Saskatoon rockers The Pistolwhips released their first EP last weekend.
The EP, titled No Tomorrow, features four upbeat tracks, which are adapted from songs written primarily by lead vocalist Rylan Schultz.
The band’s members — Schultz, Zach Davies, Paul Kuzbik and Christian Kongawi — are staples in the Saskatoon music scene. They belong to other local groups including Sly Business, Fountains of Youth, The Rebellion and Whiskey Songs.
“We all kind of dig on each other’s mutual projects. A lot of people might see it as a competitive thing, but it’s really not. It’s really all about the music,” Kuzbik said.
Kongawi (drums), Davies (bass) and Kuzbik (lead guitar) grew up together in Prince Albert, Sask. Schultz was added to the mix after he opened for a group that Kongawi and Davies were in along with Leot Hanson, who now plays in The Sheepdogs.
Kuzbik hadn’t yet joined the group when Schultz began fronting for The Pistolwhips. They initially performed under the name Guns at Dawn.
“We became The Pistolwhips over time,” Schultz said.
The band credits the Nintendo 64 video game GoldenEye 007— specifically the ability to hit your opponent with the pistol’s end while playing the game — for their name change. The change is fitting considering the band’s late 90s influences.
Their music is a mix of upbeat indie rock with hints of 90s pop and rock influences. Schultz’s voice is raspy and deep, something of a mix between indie favourites Ray LaMontagne and Paolo Nutini.
“It’s nostalgic for me, a little bit. It makes me remember why I got into music in the first place and the stuff I was listening to when I first started playing,” said Kuzbik, who recently joined the band.
“We’ve all known each other for a really long time. It feels full-circle for me.”
The EP’s second track, “Put me on a line,” is one of the band’s favourites while “All I Want” is a nostalgic song for Schultz, who noted that it was one of the first songs he wrote.
Collectively the EP has an upbeat, fast-tempo sound that slows down in the final track, “Summertime.”
Though the group’s members have been working together for almost seven years, recording for the EP started in September.
“The main motivation [for the EP] is that it had to be this year — I mean, it is the end of the world, right? No Tomorrow,” Kongawi joked.
Although the end of the world is fast approaching, at least according to the Mayan calendar, the band tentatively plans on touring in the future.
“We’re hoping for spring,” Schultz said. No plans have been set in stone.
For now the band hopes to write some new material as a group.
“I’m excited to get into a room, drink some drinks and work on some new stuff,” Kuzbik said.
You can listen to The Pistolwhip’s EP No Tomorrow online at thepistolwhips.bandcamp.com, on iTunes or you can buy the hard copy at one of their live shows.
Photo: Logan McManus