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About Wednesday Night Heroes

It's been said that in order to be a true Cockney, one has to have grown up within earshot of the Bow Bells -- that is, the church bells of St. Mary le Bow, an historic Christian church that is located on London's working class East End and has been through everything from the Great Fire of London of 1666 to the Nazi bombings of 1941. Wednesday Night Heroes don't live even remotely close to the Bow Bells; they live a continent away in Edmonton, Canada. But the Canadian punk rockers are so mindful of classic British punk that they sound like a group of Cockneys who walk past St. Mary-le-Bow on a regular basis. Although Wednesday Night Heroes didn't get together until the late '90s, their material is totally oblivious to the popular emo sounds of the '90s and 2000s -- they show no awareness of blink-182, Sunny Day Real Estate, Texas Is the Reason, the Promise Ring or any other well-known emo bands. Instead, their loud, boisterous, raucous work is an unapologetic throwback to the old-school British punk and Oi! bands of the late '70s and early '80s; their material recalls an era in which the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, the Damned, 999, Generation X and the Buzzcocks ruled the British punk scene and spoke to working class Cockneys in much the same way that early hip-hop spoke to working class African-Americans. But despite having a very British-influenced sound, Wednesday Night Heroes have never pretended to be from the U.K.; actually, their lyrics are full of references to Canadian pride and Canadian patriotism (although lead singer Graeme MacKinnon has insisted that Heroes are not a political band, for the most part). MacKinnon has also stressed that even though a lot of skinheads have been attending their shows in Canada, they are very much against racism; MacKinnon has, in various interviews, emphasized that not every young white male who goes for the skinhead look embraces a racist, bigoted, neo-Nazi ideology.

Along the way, Wednesday Night Heroes have had a few lineup changes; in 2004, the lineup consisted of Graeme MacKinnon on lead vocals, his brother Luke MacKinnon, a.k.a. Luke Manimal, on bass, Konrad Adrelunas (formerly of an Edmonton punk band called Wrekdefy) on guitar and Jay Zazula on drums. Zazula, who is also known in Canadian rock circles for playing with Mad Bomber Society, replaced former Heroes drummer Todd Rocket; Adrelunas replaced former Heroes guitarist Lance the Impaler. In 2001, the Heroes' first full-length album (which was self-titled) was released by Longshot Music, an independent, punk-oriented label that was originally based in Vancouver, Canada but has since relocated to New York City. That CD was followed by "No Regrets for Our Youth" (a 7" vinyl EP) in 2001, and Heroes' second full-length album, Superiority Complex, in 2003. "No Regrets for Our Youth" and Superiority Complex were also released on Longshot Music. ~ Alex Henderson

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