The Punters, a Newfoundland Celtic-rock four-piece in the midst of its second cross-Canada tour, just came through a major lineup change which saw both the drummer and bass player replaced. But as chief songwriter Larry Foley reports, they barely skipped a beat.
"We were back out on tour two weeks after it happened, so it didn’t affect our schedule much," Foley said, from a tour stop in British Columbia.
New drummer Adam Staple and bassist Chris Batstone bring new life to the band, which is set to record its second CD for Toronto-based indie label Loggerhead Records. Both new members were formerly with Newfoundland alt-rockers Drive but have also played together in more traditional outfits. And both contribute much more than past members, in terms of backup vocals and songwriting.
"We’re actually having group writing sessions for the first time."
The Punters got their break with Loggerhead when representatives of the label caught the band’s show at the East Coast Music Awards. Up to that point, they had been scraping together the cash to tour between Newfoundland and Ontario, promoting an independently-produced, FACTOR-funded début disc. Last summer, Loggerhead signed on to re-release the début disc and distribute it across Canada, and lined up the group’s first national tour.
"It was kind of a means of getting the name around before the new record comes out," Foley said of the tour, which came to Edmonton last fall.
Now they’re on their second national tour and after they return to St. John’s June 14, The Punters will begin work on the follow-up release. They’ll open for Cheap Trick (!) in their home June 18, then get down to business for a late summer release.
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