The year was 2014, the place was Edmonton and the mission was simple. Spread the highly infectious pop punk contagion to the four corners of the earth and beyond. And, just like that, the first wave of Real Sickies was unleashed. A steady stream of demos and EPs quickly established the Sickies as a local virus to be reckoned with. The band fiercely escalated their fever pitch plans of world domination by sharing the stage with heavyweights Stiff Little Fingers, Subhumans, The Real McKenzies, Giuda, Mean Jeans and The Jolts just to name a few. A couple near disasters almost put the Real Sickies out of commission. Lead singer Ben ironically got real sick and required spinal surgery while a couple of founding members stepped down. This would usually be enough to sink any band; but Ben bounced back like a champion, new members stepped up and Real Sickies released their phenomenal debut album “Get Well Soon”. The band immediately shot out on tour making house calls across nation as many new fans happily succumbed to the sickness for the first time.
In 2019 Real Sickies launched their pop punk pathogen straight into the final frontier. “Out Of Space” is thirteen rocket-propelled, turbo-boosted, NASA-disavowed tracks of incurable, infectious bliss. Clocking in around thirty minutes, the album blasts the patient into orbit with plenty of sweet singalong choruses, blazing down-stroke riffs and enough whoa-ohs to infect even the most jaded extraterrestrial.
Now the Sickies are back and ready for Romance. Love Is For Lovers serves up yet another platter full of tasty hooks and punk rock melodies, but this time around with a dash of pop that shows a leap in songwriting craft. Recorded in Edmonton at Rob Lawless’ Physics Lab Studios, the album offers songs that straddle the border between Ramones style aggression and Strokes reminiscent vocal takes. This color-vinyl release includes everything from explosive rockers to heart-wrenching ballads. “Love is for Lovers” is the whole enchilada!
Everybody knows that love is always best when it's shared with friends and with special guests. It was only natural then, that they would hire Dave Bacon of SNFU to add bass and vocals to their cover of T-Rex’s “Jeepster” and for their own “Think of the Sunshine.” When the band was ready to hit their more heartfelt numbers on the album, they enlisted local indie country sensation Lucette. Her soulful and emotive vocals can be heard on the duet “Give and Take.” “We toyed with the idea of a duet for a bit and it made sense for us to keep it local but open up new doors to people we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten a chance to work with,” says singer Ben Disaster of the collaboration.
The band’s advances in songwriting skill is apparent with this latest release, and with good reason. “The album has been in the works since 2018,” says singer Ben Disaster. “We ended up scrapping songs a few times, I guess maybe more so demoing them and re-demoing them. That wasn’t something we had really done in the past. More go go go go go.” A key part of the equation when listening to their new album is the production influence of Real Mckenzies’ bassist Mario Nieva. Ben and Mario met unexpectedly in a B.C. Ferries restroom while their respective bands were on tour. Ben Disaster says of the encounter, “We hit it off talking about mental health and love and music, basic bathroom talk. Mario ended up playing bass for us on the last night of the tour and we decided to get him to come out and lend a fresh set of ears to the album. That's when it started taking a new form.”
The band has already charted at #1 on campus radio for their teaser single “Lover is for Lovers” and the album’s official video for “Communication Breakdown” has racked up close to 100k in views on Youtube. The Real Sickies are itching to get back on the road, and their touring history is proof of their dedication to pounding the pavement. The boys have been on the road with influential and acclaimed artists like Stiff Little Fingers, Subhumans UK, Chixdiggit, Real Mckenzies, Guida, 88 Fingers Louie, Mean Jeans, Ten Foot Pole, and a host of others. As the pandemic seems to be coming close to an end, expect to see Real Sickies in a town near you soon. And as Ben Disaster would have you remember, “No matter who you are you deserve love. Love is for lovers, so go out and get yours today!”
For fans of: The Ramones, Teenage Head, (early) Green Day, The Copyrights, Teenage Bottle Rocket
“..seriously-fun, without being overly serious, great record for old-school punk fans, and driving rock fans, alike. Put on your red and green 3-D glasses, your rattiest (or neatest) pair of Chucks, and “Rock ‘n Roll High School” dance party all over your room!” – Canadian Beats
“Punk rock is a flame that refuses to go out. Leading that charge in Edmonton is Real Sickies, a born and bred classic punk band in the same vein as Ramones or Teenage Head.” – Beat Route Magazine
“But if you're like me and can never get enough great punk/powerpop/rock n' roll, this record is not to be missed!” – Faster & Louder Magazine