’s drumming creates the feel!

Q13 – What is the live Million Dollar Fix experience like.  Is it as insane as your records. Or even crazier.

Brad: Our live show is 100% fucking crazier than our recordings!! At our CD release party at the Palomino in Calgary, Alberta I was hit in the face multiple times by my microphone, some chick slammed into the PA speaker and spilt all my beer five times (that’s a lot of fucking beer!) and I’m sure I saw people bleeding!

Logan: Shows definitely get out of hand at times, which is awesome!! I love it when things get “real.” It’s he highlight in my mind of being a musician…People getting fucked up to our music.

Q14 – What are you thoughts on the crowd-funding scene where bands and artists ask fans to help fund their latest album, tour or release. Are you fans of this medium. Would yourselves ever go down this route.

Logan: Mmmmm that’s a good question. As a band we are able to raise all the funds we need through our shows, album and merchandise sales. Music is extremely expensive and it takes a lot of money to make things happen. We already rely a lot on our fans, friends, and family’s support to get things off the ground. There is a lot of money in the music industry, there are very rich labels and it would be nice to see some support from them before we start asking for more money from our pals. Fundraising is admirable, but it would be cool if some “old boy money” caught up in labels would come the way of hard working underground bands.


Q15 – If you could change anything about the Stoner/Doom/Hard Rock Scene What would it be and why.

Logan: Another good question. Stoner rock, doom, and sludge can tend to get a bit redundant. The power of the genre comes from simplicity and brilliant guitar tones. I love the drawn-out single note songs, but it would be nice to see some more complexity. There are some really amazing single guitar stoner bands, but what I really get off on is guitar harmonies and riffs.  More solos and technicality would make me a happy dude! The Stoner scene in Calgary although strong, is still fairly small. At the moment there are only 5 or 6 bands flying that flag. And all those bands are brilliant, all extremely talented and original! I think the Canadian scene over the next couple of years is really going to be something to watch!

Q16 – We have featured a ton of cool bands from the Canadian Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal scene. It's seems such a vibrant scene providing loads of great bands. What is your current thoughts on what the scene is actually like in Canada. And if you could change anything about it what would it be.

Logan: I guess I got a little ahead of myself on the last question!! The Canadian stoner scene is tight knit, talented and original. And our weed is fuck for real!! So good!! Our home town Calgary has some killer bands. At the top of our local scene are Chron Goblin, and holy fuck they rock! One of my favorite bands ever! Across western Canada there is an array of equally deadly bands…although out east the majority of heavy music is made up by speed metal (which is badass as fuck)! The slower, fuzzier music hasn’t really made a name for its self out there quite yet. The one thing that we need up here is some labels, magazines, and writers that focus on stoner rock! You cool British folk, come and visit!

Q17 – What is your live set-up when performing on stage. Any advanced rigs or are you guys have a more straight forward set-up.

Keegan: In terms of gear we are fairly standard. I play a fender precision bass through a Gallien Krueger head and cab. Ive had the amp for ages and absoutly love it! It’s got this huge fat tone.  I also use a few pedals to help aswell. To be specific, a Visual Sound route 808 overdrive, digitech bass synth wah (lazer noises dude!), and a Dunlop volume pedal.

Brad: I’ve always had a knack for a straight up no frills rig. On Pyschedelephant I used an Blackstar series 100 and my all-time favorite wah pedal the “Ernie Ball Working man” with a Marshall 1960 B cab with one working speaker (best tone I’ve ever had!) until…. I purchased a Soldano Decatone 100,and fucking fell head over heels for the tone!! Not to mention I got for half price!

Shibby: I bang on a Pearl set that was born in 1985. It`s the set I learned on and it keeps making insane music. I`ve gone through a ton of cymbols through my lifetime but they’ve always been Sabian. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that Hand Hammered Sabians are strictly mean for recoding. I play AA Sabians now and they have and unreal durability and sound. I hit Remo Pinstripes with Pro Mark 5B Oak sticks. The combination of all that makes for an amazing tone, but I will admit I`m in the market for a new kit.

Logan: My personal pleasure boat consists of my beautiful bb girl, the cherry red Gibson flying V! I play her through a Marshall JCM 900 and a very modified Hi-Watt cabinet, the fuzz comes from a full tone SoulBender pedal, and goddamn I love it!

As far as crazy stage embellishments we have some neat ones!! Shibby is a fabrication genius and created some incredible cut outs of our album cover… he created some 5 foot tall Psychedelephants that hook up to a light box a strobe and flash like a mafuggah!! He also created some Styrofoam MDF letters that we can kickoff stage and crowd surf for those “real moments.”


Q18 – If you could give any advice to people wanting to start a band what would it be.

Logan- Never break up. Never stop. Never give up. Becoming a band is a hell of a lot of fun, and don’t lose sight of that! Keep everything fun! Every band, of every level is going to have good days and bad days… learn from the bad and revel from the good! And treat your buddies like buddies! Love ’em!

Q19 – Apart from the new EP what else do you have in store over the next 12 months or so.

Logan- we have a loads going on! We have the follow up record in the final stages of writing and…. It’s gonna be nuts!! We also have some killer shows lined up, Calgary Metal Fest is coming up, and the line up is unreal!! We are also starting filming a video for “Hoptical Illusions”… some serious beer drinking will take place for that puppy!  Some tour dates will be getting announced shortly, keep posted!!

Q20 – Well guys thanks for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. Do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thanks so much guys for interviewing us! We have such a blast talking to you guys! And to all our friends and fans reading…keep you beer cold, and Million Dollar Fix is better than your hundred dollar habit!

Thanks to Million Dollar Fix for talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. And for Cat Jones at Southern Cross PR for arranging this interview.

Check The Band From Links Below


Written by Steve Howe

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