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Greg Johnson and Frodo of THE FIENDS - Bev Davies photo

Spirits, pranks and rogues

No stranger to notoriety and pranks, the rare performances of Vancouver’s garage rockers, The Fiends would become a spectacle, even before hitting the stage.

Greg Johnson of THE FIENDS

“We were heading to the mighty Niagara for a show, when we walked past a car accident near the bar. Paramedics mistook us for accident victims as we were in full bloody costume,” chuckles drummer, JT Massacre as he recalls memorable gigs. October 30th, the night of mischief, was lead singer, the late Greg's Johnson's birthday. "He loved the classic Hollywood monsters,” explains bass player Pete Fiend and “Halloween was a natural fit for The Fiends. “I would get props from movies that had completed production and buy prop gravestones," says JT Massacre and "We built a keyboard stand for Bill that had black pipes on the side with skulls on top and smoke pouring out of the skulls. Greg would have a mason jar full of fake blood and a goblet on stage that he would drink from time to time.” The Fiends are known for their sold out Halloween shows. “The band's peak coincided with a renaissance of sorts in Vancouver's post-Seattle music scene (1995-99) fuelled by the heyday of The Niagara and The Pic,” says Pete Fiend. Who was one of the longest running members of the band since he joined in 1998.

The tenure for band-mates Rieuwert Fiend, Frodo Fiend and Pete Fiend collided in 2007 with them playing at Portland's Fuzz Fest with: the Chocolate Watch Band, Electric Prunes, Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Seeds. It was mutual for these three that this was a landmark garage event for the band. The Fiends evolved from a group of likely aficionados known as The Worst, inspired by garage classics, namely California's Gravedigger V, The Cynics, the '80s garage revival.

Halloween reunion for THE FIENDS - tiina liimu photo

So, a leap forward to the ‘now tyme’ with The Fiends. “We were all Greg's friends as well as band mates and it was one way to keep his spirit and his music alive," explains Rieuwert, who had joined The Fiends as a keyboardist and guitarist early 2000 and but he was also with Johnson back in the day with The Worst. “Last year, though, we got in touch with some former members of the band [The Fiends] and had them do guest spots throughout the show.” This special Halloween show was in honour of tradition and the late Greg Johnson. “Originally we were just going to do Halloween shows, but we had unfinished songs and we used to hang out with Tanya Van.” says guitarist Frodo Fiend. Tanya Van stepped in on vocals. Since then, some time has been spent in the studio. “The material we are recording are all new songs. Most were started when Greg was still alive, so he does have some input even today” says Rieuwert. As for unreleased older content coming out? “Yes, just as soon as Rieuwert finishes 'fixing' the drum tracks!” laughs Pete Fiend. “We are currently working on new songs with Tanya on vocals.” explains Frodo Fiend and “I've been in touch with Greg's family and in the future we might be able to release a song with him on it.”

- More Betty


a garage punk, power pop, rock n roll heaven of a weekender

Pointed Sticks photo by tiina liimu

The Fall Down/Get Down weekend promises to be three days of  “a beer fueled dumpster fire of power pop, rock n roll and garage punk” says organizer Tim Horner. Motivated by Gonerfest in Memphis, Hozac Blackout in Chicago and Garage Shock in Bellingham. “I've always loved a good weekender, one tethered to a label and a region .... the ones where you stumble on your new favourite band and your new best friend.” says Horner and adds “There's little like it anywhere else .... the event is a thanks to all the locals for buying our records and coming to our shows ...” The Bay Area's Budget Rock announced their “final weekender” last fall, so organizers: Horner, Vanessa Dandurand, Corey Poluk and Dale Davies allied to do something in Vancouver. This will be a special event for Vancouver's Pointed Sticks. “Our way of commemorating the send off of one of Vancouver's most important bands” exclaims Horner. The Pointed Sticks Christmas single is available for everyone who purchases a weekend wristband. 

Fall Down/Get Down Poster

Horner runs thru a snapshot of some of the lineup. A showcase of the La Ti Da roster plus legends, locals and new faces. 

-Nervous Talk: (East Van) brand new garage punk outfit featuring members of The Ballantynes, Moby Dicks, Trapdoors, and Shitty Neighbours.
-Evaporators: (Van) need I say more?
-Sex Church: (Van) local curmudgeon city rockers
-Fist City: (Lethbridge) punk rock workhorse
-Tiger High: (Memphis, TN) New band featuring a whole lot of Goner Records entourage: members of Reigning Sound, Jack Oblivion’s band, Knaughty Knights, and Compulsive Gamblers
-Death: (Detroit, MI) 70s protopunk legends! Not the Florida death metal legends!
-The React!: (East Van) new pop-psych outfit featuring a couple familiar mugs.
-The Maxines: (Olympia, WA) Texan garage through a K Records filter
-Powder: (California) OG 6ts Freakbeat legends!
-The Wild Ones: (Santa Cruz) Heartthrobby four piece…and our latest signing!
-Needles//Pins: (Van) trolls.
-Mean Jeans: (Portland, OR) Vancouver’s favorite adopted party punks.
-Greenback High: (Van) Power pop perfectionists featuring members of The Jolts and The Vicious Cycles
-Tranzmitors: (Van) the cities’ power pop elder statesmen
-Ballantynes: (Van) uppity hot shots (joking)
-Pointed Sticks: (Van) Final show for one of the cities’ most enduring and endearing groups.
-Warm Soda: (Oakland, CA) killer new band from the Bay Area born from the ashes of The Bare Wires.

Detroit's 1970's band Death and short introduction by documentary trailer!

Yes, the original three piece will be here live! By miracle of modern technology, Twitter united the event organisers with proto-punks, Death. The band made a game changing decision by standing their ground with their original 1970s album. Sacrificing a recording contract. “[The] three brothers who could've signed with Clive Davis at Columbia Records had they only agreed to change their name .... Death came on everyones' radar when their album, long forgotten save for the nerdiest of record collectors, was reissued by the good folks at Drag City in 2009" says Hormer and adds "can’t tell you how excited we all are to fly them in for this one-off appearance”

Tim Kerr exhibit: Your Town, Any Town... Your Name Here at ANTISOCIAL SKATE SHOP NOV.1

Artist, skater Tim Kerr will be exhibiting work at Antisocial Skate Shop. A producer /musician responsible for some of the most extraordinary albums of recent decades. “I first met Tim at a similar event that Gearhead Records threw in Austin, TX about a decade ago. The band he was [with] at the time, The Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee, played the single greatest set of music I have ever seen in 28 years of concert going,” recalls Horner and “we've stayed in touch throughout the years and I have been so inspired by the trajectory he has followed: from playing music with skate rock pioneers, The Big Boys to carving out a career as one of the most relevant artists in modern America. Bringing him up to Vancouver for a showing has been a personal goal of mine for years: so glad it can come to fruition...”

Fall Down/Get Down is Nov. 1 at Antisocial, Nov. 2 at Rickshaw Theatre, November 3 at Neptoon Records Astoria, Rickshaw Theatre and more announcements are listed here at the La Ti Da website.

- by More Betty


Chris Walter Illustration by Dan Harbord

Count, every one of those thirty-one days of October!

Chris Walter is a prolific author, illustrated man and the Count of Ink. Immortal it seems, as he has penned more than twenty books. Equally as profound is his striking estate of tattoos. Indeed, a self published man with a DIY approach that knows no limits.

The astute illustrator Dan Harbord skillfully caught his reflection with engaging precision. As the days draw shorter this tenth month, engage yourself with dark text.

 An offering of Chris Walter's books can be summoned through GFY Press, by way of


Bishops Green photo by tiina.l

Sum of their parts

Shine up your boots, pour a pint and get ready for some traditional street punk! Vancouver's Bishops Green steps it up with their first 12” album. Establishing an European following and rapidly growing North American fan base. This band has influences of Blitz, Stiff Little Fingers, Cock Sparrer, Minor Threat and European Oi! “Music that we grew up with” says drummer, Orville Lancaster. He describes their music as punk yet melodic. The band utilizes two guitarists and “yes, it adds to the traditional sound as well as thickening the overall sound..." says guitarist, Scott Farquarson.

Energetic and charismatic frontman Greg Huff leads an enthusiastic floor with the camaraderie of an old school punk sing-a-long. Tobias Chobotuck shares guitar duties with Scott Farquarism and the latter on back up vocals. The rhythm section consists of Bryan McCallum on bass and Orville Lancaster on drums and backup vocals. The members have been playing in bands together since the '90s, giving these boys the ability to find a distinctive sound. Formed in 2011, with a background of various styles and common bands, Bishops Green are able to pull from different punk genres and create a sound that is familiar yet original. “We all have history together, playing at different times .... that history really gives us a unique sound” explains Lancaster. “Let’s see, Scott, Greg and I all played in the original lineup of Lancasters back in the late 1990’s. After the end of the Lancasters, Tobias and Greg played in Alternate Action! Bryan and I played in a brief reincarnation of Death Sentence...” says Lancaster, who incidentally, is also the drummer for Stockton California punk band, The Authorities.

Bishops Green's first album will be released in Europe thru Rebellion Records of the Netherlands in North America with Longshot Music from San Francisco. When asked, how did it all came about, “we think word got out, maybe via the internet, that we had started this new project...” recalls Lancaster and “people heard some of our scratch tracks and it took off from there. All of us are pretty stoked about how our songs are being received.” he says. The new album is expected to be released on CD and vinyl late November 2012. Get ready for music that will take you back to the struggles of working class man, the spirit of a soccer match and sing-a-long anthems. If you haven’t had the chance to catch them live then put on your best pressed Sherman and head on out!

Bishops Green will be playing at FUNKYS October 26th and October 27th at Iron Road Studios

by Bexx


Anthrax photo by tiina liimu 2012

Vogue Theatre, September 20 2012

Last time Anthrax played here, they were opening for Judas Priest at Pacific Coliseum and gave them more than a run for their money. This time the favour was returned by Testament who, loomed over by an awesomely metal gorgon/wendigo backdrop, delivered a blistering set in anticipation of the thrash pranksters.


RAD Disaster photo by Denis Maile 2012

Better late than never

As seasons change and the warmth disappears there is a still murmur that calls out for the dog days of summer to continue on forever, and sometimes the right music can generate this feeling. This year we can turn to Rad Disaster’s new album vs. Man to help make this the summer that never ends. With their energetic and melodic brand of skate punk, Rad Disaster is a power trio made up of Pat Truman on bass, Tyler Tardi on drums and Lee Perina on guitar, with vocal duties shared amongst the group. As with many bands they formed from the ashes of old discarded projects, making friends during the journey of these bands, and once underway a band name was needed. “My sister called us Plaid Disaster one day when we were all wearing plaid, but our friend Nick had to one up her and called us Rad Disaster,” Perina says.


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen