Stomping Grounds: Toronto, ON (CANADA) by Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats

cancerbatsliamsingleLiam Cormier fronts a band out of Toronto, Ontario known round those parts (and to the rest of the world) as Cancer Bats.  The band takes their cues from hard edged post-punk and southern metal, and last year’s Hail Destroyer has had critics and fans in a tizzy since.  As for Toronto, Liam himself says “I wasn’t born here, but Toronto, Ontario Canada is where I call home and I probably always will.  Here’s some fun facts about it.”

1. What’s your town’s nickname?
Back in the day people used to call it “Muddy York” because the roads were always muddy and filthy and hard to get around in, which back in the days of horse and buggy must have been a ball ache. The city was later known as “Hog Town” because of the large amounts of pork processing that went down. Not many people use that nickname, most people just call Toronto “T-O.”
2. Why do you live there?
I live at Bloor and Lansdowne, which is a great little neck of the woods. I’m close enough to all the good spots in town without all the noise or assholes that come a long with it. By bike everything is within a 30 minute radius so it works out perfectly.
3. What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
C.N Tower would be my favorite attraction. I never really go there, but it’s a huge tower (largest free standing building in the world mother fucker what’s up!?!) that you can see from anywhere in the city. I just get stoked whenever I see it coming into the city when I’ve been gone for a while. It’s the first thing you can see coming from any direction and then you know you’re almost home.
4. What is your favorite local event/festival?
There a night that happens every year called “Nuit Blanche” where the whole downtown is taken over by art installations. It runs all night long and the city is full of people checking out crazy art all over the place until all hours of the morning. It just ends up being a great party.
5. What is the best time of year to be there?
I love the city in the fall. The summer is way too hot and muggy and pollution gets bad (smog warnings? barfff) but in the fall you can rock a good hoodie and ride your bike every where. Best times.
6. Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?cancerbatssneakydees
Our favorite place to go hands down is a bar called Sneaky Dee’s. It’s a Tex Mex bar that has cheap drinks and great food with a kitchen that’s open late which always comes in handy. They have a great venue in the upstairs that holds about 250 people for a great sweaty party. We’ve played there a bunch. Fucked Up has their Halloween shows there every year. Just a great bar.
7. What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
Toronto has had a good history of houses doing punk shows in them. That is one of my favorite places to see a band play. Nothing is more punk than moving the couch out of the way and trying to crush as many of your friends in a room as you can. I got to see Tragedy play an apartment when they were touring their first record. That was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever been to in my life.
8. What is your favorite local band?
Way too tough of a call to say one, but my top 5 would be:
1.Fucked Up
4.Career Suicide
5.Quest For Fire
9. What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
The best place in town for dinner is OddFellows on Queen. The food is insanely good. Honestly, anything you eat there is the biggest mind blow where you put your fork down and say “that is seriously the best (anything) I’ve ever eaten.” The menu has a lot of bison meat and deer and crazy shit like that, but then cooked as a meatloaf. There’s lots of vegetarian options and fish. Or sometimes the chef just wants to make burritos and that’s what you’ll get but it’ll be gourmet crazyness. Great place to take your favorite baby girl or your parents. Oh and the brownie is the best with homemade ice cream! Boooya!
10. What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?cancerbatsrotatethis
The best record store around is Rotate This. I’ve been going there since I was a kid and it has always had the best selection of shit that you would want. The best is when I was a kid going on there the staff would always give me a hard time for the stuff I would buy. Like really pretentious record store kinda shit. But I just kept going back for years and years and people came and went who worked there until I was at the point where I was friends with everyone and I was a man! I had made it through the record store gauntlet and I would never let people tell me what was what. Earned my dues.
11. What is your favorite local shop?
There’s a great skate shop in town called Adrift. It’s one of those spots that just gets it and is doing it for the right reasons. Their old location used to have a tiny skate park in the back where they would have shows and parties. Just a great spot.
12. What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
My favorite publication is Exclaim! It’s based in Toronto but it’s a Canada wide music newspaper that is put out every month. I hope that still counts? Anyways, it’s the fucking best. It covers a wide spectrum of what’s going on from indie, punk, metal, electronic, hip-hop and everything else in between. Best part is that it’s been around for as long as I can remember and has always been a good read.