Working with heroes
Winnipeg’s Kids and Heroes record with Stu Ross
After forming in 2009, Winnipeg pop-punkers Kids and Heroes are finally ready to unleash their debut full-length record to the masses.
Comprising vocalist Dan Kelsey, guitarist/vocalist Cam Wilgosh, guitarist Jordan Ngantian, bassist Kevin Cheetham and drummer Jarrod Mikolajczyk, the band released a self-titled EP on its own back in 2010, which they recorded in Winnipeg at Private Ear with John Paul Peters.
But for the full-length, titled Chalet, Kids and Heroes decided to switch it up by recording in Vancouver and enlisting current Comeback Kid guitarist and ex-Living With Lions vocalist Stu Ross as the producer.
The partnership arose at a Living With Lions/Flatliners show in 2011, when Kelsey dove into the pit and wasn’t caught by the crowd in time.
“I got knocked out and I woke up with Living With Lions surrounding me and asking if I was OK,” Kelsey recalls. “I got taken out on a stretcher and the Flatliners never played their last song.”
“I was out of the hospital the next day and when Living With Lions played another show I introduced myself and gave Stu a copy of our EP,” Kelsey continues. “A month later he reached out, and that’s how we started talking about doing the record together.”
Last summer the band made the long drive out West to record Chalet at Rain City Recorders, a studio operated by ex-Daggermouth guitarist Stu McKillop.
“I think the hardest part of recording was just committing to the trip,” Wilgosh says. “We were worried that we might fight all the time and there was a lot of uncertainty about whether we could afford to go or get the time off, but in the end none of those questions mattered. We just went out there and it was totally worth it.”
With Ross’s guidance, the band spent about two weeks recording 10 tracks, one of which appeared previously on the EP and sounds like it was influenced by Blink-182’s Dude Ranch.
“The main reason we redid Take It Back was definitely because of Stu,” Kelsey says.
“He said it was his favourite song by us so that was enough confidence to redo it and put it out there again,” Wilgosh says.
“We also really reworked a song called Sidewalks, which was so different before we left for Vancouver it’s not even recognizable now,” Kelsey adds.
The band returned home to Winnipeg and took its time sorting out the official release date.
In December, McKillop ended up signing the band to Gold Stock Records, the label he co-owns with Carpenter’s Daniel Sioui.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Chalet will see the light of day online accompanied by a CD release show at the Park Theatre on Friday, Feb. 22.
“It’s been a long time coming and it’s going to be nice to have this debut full-length album off of our shoulders,” Kelsey says.
“I can honestly look back and say recording Chalet was the best time of my life so far.”
Published in Volume 67, Number 20 of The Uniter (February 21, 2013)