Great article about THE CLASS WAR KID’S new digital EP…
By Christa Cram
Back in June of 2009, the St. John’s-based band Class War Kids recorded several cover songs before going on tour, but it wasn’t until the recent earthquake hit Haiti that it was clear what to do with those recordings.
As of January 28, these tracks have been released on an EP entitled Twinkle’s Last Stand. All proceeds from its sale are going to the Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network.
“Originally it was going to be a free download EP to say thanks to our friends and fans for their support over the past two years – that or they were going to be used as exclusive tracks to an upcoming Rebel Time Records compilation,” said the band’s guitarist/singer, Patty O’Lantern.
O’Lantern was listening to CBC on the night that the tragedy happened and felt compelled to assist in Haiti’s relief efforts.
“I remembered Propagandhi helped out after the WTC (World Trace Centre) fell during 9/11. They were out giving blood the next week and encouraged everyone to do the same,” O’Lantern recalled. “We are a political band. I wanted our music to do something rather than just say something. It’s funny because a week or so before us, Propagandhi announced they were releasing a digital EP for Haiti. I actually wrote (Propaghandi member) Chris Hannah and told him we were stealing his idea.”
“It just made absolute sense to do something like this,” explained Randy Rebel from the band’s label, Rebel Time Records. “I would imagine that we will leave the EP up for sale/download indefinitely and rest assured that any monies coming in, no matter when they come in, will be forwarded to Batay Ouvriye. It’s not like the crisis in Haiti will be over in a week or a month or a year, so the needs for funds and fundraising will continue.”
The Class War Kids are asking for a minimum donation of $3 for the four song digital EP or if you just want to download a song or two, a dollar for each track.
“This way if people want to donate more they can, and if they can’t afford much they can still have a copy,” said O’Lantern. “We try to keep everything we make as inexpensive as possible. We’re not in it to make tons of cash; we’re in it to make a difference…I want it to be accessible to kids.”
The album is available on bandcamp and includes the Class War Kids’ take on songs by some great artists such as the Weakerthans and Joe Strummer.
“We can play a ton of covers ’cause it’s fun to throw something into the set when you get bored of the same set list; thus we just chose our faves – ones we kinda really put our own twist on, made them our own and recorded,” said Davey Brat, singer/guitarist for the Class War Kids.
The band hopes that with a little effort, the sales of the EP will help make some difference in Haiti and offer support in their time of need.
“We hope to help alleviate some of the suffering and turmoil that is going on right now down in Haiti,” said Brat.
They chose The Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network to donate the money to because they trust that it will get into the right hands with their assistance and actually help Haiti in rebuilding.
“I was excited to think that not only was the money being used to help the people of Haiti but that it was for the poor and working class to organize themselves against the multinational corporations that have helped to solidify the poverty that Haiti is buried underneath,” said O’Lantern.
“One of the biggest issues that the Haitian people are going to face in the wake of this disaster is the cost of rebuilding their country,” said O’Lantern. “When tragedies like this strike, there is a small window between aid pouring in and the voracious feeding frenzy that follows with companies looking to be contracted to rebuild decimated countries. Natural disasters, much like wars, are fantastic for business. The last thing the Haitian people need is to be driven further into the red by greedy North American contractors who will spare no expense.”
It’s clear that this is something The Class War Kids are passionate about, and they really want to make a difference.
“I am hoping that our contribution, however small, will help the working people of Haiti to rebuild their own nation so that they don’t end up incurring a disgustingly large bill from us that they’ll never be able to get out from under,” said O’Lantern.