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Written by Johnny Papan


Collision Course has been making a splash in Vancouver’s local music scene as of late. Their modern twist on grunge rock makes them an act fit for those searching for a nostalgic kick and is accessible enough to attract new audiences diving into the rock music genre. This has not gone unnoticed. In 2020, Collision Course won the Whammy Award for Best Rock Band and frontman Anton Schindler took the win for Best Vocals.

The band’s momentum springs from the release of their new single “Run”. The music video opens with Schindler drowning underwater. Claustrophobic imagery is seen again on the single cover, where we see his head being agonizingly crushed between a foot and pavement.

“The song is really about feeling trapped by using addiction to ignore something bigger,” Schindler says. ”I have had pretty constant anxiety my whole life, I tend to really, at times, feel like I’m drowning or being crushed by my vices. It’s only human to have vices, whether it’s fast food, T.V., a bad girlfriend or drugs.”

Soundwise, Schindler channels his inner Chris Cornell while Collision Course’s overall sound is like a mixture of Queens of the Stone Age, Audioslave and Royal Blood. But the band’s influence doesn’t stop there. Guitarist Brad Masciotra attributes guitar-hero Slash of Guns n’Roses as a major influence while drummer Jeff Toledo and bassist TJ Platt have roots in pop-punk and pop-rock.

Lyrically, however, inspirations tend to come from a dark place. Alongside “Run”, the band released a garagey, almost Nirvana Bleach-esque b-side titled “Italian Cuisine”, which Schindler wrote about high school depression. He claims Italian cuisine was the only thing that got him through the droning days of his youth.

“I feel any real artist will find themselves expressing artistically through times of anguish,” says Schindler. “It’s probably my favourite way of coping. I tend to explore feeling trapped and feelings of conflict within relationships. I think the trapped feeling comes from being from a small town. You can ask any pop-punk band about that. As for the relationship side of things, it can relate to anything and is the bread and butter of life.”

Some would say the greatest art comes from the bitter pit of hardship. A consequence of that is distant connections. The vulnerability of an artist allows others to feel less alone. It gives them a chance to relate to what the artist is feeling and find comfort in shared misfortunes. Something made from the ugliness, sadness and anguish of one can become a spectacle of beauty to another.

Schindler concludes: “I think anyone can relate to the fact that if you dive deep within yourself, there’s always going to be things you want to run and hide from. The easy way out is for us to cover it up with something that can distract us to the point of feeling like we’re drowning. We use addiction to run away from deeper problems within ourselves. It’s not the addiction that the song is talking about running from. It’s us.”

Collision Course is doing an livestream on Friday, November 28. View event.


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