|Origin||Thousand Oaks, California, USA|
|Genres||Pop punk, melodic hardcore, post-hardcoreemo pop|
Halifax is a four-piece rock band from Thousand Oaks, California. They formed in 2003 and are currently unsigned. Their 2004 EP A Writer's Reference has sold over 60,000 copies to date, after making a cameo appearance on MTV's The Real World: Austin. The band's second full-length album, The Inevitability of a Strange World, was released in May 2006 and charted on the Billboard 200, and debuted #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers In December 2006, they won MTV2's Dew Circuit Breakout competition.
The band Halifax started in Thousand Oaks, California. Dan Locascio, Matt Locascio, Justin Chlowitz and guitarist Chris Brandt would write songs at the Locascios' house. They later recruited vocalist Mike Hunau to form a full-time touring band. The Locascios' father came up with the name for the band while setting up a hockey tournament in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in which Dan Locascio and Justin Chlowitz were to be playing later that year. After several months of occasional touring, Halifax recorded their eleven-song debut album within a week in March 2003. The self-produced and self-funded Start Back at Start was licensed and released in June 2003 by Weymouth, Massachusetts independent record label ECA Records.
However, it soon became obvious that Hunau and Brandt were not getting along with the other members of the band. Being the creative core of Halifax, the two decided to take a chance on a new batch of members. The band added guitarist Adam Charles, bassist Kevin Donlon and drummer Tommy Guindo. Because Hunau and Brandt kicked Matt out of the band, Dan became angered and left the band himself, as Matt was his younger brother. The new line-up pooled their cash to record their second album, similar to the manner in which Start Back at Start was created. The result was the yet-again self-produced EP A Writer's Reference, released on January 25, 2004 by No Milk Records. While Halifax's debut was much more reminiscent of the band's pop punk influences—namely "Taking Back Sunday" and The Starting Line—their new material showcased a more distinctive style, mainly because of the line-up changes they had undergone. The quintet felt they had become a new band and accordingly retired the entire Start Back at Start catalog from their live shows. They also toyed heavily with the idea of renaming, but eventually stuck with their already established moniker.
Given the band's earlier connection with Drive-Thru Records, Halifax opened on various Drive-Thru bands' tours, before getting signed by the Thousand Oaks-based record label in July 2004. Simultaneously, bassist Donlon quit after only a year in the band to pursue his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at California State University, Northridge. While Chlowitz was initially rumored to return, the vacant position on the bass was instead filled by temporary members or Hunau. A permanent replacement was not found until Doug Peyton joined the band in late 2005. Drive-Thru re-released A Writer's Reference, which had only been sporadically available in record stores, to the general public in January 2005, with new artwork and a bonus track. International tours followed, including the Dead by Dawn Tour (with From First to Last, Emanuel and He Is Legend) and the Warped Tour in the United States, as well as the Drive-Thru Invasion Tours in Europe and Japan. In between, Halifax appeared on MTV's The Real World: Austin alongside hellogoodbye in a series of episodes about the South by Southwest music festival. The band was unhappy that they had been depicted in the episodes as a group of mindless drunks, but the exposure certainly helped spread the word about the band; it resulted in over one million plays on PureVolume. In December 2005, the group went on a headlining tour with support from Punchline, I Am the Avalanche and The Fully Down.
In February 2006, the group went on Midwest and east coast tour with Paramore, My American Heart, and So They Say. In May 2006, Drive-Thru Records released Halifax's third album, which marked the first time the band worked with a record producer. The Inevitability of a Strange World was produced partially by Lou Giordano and partially by Machine, who had previously worked with such renowned bands as Armor for Sleep, The Goo Goo Dolls, Lamb of God, and Sunny Day Real Estate. Thanks to them, the album featured a much rawer sound, giving a slight nod to a variety of heavy metal acts (most notably in the song "Our Revolution", which lyrically and musically pays homage to Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart"). The Inevitability of a Strange World sold close to 7,000 copies within its first week, debuting at No. 130 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Top Heatseekers chart. To promote the release, the band shot a music video for "Our Revolution", toured extensively and appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly on July 19, 2006 and on Fearless Music on September 23, 2006.
In December 2006, Halifax competed in the finals of MTV2's Dew Circuit Breakout, an annual TV battle of the bands sponsored by Mountain Dew, against Fallen from the Sky and Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer. Halifax placed first, following in the footsteps of hellogoodbye, who won the competition the year before. All the while, Payton was continuously suffering from a knee injury, which eventually forced him to leave the band in January 2007. He was replaced by a new bassist named Eric Ivener.
In 2007, the band completed tours of the United States and the United Kingdom with Madina Lake, Envy On The Coast and My American Heart. This is one of Halifax's first major tours in the UK. Their song, Nightmare, was featured in MLB 07: The Show.
Mike left the band in April 2008 with no hate or tension between him and the band (the breakup was "mutual"). In the Summer of 2008 Halifax announced that they will be going into the studio with Dwight Baker in Austin, Texas. Many pictures and videos of them in the studio were put up on their Myspace and YouTube channel. The demo "Perfect Life" was put up on their page a few weeks before that and only lasted about a month. In this song Chris shows off his finesse in singing. On August 31 they announced the album is finished but didn't say when it will be released. In December Brandt posted a "Halifax Holiday Update" bulletin announcing that they have not "died", they are eager to get back playing shows and interacting with fans. He also had some big news that the band has parted ways with Drive-Thru Records. They are sending copies of the album to other labels waiting to get a record deal. "...Once that happens it will be coming out asap" says Chris. By the time all that happens the expected release date is late spring/early summer 2010.
On January 8, 2009, it was announced that the band had left Drive-Thru Records and that they had recently completed their next album. On April 5, they posted two new songs entitled "Snakeslide" and "My Restless Heart" unmastered and unmixed. Then in July released two more new songs entitled "Tonight" and "No Saturation" unmastered and unmixed. It was announced on February 12, 2010 that Halifax will be releasing the new single off their album entitled "Breathe" in the next week. The album, a 6 track EP entitled Align, was released on April 6, 2010. The band announced they were signed to Rocket Science Records on March 30, 2010.
The legacy the band left is one that says rock and roll isn't dead, and that music can still come from the heart. The band stayed true to who they were throughout their tenure as musicians. The delay between "Strange World" and "Align" was partly caused by their move to get out of a record deal previously signed and into the world of free music and masters. The band liberated themselves from the corporate world and became what they were in the beginning; a band about the music.
From A Writer's Reference EP:
From The Inevitability of a Strange World:
From Align EP: