A FISH CALLED PIRANHA
The Year of the Two
With the double album The Year Of The Two, A Fish Called Piranha has created a concept album that transcends both time and geography. Meticulously produced by Kwong and several producers including Daniel Elmes (Dan Mangan, Sweatshop Union), Sam Ryan & Dave Badiuk (Krome, Miss Mercury), Mike Plotnikoff (KISS, The Cranberries) and John Shepp (Matthew Good Band, GOB), The Year Of The Two emerges as an extremely potent concoction of Kurt Cobain-esque poetry, 90's grunge, hip-hop, indie-rock, folk-rock and ethereal cinematic pieces. The concept album is about a computer named Bill Gates who later finds out he is the Antichrist. He 'mates' with Charlotte's Website to spawn super-computers and two 'megabots' named Betty and Carrie. The theme of 'TWO' permeates throughout the entire album to symbolize their contrast.
The double album oscillates between aggressive density and heavenly spaciousness. The first CD, Act 1: Hard Into Hell (And Back) – War, introduces the characters of the album reminiscent of The Wall by Pink Floyd, The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie, or Tommy by The Who. AFCP mixes in music's more aggressive sounds of hard rock, grunge and hip-hop to accentuate the mood of war and hell. Bill Gates, the opening track, beckons the listener into this space continued by the punk grunge of 2 and Graveyard Sale. The first CD winds down to push and pull the listener through an array of emotions for the second part of the album.
In contrast, the second CD, Act 2: Softly Into Heaven (Eternity) – Peace, continues with major keys and sad ballads to uplift the listener in a heavenly direction. Indie-rock and folk elements are the essence of this second act. The atmospheric warmth and lushness of Sunday Driver and Carrie envelop us in heavenly comfort, while the poetic lines of Mercury (a tribute to the late Terry Fox) and Sunday Best paint the emotions of longing and yearning from the death of a loved one.
Kwong is the primary force behind A FISH CALLED PIRANHA (inspired by artists with band monikers such as Bon Iver, Diamond Rings, City & Colour, Owl City, Frightened Rabbit and Dave Grohl's early origins of Foo Fighters). From his metaphorical masterpiece of Charlotte's Website and humour of Bill Gates and Payday to the sadness and powerful imagery of Graveyard Sale, Rome, Mercury, and Bad Goodbye, Kwong stands beside modern rock poets Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen, Alanis Morissette, and Bono for inspiration. His signature acronyms and anagrams weaved into his poems show a different dimension of what each poem is about. Sometimes, they give the answer. Most of the songs were written in coffee shops scattered throughout British Columbia, Canada, or on pieces of paper inspired during many rainy drives. The songs were recorded in a boiler room, basement suite, and several studios in Vancouver, BC. A relative of Jackie Chan, Kwong lives in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
A Fish Called Piranha:
The Year of the Two
Act 1: Hard Into Hell (And Back) – War
Act 2: Softly Into Heaven (Eternity) – Peace
RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2012
CATALOGUE NUMBER: AFCP2011
(Tom Harrison, THE PROVINCE)
"...as might be expected of a band named after a piranha, this is voracious, insatiable rock. In less than 15 minutes, A Fish Called Piranha plays with a biting edge, a little drama and hint of a sense of humour in the last song on the EP, "Swimming With Piranhas." It's sharp and, as an EP is supposed to do, leaves the listener wanting more.”
(Adrian Mack, THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT)
"...The Year of the Two is a truly fascinating mess, kind of like an autopsy... this thing is f**king nuts. Two crazy thumbs up..."
(MEDICINE HAT NEWS)
"... The Vancouver-based band has been gaining attention on the West Coast and that notoriety is starting to swim across the country. The brainchild of Kwong Kok Heung, the band released the double album The Year of the Two in January to much critical acclaim... Kwong's writing has been compared to that of Kurt Cobain, Alanis Morissette and Bono."
(Stuart Derdeyn, THE PROVINCE)
“...this Vancouver band is getting attention on MuchMusic and Sirius radio and it's not hard to see why. The sound is all about big guitars and drums with the kind of breathy and melodic vocals that anyone who grew up in the grunge era will find welcoming. The opening instrumental "1988" totally kicks butt and the guest spot by monster sushi chef Tojo is dang funny. Main man Kwong has his tongue firmly in his cheek here and his amp turned up to stun.”
(John Kurucz, THE NOW)
“... swimming with the fishes in Vancouver, Poco's A Fish Called Piranha, are on the cusp of bigger & better things!”
Canadian band, Vancouver-based A Fish Called Piranha began as a project to perform live in front of 200,000 people at a summer event in 2007. It then evolved into a musical galestorm designed by brainchild Kwong Kok Heung (U-Turn, A Forever Sunday), with Forrest Rosenthal, Emil Stefan, Shawn Brown & various friends joining to perform it live.
After years in the indie 'underground' & a few solo releases (including the Skyjuice EP hitting #1 on HMV's Alternative Indie Charts), Kwong teamed up with co-producer Sam Ryan (Krome, Destino) to record the long-awaited, “The Year Of The Fish”. And it was magical. As Kwong explains, “I've worked with a lot of producers in the past including Mike Plotnikoff (KISS, Cranberries), John Shepp (Matthew Good Band, GOB), and John MacLean (Limblifter) but there was a major vibe steaming from the sessions with Sam. The first day we met at a MusicBC Schmooze night, it was kismet. He called me up after & we were then in the studio together for almost 2 years! Also, I decided to record my personal favorite songs (not management's) that I had written over the years that were never recorded. So, it's sort of like a greatest hits package. I always wondered why I had never recorded Rome or Two if By Sky which the fans at our shows always went nuts over! I think I had pressure from management at the time to record pop, instead of the music which I love. After laying down the screams in Rome, I remembered Sam turning around immediately with inspiration & madness in his eyes! And he said that there was something special with this and that we should keep going in this direction. We also got my good friend, celebrity chef Tojo Hidekazu, to do a funny cameo, Eric Davis (The Left) for background vocals, and the incredible Shawn Meehan (Krome) to add some guitar textures. So, the whole recording process was insanely awesome!” The current single, “Rome”, broke the Top 100 in the active rock & alternative charts in the Fall of 2010. A Fish Called Piranha is currently in SOS Studios recording the full album with more special guests, to be released in 2012.
Whether performing solo acoustically or as a band, A Fish Called Piranha has taken the current EP to a new level; a high watermark in what has already been a great career, marked by recognition from the CBC, Muchmusic, Sirius Satellite & CTV. The time is now for A Fish Called Piranha!
“Rome” adds on radio/TV:
-Sirius satellite (Iceberg 85)
-102.1 The Edge Toronto
-94.1 The Rock Chatham
-989 The Drive
#1 HMV (Indie)
#96 Active rock
#86 Alternative charts
“Swimming With Piranhas” currently added to MUCHMUSIC...