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Social Code get it done their way

Optimism is rare in today’s music business, an industry of broken-hearted dreams. But somehow with bright lights, crunching guitars and a stripper pole, the brash boys of Social Code reveal a knack for it. The St.

Optimism is rare in today’s music business, an industry of broken-hearted dreams. But somehow with bright lights, crunching guitars and a stripper pole, the brash boys of Social Code reveal a knack for it.

The St. Albert foursome created waves on the Canadian rock scene when Satisfied, the first single from their third album Rock ‘N’ Roll, hit a home run. “We’re thankful it reached No. 11 in Canada and we’re looking forward to cracking the top 10,” said bassist Logan Jacobs.

There are more smiles all around as the band prepares for the 10-track album’s American debut on Tuesday, March 23. Rock ‘N’ Roll, produced by John Travis (Kid Rock, Buckcherry), was released in Canada in September 2009.

Although the CD is still north of the red, white and blue, Satisfied already climbed to No. 57 on American Active Rock Charts. Lyrically the single is a straightforward, grinding song about a one-night stand. However, lead singer Travis Nesbitt rips into it with a bragging-cajoling tone that complements the catchy hooks.

Part of the single’s early success down south was due to the strategic release of Satisfied’s video on MuchMusic at the beginning of February creating an instantaneous fan base.

Back in 2004, the band was signed to Interscope. At the Los Angeles studios they recorded A Year At the Movies, but after the company went through a major internal shuffle, Social Code was dropped.

Disillusioned but determined they regrouped and released a self-titled sophomore album that earned nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Many bands with a winning sound might feel a sense of sweet revenge competing with a company that once spurned them. Nesbitt, however, looks more to the future than the past. During the filming of Satisfied’s video at Edmonton’s Axe Productions, he simply said, “Success is the best form of payback.”

The highly charged, virtually non-stop action Nesbitt, Jacobs, Ben Shillabeer (drums) and Morgan Gies (guitar) delivered during the shoot is a big indication of their commitment.

Colin Minihan, a Canadian filmmaker with a reputation for producing hit videos for Papa Roach, Theory of a Deadman, and Hedley, directed the works. For Social Code he envisioned a stripped down classic rock and roll vibe. “I didn’t want anything too conceptually [oriented]. I wanted to relaunch it as a throwback to bands like Mötley Crüe,” he said.

At Axe’s cavernous warehouse, Minihan set up eight light towers. He sprayed the concrete floor with water. As the light bounced off, it glowed a reflective shine. Lastly, a fog machine spewed a haze shrouding Social Code in mist.

“Give me the last minute of that song,” yells Minihan looking for one more angle. It’s humid inside the room and the guys are working up a sweat. A makeup artist dabs Jacob’s cheeks and chin.

Shillabeer clicks his drumsticks and Gies flashes his Jimi Hendrix-style guitar moves. Nesbitt growls into the mike and skips across the floor singing to the tanned stripper twirling around a pole.

After about 12 hours, the takes seem endless and Nesbitt’s voice is getting raspy. As Jacobs explained, “We love what we do. We feel we can accomplish something and being stubborn and persistent is one way of doing it.”

Gies simply added, “We want to make new fans, sell records and live a happy, successful life. It can be tough sometimes, but there’s something to be said about sticking it out.”


Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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