Saturday, February 10, 2018

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Project 421

It's now time for our second Defunct Local Band Profile of 2018, as we're continuing our spotlighting of defunct or inactive local metal, hard rock, and punk bands, so current readers can read up on their run and accomplishments, and see where members are now! As always, we randomly selected this month's band, and they are quite a prominent group for Sault Ontario metalheads of the last few years, so here's what you should know!
Project 421

Genre: Classic Metal/Power Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (Members not in their last full lineup in italics.)

Blair Burch (Re:Born, Broken), vocals/guitar
Frank McGillivray (Re:Born), guitar
Daniel Horton (Jack Spades, Haggith), bass
Chris Thompson (Fitswitch, Frightlight, Half Past), drums

Curtis McKenzie (Haggith, Eclipse, The Din), vocals
Larry Mousseau (Fitswitch, Frightlight), drums

Audio/Video: Though loose plans to record a debut EP (perhaps with an April 21st release date) never came to pass, Project 421 are well documented online from live concert videos, which can be seen officially via their Facebook page & YouTube channel, while Christopher Paci's channel & our Facebook page have a good amount of videos as well, among other fan-shot sources. Most of 421's set was comprised of covers from bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Diamond Head, but originals like "No One Rides For Free", "Into the Darkness", and "Running Away" were also very prominent. Here's their 5-piece lineup covering Judas Priest back in 2014!

Info/Analysis: Debuting as a mystery band during Haggith's initial farewell show at The Algonquin Pub in December 2013, Project 421 soon became a prominent sight at local concert events in the mid-2010s. Soon adding bassist Daniel Horton's Haggith bandmate Curtis McKenzie for his first of two stints as lead singer, 421 arguably made their biggest early splash by opening for Anvil at The Canadian in March 2014, a role they reprised the following year. Fans will have also seen Project 421 open for bands like The Ripcordz, Diamond Head, and Broomfiller, play notable events like both of 2015's local battles of the bands, Medi-Fest, and Sault Band-O-Rama, and headline a smattering of headlining and solo nightclub events in their later years, though breaks from the stage became increasingly more common. Curtis, Daniel, and 421's second drummer Chris Thompson formed the modern hard rock side project Eclipse in 2015, which ran concurrently with Project 421 until both bands' disbanded for differing personal reasons in the fall of 2017.

Project 421 were succeeded by guitarist Blair Burch & Frank McGillivray's current new band Re:Born, who have taken on their predecessor's original songs, but Project 421 will be missed by their fans! Not many groups could feel right at home at an all ages Oddfellows Hall show and a solo Rockstar Bar three-set booking, but they pulled it off! Blair and Frank were an effective double threat on guitar, Curtis' excellent vocals were a bonus during his time in the band, Daniel's bass work stood on it's own, and both Larry and Chris each had good chemistry on drums! Project 421 had a good run, but be sure to follow Re:Born & Jack Spades for members' current projects!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! Next month, we'll hit Sault Michigan for the first time in this series in 2018, as our next random selection will be inactive early 2010s metal band The Eleventh Hour (a.k.a. Angelic Genocide & Changing You For Better Days), and while I forecast that they can sustain a full profile on their own given their numerous updates and name/lineup changes, we'll add a randomly chosen Sault Ontario band with minimal info if we need to. Look for that on or around March 10th, and stay tuned for concert previews and more next! Thanks everyone!

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