Track By Tracks: THE CASTOR TROYS - Legends Never Die (2018)

1. Blackout Love:

Everyone in our home region has a story about their experiences during the Northeast blackout of August 2003. Based on the stories of a few close friends, I set a pair of star-crossed drunks in the middle of the event’s first evening. The song captures their impulsive, over-sexed journey through downtown, where all of the action was. Nobody knew when the power was coming back on, but the consensus was that this outage was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make some good memories and bad decisions.

2. We Are One:

We completely repurposed the track High Stakes from our first album, Come Hell or High Water. It was the 2nd song we had ever written as a band. It always had a hook, and that special…something, so we brought it to our Producer, Andre Kaden Black in an initial meeting for this record.  Andre insisted that the song needed to lose the swing beat, and would be better served as a straight-ahead 4/4 punk ripper. More importantly, he wanted a big, anthemic chorus. Huge gang vocals were also added, and we had a much improved song.

The song follows a young soldier and his brothers-in-arms storming a beach in WWII, but the intent was to keep the content vague enough so that it could be applied to any group of people about to confront a daunting task together. A pre-game anthem, a psych-up for your morning, something to yell at the sky, or in our case, a crowd. The song remains special to us for this reason. We’re on this path together, and dammit, we’re going to win, or die trying. “Three miles up, three miles down.”

3. Watch the City Burn:

This song is partnered with We Do Believe from the Come Hell or High Water album. It tells Angel’s side of the story. He’s essentially a scumbag with no redeemable qualities that finds himself out of luck and options after he assaults a woman who’s tied to a notorious biker gang. Set in actual locations in our hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Angel is spinning out of control in a motel, gacked on blow, and awaiting the inevitable retaliation that’s coming his way. Payback is a mother.

4. Legends Never Die:

I’ve been obsessed with The Stopwatch Gang’s story since I was a kid. I’ve always rooted for the villain, but these guys had me mesmerized.  They were Canadian, historically successful at their craft, and never resorted to violence during their bank and facility heists from 1974 to 1980. I watched countless documentaries and special reports, saw them on America’s Most Wanted, and read books written by or about them. It was difficult to capture their story in two verses and a bridge. I was saddened to hear of Stephen Reid’s passing this year. It would have been incredible to speak to the man one day. Maybe we’ll be cast in the movie adaptation…

This song was not intended to be the title track. We were very fortunate to procure the album’s cover illustration from Nashville artist, Derrick Castle. We had our eye on this particular piece since recording began. Simply put, “Legends Never Die” was the title that best suited the design.

5. Wreck of the Bastard:

Track 5 is based on the true story of one of Canada’s most decorated fighter pilots and parachutists, Raymond Munro. Though his entire life was a series of spectacular events and circumstances, I focused on the day in WWII he crashed his Spitfire (dubbed “The Bastard”) on the coast of the English Channel. He survived, despite his aircraft likely being the victim of sabotage. Musically, this song was constructed with full-throttle verses and soaring choruses in true Iron Maiden fashion.

6. Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers):

We knew we wanted a cover song on the new release. We also knew that we wanted to reinvent a song – much in the way Canadian rock gods Headstones covered Tweeter and the Monkey Man, and had made it their own.  We must have suggested or demo’d a few dozen song ideas, but nothing was striking us. It was one week until the studio, and we still had no solution. I mentioned to our guitarist, Chris that we just needed a driving song to sink our teeth into. He took that literally, and came up with Petty’s classic road tune. It hit us immediately. A day later a demo was mocked up, and he had our heading. “This sounds like Motörhead and Petty did a bunch of coke and hit ‘record’!” was mentioned at Jukasa Studios while laying down the rhythm section. That’s as good an endorsement a band could hope for.

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