Friday, September 25, 1987

Wednesday, September 23, 1987

Thursday, September 17, 1987

Zine - Confuzed #2

This is the second issue of Confuzed fanzine. This issue features Brian Baker on the cover, but there is no Dag Nasty interview inside. The cover is on a colour stock which was cool to see.

One of my favourite things about a zine is covering their own local news and Joel did that with his issues. Even today it provides of snapshot of things happening at that time.

Shawn of Pillsbury Hardcore was interviewed at a show they played at Ildiko's in 1987.

Reed and Phil from C.O.C. at their El Mocambo show on August 1st, 1987.

Straight Ahead were interviewed at their show on June 27th, 1987.

Alternative Inuit from Montreal also played the show so their interview is in this issue.
Son of Sam were interviewed at a low attended matinee show in 1987.

There was also an interview conducted with Henry Rollins right when he started up the Rollins group.

Vic and Tim from Concrete Sox were interviewed for Confuzed.

And Steve from Social Suicide is also interviewed after playing a show with the new D.O.G. line up.

There are reviews of records, tapes and fanzines.

Came out around the Fall of 1987.

Sunday, September 13, 1987

Friday, September 11, 1987

Interview: SNFU

I was going through some old folders of flyers and I came across a folder with old transcripts for interviews. This interview was with the singer Chi-Pig of SNFU who were from Edmonton when they came through sometime around September 11th, 1987.

How long have you guys been on tour?
This tour has been nine days so far. This is the ninth day, but the tour is only five weeks long.
Where abouts will you be going?
We are going as far east, Canada wise, as Halifax and we are going to cross over the border and do the New York – Boston area and then we are doing the eastern coastal states all the way down to Minneapolis and then dropping up into Winnipeg and going home from there. We left on September 2 and we plan to be home anywhere between the 5th and the 10th of October by the latest. So this is just a fun no-stress tour.
It seems like the band has been touring a lot and it hasn’t been that long since you guys played here last?
Yeah we played here in December of 86.
Aren’t you guys burning out because of the amount of touring?
No because the tour was all of December, January, February, and March and then I took a whole month off where I didn’t do anything. I just vegetated and then we got our new bass player and we practiced for three months. We did our first show with him on August 7th and then we decided to come out this way. So it’s kind of like a crash course, but after the four month break it’s really not that tough plus we all know it’s only going to be five weeks long so it’s not going to be too much of a killer on our systems, I hope, even though this humidity is killing me right now.
It’s not so bad out here, it’s the club you should worry about.
Well I’m not used to it because I’m a western cowboy.
What happened to the bass player you had on tour with you last year?
Originally Dave was our guitar player and he wanted to get back to playing guitar and so that’s what he is doing right now. He’s gotta new band called LUG’S LAUGHTER and they play dance oriented music. That was part of it as well. He wanted to get away from the constant grind of SNFU, so he’s decided to go that way. And that’s alright so we let him go.
So then you guys parted on good terms?
No he told us that he wanted to leave and what are we to do. We can’t force anybody to stay in our band. It doesn’t work that way. If somebody doesn’t want to do it, then they’re gone. Even if we wanted him to stay just to continue the band, that still wouldn’t be right because I know if I wanted to quit, I wouldn’t want anyone forcing me to stay. I wouldn’t want to have to do something against my will.
What about the new songs? What are the content of the lyrics like?
I don’t know. I haven’t really stopped to evaluate them. We wrote them pretty quickly. So far, to date, we have about eight songs eligible for a new record. What we want to do is, after we finish this tour, we have one more gig lined up at the university. It’s going to be a Hallowe’en show. A fundraiser for the university radio station. And after that’s done, we are just going to concentrate, probably all of November just writing new songs. Once we have a certain amount eligible for a new album, we will go into a recording studio and just put them down on a demo tape to hear what they sound like and correct them from there and hopefully put them down as a good recording for an album.
So it’s safe in assuming that SNFU will be recording soon.
Yes. It is safe in assuming, but I wouldn’t expect anything until the new year. In the mean time we do have a novelty item coming out. In November we have a seven inch single coming out with a reworked version of “She’s Not on the Menu”, and our first ever recording from December of 1982, which is going to be on the B side. That’s going to be coming out in limited pressing of 500 coloured vinyl four coloured silk screen cover and maybe even a sticker. So anyone who wants one has to write us real quick and they’re gone. I have no idea what the price is going to be, but it’s going to be up there because it’s a real enthusiastic project that we consider is extra special.
Will the project be put out on BYO?
No we are paying for it ourselves, so it says Better Youth Publishing on it, just to protect the rights of the songs. It’s not on anyone else’s label. The label has nothing but the lyrics of the songs on it. So basically it’s a fan club sort of thing. But we are not selling it through the fan club because we would sell a lot that way and so it’s first come, first serve. Whoever shows up with the money or sends money through the mail gets one. I want to spread them out evenly as I can. I know damn well that we could sell all 500 of them in Edmonton, but I don’t want to do that.
Do you have any idea how much it will cost?
No. It’s really tough to say. I got to add up the pressing costs, the silkscreening, and if we throw in a sticker, that’ll be more. Plus we have to get them done in the States because here in Canada, the minimum you can get of 7” coloured vinyl is 10,000. So in order to get only 500 copies done, we are doing them in the States and they’ll have to send them back across the border, which will add duty to the cost. That’ll up the price as well.
You guys seem to have some pretty interesting artwork. Is there any one artist who draws for you?
No we’re scavengers. That’s basically what part of the tour is about. That is to search out new artists. We’re always on the lookout for anyone creative and somebody who can come up with something real good. We’re not into the typical kind of stuff that goes around, in the hardcore vein, like we’ve grown out of skull and crossbones. There’s more to it than that, although I still like a good skull and crossbones as much as the next guy, however you can only do it so many times.
I read in a recent MRR letter that this one person in particular was getting sick of the skull or the rotting body artwork, which has become almost a standard for hardcore artwork.
Yeah. Well we did that once on a t-short and that graphic kind of stuck because a lot of people like that and so we still make those t-shirts because they sell, but we don’t have to repeat ourselves and do it all the time, so we try and progress and move on. That’s how come when the second record came out it caught a lot of people off guard because they weren’t expecting something that odd.
Where did you get the design for the second album cover?
I found it at an art exhibit in an art show in Edmonton and it turned out that it was a poster done for an art exhibit in Calgary in 1985. So we met the guy who did it and we got his permission to use it legally and stuff. And he let us do it.
Regarding the first album cover, did you obtain the rights for the cover art legally?
Well the thing is, you can take a photograph and if an artist drew an interpretation of this photograph and signed their name to it, that’s totally legal. And if you take a photograph and use that, it’s called plagiarism and that’s not good. We plagarised for the American version and BYO in LA just got kind of tense about the whole situation, so they decided to stop the cover with the actual photograph on it. And in Canada we wanted to do it for the second American pressing, but they didn’t want to do it because they thought it was a bit too close to the photograph. They were just freaking out. They were being too cautious.
What is your relationship with BYO now? When the BRIGADE were in town last year, the Sterns mentioned that they were looking for new bands for their label and they themselves were changing their interests in hopes of becoming more accessible. Will this effect SNFU?
Well as far as I know, they still want us on their label or else they would have booted us off by now. We’re certainly not going to change just because they want us to change. We’ll just keep doing what we like to do and if they don’t like it then we shop for another label. It’s as simple as that. But to my knowledge, they still like what we are doing and I know that our second record has sold more than our first record, for them, so there’s no argument there. We’re probably one of the few bands still left on their label, with that hard edge, because like you said, a lot of the bands have gone in different directions and there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s use the BRIGADE as an example. They took three years between albums. Three years down the line you can’t expect them to sound exactly the same as they did three years ago because that would be dull. I mean, if you were playing in a band and you had to play the same songs for three years, it would be sickening.
Well the impression I got when I was talking to them was that it was more a matter of maturing. Their attitudes seem to be much the same from when they started out.
I know for a fact that they are doing what they like to do, but it’s not catching on like they wanted it to. Maybe their next release will do better. Apparently they got some hot new songs that are going to do really well for them, but everyone says that about themselves. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
You seem to wear a lot of interesting pants. Do you make them yourself or do you have someone who makes them for you.
A friend of mine is a professional seamstress and I just get zany material and I send it to her and she just makes them up for me. It’s pretty economical too because an average pair of pants would cost me $1.50 and they’re one of a kind.
What’s her address?
She’s a good friend who lives in Regina, right now. She use to do good work for a big conglomerate, called Le Chateau. She’s no longer there and she’s doing her own stuff. This is just a sampling of her work. For those of you who can’t see what I’m wearing are the hockey logo pants and the only problem with these is that every time I get an erection, I get a two minute penalty for high sticking.
Does this mean that SNFU are being sponsored by somebody?
We stayed at her house in Regina and we traded her a couple of our sweatshirts and she gave us custom made shorts that she makes and so the guys have been wearing them on stage and stuff, so we promote her.
Does this fall under the category of rock sponsorship? What’s next for SNFU, a major beer label?
Well that would be nice, but I don’t know if it’s that realistic. I’m trying to hit up Airwalk running shoes because the Canadian distributor is based in Edmonton and we get a lot of coverage from Thrasher magazine and they advertise in there, so even if we get a few t-shirts or a couple of pairs of runners out of it, I wouldn’t argue.
Sounds like another Run DMC / Adidas deal in the making.
Promotion is promotion. If you can get something for it then why not. We find that on tour, sometimes we’ll go into a record store and the record store has shirts with their name on it. And a lot of time, the guy will offer to give us the shirt if we wear it for 30 seconds and then you take it off and you got yourself a free t-shirt. I mean if it’s a good looking t-shirt then why not? It’s a matter of economics. I don’t look at it as prostitution and no one is forcing us to do it. I mean if vision skate wear offered to give us all new shorts which cost like 50-60 dollars a crack we would say yeah. As far as musical equipment goes nobody has offered us any sponsorship, yet we would jump at the chance. It’s like free gear. What are you gonna do, I mean are you gonna say no. I think that would just be stupid, no matter how morally correct you think you are. But then again, to a certain extent, if there was someone like Coors beer, who has a really bad reputation with their involvement in South Africa, I would say no. But if it’s something defenseless, like the local dealer wants to give you a t-shirt, than why not, as long as you don’t have to do anything beyond your will. If they put you in their merchandise and said you had to act a certain way, we’d say “Fuck you. Keep your shit.”
Who’s in the band right now?
Myself, Chi Pig, on vocals and Muc is on guitar while Bunt is on the other guitar and we are the three original members. We started the band in 1981. Ted is on drums and the new guy is Curtis. He has been with us since May of this year. So this is the acid test for him. He’s like the guinea pig this trip and so that’s basically why we came out. We try and practice, on a minimum of five days a week, but live playing is better than any fucking practice you could ever ask for. That’s why we brought him out on this trip because we are doing 25 shows in something like 35 days, and that’s like the best practice that some guy could ask for. So we are doing it to break him in and the guy needs the experience. So far he is working out fine. As a side note, we didn’t go through the bullshit of auditioning somebody. A lot of people were asking about who we were going to get to fill Dave’s shoes and they thought we were gonna fly in some hot shot bass superstar from out of town or something like that. Instead we went for a home town guy because we know him and he has the same ideologies as we do and we get along with the guy. I lived with him for two or three years before he joined the band. So we know him and that’s why he is in the band. Plus he plays bass too.
Have you guys got any favourite spots or tourist sites that you like to stop into while on tour?
We saw a few things. It’s weird because while on tour a lot of people think that unless you’re really biting it on tour, you won’t get the opportunity to see these things. However a lot of the time we go to wherever the gig is and hangout, we do the show, go sleep at somebody’s place, and then we’re off to the next town. So we don’t get to see a whole hell of a lot. We saw a lot of the hockey and baseball stadiums, last time simply because we drove by them. We never really saw any of historical sites, although we saw Hoover Dam when we went to Las Vegas and we went to Disney World last year in Orlando. That was simply because we had the day off. So we decided that it would be a full on band cash affair. It was great fun.
Do you guys have a favourite baseball team?
I’m like totally non minded when it comes to sports. The other guys follow all the stats in baseball and shit like that. Actually, they were trying to pressure me into going to a Blue Jays game on Sunday here. We’re going to do an all ages show here instead, so I’ll agree to that, but I was skeptical on the baseball game. They even offered to pay my way and I don’t even like baseball, so I don’t think I would have enjoyed it.
What can we expect from SNFU in the future?
Well now that you mention it, as soon as we get home, which should be in mid-October, they’re gonna be done and waiting for us. We’ll have SNFU toques happening. They’ll be black and grey and will be for sale for the public. A little bit of Canadianna for ya. So anyone writing us about the single or to find out about merchandise will have this included as well. We get a lot of hack nowadays about our merchandising and stuff because we like doing fun stuff. For instance, we have fridge magnets.
You should do a follow up with SNFU underwear.
Yeah, the thing is we don’t want to do them because COC has them, but COC don’t have fridge magnets. COC don’t have toques.
Actually COC can never get their boxer shorts across the border here.
A company that works out of Psyche Industry now makes boxer shorts and you can get all kinds. Things like MISFITS boxer shorts. Some self-righteous punk rockers have been given us hag, like calling us capitalists and stuff because of our merchandising schemes. Basically what it boils down to is just smart business because a lot of the time on tour, we made more selling merchandise than we did playing the actual show. If we didn’t have these t-shirts to sell than we would have been fucking starving and we couldn’t have gone on the road as long as we did. We lasted four months and that takes a lot. And we’re not forcing anyone to buy them. We are giving good product for an honest price. We are more than obliged to sell it to them. I think our prices are pretty lenient. They went from $7.00 to $8.00. I’ve seen shirts everywhere for $12.00 to $24.00 at a so called punk show.
Is there room for any other merchandise?
Well if we can get a line on something unique, we’re into it. I have some custom things at home. Things like a pencil with my name on it, some matchbook covers, a letter opener, a key chain, and a bunch of other things. DOA had beer mugs, but they’re just a hassle to carry around. What I mean is that you need a big box to store them in and they’re fragile too. T-shirts you can pack anywhere.
I’ve heard some stories about you guys running up into some trouble with some skinheads and other trouble makers. Is there any truth to these rumours?
No not really. However last time we played in Ottawa there was a bald headed person who wanted to cause shit at the show. We weren’t into it and so we told him that and he got all pissed off and wanted to fight one of us. We never fought him because we didn’t want to quench his thirst for violence. We are not out to hurt anybody at our shows and of these people come and they say they hate us so much than why the fuck are they there in the first place. If they hate it so much than why don’t they just go home. And then on top of that they end up paying to come see us. Why support something you hate. I could never understand that. We’ve met a lot of really nice ones, but they are just hard to pick out. Some of them can be real jerks, but some of them can be real great. That’s like anybody. It doesn’t matter what their haircuts are like, they just tend to stand out more because they like it that way.
I didn’t mean to stereotype skinheads. That is just one of the stories that I’ve heard.
Well we did have a run in with some real ones in St. Petersburg and they were yelling white power and all this shit. They ended up beating up some kids in this store. The lady coincidentally phoned the cops, who in turn came down to the hall, who in turn brought the fire department, who in turn closed down the show because there were too many people there. We were all set up and ready to play, but we never got a chance. This was in Florida. It’s not like we had driven down the block. This is Florida, a place where we might not ever play again. The show gets cancelled because these guys were acting like a bunch of goofballs.
I noticed a Vanna White shrine in your van. Does this mean that SNFU are jumping on the Vanna White bandwagon or is there a story behind it?
No. It started out as a pun because the van was brand new and you know how people who appreciate their motor vehicles name it after a female. Like they’ll call their car Bessy or something like that. Well this is a spoof on nicknaming your vehicle after a person. And since we do have a van and it’s white, than the most logical nickname was Vanna White. And so we decided that we would collect every picture we could find of her and put them in the van. And it’s working.
When you initially chose the name SNFU, did you mean it to stand for one thing?
Yeah originally it stood for Society’s No Fucking Use and we grew out of that because we found out that we weren’t all that negative after all. So we decided to change it. We decided to drop the dots and just be SNFU and we were like that for a real long time. When the second record came out, we took out the dots completely and so now we are just SNFU. It’s like whatever you want it to stand for. Use your imagination and come up with something. It’s like any other name. It’s just a label. It’s just an identity. And we are at the point right now where we can’t change the name. It would be too confusing and our following is pretty big. It wouldn’t be a good move.
Do you have any favourite cartoons?
I like Astro boy a lot. Maybe that’s only because Glen Danzig likes him (sarcastically). I grew up with the Flintstones. I’m not too hot on the Jetsons. I like the old violent uncensored Bugs Bunny cartoons. Nothing beats those. The early ones. I like the Munsters a lot. Well they are animated, but they are human. The Adams Family is real cool. I like the Dark Knight. You know the Batman stuff. I’m not a comic buff because I’d end up buying a lot. And I like Reid Fleming, the world’s toughest milkman in the comics. He’s great. I’m not too much into the new stuff. The only good children’s show is Pee Wee’s playhouse. I mean you turn on the fucking TV and what do you got. You’ve got the Care Bears or Hulk Hogan’s wrestling. That stuff is bullshit. Some of the Disney stuff I can appreciate. It’s a bit cornball at times. Spiderman is real good.
Have there been any memorable episodes that you care to share with us?
No I just remember the part in the movie where Eddie was crying because the kids were throwing tomatoes at him.
Can you tell us a bit about the show in which you had a raffle at?
That was the last show we did in Edmonton and it was a concept show. We played at this small bar for $4.00. They let the drinking age people in and they let the all ages kids in, but they had to separate them so that the young kids wouldn’t drink. Anyway, that’s besides the point. So what the concept of the show was, we had like a huge raffle drum barrel and we wrote the songs in slashes of two, two per card. And we had a friend of ours dress up as a woman, kind of like Vanna White, with a pearl necklace, a real nice dress, a wig, and legwarmers and stuff and she brought out the barrel between every two songs and we just grabbed people from the audience and got them to reach into the barrel between every two songs and pick out a card. Well after we played a couple of songs, to start off the show we threw in a couple of prizes and we had stuff like Mr. T cereal, botched t-shirts that we fucked up while making them. There were also prizes that weren’t really prizes for instance one guy won the opportunity to do ten push ups in front of a live audience and all this other goofy shit went on throughout the whole night. It lasted two hours and we did 26 songs and it ended in a climax with a guy who believe it or not drew a ticket for getting a pie in the face. And so this guy got this huge cream pie smashed into his head. That’s as violent as it got.