Sunday, July 7, 2013

Battle Of The Bands Rewind Profile: The Battle For The Blood

I can't believe I'm late for this, as I'd planned to feature these a year to the day of new examples, but finally, here's our Battle of the Bands Rewind Profile for the second and last Sault Ontario battle of the bands of 2012! Three weeks late, which I profusely apologize for, but it's better late than never! This series looks at the events, winners, aftermath, and trivia surrounding a recent local battle of the bands, and this one, though small in amount of bands, had big stakes and an all-metal lineup, so read on below to get caught up on this mid-2012 battle! (Updated on February 12th, 2015)
The Battle For The Blood (June 19th, 2012)

Background: Just two months after the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands ended a 2 year drought for such an event in Sault Ontario, local concert promoter J.D. Pearce held the Battle for the Blood on June 19th, 2012 (postponed a week from June 12th due to scheduling conflicts) at The Roosevelt Hotel. The event was in response to high demand from local bands towards an opening slot at the concert being headlined by Victoria, British Columbia power metal band 3 Inches of Blood at The Rosie on July 9th of that year, which J.D. was also promoting. All four competing bands played 30 minute sets, while local metal/punk quartet T-Rex Manning also played a non-competitive set that night following the last competing band. Unlike other recent battles of the bands, a fan vote chose the winners, with attendees marking their chosen winners on a paper ballot after the bands wrapped up.

Prizes: The only announced prize was a guaranteed opening slot at the 3 Inches of Blood show the following month, where said band would join South Carolina hardcore band Wretched and local melodic death metal notables The Bear Hunters on the lineup. If there were prizes for the second-fourth place bands, they weren't announced online in any capacity.

Competitors: Four local metal bands battled for the blood on this night, including local hardcore quartet Changing Waves, popular regional death metal bands (and Sault Humane Society Battle competitors) For All That Is Lost & The Valentine's Day Massacre, and local extreme metal quartet Winkstinger. 

Results: The fans voted Winkstinger as the winners of the Battle For The Blood, giving them the opening slot at the 3 Inches of Blood show. For All That Is Lost reportedly finished in second place, while who finished third between Changing Waves and The V.D.M. wasn't publicized.
Aftermath: After their successful 3 Inches of Blood set, Winkstinger played live just once more in 2012 before taking a lengthy hiatus, later returning in May 2013 with a different lineup, and breaking up until a late 2015 reunion, with their live concert return still pending. For All That Is Lost remained a prominent sight at local metal concerts and their own F.A.T.I.L. Gatherings in Laird through that November, with the band surprisingly breaking up early the following year. The Valentine's Day Massacre continued to play often over the next two months before collectively relocating to London for college, though they only played two concerts after the move, and were succeeded by the short-lived Saints & Serpents from 2013-2014. Finally, Changing Waves played just one more local concert (also at The Rosie) the following month, and quietly disbanded by the end of 2012.

Some Notable Performers' Newer Bands:

D3athcharg3r (Steve Rhodes & Andrew Angelic from The Valentine's Day Massacre; Based out of London)
The Elements (Jesse Cook from Winkstinger & Alex Hagerman from Changing Waves) 
Heavy Head (Jesse Cook from Winkstinger)
Infinity Grinder (Terrence Gomes from Changing Waves)
Jack Spades (Jesse Cook from Winkstinger)
The Northern Tragedy (Terrence Gomes from Changing Waves)
Rattlesnake Hotel (Andrew Angelic from The Valentine's Day Massacre; Based out of London)
Saints & Serpents (Steve Rhodes, Andrew Angelic, and Adam Veale from The Valentine's Day Massacre; Based out of London)


  • Local grindcore trio Shit Liver were originally announced as one of the competing bands, but dropped out of the battle around the time of the event's date change from June 12th to 19th, and they were replaced by Changing Waves. Had they competed, singer/bassist Mike Kyle could have replicated the first place success he had as Bring The Fallen's guest bassist at the Downtown Showdown battle in May 2010.
  • Winkstinger's winning set was unique compared to prior concerts in that they played as a quartet due to rhythm guitarist Jason Ladouceur's departure from the band the previous month. After their victory, Winkstinger would debut his replacement (ex-Sativa Rose guitarist Anthony Orazietti) at the 3 Inches of Blood show, along with a new covers-integrated setlist, though this lineup only lasted a few months before their initial hiatus.
  • Also unique about Winkstinger's set: They were the only band to bring an on-stage banner (which was up the whole night), and both guitarist Jesse Cook and then-bassist Ryan Sherman dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
  • Winkstinger's battle win was another successful result for guitarist Jesse Cook and drummer Jonas Gasperas at this type of event, having won at least one battle during their time in Soldiers of Misfortune in the early-mid 2000s, and having placed fourth at the YMCA Battle in March 2009 with Operation: Killdozer (essentially a proto-version of Winkstinger.)
  • This was the last battle of the bands to take place at The Roosevelt Hotel, and the only one to take place during it's early 2010s venture into wider metal & punk concert bookings. The venue was purchased by the ownership of Reggie's Place in March 2014, and later re-opened as Reggie's West that summer, reverting to a mainly country theme.
  • For All That Is Lost, The Valentine's Day Massacre, and non-competitors T-Rex Manning had all competed at the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands two months prior, where F.A.T.I.L. & The V.D.M. tied for third place with Wishbone (only losing a podium spot due to a close judge's tiebreaker), with T-Rex Manning's placement not being announced. Though both F.A.T.I.L. & The V.D.M. improved their placements at the Battle For The Blood, note that the amount of total bands was much smaller.
  • T-Rex Manning's set at this battle was non-competitive at least partly due to frontman J.D. Pearce's status as the battle's promoter. Following the battle, T-Rex Manning remained a popular sight at local concerts until falling inactive in 2014. Their lineup remained largely stable throughout, but drummer Daniel MacDonald left the band that fall and was later replaced by J.D.'s Frightlight bandmate Rick White, with J.D. & guitarist Tiffany Stocco's drummer Johnny Belanger also filling in on occasion.
  • Changing Waves bassist Terrence Gomes was the only competitor at this battle to compete in the following year's Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands, now singing & drumming with punk band The Northern Tragedy. However, they finished in third place out of three bands during the second semifinal on April 10th, and did not qualify for the final round two weeks later.
  • Promoter J.D. Pearce revisited the same concept of this battle the following year, hosting Viva La Battle on November 13th, 2013 at The Canadian Nightclub to find a fan-voted winning group to open for Bam Margera's band Fuckface Unstoppable the following month, albeit with one less band & no non-competitive performers. That battle was won by The Bear Hunters (the pre-selected local openers of the 3 Inches of Blood show), with new local bands North West and Punch coming in second & third.
  • The aforementioned Terrence Gomes also competed as a singer & drummer at the 2015 Speak Easy Battle of the Bands with his new alternative hard rock duo Infinity Grinder, but they did not place in that event either.
  • Winkstinger guitarist Jesse Cook tried his hand at an out of town battle of the bands at April 2015's Rock N' Roar Battle in Spanish, Ontario with his current funk/hard rock band The Elements, but they didn't place in that event. Drummer Alex Hagerman (who played with Changing Waves at the Battle for the Blood) is a member of The Elements as well, but couldn't make the trip, so Jesse's Jack Spades bandmate Johnny Belanger filled in for that battle.

None known (general videos of three bands at The Rosie can be seen below)

Sources/More Info:
Official Facebook event page
I hope you guys liked our latest Battle of the Bands profile, and our next one (barring another forgetful delay, or an information dump from one we didn't feature) will come in April 2014 when we profile this year's Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands! That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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