Nemesis turns 10

Eric Ireland is into classical music. Classic heavy metal, that is. He's the lead singer and guitarist of Nemesis, a Whitehorse thrash-metal band that celebrates its tenth anniversary with one of its raucous...

Eric Ireland is into classical music.

Classic heavy metal, that is.

He’s the lead singer and guitarist of Nemesis, a Whitehorse thrash-metal band that celebrates its tenth anniversary with one of its raucous, ear-bleeding, bone-rattling shows at the Jarvis Saloon on Saturday.

Over the past decade, new bands have tried to meld metal with rap, pop and other musical genres. Not Nemesis.

“That’s just something we’ve never cared for,” said Ireland. “We’re purists.”

By that, he means their music is modeled on the sound of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Slayer.

And Ireland has noticed a revival of this classic metal sound of late, with the rise in popularity of Canadian metal acts like Three Inches of Blood, Cauldron and Savage Blade.

“I think metal is coming full circle,” he said.

Ireland formed Nemesis while in high school with two other core members: Mike Jones on guitar and Yves Paradis on drums. They’ve seen a revolving-door of bassists over the years, but that job has been held for several years now by Glen Emond.

From the start, the band built a reputation as “young teens who could really play the old school stuff, and play it well,” said Ireland.

Ireland, 27, became a metal fan early in life. He credits the Deep Purple tape that was always playing in his father’s pickup.

Then he found a copy of Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All when he was about 10. By then, there was no turning back.

Ireland found that music exhilarating then. “Now, it’s kind of soothing,” he said with a chuckle.

Nemesis has released two albums: a self-titled release in 2005, and Bad Blood in 2007.

“We should have more albums than we do,” said Ireland. But there’s always demand for Nemesis to play classic metal covers. And, for the past year, they’ve doubled as the backup band to JJS3, fronted by Jonas Smith.

Nemesis is loud. Once, during a show at the Alsek music festival in Haines Junction, a technician gauged them above 130 decibels.

That’s equivalent to hearing a four-engine jet plane take off from 30 metres.

“Nobody would stand at the front,” said Ireland.

In the early days, Nemesis was the house band for the old Capital Hotel bar. Once during that time, drug dealers tried to pay off the band to wrap up their set. “They didn’t like our music,” said Ireland.

“We just turned it up louder and played faster. As soon as we got off the stage, we got out of there as fast as we could, for our own safety.”

Ireland’s received a few fat lips during performances, after rowdy mosh-pit participants slammed into his mike stand. He usually responded in kind, with his boot.

“We were the guys you’d be kicking out of your house parties,” said Ireland. “We were maniacs.

“By the way,” he adds. “You should put this in: We’re still maniacs. We just don’t get kicked out of parties any more.”

Saturday’s show starts around 10 p.m. Ireland suggests arriving early. Cover is $5. Whitehorse punk-rockers the Kung Fu Aliens are opening.

Nemesis will also play at Whitehorse’s Sunstroke Festival on Friday, June 24.

Then Ireland is heading to Europe.

“I’m going on a heavy metal pilgrimage,” he said.

First stop is the Masters of Rock festival in the Czech Republic.

Then Ireland plans to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

“It’s sort of a morbid fascination I have,” he said.

Then it’s on to see Viking artifacts in Sweden, followed by the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. It’s billed as the world’s biggest outdoor heavy metal concert, attended by upwards of 80,000 people.

“It’s huge,” he said.

Ireland attended in 2008, when Iron Maiden headlined.

“It gets pretty gnarly. Weird smells.”

Contact John Thompson at

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Most Read