The Final Chapter
Ink September 5th, 6th and 7th onto your wrist and prepare for a raging 72 hours as FOAT and CHARGED//DISTORTED present the final edition of this West Coast punk event, Distort Vancouver Fest.
Unquestionably, the event organizer’s appetite for “Scandinavian punk” fuels Distort and this is conclusive with MOB 47 on-board for this instalment. “One of the first Swedish bands to take on what DISCHARGE created all those years ago, but mixed it with the speed of American hardcore, (ie. DRI, CRUCIFIX, etc) creating something totally insane,” explains Foat. “Hence, raw fucking mangel. Members have been active in such classic Swedish hardcore bands as CRUDITY, DISCARD, one of my all time favourite d-beat bands. More recently, DESPERAT featuring Jocke from D-takt & Ra Punk records. Which, every punk should check out,” he emphasizes. On the bill and that label are WARVICTIMS, ELECTRIC FUNERAL and PARANOID. The last count was thirty bands booked for this fest and with that another highpoint is SUICIDAL SUPERMARKET TROLLEYS, described as “ridiculous beer drinking British punks!”
The eight consecutive fests have cultivated networks. “I will say, over the years, some life long friendships have formed because of the bridges of certain cities/regions of the punk community being built.” Not only has this event brought notice and energy to this city, but also exposed folks to bands they would otherwise not catch live. “I think Distort put Vancouver in league with bigger punk scenes on the coast, and a must stop for any bands touring the West Coast. This was one of the reasons I started doing the fest in the first place,” he says. CHUCK NORRIS was a part of the early fests and this year they will be playing their final show. “They were the first band I put out a record for, they let me roadie for them a bunch, and are dear friends, who helped shape my ideals of punk. It just makes sense for the band to die with Distort,” says Foat.
Distort is certainly an undertaking between three “active” bands, monthly shows, a label, a life and a full-time job. “I think my mission has been accomplished. Vancouver has one of the most thriving punk scenes in the world,” he says, “I can't credit it all to Distort, as there are many punks who make this city fucking awesome. I think it's time to see some younger blood do something similar. Maybe not take on the burden of Distort, but to do their own thing. No matter what, I will ALWAYS be involved in punk, for better or worse, till I fucking die.” And what’s next? “Next summer for the first time in nine years, I will do jack fucking shit! I’m really surprised I’m not bald yet from all my stress, and that's why I keep dying my hair,” he laughs. But this is not the end, still busy with the DIY, practice space and his label, CHARGED//DISTORTED is about to release, the KOSZMAR LP along with RUST AND MACHINE Records.
Surveying this vast collection of handmade event posters, flyers and tickets, they hold their own not only as a record but as “Punk Art.” Foat has created many of these but also credits, Jersey, Laura Lint and Zach from SPECTRES and who is also co-founder of Distort. “I’m just a mega nerd about flyers. These are the documents of amazing or shitty nights. I always put the year on them so punks can remember. I love looking at old flyers on punk house walls, and remembering that time in my life, and the shows I’d go to, and the bands I see.” With the indefinite life of digital content, this handheld artifact has an even greater significance. “I think this get's lost in 2013, I see less and less flyers, and it really bums me out. On top of it all, DIY flyers, posters, and tickets just look cool. And though others will disagree, fuck Photoshop. It is killing punk art! And yes, artwork has almost as much to do with punk as the music,” he adds and, “this is why, while records are being pressed in fewer numbers these days, vinyl will never fucking die, despite the Internet.”
Further kudos and thanks go out to, David and the Astoria, as well as WENDYTHIRTEEN. “But maximum appreciation goes out to all my friends, bands, labels, promoters, and venues that supported Distort and me over the years,” he says and, “I’ve been definitely in the hole, but I’m not complaining. I knew what I was getting myself into, and it's worth it.” A series of shows, fundraisers will lead up to the fest.
“Actually, I can honestly say I am very excited about all of these bands playing the last Distort. So many raging riffs and friends I would gladly take a bullet for from a buncha areas of the world!”
DISTORT VANCOUVER FEST VOLUME IX will be early September at the Anza on the 5th, WISE Hall on the 6th, and the 7th at the Astoria, and keep your ears up for pre/post/night/day/hangover shows put on by friends.
- More Betty