The Weakerthans Biography

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The Weakerthans write and perform songs with voices, guitars, and drums. Critically hailed and impossible to categorize, they have developed a strong and dedicated following that crosses the boundaries of genres and fashions. Labels like Punk or Alternative or Rock may seem appropriate, but they would hope Honest would do.

"We write the only songs we know how to write: songs that reflect the place we come from, musically and geographically, the community we live in, and the struggle for any one person to connect with another in a meaningful way," says lyricist John Samson. Comprised of Stephen Carroll (guitar, backing vocals), John K. Samson (guitar, lead vocals), John Sutton (bass, backing vocals), and Jason Tait (drums, saw, etc.).

The Weakerthans began playing together in 1997 in Winnipeg, Canada. Their first full-length recording, Fallow, was named one of the ten best albums of 1998 by CBC National Radio, album of the year by Perimeter Magazine, and received positive reviews all over North America and Europe. With their much-anticipated second full-length recording, Left and leaving, released by G7 Welcoming Committee Records (Canada) and Sub City Records (USA) on July 25, 2000, The Weakerthans present 12 perfectly formed songs ranging from anthemic punk to bewildered lullaby.

Although much has been made of their punk-rock pedigree John Samson was bass player for the 100,000 plus selling Fat Wreck Chords band Propagandhi for five years, the other members all played in successful touring bands.

The Weakerthans appeal to a broad audience with musical influences including punk, folk, country, show-tunes, union hymns, rock, nursery school anthems, etc., and so on. Something to please or annoy everyone. Lyrically, Samson concentrates on issues of alienation, hope, and survival within a society riddled with injustice and a culture commodified in every possible way.

The Weakerthans tour often and everywhere, against better judgment.

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Great band! | Reviewer: Jason | 3/5/09

It's funny to hear people wonder why bands this good aren't big in the US. Anyone from the Mighty Empire should understand why: it's not about quality; rather, it's about what sells. When the entire mainstream music industry is telling you what's good and what to listen to, it's not difficult to understand. There's simply no way for most people to know when they think the only music that exists comes out of corporate radio and TV. That's basically the reason underground scenes (i.e. punk rock) come about, and this band is basically a punk band with a little better sense of what good music is. Just look at Samson's roots in a very political punk band, Propagandhi.

I freaking love the weakerthans | Reviewer: mariah | 2/9/07

I have known about them for years, and I have literally been in love with them forever, They are my favorite band and that is saying something for me, I love that they are so unknown and unique, they deserve alot of credit for their music. I love so many of their songs and I love their lyrics, one of the reasons being, u can actually understand what they are saying, unlike fallout boy

reconstructed site | Reviewer: Stephen | 1/28/06

The Weakerthans are one of the most amazing bands out there... you must give them credit for not selling out and staying off MTV... recently modest mouse has been picked up by MTV and it changed them... they're not the same... the weakerthans are indy/punk-rock/country in 1997 (propaghandi) broke up and out came the weakerthans, their lyrics are best understood well drunk... check them out...

Weakerthans = Awesome | Reviewer: Alex | 9/30/05

I heard about the Weakerthans when I went to Germany and stayed with a family there. I got two of their CDs and they are, by far, the best I own. This band seems to have the perfect balance between deep, poetic lyrics and out-of-the-ordinary musicality. They are a great alternative to today's rock bands that all seem to sound the same.

No one seems to know about them in America, but apparently the people who made the movie Wedding Crashers do, because one of their songs is played during the credits. Very cool indeed.

The greatest band no one seems to have heard... | Reviewer: C.J. Volney | 8/5/04

I really don't understand why, after all these years, people still don't know who I'm talking about when I say 'Weakerthans.'

The Weakerthans have amazing, poetic lyrics, songs that you will find yourself humming all day long, and an amazing variety of musical styles. They venture into punk, soft rock, country (which i dont really like, but it works for me when this band does it) and something that can only be described as poetry/lullaby/1920's jazz/ whatever. I don't know how they manage to produce something fresh with each new song but the weakerthans never fail to surprise me.

Listen to 'Aside.' Great huh? Now listen to 'Maryland Bridge' by John K Samson. Different eh? Alright, now listen to 'fallow.' Starting to see what I'm getting at? This band can do it all. I love nearly every track on every album, which is about 30-40 songs that I can't live without. That's a musical batting average that no other band I've ever liked has ever accomplished.

My favorite songs are 'This is a firedoor, never leave open,' 'a plea from a cat named virtue' and ' Watermark.' But those win by a slim margin. The weakerthans produce quality music; enough said.

They are my favorite band, and they should be a canadian institution.

C.J. Volney

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