Over the six years my band has been part of the Vancouver live circuit, one particular show stands out in my memory. Within thirty seconds of their set, the band onstage at the Patricia Hotel caused total chaos when their vocalist jumped into the crowd. I remember thinking to myself, “Who is this madman?” Not only did the vocalist have the crowd at his whim, the vocal sounds coming out were powerful. Turns out that man was Last Plague’s Heath Fenton. Along with Last Plague, Heath played in the bands Witness Protection Program and Angry. I got a chance to pick Heath’s brain and find out what’s going on these days with Last Plague.
How has the Vancouver changed from your days as an all age musician to the present day?
Heath Fenton (vocals): It has changed a bunch. When I first moved here in 1996 it was the music scene that brought me here. There were a shit load of wicked bands and there was tonnes of support for the scene. All ages shows would sometimes draw in the high hundreds for local shows. Amazing stuff. That’s the main difference. Unfortunately that scene fizzled out shortly after we moved here. For whatever reason. People growing up. Drug addiction was a major factor in it. The scene is healthy now. There are a number of places to play. And so many amazing bands. people really have got to pay more attention to what is going on with heavy music in this town. Another difference is, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s there was really only a couple of venues that would house heavier type bands. So that has changed. There are at least a dozen right now. And crowd support seems to be coming around again. But nothing like it was in the mid 1990s. Maybe that will change, but I have no idea what the kids are doing these days. And the bar crowd is not getting any younger.
What Vancouver venue sticks out in your memory as being fundamental to your show going/playing past?
The venue that stands out the most to me over the years is obviously the old Cobalt. That and the Columbia, which is called 303 now. Both were run by Wendy13, and anything she does pretty much rules for the metal/punk community. When I was in my first real Vancouver band (Human Resistance Program) she ran the Columbia shows and always booked us. We played a shit load of awesome shows there that stand out in my mind. After that place closed then it was onto the Cobalt. I don’t think i need to explain anything about that place and the legendary status it achieved with in the community. It’s just too bad it ended.