WHEN HE was just a kid in Whitby, Ontario, Brandon Williams felt out of place.
“I was sort of a skid kid, a skateboarder, sort of fringey,” he remembers. “I grew up in a city where we have a population of 100,000 people and 10 hockey arenas and no music venues, no community art center. I think it creates a fringe where there’s this monoculture. I think sports creates community and it’s fine in a lot of ways, but I think when you don’t find yourself interested in that, you find yourself on the fringe of that community.”
Through his project Chastity, Williams makes music for that skid kid he used to be.
“It’s just been a priority of the project to create another space for kids like that. I was that kid, I’m sort of still that kid,” says Williams.
Chastity isn’t strict in its discipline, and neither is Death Lust, a tight, loud album with a wide variety of influence, from shoegaze to hardcore.
“It’s representative of too many ideas that are too overwhelming,” he says. “I think there’s several disciplines going on in the project—not necessarily just a music project, but videos are just as much a part, merch can be too. It’s definitely a DIY, sort of a ‘my friends and I’ type of project, whatever that means.”
Williams and his friends have been putting on shows in a barn in rural north Whitby.
“Kids come through,” he says. “We’ve had Metz come play, sort of fundraisers. The capacity is only 120 people, but the last one, we had it packed out. I think it’s sort of communicated and it’s sort of worked.
Back to Metz. Before Williams even had a full-length album out, he toured with greats Metz and Fucked Up. Chastity just got off a European tour with Fucked Up, another surreal experience for him.
“It’s all been surreal with this project,” he says. “Everything has been wild for me. I’m just trying to emote and sing my songs, so to be given an opportunity to play alongside bands I love, like I’m a personal fan.”