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SuperFriendz, Killjoys, Smashing Pumpkins etc.
Hello again everyone. Well I think only the Sloan show in Saskatoon on the
7th will be able to top the last 2 days for me. Tuesday - Killjoys and
Limblifter (Starkicker canceled *pout*) and then Wednesday - Smashing
I've never seen or heard Limblifter (except for "tinfoil") even though they
are from here but they were decent. Even though I didn't know any of their
stuff I liked 4 or 5 songs right off the bat which is not normal for me.
The Killjoys were a treat as usual. As it turns out, before the show, the
lead singer (whatever his name is) was standing not 3 feet away from me and
my friends before the show. More than once I questioned myself if it was
him or not. But he looked no different than the rest of the college crowd.
Aww, he's just a kid at heart.
Pumpkins were just unspeakable also.... The opening act, Grant Lee Buffalo,
I could have cared less about, so we took our time getting there and, darn
it, we missed him. I'm sure he was alright if SP are touring with him/them.
When SP came onto an unlit stage and piano teased all, the entire
attendance got to their feet, there was a minor earthquake due to the sonic
roar they all let out. To make a long story short... lots of Billy
shrieking, headbangers banging, and pot filled the air. Iha was in a
playful mood also. They invited some up to the stage for the last few
songs. At the end of one song, Billy threw his mic and stand down and it
hit a security guard acting cool. A kid ran on stage and was easily
tackled. Oh only one wierd thing, Saskatoonians had their lighters hoisted
and lit for practicly every song. :P
There's my scrambled bit of info.
Anyway - here's the EC content: An article about the Super Friendz written
in a zine published by a Saskatoon community radio station, enjoy!
"Super Friendz... reluctant super heroes"
Super Friendz are not on a mission to fight crime like the Saturday
morning cartoon super heroes that inspired their name.
The Super Friendz' prime directive is to Rescue Us From Boredom. If
that's not their master plan then at the very least it's the name of a cool
track on their new eight-song EP Play the Game, Not Games. Murderecords
will also release their new 16-song album in September.
The Super Friendz may not be super heroes but they do have a
special power that sets them apart from mortal men: the ability to tour
constantly. What is the secret of being a full-time rocker? "We're just
trying to tour because we have nothing else to do at home," says bass
player Charles Austin. "We have no jobs and we kinda need to generate a
little income and have a little fun."
"I'd like to think of myself as a full-time rocker but I've had to
do a lot of odd jobs. I get a few painting jobs and things like that and
work at a restaurant a bit."
"So we're sorta like full-time rockers and part-time scroungers."
Austin says. "When we're touring it's actually the best time financially
for us because we're making enough money playing shows that we can afford
to buy groceries and stuff. It gets pretty scrappy in Halifax sometimes,
selling off CD collections and what not, but hopefully I'll become a
full-time rocker before too long."
The Super Friendz' debut Mock Up, Scale Down was released in '95
and it seems to have taken a long time for their new material to come out.
"The manufacturer of a lot of the stuff is in the states," says Austin.
"You can't get vinyl records pressed in Canada anymore so you have to send
it down to Kentucky or somewhere. It's just a long process. I'm looking
forward to having it all out because we've been playing a lot of the same
material live for about a year now. We play a few new songs but when people
don't know the songs they generally don't respond to it as much".
It's an unfortunate coincidence that there are a lot of bands these
days that use the "super" adjective. "I'm really embarrassed about the
name," says Austin. "It's kind of an unfortunate choice. It's a reference
to the show but it's kind of a tongue in cheek thing. Drew (Yamada, guitar)
and I used to be in another band and one of the names we were thinking of
calling that band was Super Friendz. That was like five years ago when we
were a little more naive. When we started this band we didn't think we were
going to play together very much so we just decided to call the band Super
Friendz as a joke. Super things are bad but unfortunately I'm in one of
those bands. I mean you've got, like, ten super bands. We were gonna change
it about a year ago but the name we were going to change it to was
The Super Friendz almost became Massey Stacks. "It was a name that
Matt Murphy and Chris Murphy from Sloan came up with," says Austin. "I
don't know what it's supposed to mean. It was supposed to be a cool
sounding rock name but it kind of sounds like Mazzy Star. It didn't really
cut it and we were close to changing the name but thank god we didn't. So,
yeah, we have a bad name but at least it's not as bad as Massey Stacks".
The ability to invent cool band names would be a good super power.
"Usually when a band is a cool band you think their name is good," says
Austin. "Local Rabbits; that's a pretty good name. Sloan is kind of cool
because it doesn't mean anything. It sounds kind of minimal, kind of cool.
Al Tuck and No Action is a really good name. This friend of mine Al Tuck is
a singer songwriter and I guess it's a pun on all talk and no action. He's
this kind of lazy guy who has a band and he doesn't get too much done. It
used to seem so much more simple. You could just call your band the Rockets
or the Crickets. All the good names are gone."
Austin's extraordinary powers seem to be changing. He's experienced
visions recently and it is possible he's developed the ability to see the
future of rock and roll. "The whole rock thing seems to be running it's
course. I've been talking a lot with people in bands about this thing
called the escape hatch where you kind of subtly start changing your music
until you're no longer a rock band. I know this band called the Sadies from
Toronto and they're kind of turning into a country band. The Local Rabbits
are kind of turning into a blues band. We're still basically a rock band.
We haven't found our escape hatch. For a while I was thinking of dub reggae
but it didn't really go over too well with the other guys. We don't really
have the chops for jazz".
The Super Friendz are not the Teen Titans. Aging gracefully as a
rock band is tough, even for a super powered band. Will the Super Friendz
survive this inevitable crisis that has struck down so many bands. "Aging
gracefully is kind of a hard thing," says Austin. "We're not exactly
children anymore. Our drummer Lonnie is 34 now or something. We're pretty
wizened but we still rely more on testosterone and stuff when we play live.
I guess maybe we'll try to rock with a little more grace or something as we
- Theo Kivol
(Transcribed by dARRYl kOHUt)
- Soundscape #17 September 1996 issue
CFCR 90.5 FM Saskatoon's community radio station
Anyone who would like to use this in any way (ie: web sites...) feel free!
"And touching the scar on your back like a relief map" - Superfriendz