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Exclusive Interview: Introducing The Fizzgigs

When did you first know you wanted to become a musical artist? What was the first song you ever wrote?

Jay: I went to a concert that my parents got roped into that was basically a promotional demo of some crazy new synthesizer, I think it had 6 different keyboards on it. I don’t recall if it was the bad digital bass tones or the quality of the PA in the hall, but a 5-year-old me was sold

Cody: Summer of 1999, my friend lent me his copy of Enema of the State. It was the first record that actually sounded like I felt. I was going into grade 10, and already playing in an alt rock band… but everything from then on had to be pop punk. Seeing blink-182’s cameo in American Pie sealed the deal, they were the coolest dudes from then on.

Mr. Dean: I had a toy guitar when I was a toddler and would “perform” to any family member patient enough to sit through it at the time. In ‘87 when the movie LaBamba came out (I had to wait about 3 years before I was allowed to actually watch it) all of the press and radio play around it led me down the ‘50’s rock n’ roll rabbit hole and to eventually owning a playable guitar. With that in hand, I eventually worked up the gusto to try my hand at writing a song, which I later discovered was just my own lo-fi version of  “21st Century Digital Boy” by Bad Religion.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Jay:
1.Duran Duran 2.Seaweed 3.INXS 4.Guns & Wankers/SNUFF 5.Quicksand

Cody:

  • Blink-182 is a no-brainer… love how they have progressed as a band over the years.
  • NOFX is like this fine wine that I appreciate more and more every year. My son and I listen to the Decline religiously.
  • Abe Cunningham (drummer from Deftones) has had a huge impact on my drumming style. Noone plays simple yet cutting beats like Abe.
  • Daryl Palumbo and Beck from Glassjaw make the moodiest music. Anything from Worship and Tribute and beyond is perfect to me.
  • Billy Joe Armstrong is the perfect rock and roll icon. He writes supremely catchy songs, but if I could command a stage like anyone, it would be him.

Mr. Dean:

  • Buddy Holly
  • Any band on Lookout Records, ever 🙂
  • Samiam and every band that Sergie Loobkoff has ever played in
    (Racquet Club, Ways Away, etc.)
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • The Beach Boys

What’s in your IPOD this week?

Jay:
Ghost, The Armed, Comeback Kid, Todd Terje, Great Grandpa

Cody:
My iPod is in a landfill somewhere… I dropped it on my way to work back in 2007 and never replaced it.

Mr. Dean:
Ghost, The Beatles, Kathleen Edwards, Turnstile, Adhesive, Teenage Bottlerocket, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

How’s the music scene in your locale?

Jay:
Pre covid? Fantastic, lots of support and a few decent venues with a pretty diverse collection of artists. Post covid? Kinda dismal, but hopeful. We have a thing here called the “barley belt” which consists of a dozen or so micro-breweries that also host live music occasionally, and that seems to be the way most DYI scenes are headed.

Cody:
Just like any music scene, there are pockets of good and bad. Most of the people who have been around the longest are amazing – both as musicians and advocates for social justice. To me, that’s important… literally, anyone can rock out now but being a good person goes a long way. Calgary is doing alright.

Dean:
While I miss the days of our DIY all-ages scene, at home in Alberta we still have some incredible champions for music, live music, and the surrounding community. From huge proponents like the people behind The National Music Centre in Calgary, to the teams behind venues like the Starlite Room in Edmonton, and the way the communities collaborate for festivals like Block Heater, Folk Fest, etc… It’s a thriving scene, thanks to that collaboration.

What do you like most about playing live?

Jay:
I feel like I’m forcing the environment around me to listen to my nonsense by way of volume and energy, and I get a kick out of that… even if it’s annoying for the listener.

Cody:

When I see people in the crowd close their eyes and lose themselves in the music. I can connect with that feeling, you’re off in a different place… a good place.

Dean:
Taking that joyful, cathartic energy in our songs, turning it up, and watching it spread through the room as we play. That energy connects us all together at the show – boy, have I missed that over the last couple years.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

Jay:
The End of the World (maybe for obvious reasons haha) and also I’m a fool for 6/8 songs.

Cody:

I really dig Living a Lie. I’ve been on a huge self-improvement kick for the better part of a decade now, and I see my former self in that song. I used people, I tried to be something I wasn’t. Singing “so long” at the end is cathartic; I think if more people could look at themselves in the mirror and admit to their failings, the world would be in a much better place.

Dean:
As a sucker for vocal harmonies and a great pop song, I love “Monika”… but as a bass player, I enjoy getting to drive the bus a bit in “Moon Time”.

What’s the best concert you’ve been to?

Jay:
GHOST, second Canadian tour, right after Meloria was released. Mac Hall in Calgary which usually sounds kinda rough, but it was dialed in that night. Unreal.

Also, INXS in ‘87 on the X tour at the Saddledome also in Calgary. Bassist came out with a Calgary Flames jersey during the encore, and I lost my mind.

Cody:

  1. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket tour – Blink-182, New Found Glory, and Jimmy Eat World at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. Wish I had a camera, pictures, or anything to remind me of that day. Sadly, all I have is a stupid 1-800-COLLECT CD wallet that was handed out at a kiosk.

Dean:
I was at that GHOST show with Jay and it’s in my top 5 but to this day, my number one is seeing Goldfinger at the 1997 Warped Tour in Vancouver. Beautiful summer day in a beautiful city with so many great bands (NOFX, Rocket From the Crypt, CIV, Unwritten Law, Pennywise, Deftones etc.) and Chi Pig from SNFU stood beside me while NOFX was playing and spat the biggest loogie I’ve ever seen onto the ground. But Goldfinger was soooo tight. Top of their game, and Darren Pfeiffer, who was drumming for them at the time, was introduced to the audience as “Miss Mariah Carey” and he stood up, pulled his down pants to reveal… his junk tucked back between his legs. Just TRY to forget a show like that!

 

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Jay:
I would probably never engage with someone (at least sober) that  I revered that much as I guarantee I would try to impress by showing off and make a fool of myself. With that being said, maybe Frank Zappa? He may have tolerated my shenanigans!

Cody:

It would be so cool if I could be in the studio with Mark Hoppus or Tom Delonge, either together or separate. It’s like the missing piece… watching the moments where the artist commits to the final rendition.

Dean:
I would have LOVED to write songs with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers… in the Howie Epstein years so I could soak in his bass-playing. Like Tom was, I’m a Beatles fan, and Mike (Campbell, lead guitarist) and Benmont (Tench, keyboardist) are such incredible musicians. Killer band, great pop song writers, and they were so “punk rock” in their own way; Always working to best themselves, not taking shit from anyone, and always smart enough to keep it simple (in the best way), musically.

What are your goals for the future?

Jay:
Keep putting out music and trying to improve my writing. Play a show again? Maybe just one? Is that crazy?

Cody:

Raise two even-keeled kids who know they have undying support from their parents… kids who can go on to spread love and kindness while building a better world. Hopefully, music will be a prevalent part of their lives! Musically, I just want to keep practicing and learning and playing. Whatever happens, happens.

Dean:
To keep playing, keep spreading that joyful, cathartic energy that people need, and …maybe one day… have a gold record!
 

About Michael Stover

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