Post submitted by Travis Boisvenue of CHUO 89.1 fm’s City Slang.
Tampa Bay, Florida’s Merchandise and Copenhagen, Denmark’s Lower will be at the House of Targ with Ottawa’s Boyhood this Thursday for the opening night of the Ottawa Implosion weekend. The three-day fesival is bringing in acts from around the globe, including Italy’s Father Murphy and fellow Danish artists, Iceage.
The CITY SLANG crew put together a special CITY SLANG questionnaire specifically for bands playing the Ottawa Implosion. The CITY SLANG questionnaire is our radio show’s standardized list of questions, like the Proust Questionnaire, but for punk bands.
First up we have Dave Vassalotti, guitarist of Merchandise. You might remember Merchandise as the band we failed to interview on Episode 77 of the show. And after that, we’ve got answers from vocalist Adrian Toubro, of Copenhagen band Lower.
Learn about their ice-cream day jobs, some scary childhood diaries, and their and advice on fighting! And subscribe to CITY SLANG podcast for more interviews with Ottawa Implosion performers!
Do you have a favourite Canadian band?
David Vassalotti (Merchandise): Neil Young and Leonard Cohen are my songwriting idols, but they’re not bands, so I’m gonna go with NoMeansNo.
Adrian Toubro (Lower): Leonard Cohen and his Army.
DV: Seeing an older woman shoot junk into her neck on the side of a real busy street at noontime in Vancouver. She was holding a compact mirror to line it all up. I see crazy shit all the time living in Florida, but that image remains vivid in my brain.
AT: Playing at a Go Go-dancer club in Toronto was very weird but also an enriching experience.
What is the best thing to happen at one of your shows?
DV: I’m in another world mentally whenever we play, plus I’m blind as a bat. I never have any idea what’s going on during the show other than the sound of the drums and my guitar. The sets on this tour have grown increasingly nihilistic so I feel the best is yet to come. We’ll be lunatics by the time we make it to Ottawa.
AT: When somehow a good vibe is created. And there is a game going on between the audience and us. It gives you confidence to mess about and do all sorts of funny stuff.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve found at a second-hand store?
DV: A small leatherbound journal that was once a child’s diary. There are only a few entries in it, but it’s pretty wild. Lots of adolescent ramblings about touching poop, the “rules of magick”, the death of an uncle, and how this kid’s dad “sucks fucking dick.” Crude drawings galore. Most of the book is blank, so I use it for my own note-taking now. Best $0.80 I ever spent.
AT: Sorry, never found anything weird. Only useful items.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
DV: Selling ice cream at a place that requires employees to sing stupid jingles and parodies to the customers. I lasted 10 days before getting the axe.
AT: Working for a print company. It was excruciatingly boring and the people there tried to act like they we’re absorbed in the paper business. But it completely fell through because it just isn’t possible to hide how excruciatingly boring the print/paper industry is.
What do you hate talking about in interviews most?
DV: Everything, especially music and the meaning of lyrics. I just hate talking in general. If this was a phone conversation, it would’ve been done after a few words.
AT: How our band formed…
Have you ever been in a fight? Do you have advice on getting into a fight?
DV: No, not a real-deal street fight. I’m a pretty calm and mild-mannered guy. It would take a lot for me to want to physically lash out at someone, and even then I’d probably get whooped. My advice is to make friends with big and scary people that don’t give a fuck about anything.
AT: I’ve been in some drunken fights but I only took part to help friends or to get an adrenalin rush to keep sleep at bay.
What is the best curse word?
DV: Fuckboy, or sonofabitchbastard.
Check out Merchandise’s video for Telephone below:
Merchandise, Lower and Boyhood play House of Targ on Thursday, October 16th. Doors at 9pm. $12 at the door or free with a festival pass. Passes are $25 and available at Vertigo Records, Antique Skateshop and online at Bruised Tongue.