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AWOL / Blog

AWOL SHOWS 1999-2003

Might as well include the AWOL shows. If you ever want to see AWOL perform again, then you better go find two million dollars. Jamie won't go on the plane without lobster. Apr 1999 - Night Of Noise (Edmonton) - AWOL, No Way Out, Special Guest, Axiom, Adhesive Fire, Carrion Honey Jun 1999 - Ban The Show (Edmonton) - AWOL, Blameless, Axiom Oct 1999 - Higher Skies Rally (Vermillion) - AWOL, Dayz Wage, Blameless Oct 1999 - Punk Rock Cafe (Edmonton) - Special Guest, Strength In Solitude, AWOL, Blameless, 2 Days Apart Nov 1999 - Tulliby Lake Hall (Tulliby Lake) - AWOL, Sacredera Jan 2000 - Mud Hut (Edmonton) - AWOL, Blameless, Sacredera Mar 2000 - Rage of Page (Edmonton) - MI5, Paradigm Shift, AWOL, Smoking Monkey, Lime, Moshmellow, LSD Mar 2000 - Cracker Feend Show (Edmonton) - MI5, Strength In Solitude, AWOL, Chick Maggot, Blameless, Sacredera, LSD, Seven Apr 2000 - House of Squeak (Edmonton) - AWOL, Blameless, Free Beer May 2000 - Amy's Basement (Edmonton) - AWOL, Strength In Solitude, Blameless, Chick Maggot, Free Beer Jun 2000 - Matt's Basement (Edmonton) - AWOL, Chick Maggot Jun 2000 - Hazeldean Hall (Edmonton) - AWOL, Smoking Monkey, Paradigm Shift Jun 2000 - Expose Yourself (Edmonton) - Woodabeen, Unit 46, AWOL, Chonp, No Regard, Elixir, Small Potatoes Jul 2000 - Dinwoodie Lounge (Edmonton) - AWOL, 13th Floor, Lime, Carpet Aug 2000 - Axe Music (Edmonton) - AWOL Nov 2000 - Mud Hut (Edmonton) - AWOL, Blameless, Jonny Retail Dec 2000 - Mcnally BOB (Edmonton) - AWOL, Broken Angel, Paradigm Shift, Exit 303, Smoking Monkey, The Committed Jock Straps, Sweet Leaf, Borx, Sub-vert, 427 Feb 2001 - It Does Fest (Edmonton) - Timeless, AWOL, Borx, Gi Jill, Teri's Parasite, Paradigm Shift Mar 2001 - House of Squeak (Edmonton) - AWOL, Blameless, Gi Jill, The Opposed, Borx May 2001 - Night of Noise (Edmonton) - AWOL, The Reason, Paradigm Shift, Blameless, The Committed Jock Straps Jul 2001 - Wainwright Festival (Wainwright) - AWOL, Prism, Nazareth Dec 2001 - Mcnally BOB (Edmonton) - AWOL, Paradigm Shift, Exit 303, Sallys Crackers, Broken Angel Sept 2003 - Rendezvous Pub (Edmonton) - AWOL, Rosetta Stone, Hidden


For a band name like AWOL, you would expect brains in a blender. The question is, what are you going to say, really? Soldier runs away. Can't find an escape. Alas, there is Jamie Star. The only one who can make the word national sound like a swear word. But let's start at the beginning. In late 1997, fourteen year old Jamie Salloum eagerly desired to enter a province-wide battle of the bands. He recruited his younger brother Nathan and friend Zack Yerxa. The boys called the group Nidus and rehearsed the songs endlessly. With enough luck, they managed to receive the first place prize out of twenty aspiring bands, winning recording time at Powersound studios. Ironically, Nidus was the youngest act in the competition. The champions recorded the winning single "Rotten" and the band was officially born with all rites of passage. In the next year and a half, the group formulated an intense metal sound and played show after show. By the summer of 1999, Nidus changed the name to AWOL. Jamie was popular in the city music scene recording bands, putting on shows and other fun musical endeavours. The first bootleg demo "Rednecks Have No Fun" was released in October 1999 at Punk Rock Cafe for $5 a copy. The show featured bands like local legends Special Guest and Strength in Solitude. At this time, AWOL was asked to play more shows and grew popular in the underground music scene. Jamie acted crazy on stage, letting out unpredictable screams and sounds that showered you with laugh after laugh. The intense live shows and bursting energy created a buzz in the streets. In March 2000, AWOL flew to Vancouver to record the first self-titled album with Jonathan Fluevog at Vogville recording. The studio sessions challenged the youngsters but they prevailed on producing some great classics like "The Mainstream Sucks" "Uncle Sam" and "It Could Be Worse". High School continued on and AWOL morphed into the halls handing out flyers to the shows. Postering and practicing, writing and recording. Some of the coolest local bands made way into Jamie's Basement. The summer was ripe, exciting and full of shows. In September 2000, AWOL recorded the first batch of songs to be sent to record producer Jonathan Fluevog. AWOL spent many hours in the studio writing and producing different styles and genres. The goal was to make a mega commercial album that could not fail. By the end of the year, AWOL won first place at the Mcnally Battle of the Bands. Mitch Miller had joined the group as the second guitar for a more heavier sound. Jamie immersed himself even more in the scene and as a result, more opportunities came for the band. In May 2001, Mitch quit and was replaced by Adam Thompson. AWOL continued to write and record, sending the music to Jonathan in the off time when there wasn't a gig. Jamie graduated high school and AWOL played a few out of town gigs here and there. Adam quit the band and moved on with his life. Jamie had to find a job and continue various projects on his own. Zack quit high school to work at a radio station. Nathan continued school and wrote his own material. The last batch cleverly titled "Um Ya" was recorded in 2002. Jamie recorded bands for money and played drums for Chick Maggot and The Opposed. After a failed relationship in early 2004, Jamie decided to reunite AWOL once again. They played a reunion show and proceeded plans on recording "Ladies and Gentlemen" at Grandmother Sound. The band decided to change the name again to The Casanova Playboys and the rest is history.


AWOL is comprised of vocalist and guitarist Jamie Salloum, Nathan Salloum on bass and Zack Yerxa on drums. Jamie and his brother Nathan came from a family of working musicians. They came across Zack in Christian school and Nidus was born, a heavy metal tribute. It wasn't long before they changed the name to AWOL. Shows took place and the explosive energy of the band erupted in the halls. Jamie went crazy on stage, Nathan banged his head in the air and Zack kept the crowd moving along. A great music scene was flourishing in Edmonton around 1999 and AWOL happened to appear on many playbills. Jamie recorded bands for money, meeting many bands and promoters to keep the group playing all throughout high school. Zack's cousin Jonathan Fluevog is a well known producer in Vancouver and he took the band in. AWOL recorded the first album with Jonathan at Vogville Recording in March 2000 that featured old live classics like "The Mainstream Sucks", "Red Necks Have No Fun", and "45". By September 2000, writing and recording music was all the rage in Jamie's Basement studio. Jamie spent nights mixing and polishing the sounds. In December, Mitch Miller joined AWOL as a second guitar. By spring of 2001, Jamie was near graduation and AWOL was getting stronger musically especially with the help from others. Adam Thompson joined the group as the second guitar. Mitch had quit and moved on. After, Zack quit school for radio land and Jamie got a job at a hotel. Nathan continued high school so AWOL slowly dissolved away due to lack of time. The songs AWOL created in such a short time period resembled a testament to the true human spirit. Love is supreme in a world of confusion. 2004 brought the beginning of The Casanova Playboys. AWOL leaves behind a legacy to be treasured for all time.