Tainted Youth are struggling to hold onto their place in Montreal’s floundering underground punk scene. The foursome has literally been tearing up the city’s stages for three years now, and recently they have seen a significant slide in the number of people coming out to shows.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more from the scene,” guitarist-vocalist Tony Black admits. “But as it stands, it completely sucks. It’s too bad, because Montreal [punk] has some history.”
Black, alongside guitarist Kevin Glaser, drummer Nick-O and bassist Matty Malicious, constitute one of the younger, and at the same time, respected Montreal punk bands.
Ranging in age from 16 to 18, Tainted Youth have shared the stage with local bands to bigger acts like The Casualties and The Forgotten. In early 2004, the band is expected to play Montreal venues with punk legends The Dead Kennedys and UK Subs.
“It’s one of the biggest compliments in the world to be playing with some of these bands,” notes Black. Glaser adds that playing shows with such high-profile bands is good advertising for their own group.
Known for frequent displays of utter disregard towards their audience and each other, Tainted Youth has thrown caution to the wind countless times all in the name of entertainment.
However, whose entertainment is debatable. From sparklers to rancid whipped cream pies to employing a small arsenal in the destruction of instruments, Tainted Youth have a penchant for risking their audiences’ health, never mind their own. On the other hand, Glaser points out that there have been plenty of shows where the band hasn’t unleashed their sadistic brand of old-fashioned fun.
Although Glaser admits to being narrow-minded when it comes to his taste in music, his blatant contempt of contemporary punk is evident. “The music that comes out these days is making people believe it’s punk when it’s not.”
Citing major influences in Social Distortion, Rancid and The Clash, the band is a throwback to the roots of punk, though they were barely conceived in its dying days. However, Black no longer finds punk a unique genre. “Everyone’s hopping on the boat. You used to be an individual and now you’re like everybody else.”
Tainted Youth’s 15-song album, Hand Grenade, which was released along with apple pies on the Fourth of July with a launch party at l’X, has fast become a major disappointment for the band.
Though it does have the D.I.Y. effect and features infectious songs like “L.C.M.” and “Knackwurst”, the album was recorded quickly in Black’s bedroom with the teenagers paying $800 for “the biggest monstrosity on earth.” In response to this obstacle, Black declares, “We’re going in the studio [in late March, early April], come hell or high water.”
Tainted Youth are playing Caf