Saint Alvia Cartel’s Fresh Start

Saint Alvia Cartel’s Fresh Start
"It’s both a curse and a blessing,” says Rob Pasalic, guitarist for the Saint Alvia Cartel. If your band’s "former members of” list was anything like Saint Alvia’s, you would probably agree; the line-up reads like a who’s who of Ontario punk rock, featuring current and ex-members of Jersey, Grade and the Video Dead, while Pasalic himself has done a tour of duty with Boys Night Out. "Of course people are going to draw comparisons. It’s what we did. It’s in life and that’s just the way it goes. Naturally people are going to identify with it somehow.”

Despite past comparisons, Saint Alvia Cartel have created something entirely different whole out of these familiar parts. Unafraid to challenge listeners by reaching into the past, this six-piece combine elements of reggae, country and rock’n’roll, all filtered through road-tested punk rock sensibilities.

"Since the get-go our philosophy has been that we won’t be pigeonholed as any one kind of band,” says Pasalic. "We’ve all been through that before with being in a screamo band or a punk band. If we feel it, we’ll play it. Literally just do whatever we feel.”

The end result is the band’s recently released self-titled debut, a collection of sincere songs that manage to channel a half-century of musical influences into one cohesive collection. "In this band there’s no gimmick,” says Pasalic. "It’s just ‘Let’s write honest tunes and be a fucking honest rock and roll band.’” It’s an opportunity they want to exploit to its fullest potential. "If you want something cool it’s just going to take a little extra work,” says Pasalic. "It’s way more rewarding to say ‘Wow, we’re really open and we’re really trying whatever we want to do’ for the first time seriously.”