By Drew Gates
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
I was good mates with these blokes back in Toronto in the late nineties and early 2Ks. Toronto was going off music wise, with awesome bands like No Warning, ACTION, Fucked Up, Riot99, King Size Braces, Career Suicide, The Swarm/Cursed and Brutal Knights.
Angels, Saints and Heroes formed when King Size Braces called it quits. They recorded an unreleased album, The End Times Welcoming Committee, which is one of my favourite punk LPs of all time. This week I made contact with band member Kyle Hollingdrake to find out what became of them.
When I left Toronto in early ’05, Angels, Saints and Heroes was still going strong – what happened?
Angels Saints and Heroes was built on a shoddy foundation. With me and Ben living in Buffalo and Mike and Neil in Toronto, it was only a matter of time until we ran afoul of the border. Mike and Neil weren’t allowed to cross into the US with instruments after they got busted crossing for a show and it was all downhill from there. Also we tried to set up some tours and we never managed to make any of them happen, which was a fucking drag because we were all ready to bail on our jobs and lives and tour full time. Frankly, we weren’t too savvy about the actual mechanics of how a band works. We could write music well and play fun shows, but we weren’t good at doing things like making merch or maintaining a working van, or cultivating relationships with loser-ass promoters or any of the rest of that fucking garbage. It takes a fuck-ton of money to keep a band working and we just didn’t have any. Mike declared bankruptcy at one point. I ended up quitting while the band was still going, which I kind of regret but I was just pretty fucked-off about the whole thing. I was losing interest in failing, losing interest in being in a band, just over the whole thing. I think they played two more shows with this dude Jesse and folded the band.
That’s a crying shame that things went down as they did – I reckon if you guys had toured that album it would’ve gone off. Everything about it is excellent. Whereabouts did you record and who wrote the songs?
We recorded with these two dudes who were really cool and agreed to do it for next to nothing because they were just starting out. I think they were hoping that the album would come out and we’d spread the word to all our friends’ bands so they did all this crazy extra work for it. Jokes on them I guess! The studio is long gone now. I think Mike wrote about half of that album on his own and the other half was a collaborative effort between me and Ben. Mike was a pretty complete songwriter on his own so he could do music and lyrics and come to practice with a 90-percent finished song. Ben is actually the strongest musician out of all of us by a long shot, but at the time didn’t really have the confidence to actually finish and present a song to us, and I was ambitious but not terribly musical, so it took the two of us to write anything useable. Mike and Ben actually wrote “Lafayette, IN” together about Ben’s brother with lyrics copped straight from letters he used to send from prison. His next band kept playing that song for years. Neil was a really good drummer and I recall had input on composition and stuff so I shouldn’t ignore his role in the band, he just didn’t come with riffs or lyrics.
Did you ever try and get the album released in Toronto or Buffalo?
We did try and get it released, I’m trying to remember what label it was, but it folded before it could put it out. It was pretty much the last straw. I don’t know why we didn’t shop it around a little more. I think we were pretty done with the whole thing at that point. Or at least I was.
Check out The End Times Welcoming Committee HERE.