Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Boize (band)

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Years active  1989–1993
Origin  Montreal, Canada (1989)
Members  Stephane Fania
Active until  1993
Record label  Aquarius Records
Labels  Aquarius Records, U-Iliot Records, Imagination Records, Bill Hill Productions, Klink Publishing
Associated acts  Alvacast, Unmarked, Alter-Ego, Leading Edge, Strike Anywhere, Emissary, Breaking Violet, Escale, Mamut, Up the Irons, Tears for the Dead Gods, The Electric Storm, Sarok Saroya, Mother of Pearl, Cinema Five, Likwid, Les Diables a Quatre, Les Moutons Noirs
Past members  Perry Blainey Robert Kourie Stephane Fania Steve Berger Scott MacDonald
Albums  I'll Still Love You, Lost Tapes, Boize, The Bug
Genres  Heavy metal, Glam metal, Hard rock, Alternative metal

Boize (Bottled Ordeal Insane Zany Experience) were a heavy metal band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada active from 1989 to 1993. During its existence, Boize was associated with labels Aquarius Records and U-Iliot Records and were managed by Canadian musician star Bill Hill, under his company, Bill Hill Productions. The band also had a brief association with South American legends Alvacast, when their vocalist joined the band in 1992. Boize went on to headline local festivals and their music was a staple on music television stations Musique Plus and MuchMusic as well as rock radio CHOM-FM.


Foundations (1986-1989)

Boize was founded by Floyd Harem (Robert Kourie) on guitar and Zany Shultz (Stephane Fania) on bass in 1989. They had been making music together since 1986, including the band Unmarked/Alter-Ego from the summer of 1987 to September 1988 and Leading Edge/Strike Anywhere from late 1988 to March 1989. Some of the material written with Suzanne Madden as vocalist in Leading Edge/Strike Anywhere would evolve to become the earliest Boize material when Fyia Powers (Perry Blainey, an Ozzy Osbourne type) joined in April 1989 as the vocalist. They recorded their first "rehearsal demo" in June 1989 and later in the year, re-recorded the same five songs at Studio Works for their original demo. "The Bug" was released in October 1989 and as they had no drummer, Steph also programmed a drum machine while recording the keyboard parts. After shopping around the demo, they landed their first TV interview in November 1989 on a late night talk show Zone Rouge. That December, Boize were scheduled to play their first show at L’Intro but it had to be cancelled because they couldn't find a drummer in time.

Expanding the band & record label interest (1990-1991)

In January 1990, Boize posted an add in The Gazette to find a drummer. After some auditions, Siegfried (Scott MacDonald) was chosen to replace the drum machine. A month later Zorba (Victor Ananian), a high school friend of Steph joined as keyboardist. The band then moved its jam space from Bob’s basement to a rehearsal room at 750 Cremazie Ouest, right above Trophy’s Sports Bar. It wasn't long before they played their first show with this line-up at L’Intro on April 2, 1990. However Zorba couldn't stay in the band and left later that month. But they did expand to a second guitarist with Pascal Trahan after Perry suggested the guitarist from his previous band. With a rhythm guitarist for their concerts, this line-up played their second show, also at L'Intro, on May 26, 1990, with nearly an hour and a half’s worth of original material. From its early inception, the band refused to play covers and stuck to only playing their own songs. During this second show, they announced that they were raising money in order to record their first full-length album. In June 1990, they played a five song set for a label showcase at the Backstreet, but things didn't turn out in their favor. Instead the band signed with Imagination Records for an album releasing contract. That fall Boize began recording at Cherry Studio with the Stocola brothers for their planned first album. Meanwhile, they played a couple more shows, one at Jackie’s Cafe, another at Whiskey’s and several at Sam’s Rock Bar. In September they moved out of their rehearsal space on Cremazie because the noise level was so bad and temporarily jammed back in Bob’s basement. By November they had recorded nine songs, but the label's plans had changed and Boize were forced to legally break their contract with them.

In December, Boize was booked to play all the holiday shows at Sam’s Rock Bar. Starting with December 23, 1990 for the Christmas show, with Barfly and then the 30th and 31st, the first again with Barfly and the second with Red Tape, for the new year celebration. In January 1991, Boize asked Pascal to become a permanent member of the band, but he was already working on his own new band, Les Diables a Quatre, which he was beginning to do full-time. Now as a four piece, Boize found a new rehearsal room in Sam’s Rock Bar’s basement, which had recently been divided into jam spaces. Boize were the first band to practice there and would really make a home of the venue for the next year and a half. The new year proved to be filled with good luck as they were quickly picked up by Bill Hill Productions in mid January and he immediately took them to Morris Apelbaum's Silent Sound Studio to rework the Cherry Studio material. There they did some vocal re-dubs and attempted to re-mix some of the poorly recorded material but it wasn't happening. In February Bill decided to try at a different studio so they went to Frank Marino’s Starbase Studio. There they re-recorded some of the drums and guitars and also recorded a tenth song, "In Too Deep", featuring Kim and Dorian Sherwood. Bill insisted that Boize record this new song because he intended for it to be their first single, with a plan to press it on maxi CD singles, make a video for it and ship it off to the TV and radio stations. With some newly recorded and polished up material, the immediate plan to release the full-length was dropped and instead, four songs were selected to be used on a promo tape, titled "I'll Still Love You", to send to the majors. When the promo tape came out in March 1991, a lot of promotion started for Boize and they were invited to be interviewed by Tootall on CHOM-FM's hit show "Made in Canada" on May 15, 1991. During the interview, Tootall played three of the four songs from the promo tape. In April 1991, Boize founded their own publishing company, Klink Publishing.

The classic line-up & mainstream appeal (1991-1992)

Boize would play their next show on May 18 at Sam's Rock Bar where they met a new fan, Steve Bahr (Steve Berger aka Minou), who would show immediate interest in becoming their new rhythm guitar player. It would take the band a few more shows and practices before being convinced that a second guitar player was the way to go. Steve officially joined in the late summer of 1991. With dual guitarists, Boize started writing heavier material and quickly gained a reputation as a local attraction in the clubs and their following was growing steadily. In October 1991 Bill Hill and his assistant Garfield Lamb offered Boize a recording deal for an EP which would come to life the 1991-1992 winter. In January 1992, Boize entered Mot-tel Studio to record for the fifth time. The self-titled Boize EP was released on their own record label, U-Iliot Records, published through Klink Publishing and was their first nationally distributed release. The promotional package included 5000 cassette tapes, 500 CDs, 5000 posters and several hundred T-shirts, hats and stickers. Boize also filmed a music video for “Get a Life” at the Backstreet, one of their most frequently played venue. For this, the club was opened on a usually closed Tuesday night and filled to maximum capacity. They hired Martin Tanguay and Andy Molition to direct and edit the short film. Additionally, they hired Judith Cezar and Keith Marshall for a full shooting of promotional pictures, some would be used in the EP booklet, another for their poster and some for press kits.

The EP was released on April 21, 1992 with a huge party at Sam's Rock Bar where the video aired for the first time. It was then sent to Musique Plus and MuchMusic where it would play countless times during the year. The day after the release party, Boize were invited again by Tootall on CHOM-FM's "Made in Canada" to talk about their new release and four of the five songs from the EP were aired during the show. CHOM continued playing Boize and they were picked up by CKRK-FM and CIBL-FM as well. In early May 1992, Scott gave an exclusive interview to Mick Cody for his June 1992 publication of Ace Magazine, which also featured an album review The May 28th 1992 issue of Montreal Mirror magazine had a write-up on the band’s new EP, written by none other than Jenny Ross in her column “Notes From Underground”. With all this hype, the band needed more space and moved their jam room to 5980 Metropolitan East, above a ceramic store. This new rehearsal space allowed the band to set up a mini recording studio where they could track their progress. On May 30 Boize played with National Velvet at the Backstreet and from then on, national distribution deals started being offered (including a serious offer from Aquarius Records). Boize was becoming a staple name in Canadian heavy metal and were booked almost constantly all around Montreal clubs. On August 15 and 16 1992, Boize was invited to headline the Montmagny Festival (Festival Des Oies) on its last two dates of the week-long festival. To promote the band’s coming, some of the local restaurants printed their menus with the band’s picture and the show dates. Whatever was left of the merchandise pressed for the EP was sold out during those two shows.

After headlining the festival, Aquarius Records was even more anxious to sign the band and attempted to set up a meeting in late September. During September, the band would again move their jamming space to 5678 Jarry East, this time in a strip mall where they would remain until the end. Boize would book a handful of shows through September and October, starting with Bar Chez Swann on September 12, a three-day headline at Sam’s Rock Bar from the 17 to the 19, plus another on the 26, the Backstreet again on October 3 and more offers coming in. Unfortunately, Perry announced his desire to leave the band after the show at Bar Chez Swann which led to most of the Sam’s Rock Bar shows being cancelled. The band was not ready to give up and, not wanting to cancel more of the shows that were booked, placed an ad in the Gazette looking for a new vocalist. They quickly found Carlos "Charly" Lopez (a Bruce Dickinson type), who had recently moved to Montreal from Uruguay. Back home, Charly was famous as the vocalist for the band Alvacast, who were the South American equivalent to Iron Maiden.

On September 27, 1992, to celebrate the new addition to the band, Boize went to play a cover of Iron Maiden’s "Run to the Hills" at local club Rockpile. The fans approved right away. The five shows that were booked for that October, including the Backstreet, Fuzzy's and a 3-night stint at bar L’Enfer in Sherbrooke, were a huge success. Their last night in Sherbrooke, the crowd cheered so loud that they were asked to play their entire set a second time as an encore until 3 a.m. when the bar closed. Bill Hill and Gralf Lamb were interested in getting the band back in studio, in hope to finalize the Aquarius Records deal. Steph had already set up their new jam space on Jarry with their mini studio and began recording their rehearsals. In November they provided Bill with a tape of two new songs they had written along with the songs from the self-titled EP re-recorded with Charly on vocals, all recorded live in the rehearsal. On December 5, Steve left the band to go live in Gaspesie and get married, but the four other members were brought back to Starbase Studio to do overdubs. Bill and Gralf used the February 1991 DATs of "In Too Deep" and had Charly sing his version over it. Before anything could be done with the new recordings, Alvacast decided to get back together, with the other members now living in Montreal as well. Charly left Boize before the years’ end.

The decline of “Boize” & becoming “Emissary” (1993)

Steph, Bob and Scott decided to try once more and held vocalist auditions, to find Ian (a Robert Plant type who also happened to play 12-string acoustic guitar). He seemed a perfect match to complete the band for the new year, and they spent the next two months reworking the two new songs that were written with Charly and write a few new ones. To showcase the new line-up, Boize was invited to play a benefit concert for Claude Messier on March 20, 1993 in support for his fight against muscular dystonia. Immediately after this they booked half a dozen shows for their first tour, which would have taken them through eastern Quebec during mid-April. Ian's leading man skills were completely different from Perry's or Charly's and the difference became apparent at their next concert at the Backstreet on April 2. To start off their second set, Boize asked Charly, who was in the audience with fellow Alvacast bandmates, to join them on stage for an Iron Maiden cover. The crowd went wild and for a reason or another Ian didn't come back on stage and left the venue, leaving Charly to finish the rest of show. This caused serious tension within the band and resulted in Scott quitting during the second week of April 1993. The tour was so close to happening that the tickets had already been printed, but it had to be canceled. The trio continued jamming together for the next few weeks but by May, Ian's inflated ego was getting to be too much and he was kicked out of the band.

Determined to continue the Boize name, Steph and Bob recruited André Chan who was at the time also playing drums for Cinema Five/Likwid. This trio had a few rehearsals, but things weren't the same and Andre left. They then recruited Joe Morrone to play drums, a local musician who had grown up in the same area of Montreal as Steph. Boize were still booked for a show in May 1993 at Les Retrouvailles and asked Charly to fill in again for that night, as he had received such success at the last Backstreet show. Following this show, Steph, Bob and Joe found ex-Sarok Saroya singer Rjeen (Xavier Briand, an Elvis Presley type) in June 1993. The last Boize songs were rehashed with completely new lyrics that fitted Rjeen’s wide vocal range and before the month was over, they decided to abandon the “Boize” moniker and go under "Emissary". The songs written in 1993 as Boize were released on the Emissary EP in August 1993 and the band lasted until February 1996, at which point they changed name to "Breaking Violet" and stayed active until early 1999.


  • Perry Blainey (Fyia Powers): Vocals (April 1989–September 1992)
  • Stephane Fania (Zany Shultz): Bass, keyboards, drum machine (April 1989-June 1993)
  • Robert Kourie (Floyd Harem): Lead guitar (April 1989-June 1993)
  • Scott MacDonald (Siegfried): Drums (January 1990-April 1993)
  • Victor Ananian (Zorba): Keyboards (February 1990-April 1990)
  • Pascal Trahan: Rhythm guitar (April 1990-February 1991)
  • Steve Berger (Steve Bahr): Rhythm guitar August 1991-December 1992)
  • Carlos Lopez (Charly): Vocals (September 1992-December 1992, April 1993)
  • Ian: Vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar (January 1993-May 1993)
  • André Chan: Drums (May 1993)
  • Joe Morrone: Drums (October 1992, May 1993-June 1993)
  • Xavier Briand (Rjeen): Vocals (June 1993)
  • Discography

  • The Bug (First demo, October 1989)
  • I'll Still Love You (Full-length album November 1990) *released posthumously
  • I’ll Still Love You (Promo, March 1991)
  • Boize (EP, April 1992)
  • Lost Tapes (Compilation, July 2013) *released posthumously
  • Songs

    Get a LifeBoize · 1992
    I'll Still Love YouI'll Still Love You · 1991
    Out of Your MindI'll Still Love You · 1991


    Boize (band) Wikipedia

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