It’s been over 2 years since the first time I tore my face off listening to Tomorrow Come Today. Since then, Boysetsfire have been pretty quiet. I remember them playing one show in Toronto in the summer of 2003, but I think that was the only time they were up here in the past few years. Their online presence has been pretty dismal as well. Weird, right? Not really actually. You see, before the release of Tomorrow Come Today, BSF signed to Wind-Up Records (if you’re a friend of mine, you already know where I’m going with this).

Also released in 2003 on Wind-Up was Cauterize’s So Far From Real. Being a friend of the band, I was extremely stoked for them – having a chance to release an album the would get international distribution, large scale touring and a large chunk of cash couldn’t be bad… or could it? The band was enlisted on the Nintendo Fusion tour which took them across the US playing stadiums and arenas with other Wind-Up bands; Evanescence, Finger Eleven and yes, Boysetsfire. After that, they did a short stint with Eve 6 and another with Three Days Grace – which sucked big time for the boys as their trailer was broken into during the tour and all of the gear taken while they slept. Brutal. They released a video when the record was released and were promised a second one… which never happened. It seemed that it didn’t do well enough and didn’t get picked up by enough radio stations, so I guess they just gave up on it. Shortly after, the band started writing for a follow-up to So Far From Real. Months passed while the band continued to write and submit demos to the label. But nothing seemed to satisfy them (Wind-Up). They continued down this road for a good year and a half without playing any shows. Finally, they grew tired of the bullshit they were being fed and managed to get out of their contract. They’ve since released Paper Wings (which is killer, btw) on their own and have played a few shows locally. So great to see them back in action and I believe Paper Wings contains some of the best songs they’ve ever written.

Sadly, that’s not where this story ends. Some where in the middle of Cauterize’s experience with Wind-Up, Summer Hero (who are also good friends of mine and share a jam room with Cauterize) got involved with Wind-Up. They spent the better part of a year writing and sending demos to the label only to go through the same process and receiving feedback like, “We don’t hear a single.” At one point a ‘co-writer’ was brought on board to help them sound more like what people wanted to hear – which was apparently that god-awful, Theory Of A Default Back, Three Days Grace type crap. They even went as far as asking Ryan (lead vocals) to change they way he sang. Bull. Shit. Fortunately, the Summer Hero smelled it to and got the f-o before signing anything that bound them to Wind-Up. If they hadn’t, they probably would have missed out on all the amazing shows they’ve played this past year. Which included opening for some of the biggest names in punk-rock like Nofx, Good Riddance and Goldfinger.

About half an hour ago as I was checking my feeds, I see the headline Boy Sets Fire signs to Equal Vision/Burning Heart, re-releases planned, demos available – Fuck! Yeah! To make it even sweeter, they’ve launched a new website and announced a bunch of new tour dates (none in Canada, though). On the new site, they have a great write up in place of the standard, stuffy biography where they cover their departure from Wind-Up. The last few paragraphs had me both saddened, and insanely stoked…

After Australia the label let us know that they were in affect giving up on the record. There would be no second single. It was ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚¦ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“write another record, kids.ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡? Ok, we were ready. It was a blast writing this record. Ideas came fast and the songs were up a couple notches in intensity. We were broke, Bush was the president, and our personal lives were in shambles. Sucks for us, but great for our music. We had every intention of writing for a couple of months, recording, and then immediately going out there again. Not so fast.

ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚¦ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¾ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢t hear a single.ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡? Was the common refrain we heard from label and management. ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚¦ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“We don’t care.ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡? (that was our reply). None of us listen to the radio, or if we do, we don’t like it. Boysetsfire will never sound like watered down nirvana or stop singing what we sing about. ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚¦ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ya gotta go easy on the president.ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡? We heard that more than once.

Not that I blame Wind-up. They were great to us. They just didnÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¾ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢t really know or understand who we were. The idea of a co-writer was broached. Do we look or sound like Ashlee Simpson? Maybe Nathan is as cute as she is, but, come on….

So the story continues. We were given the go ahead to record. And then told no. And then the go ahead And then told no. Third time told yes and then no. That broke it. We asked to be released, and they, being very gracious and in their hearts, kind, let us go our separate ways. (Remember the whole one record one label thing? Oh yeah, life is weird.)

So here we are. We signed deals with Equal Vision Records and Burning Heart Records not because they gave us the most money but because we felt they cared the most about our band and the direction we want to go. We talked to a lot of good people, but in the end we went with our gut reaction.

We poured our anger, pain, and yes joy into the writing and recording of our fourth full-length ÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚¦ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“the Misery Index; Notes from the Plague YearsÃƑÆ‘Ãâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’‚¡ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑƑâââہ¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡?. The record was born from intense frustration, anger and tears. I hope you like it. We do.

So, there you have it. I’ve now seen three bands be almost destroyed by that label. I’m sure all of them will be forever changed by their experience of being on a major label whose only goal is to release singles and make rockstars. Hopefully other bands take notice of what’s happening out there and are a little wiser before signing that deal that looks oh-so-sweet on paper. It’s unfortunate that this cycle may never be broken, but wouldn’t it be great if it was? Dinosaurs will die!


Comments

I’m proud to say that in 2003 I saw BSF twice in two weeks. First at Lee’s Palace opening for Taproot (ugh) – I was so blown away by their performance that when Josh the guitarist was walking through the crowd after their set, I ran up and slapped him on the back and was like "Hey man great set!". I think I must have slapped him a bit too hard because he looked kinda pissed.

Then in Cleveland @ Lollapalooza on the second stage where they blew me away AGAIN. Like mind-blowing awesome wow. That’s what it was like.

So I’m glad they’re back and on a label that’s probably more willing to work with them (not against them) than Wind-Up was.

Wow reading this I’m super pissed that I missed these guys at Lees recently. I love BSF and it was one of those bands I’d never even heard of til Cauterize signed with Windup and came home with a box of Tomorrow Comes Today CD’s and let us all steal them. I couldn’t get enough of them, and always wondered what happened to them. Obviously if you’re not Creed, Wind-up isn’t for you. Anyways, good to hear that they’re back, I’m stoked to hear it!