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Fantasize!! Final Thought’s Newest Release + Interview

13 Aug


Final Thought is a Toronto based Pop/Rock trio consists of lead singer and guitarist Dustin Dopsa, Brandon Hawthorne on bass and Tom Watson on drums. From starting the band in highschool to playing private shows for Gene Simmons, These guys have been together for quite a while and it shows in their newly released EP Fantasize.

Rich Moore recently had the chance to talk with lead singer Dustin Dopsa about the new “Mini album” as Dustin likes to call it.

Rich Moore:  Where did you grow up and when did you start playing in a band?

Dustin Dopsa:  I grew up in Barrie, just an hour north of Toronto.  I officially started the band Final Thought in grade nine as a battle of the bands submission.

RM:  I have to say: That’s a long time playing together without changing names.

DD:  Yah that was one of the things I hated about bands in highschool.  I would say to myself, why don’t you guys just stick with it.  You have gone through all the trouble of building whatever fan base you have and then you go and tarnish it by changing your name!

RM:  What was the recording process like this time around, compared to your previous albums?

DD:  Well, this time I decided to do all of the recording myself.  Previously we would go to studios and record, but that is very expensive and sometimes the tracks don’t come out exactly how you want them.  So we recorded at my place in Toronto.  At the time i was living in an old Victorian home. It was built in 1891 and had twenty foot ceilings so it was great for recording.  I enjoyed the experience although it was difficult and very time consuming.  I had to use every resources I had,”getting friends to help record parts I couldn’t have done on my own.”  I think having the experience of making an album before making one on my own definitely made for a smoother process.

RM:  What have you been listening to lately?

DD::  I really like the new ASAP Rocky Album, and i have been listening to the latest “Bahamas” album.  Funny thing Bahamas actually went to my highschool, i just found out last December.


These guys are seriously talented!  Lead singer Dustin Dopsa vocals rival today’s top 40 artists.  Along with some banging bass and drums Final Thought’s newest EP/mini album is a must listen!  The fourth track “Don’t know is personally my favorite.

You can have a listen to Final Thought in the links below.

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook below.


School Damage: Fixed By Hooliganism

19 Jun

School Damage. From left to right: Brad Manners, Curtis Tone, Jonathan Cabatan. Photo Credit: Nathan Mills.

Today’s modern punk favourites are thrash hybrids that have merged and replaced yesteryear’s explosive success in death metal and hardcore.  While many have left the alternative scene for the obnoxiously flourishing EDM craze, there is at least one more reason for Toronto punks to bust out their weathered, patched, leather and jean jackets, and that reason is School Damage.

School Damage are a very refreshing reminder for the modern crossover bands that you don’t need to be negative and violent to be punk. Real punk is about being an individual, having fun, and not being fazed by the opinions of others. With each release, School Damage bring punk back to its original roots.


School Damage – School Damage (2012).

According to their Bandcamp, School Damage define themselves as “Ramones-core” and “pop punk”.  For the young, possibly confused circle pit warriors reading this, the latter  label references the ’80s iteration of pop punk: fun, short, and having immature reasons to skank the hell out and criticize the status quo. Personally, I enjoy Blink-182 and think Man Overboard’s drummer is extremely talented, but the modern day definition of ‘pop punk’ has become subliminally interchangeable–music that concerns being sad about girls, while in a major key with gang vocals and diet-cola breakdowns. Yes, it turns a profit on the angsty and ex-deathcore crowd, but it is not philosophically punk.

This dedication to an ideology is evident in how School Damage price their two albums on Bandcamp: three dollars apiece. Their self-titled 2012 release does indeed have a Ramones-esque groove to it in terms of structure. School Damage has a distinct kick in attitude, but several play-throughs of this album had me thinking how much the band would benefit from refining their style.


School Damage – Get Weird (2013).

Which is something they would do so in their next release, 2013’s Get Weird. There is a definite growth in style, most notably in the vocal delivery which sounds like ’90s (read: the good) AFI. The song that gave me this impression was the first track, “678 Bathurst St.”, which according to Google is the address of their record label, My Fingers! My Brains!.


Some of this improvement may be credited to superior mixing, but there is definitely more exploration guitar-wise from Brad n Manners, and a definite boost of confidence in the fury that is the drummer Curtis Tone. While the energy was in there in School Damage’s self-titled release, all of the drumming in Get Weird is faster and more unpredictable.

My favourite track is See You Next Tuesday (also an obligatory “ha” at that reference). This righteous rebellion against precarious employment stirs a teenage fury that I haven’t felt since the first time I discovered Dead Kennedys and Choking Victim.


This 7” sounds excellent and I hope to hear more from all the musicians on further releases. Don’t forget that all of School Damage’s music is being streamed for free at


Check out School Damage!




Author: Alex Slakva