Later in 1989 SCW – having shed it’s recent disco-jazz-funk-punk live band identity – embarked on a new project, with the band now based on the musical trio of Roba, DwM and Jeff-0, with PnrH providing graphic design and Cathie Whittaker doing costume design. Also around this time SCW began our video collaboration with Bruce Becker (aka bdb) and Catherine Willson, who were experimenting with Amiga Computer graphics at that time.
We chose the name of our next project based on something we stumbled across at our local electronics surplus store (R.I.P. Active Surplus). There we found a bunch of plastic fold-out 3-cassette packages titled God Family Country, by Zig Ziglar, an early self-help guru.
We knew – then and there – that our next project would be a 3-part album called God Family Country and we bought up all of the available packages, to insert our own cassettes as a deluxe limited-edition release.
Having figured out the concept and the packaging, we then realized we had to actually create some music to fill those 3-cassette packages! Having also recently acquired a couple of Ensoniq EPS samplers we set about our musical task. And in the typical SCW way of doing things we decided to first present God Family Country as a live show, and then release the deluxe cassette package a year later. And the CD would be released even later!
On December 31 1988 SCW hosted their second annual New Year’s party, once again at ARC on Queen St. West in Toronto. This time they topped the previous year’s show by having four different costume changes, all created by official SCW wardrobe designer Cathie Whittaker.
Here’s a photo gallery highlighting some of the costume changes.
Newspaper Ad for the Show
Here’s some video featuring MCs Eddie Fast and Old Lang supervising the limbo contest!
One of SCW’s closest friends and collaborators was the talented and fashionable Karen Young, aka DJ FunKY. Karen produced and directed experimental videos, sometimes using SCW’s music for the soundtrack. Here’s a KY animation from 1988, set to SCW’s track (fough) from our first cassette release.
In July of 1987 SCW was invited to play a show in a park back in Waterloo, Ontario where SCW started out from. The city fathers wouldn’t allow SCW to perform as Sucking Chest Wound so the band temporarily changed their name back to Sweet Children of the West, which had been used previously.
The lineup for the show consisted of legendary Waterloo band X-cessive Rancidity, followed by SCW, and finishing with Abstress – the organizers of the show.
This performance marked SCW’s final gig as a free improvisation ensemble. After this show SCW saw the light and was reborn – at least for live shows – as a disco-funk band.
On the way to the show the band stopped by the local St. Vincent de Paul charity shop to buy their stage outfits. Check it out…
Here’s a gallery of photos from the show taken by Cathie Whittaker
SCW’s cover version of a fabulous Arthur Jones composition called Sad Eyes
In 1984 SCW managed to gain access to the video production facilities at the local cable station, courtesy of our friend and collaborator Michelle Geister (aka DJ Force MG). This resulted in a series of experimental videos created by PhrH and dWM. For more info on these videos check out the Sucking Chest Wound YouTube channel… Continue reading →
Sucking Chest Wound produced this video in 1985 to promote their first two cassette releases: Arbeit Macht Frei and Model 152 Blowgun. Unfortunately the video didn’t do much to boost sales, probably because it received zero airplay…
SCW’s second release on cassette came out in mid-1985 and was a mixture of new material and live recordings from the Sweet Children of the West show in April that year. The new material continued in the same techno-industrial post-punk style of the first cassette, with added horns in some tunes. This release marked the end of SCW’s use of analogue synths, and drum machines – all future work was done using either ‘real’ instruments played live or digital samplers, drum machines and effects.
“Model 152 Blow Gun” cassette tape cover – folded out – by PnrH
On April 17 1985 SCW returned to the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada for another performance. This time they performed upstairs at a club called Level 21. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear they performed as Sweet Children of the West; the name would be resurrected later on when they were banned from performing as Sucking Chest Wound. The focus of the show was on videos prepared beforehand and played back on video monitors located throughout the performance space, along with slides projected onto the stage. SCW performed largely behind screens, occasionally venturing out onto the stage to tweak knobs etc.
The first proper SCW performance occurred on November 30, 1984 at the Chandelier Room of the Mayfair Hotel in Kitchener, Canada. The show came about through a Fine Arts course that PnrH was taking at the University of Waterloo. The show was actually marked by his professor and applied towards his credit for the course!
Ticket for the show – by PnrH
The performers included all four members of SCW plus an additional four performers recruited for the show. SCW played in the background while the other four were up front using various mic-ed up domestic and industrial tools: Charles on vacuum cleaner/balloon, Jim on sewing machine, Claudio on power tools and John on heavy metal. Film projections and video were also part of the staging. All the performers wore masks cast from their faces with plaster bandages, similar to the ‘death masks’ dating back to the middle ages. The workers rose up against their slave masters but the power tools of the workers were no match for the media tools of their slave masters… Continue reading →