The Nils was a power pop/punk rock band originating in Montreal, Quebec that produced several releases between 1978 and 1994, perhaps best known for their song "Scratches and Needles". The group largely revolved around singer-songwriter Alex Soria, a man determined to expand the punk scene in Canada. Although unable to break out into mainstream success and sidelined due to drug abuse with other issues, the group has garnered a cult following, and various alternative rock artists from the Hüsker Dü to Superchunk and more have praised the Nils while openly drawing influence. =>History The band was founded in 1978 by then 12-year old singer-songwriter Alex Soria (1966-2004) with his brother Carlos Soria. Other members of the Nils were Jean "Johnny" Lortie and later Alex MacSween on drums (currently with Bionic and Detention), Guy "Chico" Caron (Bass) and Chris Spedding (guitar, keyboards and producer of their debut-album). The band members performed in simple jeans and t-shirt combos like the Ramones and also shared a love for the British punk bands such as Buzzcocks and The Clash. The band never achieved widespread fame despite critical success and a following among other musicians in the genre. Many famous bands loved the Nils or were directly influenced by them: i.e. The Goo Goo Dolls, Superchunk, or the Meat Puppets. The Nils' first full-length (self-titled) album was released in 1987 at "Rock Hotel records". But they didn't have big hits outside underground radio also their song-writing had critical success. The band lasted, in increasingly exhausted form, till the early 1990s, when weariness and drug problems sidelined them. When the Profile label Rock Hotel subsidiary collapsed shortly after the release of the Nils' self-titled debut, the group went with it. The two brothers were off the scene for several years but in the late '90s Alex Soria formed the melodic-punk band Chino. In 1996 the live-recording Green Fields in Daylight by The Nils was released. There's also a Nils-tribute record called Scratches and Needles (1998, on local label Mag Wheel) that includes contributions by Down by Law and Punchbuggy. The Nils had a brief reunion in 2003, which led some hope that like other eighties heroes, the Nils would get their due a couple of decades later. But Alex Soria committed suicide in 2004 by throwing himself in front of a moving train. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.