You can’t stop a mammoth

Royal Tusk and guests rock The Gateway

Edmonton’s Royal Tusk, Saskatoon’s The Pistolwhips and Calgary bands Double Fuzz and Ten Minute Detour rocked The Gateway on March 2.

The Calgary stop of their tour with The Pistolwhips was the Buzzfeed Artists-to-Watch-listed band’s last Alberta concert before their appearance on March 18 at the South by South West (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas.

Sandy MacKinnon, bassist for Royal Tusk, said that a show with his band is like “a kegger on a Thursday night.”

MacKinnon said that if you were to ask him, the bands that influence him are the likes of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and other classic metal and hardcore punk bands. According to their website, Royal Tusk’s sound is a mix of rock and soul with a blue collar touch.

Local band Ten Minute Detour opened the night with songs from their debut album Lay It Down, released in 2015. The band recently came back from Nashville, Tenn., where they recorded their sophomore album under the wing of producer Lincoln Parish, alternative-rock band Cage the Elephant’s former guitarist.

Lead singer Andrew Shier said that his band doesn’t aspire to fit into any one specific genre, but that they take influences for their sound from the likes of Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam and especially the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And, that it’s up to listeners to tell them what they hear, and how they classify the band.

“You need to want to make yourself want to play the songs,” said Shier. He also said that every song played on stage is unique, and should capture the crowd.

Shier grew tired of a sales job that he was working three years ago, and found the opportunity to sing and play in Ten Minute Detour through an advertisement on Kijiji from a band looking for a singer. Shier quit his job, joined the band and made the band change accordingly.

Shier said that his band’s goal is to play their music live in a way “that’ll leave an impact on people.” He also said that for smaller bands just starting out, it’s more difficult to leave a lasting impression on an audience because they may just write the band off as being amateur.

Hard-rock and blues band Double Fuzz followed up after Ten Minute Detour with a sound that singer Jon Whitehead describes as being that of a “Canadian ZZ Top.” Bassist Benjamin Painter said that the single goal for Double Fuzz, and his other band Bad Animal, is to bring rock ‘n’ roll back to Calgary.

Royal Tusk’s last release, 2014’s Dealbreaker, will soon be succeeded by their latest album, which has yet to be named by the band according to MacKinnon. But McKinnon said that the album will be a lot heavier than their previous two releases. And as the band’s website says, you can’t stop a mammoth.

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