The Sneak Preview was a melodic punk rock band from Maple, Ontario. They formed in the summer of 2000, after Joel Bath (drums) and Mike Mucci (guitar) broke up their band “Then Who Is the Liar?”. The duo started writing new songs alone in Joel’s parent’s basement in Thornhill, Ontario, with influences from Dinosaur Jr., Elliot, Sunny Day Real Estate and a few more local Ontario bands. They then invited Mark “Augie” Petja, to join as bassist as he had previously played in Five Finger Discount with them. The final addition would be Marco Fardella on vocals. Now a complete band, they moved their rehearsal space to Mike’s parent’s house in Maple, Ontario, where they continued to practice until the end.

With their first few songs composed, The Sneak Preview were invited to play at a field party somewhere north of Toronto. The details of this have faded with time. But their second should would be well documented. Mike and his girlfriend (now wife) Vicki Bonanno had been booking a few shows for local bands at The Masonic Lodge in Maple, Ontario. It was there that they had booked one of Then Who Is the Liar?’s show in May of 2000 with The China White.

The Sneak Preview at their first show, September 30th 2000 at The Masonic Lodge in Maple, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Vicki Bonanno

The Sneak Preview at their first real show, September 30th 2000 at The Masonic Lodge in Maple, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Vicki Bonanno

Eager to play with Chris Gray again, the couple contacted him to book his new band, Zyon, with The Sneak Preview at The Masonic Lodge on September 30th. Zyon, performed that evening alongside Bombs Over Providence, Ballock and Andrea S. The Sneak Preview played the show in black button up shirts and dressed pants, wanting to make a good first impression. They even set up a smoke machine and strobe lights to entertain the audience. Marco would walk into the smoke and vanish, only to reappear elsewhere signing another part of the song. Apparently Kenny Bridges from Moneen was so impressed that he asked The Sneak Preview to open up for Moneen at their next show.

Moneen’s first show back in Ontario after their first tour was at The Irish Centre in Brampton, Ontario on November 9th. That night they also played with Soulphoenix and Non Chalant. The Sneak Preview then created their first website (www.go.to/thesneakpreview), which was quickly changed to (www.thesneakpreview.cjb.net). Through the internet they found out that Eric Weller from Meathead Records in Thunder Bay, Ontario, was putting together a new compilation boxset. The deadline for submissions was the end of March.

So in early March of 2001, The Sneak Preview booked two days to record with Rob Sanzo at Signal 2 Noise. Being such huge fans of Chris Gray, there was nowhere else they wanted to record. Three songs would be recorded at this time; “Until the Music Ends”, “Radio Days” and “Lost Loving on a Summer Night”. The first day they tracked all the instruments, the next all the vocals and mixed the songs. Chris Gray was then asked by either Marco or Mike, if he would be willing to provide some guest vocals on one of their song, who in turn added his touch to “Until the Music Ends”.

The Sneak Preview EP/demo "Until the Music Ends", 400 North Records, March 2001

The Sneak Preview EP/demo “Until the Music Ends”, 400 North Records, March 2001

The three songs were then sent a few floors down to Noah Mintz at The Lacquer Channel who mastered them a week later. The demo/EP “Until the Music Ends” was released that same month. Over time nearly 500 copies would be burnt on CD-Rs, featuring Mike’s Photoshoped layout. The CD mentioned 400 North Records, which was the band’s own label, but it would never be used again.

The EP premiered in its entirety on March 12th, on Vicki and her friend Lisa Sullivan’s radio show “Punk n Stuff”. The show aired on the University of Toronto’s broadcast station, CFRE 91.9 FM, every Monday evening. Eventually the EP would get picked up by CBC and 102.1 The Edge on Dave Bookman’s show, “New Music Hour”.

The title song was sent to Eric Weller just in time to be accepted for the compilation. In either July or August, Meathead Records released the massive, ten CDs, compilation boxset entitled “The International Punk Rock Box Set”. It did feature the band’s song “Until the Music Ends”, but the band was accidentally credited as “The Sneak Previews”.

"The International Punk Rock Box Set" compilation, Meathead Records, July/August 2001

“The International Punk Rock Box Set” compilation, Meathead Records, July/August 2001

Because of school and work, the EP release show only occurred a month and a half after it was recorded. May 31st at the Mind Bomb Cafe in St. Catharines, The Sneak Preview released their EP, backed by Zyon. The Sneak Preview would play the Mind Bomb again that summer with Ellington, Rise Over Run and Hanging Hearts.

But Augie was growing tired of playing in bands. In late June or early July he was replaced by a friend of the band, Brad Deschamps. Brad’s first show with the band would be at the Horseshoe Tavern. Dave Bookman had personally asked The Sneak Preview to perform as part of The Edge’s Nu Music Nite. Shortly after, on July 22nd, they played at another Masonic Lodge, in Mississauga, with Constantines, The Meligrove Band and Soulphoenix.

On September 8th they played at Hamilton’s Transit Union Worker’s Hall with Silverstein, Boys Night Out, Bayside, The Pettit Project, Handheld, The Thugz, and The Spozedas. Later that month they opened up for Smakin’ Isaiah and Layaway Plan at Grill One in Brampton.

"The Best of KPP Volume 1" compilation, Kingston Punk Productions, 2001

“The Best of KPP Volume 1” compilation, Kingston Punk Productions, 2001. Photo courtesy of Anna Robertson

The Sneak Preview were then added to the growing list of bands that were to be booked and promoted by Kingston Punk Productions. KPP would book almost all of its shows at the 477 Underworld in Kingston. This is where The Sneak Preview played with The Jolly’s and Idle Minds on November 17th. KPP was so excited to have them on board that they added them to their sampler, “The Best of Kingston Punk Productions Vol. 1”, featuring their song “Until the Music Ends”. But this would be the end for The Sneak Preview, who never played another show. The breakup was apparently a mutual decision and without any hard feelings.

You can download The Sneak Preview’s EP “Until the Music Ends”.

-Show Listing (incomplete)

  1. 2000-09-30 The Masonic Lodge (Maple, ON) Zyon, Andrea S, Bombs Over Providence, Ballock
  2. 2000-11-09 The Irish Centre (Brampton, ON) Soulphoenix, Non Chalant and Moneen
  3. 2001-05-31 Mind Bomb Cafe (St. Catharines, ON) Zyon
  4. 2001-?? Mind Bomb Cafe (St Catharines, ON) Ellington, Rise Over Run, Hanging Hearts
  5. 2001-07-10/17 Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto, ON) for 102.1 The Edge’s Nu Music Nite
  6. 2001-07-22 Masonic Lodge (Mississauga, ON) Constantines, The Meligrove Band, Soulphoenix
  7. 2001-09-08 Transit Union Worker’s Hall (Hamilton, ON) Silverstein, Bayside, The Pettit Project, Handheld and The Thugz
  8. 2001-09-14/17 Grill One (Brampton, ON) Smakin’ Isaiah, Layaway Plan
  9. 2001-11-17 477 Underground (Kingston, ON) The Jolly’s, Idle Minds

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