Engage logo as featured on the United Edge Records website

Engage logo as featured on the United Edge Records website

Formed in 1998 by Eric Neufeld, Engage started out as a 4 piece with Ben on vocals, Dave Pifco on guitar, Eric Gaudet on bass and Eric Neufeld on drums. The band played regularly with other local band Notoriety. After building a good following, Engage decided they needed a second guitar player and brought in Judd Asoyuf to fill this roll. At the same time Ben left the band and Eric took over the vocals. To fill in the roll as drummer Engage brought in Dave C. The first  first show with this line up was at the As We Once Were demo release party in the summer of 1999. Shortly after this Engage went into the studio to record a 7 song demo which never got released. The tracks were heard by Andrea from United Edge Records and she planned on putting out their demo as an EP.

While Engage and Andrea were working on releasing the album things within the band started to deteriorate. After a member didn’t turn up for a halloween show in Oakville with Hoodrat and Spinecracker, the band parted ways with the two Daves and brought in Matt Redman on second guitar and Paul Cope on drums, both from the currently active Sun In Sky. Paul made it clear he could not commit to the band fulltime and the search continued for his replacement, eventually settling on Alan Riches who used to drum for As We Once Were. Before the band could play a show with their new drummer Eric Gaudet left the band and was replaced by Mike Donovan from Hung By Hope. The new line up was solid with a lot more energy in their sound and were finally ready to push for the EP to come out.

In the fall of 2001, with Eric in school and the rest of the members spread out over the greater Toronto area, it was starting to take a strain on the band. Their second to last show, Eric had to back out last minute. Paul came back to fill in for this show and Alan took over the vocals, and adding to the set list for that night a cover of “Gonna Get Yours” by Floorpunch and “Bleeding to Death” by The Swarm. Also playing that night was Judd’s metal side project Uriel in the only show they ever played. Shortly after this Eric decided to call it quits and announced at their next show that it would be his last with Engage. After the show the other members talked and wanted to keep going. They loved the energy the band had and decided to try to continue with another line up change and a fresh name as Counterstrike. The band brought in Ben Arseneau who worked with Judd in Uriel on drums and Calab Cooper on guitar.  Meanwhile Alan moved to vocals and Matt decided to focus on Sun in Sky. Talking to Andrea they decided to make this a split 7″ with Miles Between Us to finally get the songs out and hopefully help build the bands new name. Unfortunately after a few practices things fell apart and everybody called it quits for good.

Engage Discography

Related Post