Under the Volcano 2008 ~ Festival of Art & Social Change

Main Stage

Sherman Austin

Sherman AustinIf NWA met Malcolm X and Che Guevara met gangsta rap, it might sound a little something like Sherman Austin. Dynamic innovative beats, an irresistible bounce and a message you’ve got to pay close attention to.

Much of the same philosophy that guides his activism can be heard in Austin’s music. When so much of hiphop is just about the bling, Austin tries to use the powerful medium to spread a political message. Bringing that hardcore West Coast gangster feel with a black panther revolutionary deal, Austin’s lyrics cover a lot of ground: police brutality, COINTELPRO, CIA crack connections, the prison industrial complex, and more.

Music is in Austin’s blood. Both his father and brother are musicians and he has been playing music since he was nine years old. He credits a wide variety of music as influences including hiphop, punk, jazz, and even marching bands.

Austin hopes that his music will be about more than activism, that it will help support a revolution. “A lot of artists are political and they use hiphop to support a particular cause. But I don’t want my music to just be about that. When people come to a show and they are already down for the cause, it’s like preaching to the choir. I want to talk to people who are on the tip of becoming active so that the music can provide them with a direction. Hiphop is a tool. And if we can get people to come together for a show, we can get people to come together for a movement.”

Many people are understandably afraid of taking direct action in their communities because they are afraid of police repression or getting locked up. However, Austin points out, “these things are going to come down any way you look at it. The U.S. has a track record of making people disappear. Just look at what happened to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers. If people aren’t killed they get locked up. But if you’re serious about making a change, you have to make a choice.”


The Pack A.D.

The Pack A.D.United in early 2006, Becky Black and Maya Miller of The Pack A.D. mean business. They take life on the road, Civil War stories, coffee and cigarettes, stir them into a vicious concoction of garage rock and Jack Daniels and then boil it alive in the blues. They owe much of their heritage to the crossover-blues genre - one that’s recently become increasingly popular following the success of the White Stripes and The Black Keys. With the focus on rhythm-centric guitar, solid drum riffs, and passionate, unrestrained vocals, the duo is at times haunting and at others irresistibly boot-stomping.

Their debut record Tintype, originally self-released, was re-released in January this year by Mint Records. Relentless touring, top notch reviews and a burgeoning popularity make the Pack the next band to watch out for.

Best Local Band 2007 - The Pack, no question. These two ladies exploded from the Secret Cave of Concealed Talent with muskets a-blazin’ and sabers a-rattlin’, reinvigorating this sleepy city with heart-pumping, rock’n’soul fury with a raw energy so infectious as to reshape the lives of everyone they meet. Becky Black’s also probably the greatest vocal discovery this town’s ever known.
– Dave Bertrand (Nerve Magazine) DEC 07

Janis Joplin, meet the White Stripes.
– Andrew (Red Cat Records) DEC 07

Some say that Black’s guitar pick is actually the Devil’s toenail. We don’t know where The Pack got their dark gifts, we’re just trying to stay on their good side.
– Claire Kenny (Urban Trendz) MAR 07


Tegan & Sara

Tegan & SaraTEGAN & SARA by Sara Quin

first, here is a brief history:

we are born (at the same time, give or take eight minutes).

we are raised in calgary.

fifteen years pass. we find a guitar. we record demo tapes at school and in our bedrooms. we enter a “garage band” competition (it was the ‘90s) and we win. we make “the yellow tape”. we graduate from high school and make two more demos, “the orange tape” and “the red tape”. we play shows and do small tours in canada.

tegan and i make “under feet like ours” in april ‘99. we start to tour more extensively in canada. we eventually send the album to elliot roberts, president of vapor records. we sign a record deal with vapor. we then make “this business of art” and go on tour in the USA with neil young. after the tour we embark on our first national tour of canada as headliners. we make our first attempt at touring europe and japan. we play david letterman! we head back into the studio in february ‘02, to make “if it was you”. we manage to get ourselves to australia for the first time! we tour canada. we play every small, dirty club in the USA. we go back into the studio in february ‘04 to make “so jealous”. we finally sell some records! we get nominated for a juno. the killers take us on tour all over the USA, and the white stripes cover one of our songs. we buy hummers and do cocaine. just kidding.

we tour and tour. and after 18 months on the road, we decide to take some real time off. we record demos like crazy. we add drums, bass, guitars and keyboards.

Tegan & Sarawe meet up with chris walla (death cab for cutie). we give him the demos, and we make a plan to relocate to portland, oregon to record with him at his studio in january 2007.

we move into a house in portland. we walk to the studio everyday. we tow our gear behind us in a wagon. we focus on keeping the songs as close to the demos as possible.

march 12 arrives, the album is finished. we go home.

i arrive in exile. tegan goes to hawaii in search of dog the bounty hunter. the con.

TEGAN & SARA by Meegan Maultsaid

First here is a brief history:

Someone hands me a “demo” of sara and tegan (before they were tegan and sara) at a show. It’s a cassette. Nice. I’m totally impressed by the then 17 year olds songwriting chops and vocals. I book them for the annual Rock For Choice event at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, a mini-fest called Grrrlapalooza and then on the Waterfront stage at UTV (in ’99). I watch them grow more & more popular, release stellar albums and get their ’04 release “So Jealous” listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 50 albums of the year. Sometime around 2006, Tegan moves in down the street from me. We have long discussions about the music biz and I am happy to discover the Quins have stayed true to their personal and professional ethics. I also use the opportunity to begin bugging her about the twins playing Volcano again. After some emails back & forth, they relent. I celebrate the coup by digging out that old cassette and hugging it. For real. Enjoy.


Declan De Barra

Declan De BarraDeclan De Barra was born in Waterford, Ireland and has been working as an indie musician since the age of 18. Forced to emigrate to Australia during the bleak 80’s, he quickly entered the Australian music scene, touring the country for a number of years with his group Non Intentional Lifeform before forming Clann Zú, a unique and powerful band featuring musicians from Melbourne’s classical, punk and electronic scenes. The band released two albums on Winnipeg label G7 Welcoming Committee, received international acclaim and played a heart stopping set at UTV in 2004. Following Declan’s return to Ireland in 2002 he quickly became part of the music and film scene. Continuing to perform with Clann Zú on their final tour in 2004, he also found time to tour as a solo artist and released his solo debut “Song Of a Thousand Birds” to rave reviews.

Musically, de Barra is a shape shifter, crossing many musical realms and living in none. Lyrical themes run from tales of loves and lives lost, refugees, resistance, cultural reclamation, hope and survival. Translated into musical canvasses these beautiful and poignant songs mark Declan as one of the most unique and exciting voices to come out of the new Irish music scene.

“To say that DeClan de Barra is a musical genius is an understatement. To say that his former band, Clann Zu, was everything a band should ever be is absolute truth. To say that de Barra could never live up to the unbelievable expectations his previous works have set is pure science fiction. At times minimalist, at others thoroughly drenched in instrumentation, Song of a Thousand Birds is a rare display, an album that allows de Barra’s distinctly original baritone to shine. His lilting, soaring voice fills space like few others. Whether it be pitted against guitar or violin, DeClan de Barra’s voice always comes out victorious.”
Decoymusic.com – USA


Bicycle Shed Ensemble

Bicycle Shed EnsembleCulling from old school hat tossin’ backwoods’ jams and a healthy dose of traditional Americana country, Vancouver’s Bicycle Shed Ensemble is guitar, banjo, violin, drums and harmonica.  

These talented folks will bait you with their relaxed stage demeanor and obvious love of playing.

Go country without leaving the city and enjoy an east end twang.


BPM is a dirty fusion of hip hop, bhangra and dancehall with rhymes being spit by Nadia Chaney and Rupinder Sidhu (both of whom are our BPMMainstage hosts again). With a guest DJ, they’ll work an intimate yet thumping vibe of conscious, fundamentally wicked sounds from the underground.

BPMNadia is an emcee, poet, musician, budding novelist, and multimedia visual artist who brings clarity, compassion, exuberant creativity and a solid foundation of love, non-violence and respect to her work.

Rup is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, dancer, choreographer and poet whose vision is ignited by an interdisciplinary passion for the arts.


DJ Jacob Cino

DJ Jacob CinoDJ Jacob Cino masterfully fuses new school breaks, deep techno, hiphop, jungle, and dancehall, while intermittently jazzing the crowd with his vocal skills.

His original music is almost always mixed into his sets, and enables Cino to be considered one of the few true multi-genre DJs on the West Coast.

His collaborations with a diverse array of artists represents both the sonic breadth of Cino’s skills and his ability to speak different musical languages.


Sangha with Fathieh Honari

Fathieh HonariRare is the voice that is utterly timeless, a voice that is so haunting it forces you to hold back tears. Fathieh Honari is one of those voices. UTV is thrilled to present this special collaborative performance between Honari and local ensemble Sangha. We will all be witnesses to this other-worldy musical journey.

Fathieh Honari is Canada’s premier Balochi vocal virtuoso and the only North American master of the extremely rare Balochistan folk repertoire. Born in Saravan, a small town in the Balochistan province of Iran, Fathieh began singing in front of audiences during her early childhood. After immigrating to Canada, she studied the Radif (the Persian classical music modal system) with Mr. Parviz Nezakati and continued her work in Persian music with her family and the Ruh Afza Ensemble. Fathieh has performed at numerous cultural events and music festivals in Iran and in North America.

SanghaSangha mixes Persian, Indian and Arabic musical traditions into a modern, energetic ensemble. There are moments of delicate subtlety and great emotional depth mixed with exciting virtuosic improvisation. The band is Gordon Grdina on oud, Neelamjit Dhillon on tabla and Fatieth’s sons Hamin Honari and Hidayat Honari on daf (Persian drum) and taar (traditional Iranian lute) respectively. The band strive to unite the different cultures present within its makeup, as well as to unite the audience with their music.


DJ Chela
8:45pm (closing)

DJ ChelaDJ Chela is a DJ for the next generation, representing her values and music with passion. Since her beginnings in 2002, she has performed from New York to Miami, to Philadelphia, to Caracas, Venezuela, branding her name in everything from radio, clubs, mixtapes, battles and live shows to political activism. Out of her legwork she has birthed a movement all her own: the New Girl Order, embracing the new possibilities for our world when Women’s voices have an undeniable and respected presence in Hip Hop and society as a whole. Spending her formative years between Durham, N.C. and Nicaragua, Chela saw a lot of the world and from a young age dedicated her life to a global movement for social justice. In ‘98, she fell in love with DJing and in Durham she worked alongside the Reggae sound system TNT Sound and turntablism pioneer DJ Soundmachine, honing her skills. Today, her live sets are a dynamic synthesis of hiphop, RnB, Reggae, Latin rhythms, Rock and Pop to classic funk and soul. Chela’s recent mixtape releases “Chela for President,” “Embedded Reporter: Live from the Front Line,” and “High Treason” have helped her to establish a unique style all her own in mixtapes: revolutionary themes combined with scratch production.

In 2005 she earned the nomination for “Best Female Mixtape DJ” at the Justo’s Mixtape Awards, as well as the prestigious induction into the elite all-female Hip Hop movement the Murda Mamis. She hosts and mixes the weekly radio program “New Girl Order Radio” at WXDU (Duke University) and was recently selected as one of the “Top 10 most influential College DJs” by Urban Network Magazine. Chela has worked alongside revolutionary MC Immortal Technique as his DJ, and has opened up for such artists as Rah Digga, Talib Kweli, dead prez, Saigon, and KRS ONE.

“Chela is a true conduit of information and definitely a stop on the Underground Railroad.”
- M1 of dead prez

“Chela is as essential to hip hop’s political scene as some of the dope records she spins that are found in her crates. Chela redefines beef by not battling other emcees and deejays, but instead she stays bringing crazy heat to this oppressive system.”
– Davey D

“Chela is the hottest female DJ in the country.”
– Saigon


Children of Takaya

For the past 17 years, Under The Volcano has been honoured to have members of the George family participate in our event, which takes place on the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Our relationship began in 1990, when Chief Dan George’s son, Bobby George, was invited to be a speaker by the Festival’s founder Irwin Oostindie. In 1993, then Chief Leonard George & Children Of Takaya presented us with a welcoming address and went on to become a festival mainstay.

Flores De Alegría

Flores de AlegríaFlores de Alegría is Canada’s only all-female mariachi band. After a lengthy audition process, these seven women from diverse cultural backgrounds, including members from Chile, United States, Canada and Mexico, were chosen to represent this historical cultural music.

The mariachi, which originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century, goes beyond music: it is the sum of a cultural revolution expressed through a group of musicians, dressed in popular clothing which encompasses the essence of Mexico and its people. The word mariachi refers to the musicians playing a variety of instruments which include violins, guitars, basses, vihuelas (a 5 string guitar) and trumpets. Their songs speak about love, betrayal, death, politics, revolutionary heroes and even animals (one particularly famous song is “La Cucaracha”).



BC:ClettesBC:Clettes are an all lady, bike inspired, street-performance collective whose performances are a celebration of bikes and those who like to ride them. They are a Biker Collective, Creating Love, Equality, and Toughness Through Engaging Spectacle! They will not be defined by words alone; instead they are perpetually in motion, taking back the streets for revolutionary use as bicycle ways and dance floors.

BC:ClettesTheir bio states: “We are artists, mechanics, scientists, students, designers, teachers, writers, and baristas; jokers, inventors, leaders, neighbours, family, friends, lovers, and sistas. This is a lifestyle of agility, sustainability and of respecting all ability. We take risks; we’re a little different. We are a spectacle, a show, a delight. And one last thing: we won’t technically be able to be part of your dance-dance-party revolution, if there’s no bike parking available.”