As a proud born and bred Cape Bretoner, I've always been an advocate for growth and progress on our Island. 2012 saw the opening of the long-awaited world class golf course Cabot Links in my hometown of Inverness. The Scottish style “Links” course has drawn the attention of golfers worldwide and has helped instill an energy back into the community.
The song ‘Slag Heaps’ was written 3 years ago during the construction of the course. It highlights the pre- Cabot Inverness: a small, post-industrial mining town in Cape Breton, past its heyday and struggling to keep a fleeting population intact. Rolling grey hills known as ‘Slag Heaps’, the remnants of the once prosperous coalmines, cover miles and miles of the towns oceanfront while, unfortunately, serving as a constant reminder that the town is in its downfall. These same hills are also the potential location of a world-class golf course that the town has lobbied for over the last 15 years. With various setbacks and challenges along the way, hope for the course and the jobs that would come with it have almost all but disappeared and become nothing more than the pipe dreams of a few ambitious townsfolk and businessmen. The town (it’s actually a village, but we don’t like to admit that) needs to see progress to actually believe it will happen. This progress is represented by actual machines working on the land to develop the golf course, erasing the discouraging slag heaps, and bringing people, jobs and life back to the town.
As the machines and golf-course architects eventually arrive in Inverness to "break the ground", a positive feel is echoed in the outro of the song. “Maybe I’ll come home”, repeats as the song fades, bringing an optimistic end to the composition, and hinting at the fact that maybe people of the small town have reason to come back – which now, after seeing the beneficial results of Cabot Links and the positive effect on our community, I think we all have a reason to come home.
Slag Heaps has been nominated by Music Nova Scotia for "Video of the Year" 2012 and was directed by Dillon Garland. The Video itself is an over the top, violent caricature of various "torture movies" that have thrust their way into the mainstream as of late. Metaphorically, it represents the decline, death and rebirth of a town.