How do you take a band and turn it into two, each with a completely different sound? Ask long-time Ottawa musician Mike Raymond because he and his bandmates Tony Caballero (drums) and Neil Landry (bass) have done just that. Also known as Black Oak Decline, who formed in 2014, this trio have taken a fairly drastic musical turn into a new direction and with it, have christened the new incarnation Quiet Crimes.
Raymond, who is the band’s lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter, explains the change from BOD’s heavier metal style into Quiet Crimes’ more melodic hard rock formula:
“Back in May, I started bringing these new songs to the guys. We were going off in too much of a different direction that the band had to be renamed. We’ve always had that underground draw with BOD, and we’re still open to playing shows, but with Quiet Crimes, there’s a wider array of people… not just metal kids in their 20’s anymore.”
Quiet Crimes’ just released first single “Out Of View” is an unrelenting force of pure guitar-bass-drums driving hard rock with a sophisticated progressive edge. Raymond shows off his production expertise that achieves a perfect blend of layered instrumental sound while maintaining its fresh, raw essence, similar to bands like the Foo Fighters. The recording was brought to a shine with the mixing touches of Juno-award winning producer, engineer and mixer Eric Ratz. The single’s video was shot and produced by Butch Gerald at legendary landmark venue Zaphod’s just weeks before its closing in May earlier this year. Raymond, who was also employed at Zaphod’s at the time, got his chance to pay his final homage to his favourite live music venue. They would be the last band to do so.
“I had wanted to shoot a video at Zaphod’s because it was my favourite bar and I worked there. But when I heard they were closing in a few weeks, I scrambled to make it happen. I told Butch we wanted a video of us just playing the song, and he took it to a much better place… he made that video happen big time. He used different lighting, camera angles, and if you look really closely, there are cuts almost every few seconds. It was a lot of work… we owe him many beers.”
Rock music has undergone many phases, changes, and off-shoot genres but still continues to be ever-present across the globe… and in Ottawa with its healthy roster of local rock bands like Quiet Crimes. As far as the genre’s longevity and survival, Raymond had this to say:
“I think rock is struggling to stay alive but there’s always true fans that will seek it out and people who will love playing it and in my opinion, that’s all we need.”
Quiet Crimes’ debut performance is Thursday August 24 at Babylon.