The whole thing began as a conversation between Andrew Stratis and Kyle Cashen in Whitehorse, in August of 2012.
Stratis and Cashen, avid record collectors, got to talking about forming a boutique record label that focused on vinyl records, small runs, and quality design.
It wasn’t a fruitless conversation. In fact, less than a day later they got Mathias Kom of The Burning Hell involved, and the trio began prepping for the release of their first album — a Burning Hell 10” EP, to be followed by a proper full length LP.
The resulting label was Headless Owl Records. Now the record label home of some terrific Canadian songwriters like Jon McKiel, Construction & Destruction, Eons (a project of Matt Cully of Bruce Peninsula), Michael Feuerstack (aka Snailhouse), and Tariq.
Everyone involved with Headless Owl greatly admired one of Canada’s finest boutique labels, You’ve Changed Records, so, they figured, Why not consult with them? Consult with them they did on everything from LP mailers to release schedules and marketing.
Immediately – within a week of the inception of Headless Owl – there was talk of a collaboration between the two labels, but another split sampler? Pssh. Plans for a grander split project began.
Initial thoughts were that maybe The Burning Hell (Headless Owl) would cover a few Baby Eagle (You’ve Changed) songs and vice versa – in other words, a signature band from one label covering a signature artist from the other. The idea escalated into Headless Owl covering all of You’ve Changed’s artists and vice versa, but at the time The Burning Hell were the only band on Headless Owl.
Instead they went bigger … and all the way to the Yukon. The two labels decided a better plan would be to fly 11 people up to the Yukon to play a show together, and record some songs. They phoned travel agents, hotels, food vendors and venues, ran the numbers, and booked studio time at a studio that, as it turned out, wasn’t even built yet. Upon inspection of said studio, and the realization that it was basically the shell of a building, they agreed to build the inside of the studio too, or at least, prepare it to be useable.
In October of 2013, Mathias Kom (The Burning Hell), Kyle Cashen (Old Time Machine), Chris Adeney (Wax Mannequin), Michael Feuerstack (formerly Snailhouse), Colleen Collins & David Trenaman (Construction & Destruction), Steve Lambke (Baby Eagle), Ian Kehoe (Marine Dreams), Jim Kilpatrick (Shotgun Jimmie), Richard Laviolette, and visual artist Shary Boyle, all landed on Yukon soil, ready to strike some creative gold together.
Each day was spent recording out at the studio, each night was spent in the cabin by the river, rehearsing relentlessly. There was some initial worry about keeping everyone boxed in together for a week, recording all day, rehearsing all night, and playing two shows at the end of that week. Yet everyone jumped at the chance to collaborate more, to play on each other’s songs, and to rehearse more.
By day four in the studio, it was decided that it wasn’t simply a collaborative project being put together, but rather a collaborative album, Northern Register, made by a newly formed supergroup — Community Theatre. Which is now for sale. Click here to buy it.
NOTE: YOU CAN CATCH BURNING HELL TONIGHT AT THE ROCKHO– USE
1.) Plymouth Acclaim : For Sale (Baby Eagle)
2.) I Think My World Just Got a Little Bit Bigger (The Burning Hell)
3.) Slowly (Marine Dreams)
4.) Engines (Kyle Cashen)
5.) Onward & Upward (Shotgun Jimmie)
6.) Winter Studies No. 4 (Construction & Destruction)
7.) Snailhouse (Richard Laviolette)
8.) The Quickening (Wax Mannequin)
9.) Will You Know? (Michael Feuerstack)