Stiffler's Mom to our inactive band links. While the band has not formally acknowledged their active status, they haven't issued a public update since their Esquire Club concerts over the weekend of September 9th, 2017, past our one year cut-off point for active bands. One of the longest running hard rock bands in the city, Stiffler's Mom had been active in varying permutations and names since 1996 (save for a brief 2011-2012 breakup), becoming fan favourite attractions at solo nightclub concerts, festivals, and other community events during that span. Fans may recognize Stiffler's Mom from their 2004 demo CD, 2007's INXS concert, their finals run in 2009's Kiss Battle of the Bands, three Rotaryfest Stage 1 gigs in the mid-2010s, and the first two Toystocks, among many other events. In the past year, singer/drummer Greg Simpson has stayed musically active with his country cover bands Bone Yard & The Bearded Lounge.
I don't know what happened to Stiffler's Mom, but they've always been a reliable and fan-friendly band over the years, something apparent even when seeing them rock a Bawating Collegiate dance about 14 years ago! Their brand of party rock and their old originals have served them well with local audiences for over two decades, and hopefully we haven't seen the last of Stiffler's Mom on stage! Best of luck to Greg, Michael, and Jon in the future!
Next up, we have some sad news regarding a veteran local musician, as prolific hard/classic rock drummer Scott McLurg has left Soundcheck and retired from performing in bands due to health concerns. Scott's last show with them was at The Water Tower Pub on August 25th, and while Scott had suffered a heart attack back in 2015, I don't know if that's related to this current news. Scott had replaced Steven Flint as Soundcheck's drummer in recent months, and will be very familiar to SMS readers for his work with bands like Turner Up, Havadder, The 3 Day Millionaires, Wishbone, The Thrill Junkies, and Full Circle, plus bands that predated the site, like Generation Gap, One Bad Habit, Lois Lane, Blender, and Big River. This news is definitely a bummer, as Scott's always been a talented and prolific sight in our coverage over the past decade, while being friendly and cordial to me over the years as well. That said, his health obviously comes first.
Hopefully his musical retirement goes as smoothly as possible, and our best wishes go out to Scott and his family, he'll be missed behind the kit! Also, no word on Soundcheck's (still?) open drummer position, we'll let you know when they confirm a replacement and/or hit the stage next!
Also today, here's a more positive story via a brand new upload to Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's YouTube channel! This is a YouTube copy of their rendition of the Christmas carol "What Child Is This", featuring German classical singer Gaby Koss, who was an official studio member of the band in the early 2010s. Though not a new recording, this is an effective symphonic metal performance, with Gaby's vocals excellently suited to the song, and the dark snowy visuals are a good match as well! Give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night!
Finally, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, all regarding bands moved out of our active band links in recent days. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:
- I have removed local metal solo project The 1,000,000,000's Who Died from our active links due to the quiet deletion of their Facebook page in recent months (it's possible it was deactivated for disuse, but either way, it's their only online page.) Led by Werehold Records founder Jason Mills, this project was best known from songs during the label's old Friday the 13th music events, last posting a new song on the Werehold YouTube channel in January. The Billions Who Died had some solid instrumental tracks, and hopefully Jason revisits the project down the road!
- We have also moved Sault Ontario hard rock cover quartet Griphook back to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. While they haven't been seen on stage since Rotaryfest 2016, Griphook announced the end of their then-year+ long hiatus on their Facebook page last August, an announcement that had no public followthrough. They were a solid band in their original run, and hopefully Joel, Brian, Dan, and Tony actually return down the line!
- Also, we have moved Sault Michigan metal quartet Stoned Ape Evolution to our inactive band links, as they haven't posted on their Facebook page regarding band matters since their Bay Mills Bands Together concert in Brimley on September 2nd, 2017 (though they continued sharing memes unrelated to the band through January.) A mid-2010s effort to bring a large-scale theatrical metal band back to the area (complete with Clownsack-esque usage of masks and hidden member identities), Stoned Ape Evolution had clear promise and originality, and hopefully John, Melvin, and company bring this group back in the future!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and concert previews in the coming days! Thanks everyone!