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On July 6th, Fat Mike’s Punk In Drublic tour is making its way to Edmonton, Alberta for its first ever stop in Canada. The week after, July 13th, will see the tour stop in Vancouver, BC for their second Canadian show with one stop in Seattle on July 12th.
Calgary’s Chixdiggit! are set to take part in the festivities in their home country and are excited to be apart of the new beer and music festival. We caught up with frontman KJ Jansen to discuss the festival, the legendary album, and the importance that Fat Wreck and Epitaph has had on the punk scene over the years.
Let’s start simple – NOFX’s seminal album Punk in Drublic celebrates its 25th anniversary six days after the Punk in Drublic festival in Vancouver. Do you remember the first time you heard that album and what is your favourite song from that classic album?
Probably shortly after we hung out with Mike the first time. We were on the road a lot then and we didn’t really listen to much music in the van so I was – and continue to be – really behind in terms of what other people were doing. I’m a big NOFX fan now. I think Mike doesn’t get enough credit for his song writing. I think NOFX have gotten better every record since.
On top of celebrating classic punk rock, the Punk in Drublic festival also celebrates craft beer, which has exploded over the past several years. What are some of your favourite craft beers?
I like a brewery out of Edmonton called Sea Change a lot. Outside of that I’ve sampled a lot of stuff but I don’t remember the names at all.
Is it weird seeing craft beer becoming intertwined with punk as opposed to the cheapest beer you can find? It’s no longer just PBR for all.
A lot of shows now are sponsored by breweries and they usually offer free beer. That’s a good way to take PBR’s turf over.
Do you see a similarity between small punk bands and small local breweries?
I think it makes sense. I think good bands start because they’re not hearing what they want to hear and they want to put their own stamp on things. I get the impression that it’s the same way with the good breweries.
There’s also the “Wheel of Misfortune” where, according to the website, “you can win a spanking, a boot licking, verbal abuse, a warm flat beer, or many other things that two magnificent Dommes will happily give to you.” – Will you be spinning the wheel?
I will, even though backstage all those things happen without having to waste all that energy spinning a wheel.
What was your reaction when Fat Mike asked you to take part in the festival?
Obviously we were super honored. It’s a pretty big deal.
On July 12th on the Portland show, NOFX will be performing The Decline in its entirety with Baz’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Will you be watching that?
Definitely working on getting down there for that. Might have to change a plane ticket or two, but it’d be pretty incredible to see.
The festival has slightly different line ups in every city, but its generally always pulls from the classic EpiFat sound with bands from either Fat Wreck Chords or Epitaph Records – how important do you think those two labels have been for the punk scene, and the music scene as whole?
Taking a look at the discography of both labels, almost every major and influential punk band from the past 25-30 years has been on either Epitaph or Fat. Hard to argue with that.
Is it nice to be able to celebrate that heritage and label family with Punk in Drublic?
Of course. Feels really nice to be even just a small part of it.
Thinking back, what are some of your favourite Epitaph or Fat Wreck albums and why?
I think Bad Religion’s No Control and Suffer would be up there for Epitaph and I always liked Gas Huffer. Four on the Floor by Dag Nasty as well. As for Fat, there’s way too many to mention but I’ll name a few. I love Frenzal Rhomb’s A Man Is Not A Camel, Hoss by Lagwagon, Decline by NOFX… the Wizo album they put out… I dunno. Too many!
If you could do a festival based around one of your songs or albums – which song/album would it be and what would the festival be like?
Probably one of our new songs “Sitzen Klo”. It’s a song encouraging men to sit when they pee instead of splashing everywhere. Lots of male fragility around the sitting/standing to pee issue for a lot of dudes. I want guys to know that, if masculinity is something you care about, you’re not any less of a man for sitting when you pee, and of course I’m talking about when a clean toilet is available. I’d want to base a whole festival based around considerate male bathroom use. I’d like to see at least four times the number of toilets than a regular festival, a focus on cleanliness and emotional support workers for those struggling with the change. As for the music part, it’ll figure itself out.