2004 / "UNSILENT STORM FROM THE NORTHERN ABYSS" TOUR
To support the LP, which remained self titled, the ISKRA self organized a rather gruelling two-and-a-half month tour which they aptly entitled the “Unsilent Storm From The Northern Abyss” tour of North America.
Just before embarking on this major tour, Jasper left the band. There were artistic and political differences. Jasper claimed that he respected what the band was doing, but didn't see the reason. A more-or-less general attitude toward DIY music making, since there is much time and energy invested and no capital return for one's efforts. Drum duties were taken over by Jesse, a local Metal, DIY Crust, and Punk enthusiast who had drummed in a number of local punk acts.
Lineup 2004: Jesse (drums), Wolf (guitar), Nick (guitar), Scott and Shawn (vocals), Devo (bass guitar)
With Jesse on drums, the band left for tour in April of 2004. The tour was illfated, but still managed to play over fifty shows across the continent starting with the usual drive down the west coast of the States, down into Mexico, and along the border, then up through the Rust Belt, the Great Lakes, and Mid West, then returning to Canada via Quebec, and back West to British Columbia. Although the tour was maniacal, the band had some great times and played with many a great band, recorded the 'legendary' MAN KILLS MAN split in Montreal, and survived. The one major setback was the LP not coming out in time for the tour. More information about this tour, including tour dates, will be posted soonish.
Shawn was asked to leave the group after returning from the tour due to conflict between him and Jesse.
Releases of the year: split CD with MAN KILLS MAN (ltd. 50), and the 'Fucking Scum' cassette collection (ltd. 300).
Shawn's position on vocals is filled by Mel, who was living in the nearby city of Vancouver.
With this lineup the band recorded their material for the 'The Terrorist Act EP'(2005), and the 'SelfRule' split (2006). Both EPs were recorded by Gary Brainless at the RAT'S NEST, nearly an institution in Victoria as far as punk was concerned.
ISKRA completes two very successful West Coast tours in America as well as across to Winnipeg and back.
On these tours ISKRA toured the west coast and south U.S. with a great grind band from Phoenix, AZ called WARFAIR?(R.I.P.), connected with the Anarcho scene in the prairies of Canada, met SELF RULE (R.I.P.)from Edmonton, and AGAINST EMPIRE from Los Angeles; two bands they'd be doing split records with in the near future.
ISKRA performed shows with all of the most active DIY bands from the west including TRAGEDY, SANCTUM (R.I.P.), CONSUME (R.I.P.), OROKU (R.I.P.), MASS GRAVE etc. These concerts were well attended and chaotic! They mostly took place in the basements of the underground punk world, where the band felt especially at home.
They also toured British Columbia, especially the Vancouver Island, quite frequently at this time. A minitour with the Edmonton band PASSION REVOLT(R.I.P.) was another highlight of that year.
The next tour plan was to hit Europe for the 'Anarchy//Destruction' tour. This was to be ISKRA's second major tour. It was scheduled for a heavy 2.5 months, playing over sixty gigs in the Anarchist squats and social spaces of East and West Europe, as well as the Scandinavian countries.
Mel couldn't do the tour and so quit the band. She'd been in the group for about eight months. Luckily she'd hit the studio for the 2 EPs.
Jesse's partner, Megan, joined the band as second vocalist for the tour. Sadly, she did not make it into the recording studio.
Although the tour organization was making more money than the band, this tour was going well from an experiential point of view, especially when considering that the band was relatively unknown at the time. Part of the tour was shared with a great Argentinian based group called MIGRA VIOLENTA(R.I.P.). There were great highlights including the SCHROTTBAR FESTIVAL in Switzerland, and amazing gigs in Italy, and Germany. The band saw for the first time the great squat archipelago of Europe.
ISKRA was arrested in Rome, resulting in a rather nervous hour or so of yelling and interrogation. Apparently it was a case of mistaken identity. More likely general harassment since the band had just performed a large scale gig at a major anarchist centre in that city, with general police harassment being a common occurrence in the squat scene (and vice versa).
The band was halfway through the tour, having performed thirty or so gigs, and were just about to head North when Jesse walked after a gig in Mülheim, Germany. Tension had been mounting due to financial stress, of which the tour organization company was largely to blame. Nick was the first to talk of leaving as he had a family matter to attend to. Jesse was next and, since Jesse was leaving, so was Megan. This left the band cut directly in half: Wolf, Scott, and Devo. Not willing give up immediately, they considered the idea of working with some German drummers who'd offered their services but, after some deliberation, decided to leave for home.
The first major lineup change was in order. Since the core group was not very happy about leaving Europe with the tour unfinished, Jesse, Nick, and Megan were dismissed. It was more-or-less mutual since Jesse and Nick had already been discussing quitting.
Thus 2005 ended on a bitter note. Back in time for winter. The self titled LP went into second press with PROFANE EXISTENCE. Throughout the year, the band had performed approximately sixty gigs, and released the 'Terrorist Act EP' on UNREST RECORDS. Beginning with this EP, Danni, who would later sing for ISKRA, becomes the band's graphic designer.