It was over 30 years ago that Kevin Connelly fronted New Regime, one of Canada’s more successful contributions to the New Wave movement. Although they released only two albums, the self-titled 1985 debut and 1987’s The Race, they established Connelly as an important figure on the scene, perhaps slightly ahead of his time.
Now with his new project Iron Age Mystics, Connelly is out to prove he is totally in sync with our current times, as the band’s long-gestating first collection of material, Pride Before The Fall, is a scathing critique of the political climate set to some blistering old school hard rock.
The intent seems clear on songs like Save It For The Revolution, Thought Police, and You’ve Got The Power—their messages aimed directly at rousing an apathetic citizenry to take action. They’ve even gotten on the radar of U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whose campaign approved and endorsed a clip of one of his speeches on the track Big Bad Motherf---er.
As the band continues to rally its forces, we spoke to Connelly about how it all came together. Pride Before The Fall is available here
What makes Pride Before The Fall different from your past work?
My conscience. It’s a culmination of a lifetime of artistry, craft, and education that led me to write this. Add to that, a deeply concerned, semi-objective perspective on where this culture is headed.
What motivates you to make music now as opposed to when you started in the 1980s?
Back in the ‘80s, I was looking for a way out of suburbia. It was that old tune, “Get a steady job and get married, buy a home with a two-car garage and a big ass BBQ,” etc. I wanted to evolve as a person and inspire others. Later, I came to realize that this was a fairly rare mindset.
What's been the most significant change in your life over the past year?
This is a “slow turning of the page” kind of year. The page is still turning so I have no clear answer on this one. Personally, the future is bright, but I have very few complaints about the present.
What song in your catalogue means the most to you and why?
My personal catalogue is extensive, but with Iron Age Mystics, I’d say the album’s closer, What Ya’ Gonna Do About It. It’s an open question to the listener after 10 songs of mind-grinding, passion-inducing glory. I doubt it’s the best song I’ve ever written, but as of today, it’s the best song that I have to put forward.
What do you recall about your first time performing in public?
It was a high school battle of the bands. We opened up with the Sex Pistols’ “Holiday In The Sun.” The teacher in charge tried to shut down the power and chuck us off the stage, but my buds on the football team wouldn’t let him.