The Viletones were the infamous first generation punk rock band from Toronto, Canada, led by Steven Leckie, a.k.a. "Nazi Dog" or "Dog" on vocals. Other members from the original line-up were Frederick DePasquale a.k.a. "Freddie Pompeii" on guitar/vocals; Chris Paputts, a.k.a. "Chris Hate" on bass guitar/vocals, and Mike Anderson, a.k.a. "Motor X" on the drums/vocals.
In July of 1977, The Viletones joined The Diodes and Teenage Head at famed New York punk club CBGB at a showcase featuring "Three outrageous punk bands from Toronto, Canada". Eminent rock critic Lester Bangs described the show in an April 29, 1981 article for the Village Voice: "This guy Natzee Dog hung from the rafters, crawled all over the stage, and hurled himself on the first row until his body was one huge sore. Somebody asked me what I thought and I said, 'Fine with me - in 1972 every band in the world was Grand Funk, now every band in the world is the Stooges.' I didn't tell Natzee Dog that, though; I told him: 'You guys were cooler with hockey haircuts.'"
Also that year, The Viletones released their first single, "Screamin Fist" b/w "Possibilities" and "Rebel" on their own Vile Records.
In 1978, they released Look Back In Anger, which featured the songs "Don't You Lie" and "Dirty Feeling", b/w "Back Door To Hell", "Swastika Girl" and "Danger Boy". The same year Pompeii, Hate and X abrubtly left The Viletones. The now former Viletones joined up with ex-Diode John Hamilton in The Secrets.The later version of the Viletones included Sam Ferrara/bass, Tony Vincent/drums, Steve Sturgis/guitar.
In 1983, a reunited Viletones released their first full-length album, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, recorded live at Larry's Hideaway in Toronto. Later that decade, they released a U.S.-only release, Live At Max's. In 1994, a record label, Other Peoples Music, released a retrospective, A Taste Of Honey. In 1998, Leckie released the What It Feels Like To Kill album, which featured among its 18 songs the 1995 Nailed EP, under the Viletones name. Steven Leckie ran an art gallery & clothing store in Toronto called Fleurs Du Mal, and made a brief appearance in the film, American Psycho.
The last Viletones 2007 line-up consisted of Steven Leckie (vocals), Steve Scarlett/The Sinisters/Drunkula (guitar) and Jeff Zurba (drums.)
In this world, you are either hot or cold. If you are lukewarm, the Lord will spew you out of his mouth.
Jerry Lee Lewis.
This is it, kids - choose your side. Either you accept your intended destiny like a good little slacker and buy the boredom, the complacency and the X - Generation myth, or you go down fighting. That's it: you're complacent and dead, or defiant and alive, no other options permitted. Or, to put it the way it was over a decade ago, you either get The Viletones, or you don't. Because The Viletones - more than any other band of their time, with the glaring exception of the Sex Pistols - were it, the only possible response to a youth culture bloated on it's own significance. They were the artist as Travis Bickle, sure in the purity of a rage that they were the rain that would come and wash all this scum off the streets. They presented the only meaningful response to mass culture: sheer unbridled hate. If the only way out of cultural stupor was to slice your arms and bleed all over the stage, so be it. At least it proved you were alive.
Somehow, we missed the message. You think things have changed since the 1970's? We're still passing bad weed at outdoor festivals and idolizing millionaire junkies. Right now, we need Steven Leckie to burst back in like the sorcerer in Fantasia and hammer the lesson back into our thick apprentice's skulls, but Leckie, contrary cuss as per, has his own motivations. Namely, to prove he can still do it, and on his own terms. We expected blood and fire and gnashing of teeth and tearing of flesh (hail, textbook punk!). He gives us a subzero cool, Jaques Brel on Judgment Day. Leckie is too smart to give us what we expect and instead subverts our expectations in whenever he can: band walks on to Edith Piaf, Leckie neatly done up like Vladimir Mayakovski white shirt, dinner jacket and shaved head; they throw in a verbatim drum solo; they cover of The MC5, Leckie remains aloof; barely acknowledging the crowd and making no unnecessary movements, holding the stage like a deposed duke back from exile. He carries himself not as a punk kiddie cartoon obsessed with 'authenticity', but with the dignity of a grown man who's earned every one of his broken bottle scars.
And, yes, he's still 'got it', investing each song with loving menace (except now he doesn't need hyperactivity and hemoglobin), in a voice unnervingly unchanged since his Summer of Hate.
Leckie has become the Lee Marvin of punk: a gunslinger who shot a bloody trail to the top and hung up his Smith and Wesson as soon as he found there was nowhere higher to go. But he keeps it in easy reach, knowing every few years he's got to get up and prove to the upstarts just who was, and always has been, the meanest bastard in Dodge. Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?
C.J. O'Connor, EYE Magazine 1994
And lo as time brought fulfillment, it brought bitter fruit. The Viletones have ceased and desisted under their struggle, becoming at last a band that's expired. Yet, without fail, Steven Leckie will not be unheard as yet.
Rosy Ruin, Shades Magazine 1980