Published Mar 27, 2011I don't know what we've got ourselves into here," laughs KEN Mode vocalist and guitarist Jesse Matthewson, discussing the seemingly endless tour cycle his band is about to enter. "We didn't tour Canada for three years, or the States for six years. So this was a very focused decision." Things have obviously changed for Matthewson and his brother Shane, who form the core of KEN Mode's noisy, vintage Am-Rep-style sonic assault.
While the guitarist and drummer have cycled through bass players with Spinal Tap-like consistency, they have managed to unleash some of the most unique and brutal heavy music to emerge from the frozen tundra of Winnipeg. But Venerable, the band's most recent full-length, marks a significant shift in their focus.
"Back in 2009, Shane and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do with the band, what our goals were," says Matthewson. "We were at a point in our lives where we were deciding if we wanted to take the next step career-wise and all that bullshit, or do something fun for a while and seize the moment while we can." The conversation ended with the brothers quitting their jobs and putting KEN Mode into high gear, preparing to write the album they hoped would define their career. Leaving their hometown to record for the first time, the band trekked out to Salem, Massachusetts to record with modern legend Kurt Ballou of Converge. The result is an album that fully captures their unique, aggressive energy.
We really wanted to make this our statement. I hope we've done that," says Matthewson. "It will be fun to get to push our music as a priority instead of having to go in and work office jobs, which we've been doing for far too long. Now, we're ready to attack the world."