All Systems Go!

Pop 'n Fresh Attitude

BY Stuart GreenPublished Nov 17, 2016

Given that the last few records the once mighty Doughboys released sucked for the most part, it's certainly nice to see John Kastner, the band's dreaded front man, back in full rock mode with his new unit, All Systems Go! And no one is feeling better about it than Kastner himself.

"I just wanted to rock more and be more punk," Kastner says of his new band's 11-track debut. "I wanted to make a record that came real natural and not worry about what was what. On the last few Doughboys records there were a lot of people involved. On this record there were no [outside] people - just us and Daniel [Rey, their producer]."

Having put the Doughboys on a potentially permanent hiatus and emigrated to Toronto from his native Montreal, Kastner seems to have found a new sense of purpose with ASG! a mid-tempo, late '80s punk rock super group of sorts that also features Mark Arnold and Frank Daly of Big Drill Car.

The band, which also features Toronto native Matt Taylor (of no legendary group) on drums, was born of Kastner and Arnold's decision to put their years of friendship and musical like minds to work. They made their live debut at a North by Northeast showcase in 1998 during a break in recording, but it took nearly a year for the disc to see the light of day. Fully financed by Kastner with money he made from scoring films (his credits include two direct-to-video Universal Soldier films and Bruce McDonald'sHard Core Logo ), Kastner decided he wasn't going to get burned again.

Label meddling has apparently made him more protective of his work and as a result, it was months of weighing options as to how it would be released. A decision was finally made to go with U.S.-based indie label Coldfront, another sign of Kastner returning to his DIY punk roots.

"We made the record on our own and we wanted to own it. We weren't going to give it to anybody," he emphasises. "We talked to a lot of people about putting it out, and there were lots of options, but we just didn't want to give it away. It's our record."

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