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Call & Response - East End Radicals

Posted by Jer / October 14, 2010

East End RadicalsCall & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

East End Radicals are a Montreal-based punk rock quartet made up of Scotty Mac (Scott Macleod), Matt Digs (Matthew Di Guglielmo), Ricky Fiends (Eric Petraroia) and Dark Horse (Brent Blake). Their myspace page is a bit empty of tunes (right now) but their YouTube feed gives you both audio and visual. They've got shows coming up in Montreal and Ottawa, but before they get to melting faces, we thought we'd ask them some of life's most pressing questions.

East End Radicals eh? How East End? How Radical?
MD: -The "East End" part of the name basically means we represent Eastern Canada and the "Radicals" part we just thought sounded bad ass.
SM: Brent and I live in NDG. Is that enough for some East End cred? Probably not.

Besides family, friends, other music, and long summer nights, what influences your music the most?
EP: Hockey, beer, punk rock, politics and any of those bands that helped bring punk rock to what is has become.
SM: I think punk songs are great for describing specific events. We wrote a song about George W. Bush's visit to Montreal on his speaking tour called "Dictator's Lap" and another about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico called "Down South" where we kind of "borrowed" the melody from a song that Bobby Charles sung called "Down South New Orleans".

Where is the best place to listen to your music?
SM: In my opinion, any band worth their salt has to bring it live. I know there are great bands that have made great sonic achievements in the records they have created, but if you can't get the people in the front row excited about what you're doing then what is the point? Everything the East End Radicals do is premised upon putting on a blistering live show. There is a big world of music happening outside your headphones.
MD: Wherever the fuck you want!

What do you love most about Montreal?
MD: Montreal is honestly a great city, the people are awesome (but that's obvious considering we live here) and there's plenty of awesome pubs to get shitfaced at.
EP: Everything in Montreal is pretty much badass. That's why we make so many references to this city. Hockey is a big one though.

What do you love most about Poutine?
EP: The fucking cheese and sauce mix! Its genius!
SM: I love how divisive it is. People either love it or think it is disgusting, which is a good thing to know about someone. How much time do you want to spend with someone who thinks poutine is gross? Think about it.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
EP: There is no such thing as hate in poutine. The rest of the band concurs with this statement

Who was your first live concert? Was it everything you had ever imagined?
MD: Well I've been to thousands of local shows but i think my first real concert was Rancid.
SM: The first show I ever went to see was No Doubt on their Tragic Kingdom tour (98-99) when my family was living in Ireland. Gwen Stefani was certainly all I imagined and more. However, The Vandals were opening the show so they were, technically speaking, the first band I ever saw.

There's a great youtube clip of you guys on your myspace page. You introduce your show with lots of swearing and introduce the fact that your parents are in the crowd. Are your folks supportive of your punk-rock tendencies? Are they more likely to swear with you or at you?
EP: Well I'm sure punk rock isn't the number one choice for my parents and what they'd want us to play, but they are pretty supportive on the overall situation.
MD: Our folks have been really supportive of us from the beginning, we can't complain about that. Scott and Brent's parents though are definitely more likely to kick back, have a beer, and swear with us. I could literally count the times my dad has told me to "fuck off".
SM: My parents tolerate the swearing, they don't like it. They see that I'm having fun so they probably don't think punk rock is that bad. One time when we were in New York I convinced my dad to come with me to CBGB's not long before it closed. While I was watching the band, he sat at the bar and drank a white wine spritzer. How much more punk rock can you get than that?

If your music was a famous historical figure, who would it be and why?
EP: Joe Beef! Because we sing about him!
SM: Charles "Joe Beef" Mckeirnan owned a tavern on de la Commune during the second half of the 19th century. He was a publicly avowed atheist that provided hot meals, beer, and a place to stay to the working poor and homeless of Montreal regardless of the color of their skin, language, religion, or if they had any money in their pocket. If you think about the world we live in, having a few more people that were tolerant of different cultures and thought there were more important things than material wealth would be a much welcome change.

What's the best place you've ever been to?
SM: The Wheel Club on Mondays because Bob Fuller is more punk than you.

What's the worst place you've ever been to?
SM: The lineup at McGill metro to get your picture taken for your bus pass. That is the stupidest thing of all time.

You are also in a band called The Wellits, who are more Celtic punk than East End Radicals. Will there ever be a showdown between your two bands? Who's side will you be on?
SM: No showdown, no contest. I wouldn't want to be a part of either band if that's what it came down to. I only play music with people who I consider to be my friends and those are exactly the people who I am fortunate enough to be in a band with. If I could wish for anything, it would be that bands stopped looking at each other as competitors and rather saw each other as co-conspirators in a plot to bring back real honest music to the masses.
EP: They'll just both shred, no doubt about it.

For more on the East End Radicals check out their myspace or their facebook. If you're tired of living on the Internet catch their live show:

October 17th @ Foufounes Electriques
opening for Cobra Skulls and Carpenter

November 26th @ Crobar
with The Beer Barons

November 27th @ Café Dekuff (Ottawa)



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