Kings of west coast punk, Daggermouth ended their self-imposed hiatus in 2017. Now fans in St. John’s can experience their frantic live show for the very first time this August.
Vancouver punk titans Daggermouth enjoyed a four year run as one of the most electric and unapologetically infectious touring acts across The Great White North. That all came to an abrupt halt in the fall of 2008, when the band announced an indefinite hiatus, one that would stretch for nearly a decade before an official reunion and return to touring in the Spring of 2017.
Now the architects of such underground staples as Stallone and Turf Wars are making their long-awaited Newfoundland debut thanks to the hardworking crew at No Sleep Promotions.
Longtime band fixture Kenny Lush joined The Herald for an in-depth chat on punk rock beginnings, reunion goals and what-to-expect-while-fan-expecting Daggermouth’s red-hot island debut.
You’re making your long-awaited Newfoundland debut this August, some would say it’s massively overdue.
Before we broke up, many eons ago, we were supposed to head out there with the Cancer Bats and do a tour and that never went through. It’s kind of been a bummer because I’ve seen pictures and it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to go. But the flights, it’s kind of like do I want to go to Newfoundland or do I want to go to Europe or Japan? It looks so beautiful though. I can’t wait to get out there.
It took roughly nine agonizing years for Daggermouth to come back from their self-imposed hiatus, or break-up. Fans don’t really know for sure. What would you call it?
It depends who you talk to. There were definitely times where I said it’s never going to happen. Over the years we’ve been offered some stuff and we’d make some phone calls and it would be absolutely not and maybe we wouldn’t be feeling it. Depending on who you talk to we were officially broken up or just on a long divorce.
What really spurred on the talks of a reunion? When did the wheels really begin to start spinning?
We got offered Pouzza Fest, so we did that. We all talked and we’re at that point in our lives where I don’t know if it’s a mid-life crisis, but for the past nine or ten years I’ve been doing pro-wrestling and Stu has been running his own studio and we kind of miss each other I think. We all started to slowly hangout together again. The Pouzza Fest thing was what got the wheels in motion for everything, so you can thank them.
Given that Vancouver isn’t exactly known as a hot-bed of hard music, what led to the formation of Daggermouth or the idea of starting a punk band?
Me and Stu were probably raised on the mid-90s punk rock scene that happened out here from things at little halls and community centers and stuff. I think a lot of musicians our age kind of grew up and try to act mature and stuff but we’ll never hide it. We still love Gob and all those silly punk rock bands. We just want to play fast and whenever we write stuff it’s not what’s cool or what’s going to be cool but what would 15 year old me be stoked to listen to?
Daggermouth’s sound really crosses several borders of punk/rock maybe even hardcore. Have you always found you guys covered a wide-scope?
I find that the pop punk kids and the skate punk kids and the hardcore kids, we kind of branch all over, which is kind of nice. We all have big influences from everything from NOFX to New Found Glory and everything all in the middle.
I was amazed to discover you moonlight as a pro-wrestler, which is the most punk-rock thing I’ve ever heard of and immediately makes you my hero.
Ha ha, well thank you man! Before Daggermouth even ever started I was a pro-wrestler. Of course when the band started and all of that stuff it kind of took priority. When we broke up it felt like I still wanted to tour and travel the world I just didn’t want to do it with 4-5 dudes anymore. I went back into wrestling and it’s been good. It’s taken me to Philadelphia, Korea, Japan. It’s been good.
Are there any designs for future material from Daggermouth?
I actually wrote something today and sent it off to the guys. Stu at one point put something on the Daggermouth bandcamp, a whole album of his guitar and bass and kind of the direction of what the new album at that time would have sounded like. We don’t have a giant catalogue of B-sides and stuff. Basically everything that is on those two albums that are out is what we wrote.
By the end of the year the plan is to have an EP or a seven-inch out, just to wet the whistle of the people and hopefully by this time next year we’ll have a new-full length out. We really want to do Europe next year, so put an album out and go tour in support of that and have fun and try to avoid a day job and real life as much as we can.
What can fans here expect from Daggermouth? You guys definitely have garnered a reputation for holding nothing back when it comes to the live performance.
We’re all kind of dorks. We play fast, want kids to come out and have fun. We want to put on a live show like we remember seeing when we were 15 years old when we’d see Gob or Lagwagon or something like that.
Plus from my physical standpoint when I’m on the road playing music it’s not like I’m getting into the gym, so the only exercise I really get is doing jumps and running on stage and stuff. I’m just trying to keep my cardio up.
Daggermouth perform August 18th at 208, August 19th at Valhalla (both an all ages show and 19+ with various supporting special guests).Tickets for all three shows are available at Fred’s Records, Fogtown Barber and The Rose and Thistle.