Josh Kolm wrote this piece for The Lance in January 2012:
Fun loving, hard working
One-of-a-kind jam punks the Nefidovs won’t let up on their furious schedule
The most important aspect of 2011 for Windsor ska-punk workhorses the Nefidovs has been the
continuation of their tireless work ethic and adherence to their “for the music” mindset.
Trumpet player Jon Liedtke and guitarist/vocalist Doug Clarke are the only members remaining from the band’s original four-piece conception in 2009.
“Graham Kennish left the band at the end of the summer in 2010, and I was asked to join around late August or early September,” said drummer and occasional vocalist Adam D’Andrea.
Shortly following that, bassist Craig Munt departed and was replaced by Rich Jennings. Trombone player Kirk Guthrie joined last January after moving back to Windsor from Sudbury, along with saxophone player Nick Munk.
After building up a reputation that went beyond the group’s friends and former bandmates, the Nefidovs independently released their first album Set Faces to Stunned last summer.
The band has been busy writing since then—“without exaggeration, probably somewhere close to about 20 songs,” according to member Jon Liedtke—and they plan to record a new album early this year, to be released by the summer.
“In my opinion, the next album will be a much more cohesive unit than the first album, and will almost work like a concept album,” said D’Andrea. “As fun as it is, Set Faces to Stunned was almost more of a ‘grab bag’ of songs. It was basically, ‘here’s what we’ve written so far. Enjoy.””
With a three-piece horn section, calling the Nefidovs a ska-punk band is easy, but they are certainly far removed from the happy-go-lucky third-wave ska of the 1990s, associated with bands like Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish, alternating from punk to jam band to hardcore from song to song.
“We don’t consider ourselves a ska band, whatsoever,” Liedtke said. “We certainly employ ska lines, and have ska influences, but the fact of the matter is, we consider ourselves punk with horns. To simply define ourselves as ska would be limiting.”
Very limiting, as the band’s scope of styles is apparent very quickly.
“Being a band with six members, there’s a lot of different influences that slip in there,” D’Andrea said. “The horn players all listen to punk and whatnot, but they also bring a lot of jazz, funk and blues influence to the table. Doug brings a lot of the early 90s punk sound to the band. Myself and Rich bring more of the older punk sound, both of us being fans of the Clash and Dead Kennedys. And of course, we all love reggae.”
Whatever point in their influences they are currently reflecting, the band never seems to perform at anything less than full-throttle, under vocals that range from Clarke’s burly raspiness to D’Andrea’s delightfully hardcore-reminiscent shouts.
“A lot of that comes from the lyrical content of our music,” D’Andrea said about the bands heavy tendencies. “Most of our songs are about the working class and unions, a subject that most bands around Windsor don’t really address, as far as I’ve seen.”
Even beyond the lyrics, “hard working” is something that seems to be a building block of the band’s philosophy. They are relentless performers, playing a different venue in the city nearly once a week, and on a couple of occasions, several times a day.
“We feel that playing a lot around Windsor is important to really get our name out there,” D’Andrea explained. “Keep in mind that we generally play with a vast variety of bands and don’t restrict ourselves solely to Windsor’s punk scene. Very rarely do we turn down shows because we don’t feel like we’ll ‘fit in.’ Screw that. Music is music.”
The new paradigm in DIY music is the necessary skill for a group to utilize the Internet to spread their work to the greatest amount of people possible. The Nefidovs have been more than able to keep up with this, ranging from simple show promotion to streaming their songs, to offering some of it for free to those who care enough to download it.
However, that is just the bare minimum, and with new material on the way comes more opportunities to utilize the resources at the band’s disposal.
“Up until this point, it hasn’t made sense for us to actively use all of the resources to promote ourselves on the internet, as we’ve known that we will have a full length soon which will better represent us,” Liedtke said. “Expect to see it scattered across social media sites, internet messaging boards and hopefully through a viral release of a music video on numerous blogs and websites that you wouldn’t expect. We’re all fairly technical nerd type guys.”
Despite their heavy show schedule, work and school commitments between the six members tend to keep the band tethered to Windsor. They have ventured further north before—recently playing an opening slot for Detroit’s Electric Six in Sarnia—and are open to
the possibilities of small tours. But for the time being, they are content with contributing to music in this city.
“Without the support we’ve received in Windsor we’d be nothing. A lot of our lyrics revolve around stuff we’ve seen and lived through in Windsor. I’ve seen a lot of local bands that are extremely reluctant to play in Windsor either because of personal reasons or because they claim that there’s a crummy music scene. How can you complain that there’s no music scene when you’re not doing anything to help it? Doesn’t make much sense to me.”
Words and pictures // The Lance : http://uwindsorlance.ca/2012/01/04/fun-loving-hard-working/