Cleopatrick: Best Friends Taking Their Blues-Punk To New Heights
Who was your best friend when you were four years old? Okay, when was the last time you hung out with them? For Cleopatrick singer/guitarist Luke Gruntz and drummer Ian Fraser, that’s an easy question.
“We met on the first day of school. We were four years old,” says Luke. “Ian was my first friend.” The duo came up through school together, discovering bands together, before cementing their friendship as Cleopatrick – a fuzzy and face-melting noise straight out of Cobourg, Canada that brings to mind Royal Blood or QOTSA at their most fired up. As far as musical education went, aged six, the pair would head into Luke’s basement and listen to music given to them by their dads.
“We were obsessed with the intro to Back In Black by AC/DC – we didn’t care about the rest of the song,” Luke laughs. “When we were eight we both got guitars for Christmas – matching guitars!”
Ian later took up the drums in high school. “I just stopped improving at guitar and Luke kept getting better, so I borrowed a drum kit and it felt much more natural,” he says. “We started a covers band right away.”
Soon they were writing their own blistering and bluesy songs, and thus came the need for EP artwork and music videos. Where better to turn than the countless photos and videos of the pair hanging out as kids?
Much of their lyrical inspiration came from growing up in a small town, and one saying in particular became a key phrase for the duo.
“Cobourg’s a big hockey town, and there’s a clique of people who aren’t the nicest,” says Luke. “They use this term ‘the boys’ for themselves, so we started to use it ironically. I’d get coffee and I’d be like ‘This coffee is the boys!’ We took this weird, masculine phrase and wrote our EP, The Boys, about how uncomfortable we feel about dudes like that.”
So far, Cleopatrick’s story has spanned more or less the duo’s entire life, but 2020 looks to be their most important year yet. This week, they’re here to support Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. As for the rest of the year? “We’re doing our debut album,” says Luke. “If it’s not out this year then something must’ve happened. Check in on us!”
Cleopatrick tour the UK with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes this week. Get your tickets here.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes UK tour 2020
13 Glasgow Barrowlands
15 London Alexandra Palace
Not that listening to these essential albums will help you define ‘post-rock’ any better…
Don’t expect a follow-up to Stone Sour’s 2017 album Hydrograd anytime soon, says Corey Taylor…