Stomping Through Genres with The Beatdown

The Beatdown is a Northern reggae/ska collective from Canada whose music successfully combines other genres, making for an explosive presentation of sound.  Their latest epic of slamming tunes is entitled Walkin’ Proud, and its guaranteed to launch any party into sonic overdrive.  Their second recording for the mighty Stomp Records stronghold, Walkin’ Proud is well worth seeking out for ska enthusiasts as well as other adventurous musical types.

Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of The Beatdown members to find out more about this hard working band, probably tearing it up on the road right now as you are reading this…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Beatdown, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Alex, I play guitar and sing. The band has been together since 2009.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
We’re from Montreal, Canada. Montreal has always been good to us and the scene here is going strong. As far as the ska scene goes, I think the Montreal scene is one of the best in Canada. We have Stomp Records that’s been promoting ska, reggae & punk for years, a lot of the Canadian ska bands come from Montreal (Planet Smashers, Me Mom & Morgentaler, General Rudie, etc, etc) and since 2010, we have the Montreal Ska Festival that’s going strong.

How does Walkin’ Proud compare to your previous self-titled album?
The new record was written and recorded during a short period of time and right after some intense touring. The idea was to write songs that would be fun to play live, energetic and hip shaking. We also tried to incorporate a little more of our other influences such as punk, garage, soul & surf. We love reggae and ska but when you been playing a genre for years, it’s fun to mix things up a little.

Has The Beatdown ever played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in future days?
Unfortunately we haven’t but we want to. We’re currently talking about going out West to BC and then down to Cali. I’d love to come back to California. You guys have a great scene, I’m sure we would have a blast down there!

What could one expect from a live The Beatdown show?
You could expect a rocking show, with drinking involved. Good tunes & good times!

What was it like sharing the stage with the Black Crowes and were you able to hang out with him at all?
Well, all I can say is that he tried hard to hook up with our merch girl…ha! No but seriously, playing those kinds of festivals is great. We get to share the stage with bands we never thought we’d share the stage with and that’s great!

If you could open for any band either now or from the past, what band would that be and why?
It would definitely be The Clash. That band has influenced me in so many ways.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of The Beatdown?
I play with The Stomp All Stars once a year and that’s about it! Stomp All Stars is basically a bunch of friends (from bands on Stomp) getting together to play Jamaican classics. We do one show a year, basically when someone ask us to play. It’s really fun but my main focus right now is The Beatdown.

While on the road, some drunk guy offers you $100 to play What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. He has the cash and is serious. What do you do?
One Direction? Don’t know those guys 🙂 100$ wouldn’t probably be enough, I’d ask for 2.

If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
It would be the best donut you could ever think of. With chocolate, double cream and the little powder all over it.

Has The Beatdown ever played Warped Tour? If so, what was the experience like?
I played Warped Tour a bunch of times with my previous band The One Night Band but never with The Beatdown. It’s definitely something we’d like to be part of at some point. It’s a great festival, a lot of bands that we like do it and from my experience, Warped Tour is a party every night!

What’s up in the New Year for The Beatdown?
We’ll keep promoting the new record and play as many shows as we can. We plan on coming down to the States and do more stuff down there. We’ll probably go back to Europe too, maybe Western Canada again, the busier the better!

Any final words of wisdom?
Go to shows, keep supporting the artists that you like. You’re the reason why we play music.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

The Beatdown on Facebook


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