After nearly two years of writing, practising and even recording two albums, the members of Face the Lion are eager to hit the stage and finally play to a live audience.
The band — made up of drummer Nick Harper, guitarist Arthur Walker, singer/songwriter and guitarist Anthony Rinaldi and bassist Darren Lacina — jammed together for the first time in nearly six months on July 13, and are in the process of finishing up some new songs and creating a playlist in the hopes of being able to play live again one day soon. And hopefully getting enough new material to record a third album.
“I’m excited. I’ve got a bunch of songs I’ve written over the lockdown and feel like we’ve got more material for another album next year,” Rinaldi tells BarrieToday. "We’ve had two years of practising and practising and no live shows, so I think we are just itching to get out there.”
While playing at home is great, there simply is nothing like getting together in person, Lacina says.
“When you’re creating, that’s the magical part of it,” he says. “For me, there’s nothing outside of music where I have that feeling. Whenever we can get together and jam with my bandmates, it’s great.”
Face the Lion has recorded two professional albums, the latest — Shattered — is set to be released Aug. 6.
“We are very proud of them, and I’ve written more stuff that we haven’t worked on because of COVID. This is our first night jamming since we recorded the album (in January). We are really proud of our next album and are excited for people to listen to it,” says Rinaldi, noting all of their songs are original.
“At the end of the day, I really just love writing music. I love melodies, I love the Beatles and I love '90s grunge. Music is my drug and it makes me feel good just to sit in the car and listen to music at the end of the day,' he says.
While the bandmates describe their sound as being a “hodgepodge” of genres, Lacina says the origins definitely come from the kind of music they grew up listening to — 1990s grunge bands including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
“I was infatuated with John Lennon when I was younger and the melody and writing style of the Beatles just always stuck in my head and the darkness of grunge music… blew my mind when I was younger,” says Rinaldi. “When people come to us, it’s funny because people say it sounds like 'this' and every time it is something different.
"We never get the same band over and over, which makes me so happy because I never want to hear we sound exactly like (another band). That would be terrifying to me.”
When writing and creating the music, Rinaldi pulls from his own life experiences as well as from the experiences of those around him.
“Doing what I do for a living, I’ve ingested a lot of positive and negative from people that visit me. I have just always felt like it was good to get it out, but I am not specifically writing about one person. … Sometimes it is, but it’s more about what people are going through.
"Everything isn’t just happy-go-lucky. There’s a lot of sadness and things do go wrong. After a while, hearing so much of it, I need to write," he says.
As with anything, the band’s sound has grown over the years, says Lacina, and the biggest growth has been with how they craft their songs.
“We want to make the songs interesting from the start to the end. From the first album to this new one, our songs have definitely matured a lot. Anthony’s songwriting is getting stronger and stronger, too. Sometimes he will just come with a kernel of an idea and then we flush it out, but lately he’s got a more concrete idea, which makes it really easy for us. Then it’s just figuring out the technical parts.”
Despite their busy schedules outside of music, the band intends to continue to write and record music for as long as they possibly can.
“I want to always be writing music and I am hoping I will always have these guys to create with. I’d love to release an album every year,” Rinaldi says. “Everything about it I just love.”
They also want to help bring rock 'n' roll back to the airwaves.
“Everything just feels really safe right now,” says Harper. “We want to bring the edge back.”
The band agreed that they all feel they’ve succeeded with that goal with their upcoming album, Shattered.
“It’s intense, lyrically. It’s stuff I’ve ingested for years,” says Rinaldi. “Hopefully, people that have been craving good rock that we used to listen, too. We aren’t trying to recreate anything from the past, but just want to bring some crunch back.”
The first two singles from Face the Lion’s upcoming album are available on any of the major streaming platforms.