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Special Ops

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From: Montreal, Canada
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Special Ops News

Below is our complete Special Ops news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Column

Pit Stories: The Night The Stage Wanted To Eat Us

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week Special Ops drummer Clarence shares a story of show in an airplane hangar on a sketchy stage:

It happened in Beloeil in the spring time of 2009. We played at a party for a friend of a friend of a friend. The show was held in a huge hanger used for storing air planes. When we arrived, we realized that the stage was home made and poorly setup. We looked at each other and laughed without saying a word. It was bad. It was wobbling like crazy, the floor boards were made of different thicknesses and types of wood that had been sitting outside all winter. The stage was barely big enough to fit the four of us along with all the gear. Nails and screws were sticking out from everywhere.

When the time came for us to play, Clarence, in his normal excitement, ran up to the stage and jumped on. His foot went right through the floor board. Thankfully, he didn't hurt himself too badly. Just a minor scrape. Abe helped him back up and and the show began.

Knowing that the stage wasn't very solid, the Ops crew tried not to move around too much but the stage was doomed from the start. By the end of the set, the stage looked like a mine field. There were holes everywhere. So bad that someone had to patch some of the holes with smaller pieces of wood between some of the songs. It was a night they would all remember as "The night the stage wanted to eat us" Fun times were had by all that night. Clarence didn't sue because he was too wasted and didn't realize he had been injured until the following day.

Special Ops has a few local shows planned while bassist Waldo Thornhill is in rehabilitation from surgery from his second bout with cancer. Visit the band's MySpace page for more details.

Check back every Tuesday for more pit stories and check out Special Ops' first pit story here.

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Report

Thorny Bleeder Holds Vancouver Showcase

This definitely goes down as being one of the most interesting and unique heavy shows that Vancouver has seen in quite a long time. The venue for this event was not your typical metal venue. It was barely a venue at all. The Shark Club, as its known, turns out to be a trendy upscale version of a sports bar. Complete with soft plush booths for dining, cute but high maintenance waitresses running around in every possible direction, a DJ that seems to only own European techno records and last but not least a bathroom complete with interactive video screens plugging products while you wait. A metal show was taking place here? Really? Everything seemed a bit odd and out of place, the setting just didn't seem right for a heavy label’s showcase. Especially compared to the usual dingy clubs that metal shows take place within this city. But this is where Thorny Bleeder Records chose to hold their talent showcase so there is nothing that can be done, or said. More...

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Special Ops Posts Tour Diary and More Tour Dates

Checking in from the road somewhere in the great white north, Special Ops' Akbar Johnson has posted a few new tour diaries on the band's Myspace blog. The band is currently on tour in promotion of their latest release, "Through The Heart of The Infidel," on Thorny Bleeder / Universal. Even with the recent news of long time friend and bassist Waldo Thornhill's battle with cancer continuing, the Montreal hard rockers have decided to trek on with the Canadian leg of their tour having good friend McMullet step in on bass.

Here are the latest Special Ops tour dates:

June 5, 2010 Vancouver, BC The Shark Club - Thorny Bleeder Showcase w/ Quartered & Black Hat Villain
June 8, 2010 Vancouver, BC TBA
June 9, 2010 Vancouver, BC TBA
June 10, 2010 Fraser Valley, BC TBA
June 11, 2010 Kamloops, BC Pogue Mahones
June 12, 2010 Nelson, BC Finley's Irish Pub
June 15, 2010 Calgary, AB Dicken's Pub
June 16, 2010 Grande Prairie, AB Better Than Fred's
June 17, 2010 Edmonton, AB The Hydeway (All Ages)
June 18, 2010 Edmonton, AB TBA
June 19, 2010 Lethrbridge, AB TBA
June 22, 2010 Moose Jaw, AB TBA
June 23, 2010 Saskatoon, SK TBA
June 24, 2010 Brandon, MB Parthenon Pizza
June 25, 2010 Winnipeg, MB TBA
June 26, 2010 Fargo, ND Nestor's Tavern
June 30, 2010 Thunder Bay, ON Crocks
July 1, 2010 Thunder Bay, ON TBA
July 2, 2010 Sault Ste Marie, ON TBA
July 3, 2010 Subdbury, ON TBA
July 7, 2010 Oshawa, ON TBA
July 8, 2010 Rochester, NY Jukebox Music Hall
July 9, 2010 St. Catharines, ON TBA
July 10, 2010 Toronto, ON TBA

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Special Ops Cancels U.S. Tour Dates Due To Cancer

Due to the unfortunate news from the Special Ops infantry, the Montreal rock quartet has issued the following statement:

"It comes with great sadness to announce to our fans, friends & family that our bassist Waldo Thornhill's battle with cancer continues. Due to this matter, we will be postponing our current US tour dates but will be performing our upcoming Canadian dates. Bassist and good friend of Special Ops, Matt Mullet has been asked to substitute while Thornhill undergoes treatment."

In 2008, Thornhill was previously diagnosed and conquered cancer, which led to Special Ops current recording "Through The Heart of The Infidel" that they are currently on tour to promote for its release on May 25th on Thorny Bleeder Records.

Special Ops will still be at the Thorny Bleeder Showcase June 5th in Vancouver at The Shark Club with label mates Quartered and Black Hat Villain.

Here are the updated Special Ops tour dates:
May 12, 2010 Bryan, TX Stafford Main Street - postponed
May 13, 2010 Forth Worth, TX Toppers Sports Bar - postponed
May 14, 2010 Houston, TX The Jet Lounge - postponed
May 18, 2010 Phoenix, AZ Jugheads - early Show - postponed
May 18, 2010 Scottsdale, AZ Mardi Gras - late show - postponed
May 19, 2010 Pacific Beach, CA 710 Beach Club - postponed
May 22, 2010 Torrance, CA The Crest Bar & Grill - postponed
June 4, 2010 Everett, WA
June 5, 2010 Vancouver, BC *The Shark Club - Thorny Bleeder Showcase
June 8, 2010 Vancouver, BC
June 9, 2010 Vancouver, BC
June 10, 2010 Fraser Valley, BC
June 11, 2010 Kamloops, BC
June 12, 2010 Okanagan, BC
June 15, 2010 Calgary, BC
June 16, 2010 Grande Prairie, AB
June 17, 2010 Edmonton, AB
June 18, 2010 Edmonton, AB
June 19, 2010 Lethrbridge, AB
June 22, 2010 Moose Jaw, AB
June 23, 2010 Saskatoon, SK
June 24, 2010 Brandon, MB
June 25, 2010 Winnipeg, MB
June 26, 2010 Fargo, ND
June 30, 2010 Thunder Bay, ON
July 1, 2010 Thunder Bay, ON
July 2, 2010 Sault Ste Marie, ON
July 3, 2010 Subdbury, ON
July 7, 2010 Oshawa, ON
July 8, 2010 Rochester, NY
July 9, 2010 St. Catharines, ON
July 10, 2010 Toronto, ON

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Thorny Bleeder Records Announces Label Showcase

Thorny Bleeder Records has announced label showcase show in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday, June 5th. Here's the lineup and details:

QUARTERED
SPECIAL OPS
BLACK HAT VILLAIN

JUNE 5th
The Shark Club
Vancouver, BC

You can join the official Facebook event page here.

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Special Ops Announces North American Tour

Releasing their third studio album, "Through The Heart of The Infidel," via Vancouver label Thorny Bleeder Records (digitally April 27th and CD in stores on May 25th), Montreal rockers Special Ops have announced their Canada and US "Through The Heart of The Infidel Tour." The tour will kick off in Toronto on April 28th and see the infantry invade 60 plus dates to support their latest release.

Special Ops' third album, "Through The Heart of The Infidel," was produced by award winning producer and mixer Glen Robinson (Voivod, The Ramones, AC/DC, Gwar, Queensryche, Nashville Pussy) along with the engineering and production talents of Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope, Monarchy).

Here are the upcoming Special Ops tour dates:

April 28, 2010 Toronto, ON
April 29, 2010 Chatham, ON
April 30, 2010 Detroit, MI
May 1, 2010 Cincinnati, OH
May 5, 2010 Pulaski, VI
May 6, 2010 Murfreesboro, NC
May 7, 2010 Myrtle Beach, SC
May 8, 2010 Jacksonville, FL
May 9, 2010 Mobile, AL
May 10, 2010 New Orleans, LA
May 11, 2010 Shreveport, LA
May 12, 2010 Bryan, TX
May 13, 2010 Watauga, TX
May 14, 2010 Houston, TX
May 15, 2010 San Antonio, TX
May 16, 2010 Lubbock, TX
May 17, 2010 Albuquerque, NM
May 18, 2010 Phoenix, AZ
May 18, 2010 Scottsdale, AZ
May 19, 2010 Pacific Beach, CA
May 20, 2010 Ocean Side, CA
May 21, 2010 Los Angeles, CA
May 22, 2010 Santa Monica, CA
May 23, 2010 Berkely, CA
May 26, 2010 Sacremento, CA
May 27, 2010 San Francisco, CA
May 28, 2010 Redding, CA
May 29, 2010 Eugene, OR
June 1, 2010 Boise, ID
June 2, 2010 Portland, OR
June 3, 2010 Tacoma, WA
June 4, 2010 Seattle, WA
June 5, 2010 Vancouver, BC
June 8, 2010 Vancouver, BC
June 9, 2010 Vancouver, BC
June 10, 2010 Fraser Valley, BC
June 11, 2010 Kelowna, BC
June 12, 2010 Kelowna, BC
June 13, 2010 Vernon, BC
June 14, 2010 Vernon, BC
June 15, 2010 Calgary, BC
June 16, 2010 Grande Prairie, AB
June 17, 2010 St Albert, AB
June 18, 2010 Edmonton, AB
June 19, 2010 Calgary, AB
June 22, 2010 Lethbridge, AB
June 23, 2010 Saskatoon, SK
June 24, 2010 Brandon, MB
June 25, 2010 Winnipeg, MB
June 26, 2010 Fargo, ND
June 29, 2010 St. Paul, MI
June 30, 2010 Des Moines, IA
July 1, 2010 Chicago IL
July 2, 2010 Indianapolis,IN
July 3, 2010 Louiseville, KY
July 4, 2010 Cleveland, OH
July 5, 2010 Buffalo, NY
July 6, 2010 Syracuse, NY
July 7, 2010 Rochester, NY
July 8, 2010 St. Catharines, ON
July 9, 2010 Toronto, ON

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Column

Tales From The Pit: The Extended Crowd Surf

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week Special Ops guitarist Akbar shares a fun crowd surfing story with us:

"Mosh story, Crazy out door show, I think it was Vans Warped Tour or something, I forget the band that was playing, I was a bit too inebriated. lol. Been in the pit all day and by now the batteries are starting to run a bit low after 4 hrs.

"Last band goes on, and all I feel is the waist band of my pants being pulled up along with my feet being grabbed, next thing I know I'm lying down on top of the crowd staring at the sky with the band rocking out, then all of a sudden they sit me up. Here I am sitting on people's hands like it was my lazy boy watching the show, so I start asking them to move me around and they did, turned me around and I saw a sea of heads! All I could think of was man I need to play that stage, and we eventually did :)) and who, next thing I now I'm being turned over on my belly, and being shoved towards the front - still kinda cool in the mental state I was in, but then, a pair of strong ass hands grab my shoulders and the rest keep pushing but the shoulders are staying put, seconds later I'm in an inverted cross position facing the crowd, thinking HOLY SHIIIIIT DON'T DROP ME! while smiling of course. lol

"Anyhow, it turned out to be a good friend, and he threw me on my back again and into the crowd, only this time I didn't end up standing on my head, they started tossing me up and down, and then they gave a big throw, tossing me a good 3 feet in the air, and they cleared, leaving me to fall a good 8-10 feet flat on my back. Very very dangerous and stupid move on their end, I could have been paralyzed if I wasn't smart enough to grab someones shirt to get me to hit the floor ass first which hurt, but not as bad as if I had landed flat on my back.

"That was the longest surf I had done ever, and probably the most fun. to anyone out there thinking of dropping people on their backs, you can really hurt someone while doing that. \m/\m/"

Special Ops just recently signed to Thorny Bleeder Records for the release of their third album, "Through The Heart of The Infidel" (reviewed here), which will see an official release soon. You can download an MP3 of the song "Pressure" off of "Through the Heart Of The Infidel."

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the mosh pit.

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Special Ops Signs To Thorny Bleeder Records

Thorny Bleeder has announced the signing of Montreal metal band Special Ops. In their third album, “Through The Heart of The Infidel,” produced by award winning producer & mixer Glen Robinson (Voivod, The Ramones, AC/DC, Gwar, Queensryche, Nashville Pussy) along with the engineering and production talents of Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope, Monarchy), Special Ops captures ten tracks that display a fusion of the members’ diverse cultures.

From Akbar’s intricate native Middle Eastern influence of guitar finger picking/strumming to Abe’s unique blend of North American street-style vocal delivery, backed by a well-armed rhythm section of Waldo Thornhill’s thumping bass and drummer Clarence McGillacutty’s pounding fury, Special Ops have unleashed a direct hit to follow up their award nominated independent release “Phase 2: Amidst The Madness.”

You can download an MP3 of the song "Pressure" off of "Through the Heart Of The Infidel."

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Special Ops Announces Quebec and Ontario Dates

Montreal's Special Ops will be invading the following Quebec and Ontario tour dates in promotion of their third studio release, "Through The Heart of The Infidel," produced by award winning producer Glen Robinson (Voivod, The Ramones, ACDC, GWAR) and engineered by Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope, Monarchy).

Here are the latest tour dates:

Jan 24, 2010 - Dollar Cinema - Montreal, QC - (Haiti Benefit Concert)
Jan 27, 2010 - Dagobert - Quebec City, QC
Jan 30, 2010 - Bar Le Magog - Sherbrooke, QC
Feb 5, 2010 - Club Soda - Montreal, QC
Feb 12, 2010 - Bar Le Trash - St. Hyacinthe, QC
Feb 19, 2010 - Bar St. Laurent 2 (Blankfest Quebec - Blanket Fundraiser for Montreal's Homeless) - Montreal, QC
Feb 26, 2010 - Velvet Underground - Toronto, ON
Feb 27, 2010 - Bar Le Magog - Sherbrooke, QC
March 6, 2010 - Velvet Underground- Toronto, ON
March 7, 2010 - Rainbow - Ottawa, ON

Special Ops performed an unplugged set alongside Montreal artists Dave Rickers, Nadia Bashalani, and Juno nominated Kali last night on Sunday, January 24th for an eclectic night of music in support of raising clothing, health items and non perishable food for victims of Haiti's earthquake disaster.

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Special Ops Releases "Pressure" Video

Releasing its third studio album, "Through The Heart of the Infidel," Montreal's Special Ops have released its first music video in support of the first single, "Pressure."

"Pressure is an anthem, a song for everyone that knows literally what it is to deal with the grind everyday. This song and video is for the people," commented guitarist Akbar Johnson. "Filming the video was a great part of putting this third album together and I hope the fans and viewers enjoy this one. I know I did."

The "Pressure" video can also be viewed via Special Ops' official web site and MySpace.

In addition to Special Ops' new video, they have won the Best Metal Song for "Anger is Creeping" at the New Music Awards and will be performing at this years Indie Week 2009 in Toronto at the Velvet Underground on Friday October 9th, 8pm. Tickets are available at www.ticketscene.ca ($8 or entry with wristband / VIP pass).

Upcoming Tour Dates
Sept. 19 Sherbrooke, QC - Bar Le Magog
Oct. 09 Toronto, ON - Velvet Underground - Indie Week Music Fest
Nov. 07 Ottawa, ON - Café Deckuf
Nov. 27 Ottawa, ON - Café Deckuf

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Special Ops Nominated for New Music Award

Ringing in the upcoming release of their third studio album, “Through the Heart of the Infidel,” Montreal's Special Ops are excited to announce their New Music Award nomination for the Best Metal category for their song "Anger is Creeping" released off their last release, "Phase 2: Amidst The Madness." This is Special Ops second award nomination, having previously being nominated at the Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards for "Best Rock Song."

Adding this award nomination to their ranks, Abe Froman commented: "'Anger is Creeping' is definitely a huge fan favourite and for it to be nominated for Best Metal is truly a great honour. We truly like to say thanks to our fans and the New Music Awards for the nomination."

The award ceremony will act as a wrap up to the Barrie New Music Festival and is being held on Sunday Sept 13th 2009 at The Mansion Night Club (34 Dunlop St. East, Barrie). This year's awards ceremony will feature over 20 different award categories for independent artists. The New Music Awards will be ticketed separately from the New Music Fest. Admission at the door will be $5 for wristband holders and $10 for the general public.

In addition to their nomination and upcoming album launch in Montreal, QC on September 12th at Cabaret, Special Ops have decided to overhaul their webpage in order to offer fans a new revamped look and plenty of new content. Head over to www.opsmission.com for all your Special Ops info.

“Through the Heart of the Infidel” was produced by award-winning producer & mixer Glen Robinson (Voivod, The Ramones, ACDC, Gwar, Queensryche, Nashville Pussy), along with the engineering and production talents of Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope, Monarchy).

Upcoming Special Ops tour dates: More...

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