Saint Alvia, formerly The Saint Alvia Cartel, is a band from Burlington, ON, Canada. Saint Alvia formed in 2005 by Rob Pasalic (formerly of Boys Night Out) and Greg Taylor (formerly of Jersey). Pasalic had sworn off music after Boys Night Out, but he explained, "It's funny really, some abusive addictions you just can't kick…" According to Pasalic, the band is named after Ernest Alvia Smith, Canada's last living recipient of the Victoria Cross for valor in WWII.
Drummer Matt Richmond explained the reason for the name change to the Montreal Mirror. "It was kind of a weird band name to start with and it just seemed like people were having a hard time getting it right. The most important part was always the Saint Alvia (taken from Canadian WWII veteran Ernest Alvia “Smoky” Smith), so we thought we’d put the most emphasis there. There’s also a band called the Cartel already, and a lot of people would shorten it and just reference the Cartel when talking about us. The truth is, we’ve talked about doing it so many times, even in the beginning, so we felt now was the right time to do it."
Although their roots are firmly planted in punk rock, the band also draws inspiration from genres as diverse as roots, rock and roll, blues, soul, dancehall reggae, country, new wave and hip hop. After recording and releasing a couple demo tracks via MySpace in 2006, they were picked up by Montreal's Stomp Records, who released their self-titled debut in May. The lead single "Don't Wanna Wait Forever" was released in the summer of 2007.
The band followed the 2007 release with 2008's critically acclaimed "Between The Lines".
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