|The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of Canadian songwriter Mathias Kom, and the band has been on the road in one form or another since 2007, playing everywhere from the chaos of Glastonbury to the loneliness of the Arctic Circle, popping up in bars, festival tents, living rooms, abandoned bunkers, and a mental asylum in rural France along the way. Musically, the lineup and sound of the Burning Hell has been ever-changing, running the gamut from introspective folk to hyperactive rock and roll. This means both that no two Burning Hell records sound alike, and that the band can adapt to its surroundings like a karma of anthropomorphic chameleons, taking the audience on a supermarket-cart ride through hooky, upbeat pop songs, dark ballads about pet euthanasia, and anthems for barbarians, economic conferences, and love. |
In 2017, The Burning Hell is set to record and release their eighth full-length album, embarking on a tour that will take them from the Rocky Mountains to the Mountains of Mourne, across the Tyrrhenian and the Norwegian Seas, and many other places in between. Always restless, The Burning Hell looks forward to a year of new sounds, new songs, and new people to share them with.
Do you have any other questions? Well, Mathias wrote this handy FAQ, and maybe the answer is here:
1. Why is your band called The Burning Hell?
It comes from a religious pamphlet I was handed on the street in Toronto in the year 2000. I was doing some home-recording and I needed a name for the project; The Burning Hell seemed to fit, and it stuck.
2. Where are you based?
Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Ontario.
3. Why did you start playing the ukulele?
Because it was small, cheap, and easy.
4. Why did you stop playing the ukulele?
I didn't, I just stopped playing ukulele on tour. I've always played both guitar and ukulele on our recordings, but on tour between 2007 and 2012 I almost always used only my baritone uke. Since 2013, however, I decided that I needed a change. Maybe one day I'll go back. Life is a highway.
5. How many people are in The Burning Hell?
Cannot Predict Now. (Thanks to Magic 8 Ball for helping with this answer)
6. But I heard that sometimes the band can have forty-five members or something. What's up with that?
The lineup has expanded and contracted from tour to tour and year to year. Along the way, members of the band have had babies, started businesses, moved to Nunavut, all kinds of things. Life, as I pointed out in Answer Number 4—and as Tom Cochrane so wisely said—is a highway. The one constant in The Burning Hell is me, the short, increasingly pudgy dude with bad hair and an endless yearning to find new rhymes for "rabbi." If you are still unsatisfied by my answer, you can see a mostly complete list of all the people that have ever played with the band, or on a recording, at the bottom of this page.
7. Is it true that The Burning Hell holds a world record?
In 2012, we played 10 concerts in 10 countries in 24 hours, which is still the most anyone has done as far as we know. But Guinness won't recognize it officially because of some stupid rule they have about needing to take a commercial flight as part of your attempt. We still did it, though, and that's what counts.
8. How many albums do you have?
We've released seven full-length albums: Tick Tock (2007), Happy Birthday (2008), Baby (2009), This Charmed Life (2010), Flux Capacitor (2011), People (2013), and Public Library (2016). There are also plenty of EPs, singles, collaborations and splits out there in the world—such as Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom: Don't Believe The Hyperreal (2015) Check out the "Music" link above for more info and sounds.
9. Will you play at my wedding / bar mitzvah / funeral?
In addition to Mathias (guitar and vocals), Ariel (clarinet/sax/vocals), Darren (guitar, etc) and Nick (bass), these other good people have either played on a Burning Hell record or been part of the touring band at one point or another:
Jill Staveley : guitar
Wyatt Burton: guitar
Shotgun Jimmie: bass
Wax Mannequin: bass
Jenny Gleeson: bass, accordion
Ian Osborn: bass
Adam DeMarsh : drums
Dave Trenaman: drums, guitar
Colleen Collins: drums
Vish Khanna: drums
JP Contois: drums
Jake Nicoll: drums
Brandon Munro: drums
Natasha Hartery : baritone saxophone, flute
Rob McGinnis: alto saxophone
Stanley Brinks: soprano and sopranino saxophones
John Duff : trombone
Alison Corbett : violin, french horn
Johnny Chartrand: violin
Charlie Glasspool: trumpet, keys
Steve McNabb : trumpet, banjolele
Matt Colbourn: trumpet
Mike Duguay : keys, glockenspiel
Clémence Freschard: zafzafa
Walter Bloodway : electronics
James Anderson: saw
Dave Hartley: harmonica
Jenny Mitchell: omnichord