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14.5 rapid-fire Qs with B.A. Johnston

By Alessandro Marcon on April 9, 2013

Stranger to neither sailor suits nor snot rockets, the perpetual troubadour tornado that is B.A. Johnston once again blows through Ottawa on April 12th. The truculent gale, teeming with both guttural growls and Casio-keyboard jingles, shall unleash its mighty strength on Irene’s alongside Flying Fortress and Mnemonics. B.A. is somewhat fresh off the wave of his newest release “Hi Dudes!”, which was produced by Paul Linklater (Dave Bidini, The Pinecones) and Stephen Macleod (Windom Earle), and is his first full length release on Mammoth Cave Recording Co. Apt613 caught up with Johnston last week and asked him 14.5 rapid-fire questions. Let the non-sense begin.

 Apt613:  Have you ever encountered either yourself or another person crying in a Tim Horton’s parking lot?

B.A: Yes, yes I have.

Apt613: Care to elaborate?

B.A: No, no I don’t.

Apt613: What is one of the most pungent and putrid smells you can remember entering your nostrils?

B.A: Well the van can smell bad at times. But not that bad. Once, I had a roommate that let milk expire in their room and then just let it rot. That was pretty bad.

Apt613: Who is the girl singing backup vocals on “My Heart is a blinking Nintendo” and where is she now?

B.A: That is Eleanor King. She is a successful artist. She is also in two other actual good bands, Wet Denim and The Just Barelys.

Apt613: Out of all of the venues you’ve played in Canada, in which would one have the greatest possibility of encountering…

a) a squirrel carcass in the bathroom?

The Townehouse Tavern (Sudbury, ON)

b) a smear of BA Johnston blood on the floor?

Amigos Cantina (Saskatoon, SK)

c) an amazing pickled egg?

Pigs Ear Tavern (Peterborough, ON)

Apt613: Which John Candy flick is your personal fav?

B.A: Tough one. Mostly I love his work on SCTV. Movie wise, I’d go “Stripes” or “The Great Outdoors”, though his best work is probably in “Splash.” He saves that movie.

Apt613: Space Invaders, Donkey Kong or Wolfenstein?

B.A: All the way with DK.

Apt613: Have you ever seen “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters?” What did you think of it?

B.A: I thought it was great. I have been to the arcade funspot a few times due to this movie. A better arcade doc is “Chasing Ghosts.”

Apt613: What are the odds of….

a) you performing on Dancing with the Stars (Canadian edition)?

Pay me enough money.

b) you appearing on Sesame Street?

I wish.

c) someone finding a clip on youtube of you giving condom advice to youngsters?

Pretty good.

d) you riding a tandem bike with Shotgun Jimmy this summer?


e) Hamilton winning the Grey Cup this year?

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Apt613: Being from Hamilton, how happy or unhappy are you that they’ve decided to keep the Tigercats stadium in downtown Hamilton? Is it still going to be called Ivor Wynne Stadium?

B.A: I think it’s great. It’s where it belongs. I imagine they will try and sell the naming rights though. I can’t see anyone buying them. Giant Tiger Stadium perhaps?

Apt613: Is there any way you could relate Nieztsche’s “Will to Power” to Uncle Larry’s Billiard Room in Sackville, New Brunswick?

B.A: Where only the supermen survive.

Apt613: What the hell is on the cover of your latest album “Hi Dudes!”? 

B.A: It’s Chet from “Weird Science.”

Apt613: How good was Robocop?

B.A: Good? It’s great.

Apt613: Have you ever slid back a pint in “The Brain” on James Street North (The Hammer, of course)?

B.A: Yes, yes I have. Not in a while, though.

Apt613: If Canada got its own Price is Right show and asked you to be the host, would you accept the job? If so, what stipulations would need to be in the contract?

B.A: There is little I wouldn’t do for money. More plinko? Barker’s beauties all changed to helper monkeys, boobie prizes à la lets make a deal, maybe some kind of running man type scenario?

Apt613: Snot-rockets in Irene’s? 

B.A: Who me?

The man plays at Irene’s this Friday, April 12th. Don’t miss out.