The Carnations have had a long and interesting past, stopping and starting throughout the last six years. It all started in 1995, when Steve Krecklo taught Thomas D’Arcy to play the bass guitar. Within months the first Carnations line-up was formed. By 1996, they were in the studio. Nathan Rekker was added to the line-up, and the first album, Superluminal, was released in 1997. The album received favorable reviews, and one song, Bald Avenger, was selected for the CFNY New Rock Search CD in Toronto. When the album was recorded, D’Arcy was sixteen years old, and Krecklo seventeen. When it came time to act upon this first tidbit of success, they weren’t even old enough to play in a bar. Also, originating from the small town of Oshawa, Ontario made it difficult to promote themselves. Borrowing the parents’ pick-up truck just wasn’t working out.
In 1998, the band released a split seven inch single on Sycamore Records in Barrie, Ontario. The single was named one of the top ten of the year by NOW Magazine. At the time, reviewers compared the band to the likes of Supergrass or The Buzzcocks. When A Return To Melody, the second LP, was released, the drummer had his thumb severed by a band saw while working in a factory job. Needless to say, the band was forced to take yet another hiatus.
After the accident, The Carnations began to play more shows in the greater Ontario, developing a reputation on the road. For example, they were once banned from a club in Oshawa after D’Arcy performed an encore nude. At another show -- this time in Windsor -- they ended up jumping on the roof of the van after a gig just before going to the casino to gamble away all of their pay on one spin of roulette. Some money was saved though, and gigs such as these helped to fund the first recordings of The Carnations’ latest EP, which was produced by Ian Blurton (producer of The Weakerthans) A small deal with a UK label called Alphabetty Records saw the release of a single called Scream & Yell. Record Collector Magazine called it single of the month, and the entire limited run sold out.
In the meantime, members of the band worked hard at a few other high profile gigs. Drummer Ian LeFeuvre kept his day job with Starling, D’Arcy joined All Systems Go! (Bad Taste Records), sharing singing and song writing responsibilities with John Kastner (ex-Doughboys), and Krecklo became a member of Andy Stochansky’s band (RCA Records).
The next six months would see the Carnations finishing the songs on the EP. One song, Sundays, was released as the lead off single on the Grenadine Records compilation Syrup and Gasoline, featuring up and coming Canadian acts such as The Dears. The self-titled Carnations EP was completed a few months later and ready for release on Toronto’s Ductape Records, whose current roster includes The Meligrove Band, Four Square, Dead Letter Dept., and The Moops.
With Blurton as producer, the six song EP displays the band’s ability as a songwriting unit with influences ranging from Television to The Pixies. More new songs have already been produced, and now with major label interest for the first time, a top quality recording, and their youth (D’Arcy is now 22, Krecklo 23 and Rekker 23), The Carnations are destined for success. Their latest CD-EP (DCD-007-2) is now available in Canada on Ductape Records and in the United Kingdom on Alphabetty Records.