Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview: A.P.B.

With the recent vinyl release of the “T.O. Hardcore ‘83” comp there has been a rediscovery of an important part of Toronto’s punk past. The first band found on this comp is a little known band from Scarborough called A.P.B that existed between 1981 - 1984. The band featured Andy Ford on bass, Paul Newman on drums, and Buzz on guitar. They played with bands as high profile as MDC, DRI, the EXPLOITED, GBH, and DOA. They never released a demo, but they did a couple of recordings which are amazing even though they remained unreleased during the band’s existence. They agreed to do an interview on Sunday December 17th, 2010 at CIUT and here are their stories, which involve a cast of characters from the Toronto hardcore scene, the 80’s rock band JOURNEY and some Brinks drivers. Read on to make sense out of these things are connected .

When was A.P.B. around for?
Andy (A): I think it was ’81. We sort of formed out of various bands. They kept breaking up and we kept throwing names in a hat. We didn’t realize that we were the three that could almost play so we might as well form a band.
So ’81 to ’83. Something like that?
Buzz (B): We were playing a show opening for L’ETRANGER, which was the Cash Brothers band and we were playing at the Beverley Tavern.
Paul (P): That was INSIDE OUT. That was my first show.
B: We met three hours before that gig at my dad’s house. He was tapping his legs in shop class and the singer at that point in the band, Kev, said “Hey man, do you play drums?” Paul said “Actually I do.” “We got a show tonight. Do you want to drum for us?” That was the beginning of meeting Paul. Andy and I sat together in one of our high school classes. Andy came in with a silk CHEAP TRICK jacket.
Is that right?
A: Absolutely. I still have it in the back of a closet somewhere.
B: We agreed on tunes at the beginning. Andy and I were in bands and Paul and I were in bands and people just filtered in and filtered out and we just became ANDY PAUL and BUZZ. A.P.B.
Ah. That’s where the name comes from. So it doesn’t stand for ALL POSTED BULLETINS.
B: At one time.
It is a clever play on that.
B: We did do a song called “All Points Bulletin”.
A: Which was the end of us being clever.
B: That was our first and last time. We were P.A.B. for a while, but it didn’t work all that well.
P: I don’t know who realized it stood for ANDY, PAUL and BUZZ. It was probably my mother. You should name your band A.P.B. and call it ANDY PAUL and BUZZ.
Is that right?
P: Yeah sure.
What high school did you go to?
P: Various. I went to different high school. I met Buzz through the singer from INSIDE OUT, Kevin. At that time me and Kevin were the only guys in school that were punk rock guys. I wasn’t even really…I didn’t have a haircut then. I liked the RAMONES and stuff like that, but I still listened to TED NUGENT and crap like that. Then he took me to Buzz’s basement to rehearse and then to the show. I started hanging out with these guys and they went to another school. I went to Sir Robert L. Borden, but you went to …
B: Thompson.
So these are all schools out in Scarborough right?
P: They had a whole network of mods and punk rockers and dudes that liked good music and stuff.
I was just a year or two younger than you guys and I recognize the numbers of maybe there was five guys that were into punk rock in our school that became your survival network for various things.
B: A friend of mine that I had met in class, Steve, and he played to me on one of those portable cassette players, where you push the buttons down, he played the PISTOLS. He goes “Check this out.” I was over there to play road hockey. That was life changing. Moving forward from there you throw out your TED NUGENT album right away and moved on and heard the CLASH and it was heads up from there.
How about Paul and Andy? How did you guys find out about punk rock?
A: I went to visit some family in England in 1978 and there was a SHAM 69 song on the radio. I thought that was the coolest song of all time and bought the single and brought it back. I listened to that one record, both sides.
What single?
A: “If the Kids are United”.
A: I can’t remember what is on the back side. I probably listened to that one a thousand times over because that’s all I could find that was like that and I realized that everything else that I was listening to was horrible.
Well there is a lot of spirit to that record with the back up vocals and everything. And the message is also great.
A: Grade nine when “Breakfast in America” is the greatest record in the world it is like “Wow this is awful.” I was like if I want to hear something I want to hear I will probably have to make it myself. I realized I couldn’t play so I bought a guitar.
What about you Paul?
P: I remember reading a lot about … I used to be mad about KISS and the magazines like Creem Magazine and Rock Scene. They used to always have little articles on the RAMONES, MC5, STOOGES.
B: I would read them to him while he looked at the pictures.
P: So that kind of sparked my interest. It was years before I really heard any of those bands. I remember seeing something on a news program on CBC. The 10:00 o’clock news. They had a piece about this breaking news from England where they had live footage of the DAMNED, the CLASH and the SEX PISTOLS. They even had the words going across the bottom because you just couldn’t understand what they were saying. It was crazy punk rock. I just remember looking at it and my interest was really peaked. They had people pogoing and all that. The same people that you see now on these things that are being re-released. They were interviewing Malcolm McClaren. It was maybe only three or five minutes, but it stuck with me. Then after that I tuned into CFNY because at the time they would play the SEX PISTOLS, the RAMONES….
B: Pre-“Spirit of Radio”
A: When they were still in Brampton and you could only get them on a clear day.
P: But my sister had all the SUPERTRAMP records and stuff so it was great. Our house was full of music.
B: The New Music show when J.D. Roberts and Jeannie Becker were doing it became a real staple for finding out things.
B: Jeannie was loving IGGY back in the day.
She sure was. I remember that interview she did with him at the POLICE PICNIC. She couldn’t get enough of his abs.
B: That became a real eye opener because they did get underground music.
They did. I remember them showing a piece with ANTI PASTI and some Toronto bands would also get into the mix. People also talk about the New Music subscription, prior to them being a TV show. They were a magazine initially. But I have never seen any copies of it.
P: My mother has one at home. I think the first one that ever came out. I think it was a free magazine. The first one was all buttons like the DIODES and SEX PISTOLS and CLASH. One of those issues. I remember that.
Andy, you used to wear a lot of mod kind of stuff. It seemed like you were into the mod scene a little bit.
A: Yeah I was and my dad had all these cool suits. When he first moved to Toronto he lived in a rooming house with a guy who was a tailor and the guy would make him these cool suits from the 60’s. It all kind of played out nice because I had the clothes that actually looked really cool. Some of the music was actually pretty good. It got boring pretty quick. But that was mod music. It was in a very small box and never broke out of it. That was the problem.
B: “Quadrophenia” came out around that same time too.
A: Yeah. Which I have never actually seen.
B: Really?
A: I never really had much interest in it. I probably should watch it in retrospect.
Yeah because it was a youth subculture with kids on scooters and stuff. Getting in fights. It was kind of like punk. I grew up with some mods as well. There was four punk rockers in my high school and two mods.
B: What school did you go to?
I went to Brebeuf in North York. That was pretty much our support system.
B: Back then there wasn’t a lot of feelings towards punk rockers and mods. You were just united in the fact that you didn’t like what was mainstream at the time. If you found two other people that were into alternative music before alternative music was even a term, you were like “Hey we’ll be friends.”
P: Someone to watch your back in the smoking area.
And when I talk about the survival network, I’m also talking partially about how you would be someone to talk to about a show. It was like a communication network to find out about your local scene or about bands that were coming into town. You couldn’t just pick up a Now Magazine back then and find an ad for a show.
A: It was all word of mouth at that point.
That lifeline was a communication network. Buzz. I have to ask you about your flying V guitar. I thought it was awesome because I don’t think the rock people who used to play flying V’s earned the right to play a flying V. You were wailing away on it. How did you get a flying V guitar?
B: It was a Lado guitar which was a Toronto guitar builder. My dad is a musician and he had a banjo eukele that he had taken it into Lado and I think Paul came with me. We went to go pick it up and he had made this lime green flying V and I just fell in love with it. I thought this was so cool. I think I got it for $400. I still have it. It is a really well made instrument. No one else was playing them back then. So I thought I am going to get one. Then I found out you can’t sit down and play a flying V because it just slides off your body. You have to play it way up here with the V over your leg. It became definitely a stage guitar rather than a sit down and try and learn to play guitar. I love it. I still play it.
Did you ever take any stick for it because it sort of fits in with the rock clichés?
B: I took a lot more stick for growing my hair long and loving VAN HALEN.
A: I still get grief for that.
About the flying V or the long hair?
A: All of it. The flying V is okay because it’s that whole ironic thing.
B: At least it wasn’t a PVT-60 which is what Andy had.
A: It was a country guitar. There is nothing wrong with that.
B: I have never really thanked Andy for all the amps that I blew up of his. I had a Fender amp and if my dad was playing a show I had to borrow Andy’s amp. I must have gone through three of them.
A: What did I have? I don’t even know what I had.
B: Two little PEAVEY’S
A: That’s right because they were cheap.
B: And I blew them both up on stage at Larry’s.
A: I think they were thirty dollar amps that I found at pawn shops because that’s all we had.
So does your dad play music?
B: My dad is a musician.
Did you get an inspiration to play music through your dad? Was music just around the house?
B: Music was always in our house. We had mini moogs, we had pianos, we had drum sets. All kinds of instruments. Les Pauls. All sorts of stuff.
Was your dad happy when you took an interest in music? And then less happy when he found out it was punk?
B: I think so. We would rehearse mostly at my house and it was always after school before my dad got home. I think they were pretty tolerant.
P: I don’t think he minded. He had a drum set there before I got a drum set.
B: Actually, my dad is pretty old now but he keeps asking is your friend Paul going to come and collect his drums. He has two drums there.
P: I had no idea.
B: You can probably toss them away. It’s safe to say.
P: Sell ‘em. I don’t even know which ones he would have.
B: They had black sticky stuff on them.
P: They’re not worth very much. Sorry.
So having a place to practice is kind of a key factor to having a band functioning. Nowadays there is practice spaces, but I have a sense that there wasn’t so much back then.
B: I didn’t even know of any rehearsal spaces. Did you?
P: No. We did use one way out in West Hill one time. This guy had a pre production room. At had a big stage. That was INSIDE OUT. We did a couple of days there like a weekend or something. I vaguely remember it.
A: There was that one there on Post Road out in Markham at that strip mall. Remember Tom the drummer. Tom Perry. URBAN CHAOS. They used to practice there and it was under the strip mall.
P: At the time you just thought who’s house could we practice at? And who’s parents can we drive insane? What could we get away with? We definitely didn’t have money.
B: He had a big car.
A: I did have a big car.
B: We had motorcycles so getting to gigs was getting Andy to pick up the stuff and then we would just go.
P: I could throw a case of beer on the back of my bike but I couldn’t take drums.
A: I had my grandfather’s ’73 Impala two door so it was a big monster boat that barely ran.
P: That was sweet.
A: It was too. We fit everything in that car. We fit almost everything in the trunk alone and a couple of guitars in the back seat and six guys.
B: Unless you are trying to fit one of the guys in the trunk. We played a show in Buffalo.
A: It was the Rock Against Reagan thing.
B: It was a decade and a half before 9/11 so you show up at the border and say “Canadian” and they said “Okay” except we had guitars which were clearly visible so they wanted the trunk opened. You can’t just come in and work in the States. We weren’t getting paid, but that didn’t matter. We could come in but we couldn’t bring our equipment. We had known somebody at school who had a friend in Fort Erie. So we phoned this guy Tim and said “What’s your buddy’s phone number in Fort Erie?” We phoned this guy’s house at the Bridge and the guy wasn’t home, but his dad said “Yeah, we have a trailer.” So we stuck all our drums and guitars in this motorhome that was parked in their driveway. Drove across and played the show with borrowed equipment. The show was fun.
P: Yeah the bands were great. We sucked.
B: We got a good reaction. It was fun. But the most fun was going back to Fort Erie because we arrived at 3:30 in the morning and we are all just hammered except for Andy because he was driving. We are in this driveway and we have to wait for a reasonable hour. It was a suburban driveway sitting there.
A: There was a lot of us too. There was about eight of us.
B: We were like puppies. We had all this energy. We had gone to the States and drank as much beer as we could possibly drink and acting as stupid as possible.
A: We also got pulled over by the border patrol.
B: That’s because Paul was drinking. Paul toasted the border patrol.
A: Then we were escorted to the border from there. They pulled us over with about a mile to go and then they were “Okay, follow us. Thanks for coming boys now out. What are you doing here?”
B: It was Fort Erie in the middle of the night and we are trying to be quiet. Andy was sending us for walks. “Go walk down the street. You guys are too noisy.” We are walking down these streets and we are just drunk and we come back and one of the guys, Pete, was getting pretty obnoxious so we planned to grab him and throw him in the trunk. So we are shoving him in the trunk and he is yelling and kicking and we are trying to close the trunk and doesn’t the dad from this house come out “What the god damn hell is going on here? Grab your stuff and get the hell out of here.”
P: That’s all we wanted was our stuff.
A: It actually worked.
B: We should have just knocked on the door and said “Hey we are a little bit early but can we grab our stuff?”
P: That is too logical.
A: That was an interesting weekend. That much I can say.
B: Andy got so pissed off because we were pretty drunk and obnoxious so Andy went to a big giant hotel and ended up talking to the guys from JOURNEY.
A: I went to a party for JOURNEY. Somehow I ended up in their hotel room. I ended up getting thrown out because I kept on making fun of their long hair.
B: He comes back and goes “I met all the guys from JOURNEY. They are assholes.”
For the record. But as loud and obnoxious as you were, you were still being very Canadian in being polite to wait to not wake them up in the middle of the night. That is an interesting irony to the story. Do you remember who you might have played with at this Rock Against Reagan show? I am trying to figure out who was around back then or who might have come into town because I remember the “Rock Against Reagan” shows had bigger names on the bill. I remember BAD BRAINS doing some and MDC doing some and the DEAD KENNEDYS did some.
P: I would like to think that MILLIONS OF DEAD COPS played, but I am not totally sure.
A: Actually it might have been MDC because then we played with them a few weeks later at that speakeasy on Yonge Street.
I wanted to go back a little earlier. You guys were talking about a band called INSIDE OUT. Can you tell me who they were? They sort of pre-dated A.P.B.
B: The singer from QUARANTINE, Ken Smuck, was the first singer in INSIDE OUT, before Kev. Dave Starrett, he is a photographer now, he played in that band. Myself, Paul, and Steve Good. Steve went on to the G SPOTS. I don’t know whatever happened to Paul.
P: Just sitting here.
B: Thirty years later. We played a few shows. Probably the best show we ever did was our first show which was having James at the Beverley asking us to stop playing.
P: That was awesome.
B: So we all just turned around. We were opening for L’ETRANGER and we were as noisy as can be….
P: I don’t even think we got through a song.
B: We played about three songs. Then the guy said cut it and we said fuck you so we turned around and just kept playing until they shut the power off at the bar because they couldn’t figure out how to unplug everything. They just turned off the whole stage power. We were like “Okay we are done.”
Did you play many shows?
P: We played a lot of basement parties in Scarborough.
B: We played a lot of Turning Point shows though, no?
P: We did do Turning Point shows. That’s right. Everyone did Turning Point shows. But I remember the parties. Whether it was at Kevin’s house or somebody else’s, like another band. Mark Saunders had another band, DEGENERATS, and they would have parties out in West Hill. The cops would show up. We would get three songs into it and there would be a knock at the door and cops would come in and just shut it down. We would continue to party and it was fun but always cops showed up. I remember doing one where we were hired by someone to play somebody’s party and it was all just rockers. The heavy metal guys. We didn’t get along with them. They weren’t the most open minded people you could meet. I remember sticking my drums through a basement window to get out of there. The cops didn’t show up that night. Not when we were playing. It was like “You guys better get out of here or your dead.” They didn’t tolerate much. It was supposed to be us and the DEGENERATS. I think we got a couple of songs into it and I think someone got punched in the head and we were like “Let’s bail.” I remember being in history class on Monday and these two guys were sitting behind me going “Hey man were you in that punk rock band that played at my friend’s party?” I was like “Sure?” “You guys sucked. I don’t know how you got out of there. We were waiting for you out front.” I was like “We went out the back.” We hopped a couple of fences and threw our stuff in Andy’s car and made a clean getaway. And they told me they were going to be waiting for me after class. I didn’t see them again.
Buzz, were you in a band called MARK MALIBU AND THE WASAGAS?
B: I was with the same Mark. Mark Saunders from the DEGENERATS.
Okay so when did they exist? I remember seeing them on YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH flyer with the RENT BOYS and the RHEOSTATICS.
P: That would have been before us.
B: Before A.P.B.
B: Yeah, because I was playing bass. We did all surf stuff.
Hence the WASAGAS part of the name.
P: It pre-dated SHADOWY MEN. They were awesome. MARK MALIBU AND THE WASAGAS were a lot of fun.
B: We played with the RHEOSTATICS at high schools, girls private schools and stuff like that.
So you actually got to play some of those dances that bands like RUSH and SAGA used to play.
B: Yeah. We were doing “Pipeline” and “Walk Don’t Run” and all the VENTURES stuff. Actually Mark was light years ahead of the rest. I mean Paul was always an amazing drummer, but drums alone don’t make for a great song unless you are VAN HALEN. With Mark Malibu he was a really good guitar player so for me it was a real step up and I came in as just a bass player. In A.P.B. and INSIDE OUT I played guitar. I didn’t really know how to play bass. Really he schooled me a lot. He was good.
What happened to them?
B: I think I left to form with these guys.
A: I think so and they were always fighting anyway.
B: Yeah the drummer Mark and Steve fought.
A: They were the best friends and they always just fought. It was the classic “that’s how they got along was they just fought.” And they were really good together on stage and musically but that is probably why they were so good was because they fought all the time.
Creative tension.
B: The three of us, we didn’t really scrap. It was always just jam and drink beer and have fun and turn up and turn up and turn up and turn up until it was blaring loud. It was loud. It was always loud.
And what happened to INSIDE OUT?
B: Same thing. I probably left to go join MARK MALIBU.
A: You were doing both at the same time, I think.
B: No because I did the CASUALS with you when I was in MARK MALIBU.
So that brings me to Andy. You were in a band called the CASUALS. Was that your first band?
A: They were horrible. What an auspicious start?
Can you tell me a bit about the band aside from them being horrible? What did you sound like?
A: Crap. As far as I can tell. I couldn’t play.
B: You guys were playing mod stuff.
A: I know I couldn’t play. I remember I joined the band and I phoned Buzz and said you gotta teach me how to play guitar. So I went over to his place and he showed me three chords and two songs and I said “Okay. I’m good. Let’s go.” I ended up playing guitar. It was awful. Pete, the bass player, couldn’t play bass. We were good together because we both sucked.
B: Who drummed with you.
A: There was a bunch. We were so bad we couldn’t keep a drummer.
B: That’s the way it was back then. And if someone said we have a show you would say “We’re there.” How many songs do we need to know because we will have that number down. They might not be good but we will have ten different sucky songs.
A: There might be one good song in the bunch.
P: And if you are missing a band member hopefully someone will be there that can fill in.
A: I did that one night at the Turning Point with INSIDE OUT when Dave got sick or something.
P: Kevin played bass and he had no idea how to play bass.
B: That sort of mentality went on. I mean after A.P.B. broke up I ended up joining DIRECT ACTION and Paul must have played … and we played big shows, but Paul must have played 25% of them.
P: I used to go along just to go along.
I didn’t find out about this until years later.
P: A lot of times Mike was too drunk to go on.
B: He had a real issue with alcohol in so much that after two drinks he was as drunk as the whole case later. If we couldn’t stop him from drinking then he was going to polish off every bit of alcohol there was and become useless. At 200 miles an hour if your drummer is just bashing away it becomes real messy real quick. And Paul was always so precise. So we would say, Paul we are going on the road to Montreal with shows in Ottawa and Hull, would you come with us? He was like it sounds like a party and then he would find out he was the designated drummer.
So you were kind of roadieing, but you could fill in.
B: Mike would fall asleep with his mouth open in the truck, so we would put the lighter in his mouth and so you could light your smoke with that lighter. He would wake up and stumble in just after we finished playing half the time.
P: He was always cool about it. He was understanding. It seemed like he enjoyed it. He is a great guy. He is a good friend of mine.
I want to go back the mod roots for a second because there is a mod band called the IMMEDIATE and the MODS also came from Scarborough. I am wondering if they ever had an influence on you guys.
A: Big time. They lived right across the road from the bass player. Like literally right across the road.
B: Greg Trinnier, Mark Dixon, Scott Marks, Dave Quinton.
A: They could play.
B: Awesome. Dave Quinton went on to play with Stiv Bators from the DEAD BOYS. When I joined DIRECT ACTION the guy who preceeded me was a guy named Zig and Zig stabbed his leg on stage trying to stab his guitar at the Turning Point. It was just squirting blood. Scott Marks was the paramedic who arrived. Scott Marks the guitar player from the MODS. He saved Zig’s life.
That is crazy. I had heard that story. He must of hit something.
B: He hit a big vein in his leg.
A: Yeah because he was stabbing his guitar and he missed and it got messy quick.
B: Years later I ran into Scott Marks and I was thinking “You saved my buddy’s life” and he said “Yeah no one knew where the Turning Point was and I was on call so I took the call.”
The benefits of being a punk rocker.
B: I have a picture of Paul on stage at the Turning Point with Greg Trinner and Mark Dixon of the MODS and you are playing drums with the MODS playing on stage.
P: What? I don’t remember that. I don’t remember any of this stuff.
So the mod scene did have an influence.
B: Oh big time. Yeah we saw them a lot.
The first time I ever saw you was at a show at a church basement I think it was around Sherbourne and Carlton. It was with a band called the IMMEDIATE, who were a mod band at the time. And I saw Andy with a parka. I was thinking there is this mod connection. I didn’t see that a lot with other bands. There was always these calls for scene unity and stuff like that, but with you guys playing with a mod band and with Andy looking the part and the rest of you guys being hardcore kids you kind of lived that unity call.
A: I think it was the product of being from Scarborough where if you liked something different you stuck together. You would listen to one thing and I would listen to another and it all kind of melds together after a while.
There is some kind of affinity in difference. Okay so I want to ask you what growing up in Scarborough was like back then?
A: It was pretty rednecky. Lumberjackets, long hair, work boots and guys walking around wanting to kick the crap out of you because your hair wasn’t half way down your back.
Like being into LED ZEPPELIN and AC DC and whatever.
P: Yeah. The school I went to, Sir Robert L. Borden was all sons and daughters of Satan’s Choice. They were really tough kids. It was a technical school. They focused on shop, small engine repair. There was crazy courses there. Like dry cleaning and painting and decorating. It was like whatever to get this kid a grade. I cut my thumb really badly in meat cutting class. I was going to specialize in that. I was going to be a butcher. I am a vegetarian now. What are you going to say. If it wasn’t for me cutting my thumb. It was a crazy school. So everyone there was long haired and very tough and I was small. Everyone was bigger than me. I think it was when I was in Grade 11 or maybe my final year because you only went there for four years there was a big influx of Jamaican kids and Trinidadian kids coming into that school. You didn’t have to live in that area to go to that school. There was kids living downtown that were going to that school instead of going to the one on Bathurst.
B: They didn’t offer dry cleaning.
P: By that time I was pretty much the only punk rock kid at school I just started hanging out with these kids and got a good dose of reggae. I played them some CLASH stuff. They loved their version of “Police and Thieves” done by these guys from Britain. It was interesting at that point.
Scarborough does seem like a mixed bag of a bunch of things. It is a young place, an annexed part of the city. It had its own history and then evolving waves of history.
B: But there is nothing really to do in Scarborough. You had to venture downtown. Unless there was a house party there was nothing.
Because it was a younger place I think and it was not filled in yet. Sometimes it is characterized as having strip malls and lots of streets of nothingness. That is not necessarily a fair characterization, but it wasn’t like there was clubs or anything like that. There wasn’t really entertainment bars out there or anything like that. It was more malls and suburbs. Filling in suburbs. But what was it like growing up as a punk rocker?
B: For me, I got off scott free. I dated Andy’s sister for my whole high school. She was a cheerleader so I was able to walk the line between all the people that really hated …
You could pass.
B: All the people that hated punk rockers would say why do you hang around with them? Because these are actually my only friends. I really can’t stand you.
But you can’t say that to them.
B: You would get shoved into the lockers like everybody else. But you get looked at on the buses. I have a grown daughter now. I was saying to my kid that there is no originality left because there is no stores left. Everything is HMV or H&M or whatever. She said “everyone at school has got my coat. Everyone has my boots.” We were at a point where you could find your own identity. It ended up being in hindsight that everyone else wore a black leather jacket and black leather boots and black jeans.
But it wasn’t the same leather jacket or the same boots or the same jeans. You had to go look for them in army surplus stores in something your size.
B: Exactly. Paul found a lime green leather jacket
A: At Tom’s Menswear. That place was awesome.
P: I painted it black.
A: It looked way better when it started to get all beaten up and started showing through with the lime green. That’s when it started to have character.
P: That’s what you had to do. Make your own clothing. But yeah, I spent a lot of time getting chased around. Waiting at the bus stop a couple of times I had cops stop. It was a block away from the house I grew up in. I had spikey hair. Or I had a mullet with a jean jacket and some RAMONES buttons. Cops pull up and go “What are you doing?” “Waiting for a bus.” “Where are you going?” “Downtown” “Can you empty your pockets?” “Okay?” All I would have is bus fare.
B: We got pulled over at Dundas and Sherbourne for just walking and the cop said “What’s your name?” and Paul said “Paul Newman”.
B: He said “Yeah, I’m Robert Redford. Get in the car.”
P: After that I started carrying ID just to get them off my back.
A: Was it you Buzz that was with me and Kevin at the Morningside Mall when the Brinks guys pulled the guns on us? We were just sitting there and they were bringing in the money and one of the guys just drops behind a garbage can and points a gun at us.
B: Actually I was on my bike. I think you were on the back of my bike. We went to Morningside Mall. We took our helmets off and Brinks pulled up. They were getting out and I don’t know what the guy thought. They just pointed them right at us. The reason I was going to that mall was because I had been picked to do a beer tasting test.
P: I was there too.
B: We got paid $50 to taste different beers.
A: So why the hell was I going? Maybe I was just going for something to do.
B: We were probably rehearsing afterwards.
A: Yeah, maybe. It was kind of sobering at gunpoint. That was in 1982 when there wasn’t a lot of guns around.
That’s pretty crazy. A.P.B. was the first band that I ever saw with members from other bands in them. I think at that point Buzz you started to play in DIRECT ACTION. I think I had seen you play in DIRECT ACTION as well.
B: Probably not. I don’t think I played with D.A. while we were together.
A: I think we might have overlapped a bit.
P: I think we broke up or talked about it and I remember a couple of times Jill Heath calling us up and asking if we could play.
B: I stand corrected.
That was a bit of an anomaly back then.
B: Not amongst us.
I’m getting that from your story.
B: We played with whoever was doing a show. If they needed somebody we would just do it.
What was it like to be a three piece? I think of bands like NOMEANSNO and there seems to be good communication among the members, as opposed to be in a four piece. The four piece represents the traditional line up. But three pieces seem to be able to make decisions quicker. You have to rely on each other a lot more with visual cues and things like that. What was it like to be in a three piece? Did you find a difference between that and a four piece?
P: I never ever really even thought about it.
But you guys seemed to be a solid band?
A: I never thought about it either, but now that I think about it most of the bands I have been in have been three pieces.
Because NOTHING IN PARTICULAR was a three piece.
A: Yeah, for a long time.
B: I think for the most part because Paul was so good it made it pretty easy to lock on and find a groove. And Andy was solid on bass by then.
The only trick comes with singing and playing.
B: Yeah, but I think with our stuff I was able to hit a chord and do the vocal line and jump back in and hit another chord. Andy had a good right hand where he was just constantly playing and Paul rode his cymbal a lot. That sort of takes up sonically where the guitar might be in terms of the top end. I don’t know that I can sing and play now. I don’t know if I could sing ever, but I know that it was really easy with those two guys behind me because they were always locked in. Shows were never messy.
A: And you played what you know. You don’t play songs over your head because you don’t need an excuse for a mess. You play what you gotta play. Buzz mentioned, this is the semi-modelen moment, my favourite drummer to play with has always been Paul and it is not because he is flashy by any stretch of the imagination. He was always solid and there was a huge pocket to play in. Whether I was playing bass with him or guitar with him that is the drummer I always wanted to play with.
B: Yeah. He was real easy to play with. I have played with a few and it was always where is the cymbals man? And where is the roll? Why are you still filling. I have moved on to the next line.
A: Exactly. I never had to worry about that with Paul. When there was time for a fill there was a fill. When it was time to lay back he was laying back. I think that was the band in general. We just did whatever we had to do to make the song work.
B: And we rehearsed a lot.
So you were very comfortable with each other and how you played.
B: As long as we could hear each other on stage, we were as good as we were ever going to be. Whatever that limited amount was plus or minus. I don’t ever remember walking off stage except in Buffalo and thinking that was just horrendous. We always enjoyed it. And we got pretty good reactions for the most part.
I often wonder though. There seems to be so much more pressure on a three piece because there is less people to rely on. You kind of have to make it work.
A: I don’t know if there is pressure. It is almost less because you have one less guy to worry about doing something wrong.
P: I never felt it. We were pretty solid.
There is one less guy to hide behind.
P: Here’s the thing, we did try a couple of people to sing.
B: A few more beers to hide behind. We weren’t splitting the case four ways. We were splitting it two ways because Andy wasn’t a drinker.
P: And all the money we used to make too. It goes a lot farther if you split it three ways.
B: But twenty went four ways easier.
A: You always fought over that fifty cents. Who gets the extra dollar?
B: Andy got it for gas.
P: We did have a couple of guys singing for us for a time, it just didn’t work out.
Who were they?
P: We had Ken Smuck from QUARANTINE for awhile.
A: Did we ever play live with that or just practice with it?
B: No.
P: I think we just wanted to take some pressure off of you and let Buzz just play guitar. It just didn’t really work out. We liked it better because we had already been rehearsing and doing shows at that point so we just stuck with what we knew.
Who were you inspired by musically?
P: John Bonham. I was really into ZEPPELIN and stuff like that prior to getting into punk rock.
I remember ZEPPELIN being a staple.
P: Yeah definitely. Still. He was a monstrous drummer.
B: For me it was Johnny Thunders, Steve Jones, and Mick Jones. They were my early three. My sister had the first DOLLS album.
That is the holy trinity of punk rock guitarists.
B: Totally. And I had seen the CLASH at the O’Keefe Centre.
Oh you saw that show.
A: Yeah I was there too.
B: We were right at the front and Mick Jones was larger than life. That became a huge influence.
That must have been an amazing show.
B: It was a really good show. The B-GIRLS were really good, the UNDERTONES were really good.
The UNDERTONES played with them. Oh wow. I heard there was a few seats kicked out.
B: Yeah a few seats were broken up in the front row.
On New Music they did an interview with Mick Jones and Joe Strummer and they were counting missing chairs and they said “19 punk rockers were here last night.”
B: And I went in a KISS t-shirt from the “Destroyer” tour and some guy with blue hair, English Paul, looked at me and said “You better turn that inside out”. I was like “I think I will”. I put it on backwards and put my jacket back on.
A: Then he went home and named his band INSIDE OUT.
P: That’s why. But as far as an influence on the band I remember Buzz and I going to see the PROFESSIONALS the first time they ever played in Toronto.
A: That was a great show.
That was at Domino’s or Nuts and Bolts or somewhere
B: No it was on St. Joseph Street.
That was the Voodoo Club.
B: It was the Voodoo Club.
It was usually a dance club.
P: They played there and then they came back a year or two later and played Larry’s Hideaway. I remember jamming trying to figure out their songs. That was like step one of what A.P.B. was. We used to cover a lot of their songs.
B: We never played them live, we just rehearsed them.
It was a starting point.
P: A little bit of a template.
A: That is still a good record. I listened to that record about a year ago. It is still just a solid rock record.
Yeah but we didn’t get lots of them here. It has recently been re-issued as a CD so you can find it but it is limited. It is a really great record.
B: So was what Jones did after that with the NEUROTIC OUTSIDERS. It is just a fabulous album. That is an amazing record. He got the guy from DURAN DURAN and two guys from GUNS N ROSES. It is the best guitar. He still has the best guitar sound out there. Just so huge. So Steve Jones, Mick Jones combine that with what Paul said about playing real rock drums.
P: But I got into the RAMONES drummers. Tommy and Marky Ramone. Big time.
Do you want to add to any of that Andy?
A: I am in the same boat as Buzz with the same guitars just add in CHEAP TRICK to that for me. That was my staple growing up and it kind of still is. Back in the old days when you are making comp tapes for guys I would throw in a live CHEAP TRICK song in there and they would have no clue what it was. They would just think it was another punk band. You would tell them and they would be like “No!”
P: Their first record is very punk rock. “He’s a Whore” is… come on.
A: The production though was horrible because it was all that 70’s bad pop production so I used to go to these bootlegs and they would sound great because they would be raw and they just sounded like a lot of the punk bands out there. It was that bad 70’s AM radio production that gave them the pop reputation that they have.
If you were trying to describe A.P.B.’s sound to somebody who has never heard you before but was familiar with hardcore what did you sound like?
B: Well according to this lyric sheet, really horrible lyrics. I don’t know, who did we sound like?
P: Maybe a little bit like MOTORHEAD in the way it is just kind of driving.
A: I don’t know. You tell us. What would you say?
In listening to this “T.O. Hardcore” comp, there was a review recently in MRR and they describe a Toronto sound. You guys have used some of the punk reference points of the standard bearers of the origins of the UK scene. When I hear A.P.B. and I hear DIRECT ACTION and I hear CHRONIC SUBMISSION and I hear DEAD END I hear this fast hardcore that didn’t like to be standard straight forward thrash. Liked to be herky jerky a little bit. To fuck with people a little bit. The stop and starts that DRI kind of had initially but that wasn’t really so defined yet. I also think that the lyrics are great. I think in some ways they don’t pick sides because they were too smart to pick sides. The left and right were too much propaganda. Like with that song “Constant Threat” it is the middle ground and it is totally poking fun at both sides.
B: The best lyrics that came out of A.P.B. were in the song “A.P.B.” and the line that I will forever remember writing was “Baseball, apple pie and my mum, but even my mum has a bloody gun.” I thought for a twenty year old kid to come up with that it was pretty good. We were just suburban kids, but the world was getting a lot more violent around us. We were starting to see the violence thrown at us personally just for looking different or being different. But in terms of what the Toronto sound was I was trying to think what was the Toronto sound? It was almost the British mentality in terms of the sounds of the instruments with an American hard rock sped up.
Like that early American hardcore sound.
B: Yeah, but it still had the British sensibilities about it with what we were exposed to at that point. Then MOTORHEAD came in and all that stuff started becoming more popular. I know that DIRECT ACTION sounded to me like METALLICA before METALLICA was METALLICA. At least we knew of METALLICA. They were doing a hundred mile an hour stop and starts super tight and then METALLICA broke giant and I was like these guys were doing it before.
A: I always remember thinking how metal DIRECT ACTION sounded until they opened up for EXCITER at the Masonic Temple and then I went “Wow, DIRECT ACTION is not metal at all.” They were still a punk rock band.
B: They hated us.
A: Absolutely. The whole crowd hated you guys.
B: Over the next two months though all those kids were at our shows. All those kids would come up and say I was at the EXCITER show but my hair was down here and they would have a big Mohawk now. That was really eye opening. A few of those kids became some of the most jump around hyper kids at our shows, when I was in D.A. It was such a time where everything was just morphing and you were just trying to find your way.
But I always felt like the Toronto bands were ahead of the curve, but without the credit because we didn’t have the publishing industry, we didn’t have records coming out we had cassettes. It was easy for us to be just under the surface. But we had bands that were defining sounds that became sub genres of punk rock or hardcore later on. And we had so many different examples of them.
A: Part of that may be geography, like Buzz was saying earlier, we are that in between. We are not the States and we are not England. Our comedy is the same way, our movies are the same way. It’s a very Canadian attitude and Toronto got everything. It is because we were able to mash stuff together and take what was punk rock, what was hardcore, what was thrash and add to it instead of being in that tiny little defined form of music, which is extremely limiting, you would add other influences and accidentally turn it into something else.
It does make sense. Okay, I wanted to ask you about some of the songs that were on the comp. Maybe I could ask you about the song “Constant Threat”. What is that song about?
B: At the time Reagan was out.
There was a nuclear détente at the time.
B: Yeah, nuclear war was a really big threat. There was no internet obviously and so the media is the Toronto Star. That is the media that I am exposed to and the news, which I refuse to watch. There has got to be something good happening because at that point you were just turning on the news to horrible-ness everyday. I know I felt it. I felt just fed up with it. My dad was a real Christian guy and still is. The negativity of what was out there compared to what I knew growing up which was “Be nice to your neighbour” kind of thing I just thought that the people that live in Russia are the same people that live in America. It is the governments of both that is just tightening the hatred. We wrote “War is Hell”. It was just about oppressive pressures put on regular people that are just going about their business. I don’t have a problem with the Viet Cong. I don’t want to go kill people there just because my government tells me I should.
But these manufactured boogiemen were really justifications for spending loads of money on an arms race right?
B: Absolutely. But when you are twenty one years old that hasn’t really filtered into your stream of consciousness yet.
But it was bizarre to hear this demonization going on about a country that you are like “well how do I know?” You don’t know anything about them. They can’t be much different from me.
B: That’s what most of our lyrics were about. Why are we going into these battles and wars with people that we just don’t have a beef with?
Yeah. Bizarre. Okay, what about the song “Know My name”? What is that song about? There are only two songs that appear on this “T.O. Hardcore” comp.
B: I have no idea, but I did say the C word in it didn’t I?
It seemed to be a song about punk identification of sorts. I felt it was a good song from a punk kid’s perspective. Standing their ground.
A: I wonder if that is what you were going for.
B: It seems to be.
As a punk kid you took a lot of shit. You got pushed around a bunch and you tried to lay low under the radar unless you had to fight. You know the getting cornered kind of thing.
B: I was just thinking back to those days and thoughts, basically you became a punk and if they had a problem with somebody if you were a punk they had a problem with you. And as much as we tried to separate ourselves as unique individuals you end up becoming just a punk and you become anonymous as that rather than here I am trying to be an individual. It was like you’re a punk rocker I am going to beat you up.”You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know my name. I’m just the guy with the black jacket.”
You’re just the guy to beat up.
B: So even when you are trying to be a non-conformist you are still conforming to someone else’s idea of who gets punched out. I have to re-read them to figure out where my mind was. But that becomes it. You become again anonymous even when you are trying to be unique. You just become a punching bag with a haircut.
Do you recall any other songs that you wrote? Any other names for songs?
B: Andy wrote a really good bassline for a song called “Broadway”. I used the word “Broadway”, but it was on “Broadview”. We were driving to a show and for whatever reason they had swept all the hookers off Jarvis Street and we were at a light right near the Don Jail and I saw a really dirty looking girl, like a prostitute and all the way to the gig I just kept thinking what is her day and night like? So I took the words Broadview and made it Broadway and made it about New York and being a prostitute in New York. I have a recording of it. It is probably the best song we ever did. Andy wrote the bassline for it and I used that bassline as the basis for the song. It is probably my favourite song that we ever did. I don’t even know if we played it live. We did it on the tapes that we did at my dad’s house. And the song “A.P.B.” was a good song. The song “War is Hell” was a good song.
A: I think “Vicious Circle” was a good song. It was slow and dirgy. I liked it. It was different then anything else we had done.
B: You have all that stuff?
A: Yeah. Like bits and pieces.
A.P.B. What’s A.P.B. about? Is it a song about the police.
P: Just “All Points Bulletin”.
Did you become the “All Points Bulletin”?
B: I think we did. There was an A.P.B. out for us tonight because we just got punched out and were lying somewhere. That’s what it was about.
P: Who wanted us to dress up in police uniforms and call us 52 Division and wear police outfits?
They were notorious because they were the downtown cops that would harass the punks.
B: Sean Pilot. He signed Sebastian Bach. He signed him to a personal services contract and then Sebastian joined SKID ROW I guess.
P: It could have been a great idea. (SARCASM)
B: Yeah, no. Do you remember us sitting there in that meeting going “You want us to wear what? Police outfits? No man! We wear what we wake up in.”
A: What I am wearing to school I am wearing to the show.
It is an interesting concept because I was just watching this documentary on the Chicago punks scene and the Chicago punks used to put the Illinois flag on their jacket and that is what the cops used to wear and the cops felt like the punks were making fun of them and that created a certain war that raged between cops and punks in the early Chicago scene. You could have upped the ante that way.
B: We would have taken what would have been a fun little band and made it a complete joke. It was such a bad idea.
A: But what about if we had taken it seriously at that point?
B: Nobody else did.
A: Exactly. And we were just playing for something to do. It would have turned it into something real.
Yeah, but you did spend some time writing songs and putting thought behind lyrics. I always felt it was a real band. You were one of my first exposures to the Toronto scene.
A: It was definitely a real band but all we were trying to do is say what we were trying to say and play music with it. Basically it was a way to have a say in a world where you are not allowed to have a say.
Can I ask you about “Angel of Death”? Was that an A.P.B. song originally?
P: It was. It was actually about the guardian angels.
B: That’s right. The fact that the city didn’t want guardian angels in our city and I couldn’t figure out why. DIRECT ACTION had a song called “Angels of Death” as well.
It’s a different song?
B: Completely different song. When that song was written we didn’t even know DIRECT ACTION. That guy from New York came here and he wanted to have the guardian angels on the subway and the city said “No it is just vigilantism” and I thought how dumb that we can have for free people just wearing a uniform and being on the subway making people feel safe. We have to find an issue with that.
The cops probably felt that it was too much of a threat.
B: Well I saw them once or twice on the subway. You can bet as a punk rocker I’m going “Hey I’m riding on the car with a guy with the red little hat on.”
P: “Stay close to him.”
B: “He might know jiu jitsu.”
Andy you were talking about some recordings. Did you guys ever release a cassette?
P: We had everything recorded we just couldn’t get it together to do it.
A: It was more money than anything else. Trying to find money was the obstacle.
P: It probably would have only cost a hundred bucks to put out fifty tapes to start with. We just couldn’t get it together.
It is an obstacle for sure. Was there a recording at your dad’s place?
B: I had a porta studio back then.
P: It is just four track stuff.
B: That is my love of life. Just recording.
But most of the cassettes coming out at the time were four or eight track recordings. So that would be the standard back then.
P: I remember it sounding very good. It was a lot of fun making it.
So how many recordings exist of your stuff?
B: I have two shows. I have live at the Upper Lip and I have the first cassette that we did. I would have to find them but I have them.
How many songs are recorded? I am just trying to get a sense.
B: Probably 14 live at the Upper Lip. DEAD END played that show. That was opening for DOA.
I was at that show. I remember an encore where they did “Signing in the Rain” and people started spitting in the air. I don’t know if you remember that?
B: No. So we recorded twice at my dad’s and we went to that studio.
P: There was that studio in Scarborough.
A: It was $5.00 an hour.
B: Sandalwood or whatever it was called.
A: It was actually cheaper than renting the stuff and going to your place. It was dirt cheap and it sounded better than I thought it was going to.
P: The stuff off the compilation was recorded there.
A: That’s right.
So one recording for sure at Sandalwood.
B: There was two that we did that we never released.
So there is two songs.
B: No there is about eight songs.
A: There is a bunch of songs.
P: We went in there and did a bunch.
Now that things are so cheap to do and you can do your own distribution through the internet and things like that have you ever considered trying to pull this stuff together.
B: I would have to find it.
P: I don’t know.
A: That was then.
P: You would have to do so much work just to get someone interested in it. It was a long time ago.
You don’t think people would be interested.
P: There might be a few.
I think people would be interested in it. Okay there was a comp that Ken Rentner did called “Does Anyone Here Know How to Tune a Guitar?” Do you know what songs you guys contributed to that?
P: Is that the one that had NO MIND stuff on it as well.
It might have.
P: There was a cassette that had A.P.B. on one side and NO MIND on the other.
I am still trying to find the tape. I have a copy of it somewhere. I have it in storage and I wasn’t able to find it before this interview.
A: Do you remember going to that studio and I did that instrumental song that I was using for a soundtrack. That is on that. I’m not sure how he got a hold of that. He was like “Can I use that?” and I was like “Sure whatever you want.”
P: I might be thinking of another one myself, but I am sure that there is one with A.P.B. and NO MIND. As for what songs are on that maybe “War is Hell”, “Nothing to Prove”. I am guessing.
Those are good guesses.
P: But I could be right. That was recorded properly in the same Sandalwood studio so that made it out onto something.
A: Sometimes the songs that are fun to play are not the best to listen to.
Who did you play with back in the day?
B: Our first big show was opening for the EXPLOITED at 100 Bond Street. That was a packed show. That was when they just broke.
P: “Troops of Tomorrow”.
A: Nobody knew who we were so I kept telling them we were from Yellowknife and they actually believed it.
The people at the show or the EXPLOITED?
A: The people.
P: I didn’t really talk to the EXPLOITED. Actually, I talked to the drummer and the bass player.
B: I talked to them. I talked to Wattie and I talked to Big John.
A: Yeah because we kept being told that they were crazy and they were mean, but they were the nicest guys. “Oh do you guys want to use our equipment? Do you want to use our drums? Do you want to use our amps?” We ended up using all their stuff. And they were the nicest guys.
B: And when I played with them again at Larry’s. They used all our stuff.
A: There you go. Turn around.
P: Karma.
What about locally? Who would you have played with?
B: Played a lot of shows with the CHRONICS. SUDDEN IMPACT.
A: Probably MADHOUSE a bunch of times.
B: Any band that was on this comp we probably played with at least ten shows with for sure. DEAD END.
So the “Toronto Hardcore” comp is an aptly named comp. It represents a certain snapshot of the scene.
B: On any given Friday or Saturday night at Larry’s or the Turning Point it was pick six names out and that was the line up.
It was more than three. There certainly was a lot of bands playing.
A: It was two dollars for cover.
And all the bands you could take.
A: Exactly.
B: A lot of fun.
Can you tell me about “Start Dancing”. What was the point of “Start Dancing”? And was there lots of those shows?
A: There was lots of those shows over a span of a couple of years.
P: Yeah it seemed to go on for quite a while.
A: I helped organize the first one and I figured that was way too much work for me because I was lazy and it was strictly just a dance. More of an excuse of having just a place to go.
I remember there being a turntable up there and people would just go and put records on.
P: It was kind of open format.
A: Paul and Vera were a part of it. Jerry Doyle was part of it.
P: There were a lot of people. The RHEOSTATICS used to hang out there. There were people from the suburbs and downtown that would go. Like Scarborough, Mississauga, Etobicoke or wherever and everyone would congregate there. It was just a lot of fun.
B: The West Hill mall kids like Andy Cash and Pete Cash were always there and Vera.
It was kind of like a punk rock dance but with bands playing at it.
A: Yeah. It didn’t start out with bands. That came in later like maybe the second year it was happening because it only happened once in a while because you would find a place and it was a Legion Hall and then you would have the next one and the neighbours would complain and you would get kicked out and you would have to find another hall to hold it in. That went on for probably three years. I think the second year we started having bands.
They didn’t really happen in the traditional club spots.
B: Because it was non-alcohol it became a place for kids to go. You could play to kids
A: It was the beginning of all ages.
I was 14 at the time so it was certainly one of the shows that I could get into at the time. That and Larry’s.
B: For sure. Back then it was kind of cool because you felt like you were having an influence from taking kids away from ZEPPELIN and TED NUGENT and saying here’s what is really cool. You could open eyes and walk out and there would be these wide eyed kids.
P: Everytime you would play there would be new people. There would be some familiar faces but there would be some fresh faces too. They didn’t just play one type of music. It was very open. There were skinheads there, there were mods, there was punks, and there was the hardcore kids.
B: And everyone got along. There was only scraps when people from outside came in.
P: Like those two dudes in the Starsky and Hutch car in the lumberjackets.
A: They drove through the front door.
No way.
A: Mark Malibu broke his hand jumping over a fence and that was in between the doors when the car crashed through it. I saw my life flash before my eyes. Yeah, those were a lot of fun those shows. Even when they were just the dances they were a lot of fun.
B: Did we play with GBH?
P: Yeah at Larry’s. I think we were thrown on at the last minute.
B: DOA we played with.
A: We played with DRI at the Turning Point. They did 54 songs in 45 minutes.
P: I used to have that set list hung up on my wall.
It was like a roll that unraveled from the top of their speaker stack. I remember hearing about them taping it up and then it would roll out.
A: Did we play with the GUN CLUB at Larry’s one night?
B: No. I remember going to see that show.
Let me ask you about “Not Dead Yet”. There was a film that came out around 1984. Did you appear in that film?
B: Yeah. We end it. Actually the closing credits come up on the green flying V. We are the last band.
Can you tell us about the film? What was the idea behind the film?
B: Just to document the scene at the time.
A: It was done by Ed Mowbray.
P: The UNITED STATES were involved in it. The band.
B: Mark Crossley and Ruth Taylor. I think her mum and her mum’s boyfriend financed the movie and he just wanted a document of the scene back then. Do you remember going to the premier of it? Do you remember at Ontario Place?
A: Yeah.
B: It was shown in one of the giant pods at Ontario Place. It was really cool. It was a good evening.
A: I liked it because it was out of context. It was so not where you would expect it to be shown. It made it even cooler because it was not in a dingy club or something.
P: It wasn’t shown at the Turning Point where it was filmed or Larry’s. It was totally off track. It was great. It was kind of classy. Open bar.
No way.
P: Yeah. I remember that.
That is pretty generous. Did they do an interview with you guys? Did they film other shows? CHRONIC SUBMISSION were talking about a two hour interview that never made it into the film and they were disappointed with that.
A: They did various bits and pieces. I remember Mike from DIRECT ACTION was sitting outside Larry’s one night and he talked to us for like an hour.
P: They were filming a lot at shows. I think our segment was that one show that they filmed at the Turning Point over the two days.
A: I think there was two because they shot us at the Bev upstairs and I think it intercuts the two. I think. I’m not sure.
I saw this flyer for a show called the “Sound of Music” and you guys are on that bill and it looks like the line up. I think that might have been the line up where they were filming from the Turning Point.
P: Yeah it definitely was. I remember because I was using the guy’s kit from UNITED STATE. That’s how I remember things. As far as interviews go, I don’t think they sat us down and interviewed us as a band. I remember doing a couple of different things because they were filming a lot at that time.
Okay. What are your thoughts on the movie now?
P: It was a decent documentation of that time.
It was something that existed.
P: Yeah.
Most scenes didn’t have a documentary about them at that point.
A: And it was made by people that were actually involved as opposed to outsiders coming in and having their interpretation. It definitely has an interpretation but its by people who were there.
For sure.
B: There wasn’t an opinion put on it.
A: It was a presentation.
B: Yeah, it was a presentation. Open up a can of worms and see what the worms are doing. This is what they were doing and it was cool. It was fun to be filmed in a way because nobody else had taken it seriously enough.
Seriously, it kind of gave it a bit of legitimacy to what you were doing.
B: Yeah, precisely.
A: And back in those days there wasn’t camcorders in everyone’s hand and in everyone’s phone and even photos were still film so there isn’t a lot of documentation, of our shows and stuff on film or pictures or video.
Sure, it was a lot more expensive to do.
A: Because, now every single band you want to see. Go to YouTube, type it in you will see 300 shows of every band you can think of.
B: I’m typing in your name when I get home Andy.
A: You’re not going to find anything.
Okay, what was the first show that APB played?
P: Was it?
A: Opening for the EXPLOITED.
P: That was our first show.
A: Didn’t we do any parties before that?
B: Yeah maybe we did some parties but that was our first show…
A: Like probably Kevin’s basement or something?
B: Yeah. We did a couple of parties but that was our first show-show.
A: Yeah that was the first one that was out, you know in the public.
That’s a pretty big show to play!
B: Yeah, that’s what was amazing. We went down to meet the guy who was putting it on…
A: Wasn’t that Lefko doing that?
P: No. It was before his time.
A: Who was that?
P: It was Jamil.
A: Oh, Jamil that’s right.
P: Jam Jam Productions.
Jam Jam Productions, as opposed to Jil Jil.
B: Yeah, Jam Jam. We went to his house on Queen Street in the Beaches and we played him a tape and he said okay you guys can do it and what did we get? Fifty bucks ($50) and a case of beer, or something?
P: Probably.
A: If that!
B: I think we got fifty bucks ($50) and a case of beer.
A: You still owe me something from that, or?
B: I probably owe you, just add it to the total Andy. Put it on my tab.
A running tab! Okay, there was a show at the Upper Lip here that QUARANTINE, I think Pete Jones might have organized this show. Do you remember, these were all ages matinee shows? He was talking about these possibly being some of the first all ages shows ever in North America. Do you recall what these shows were like because there’s a lot of bands. There’s like five bands on a bill.
P: Is that why it says “Jail Bait admitted”? All ages.
Because there wasn’t a term called all ages yet.
P: True enough.
And that’s what he said, he was like, I don’t know how to refer to this—so like he needed something kind of punkish. Jailbait became the term.
P: That’s awesome.
B: I remember that show because at the time I was scared of dogs and Steve Goof had a big German Sheppard. Huge German Sheppard and I remember going I gotta go on in five minutes and I can’t walk past, because the dog was sitting right outside the door at the bottom of the steps, so I stood on Yonge Street with my guitar case for about half an hour, scared.
Trying to figure out how to get in?
B: Yeah, how to get in and get past this big German Sheppard. So I remember that show really, really well!
A lot of fear. Okay, do you remember any of these bands like DECEIVER or BURNING RING that are on this? I’ve never heard of them before.
A: Was BURNING RING a Reggae band?
P: No. BURNING RING were a couple of Australian dudes that lived at a house, I can’t remember the name.
B: In Chinatown there.
A: Yes, just off Chinatown. I can’t remember any of their names right now. They used to cover, “Burning Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash and they were very ramshackle.
B: Darcy right in Chinatown there off Spadina, me and you went to a party there.
P: Oh, we used to go to parties there all the time.
B: They were good guys, they weren’t a very good band, but it was like two guys making a lot of noise.
Yeah, its what you need.
B: DECEIVER, yes I do remember they were like a metal band.
It sounds like a metal band.
B: They were a bit like SABBATH.
A: Were they a three piece?
B: They came out and they had pointy guitars like mine, but they had long hair, I remember them really well. That was when the stage was at the side.
P: Right, yeah. That was a long time ago.
B: For this crowd, they were like us playing a metal show. People just didn’t know what the hell to make of DECEIVER.
What was QUARANTINE like?
P: QUARANTINE were awesome. They were fun. Ken Smuck the lead singer was great as a front man.
B: That was when Johnny was playing with QUARANTINE by then, Greg.
P: But he asked what QUARANTINE was like?
B: Greg was in QUARANTINE by that point I would think? No?
P: But when Ken Smuck was in the band, they were awesome.
B: I think before they became JOHNNY ONSLAUGHT, I’m sure Greg was playing.
P: Were they, I don’t remember that. They were a fun band to play with. Ken had his little stage antics and little pranks and stuff that he used to do.
Oh yeah, what were some of the things he would do?
B: Spit a lot of beer at you.
There was a blood bag that we heard a story about.
P: Yeah I’d rather them talk about that. Let’s talk about that song that ended up in “Not Dead Yet”. I think it was called “Regent Park”.
Oh yeah, “Regent Park”, something yeah “Sniffing Glue in Regent Park”.
P: Classic, yeah. You can get killed in Regent Park, yeah at the time especially—it was tough right? We used to live in a house right down the street from there.
B: Pete and Ken lived under the stairs didn’t they?
P: Yeah.
A: Was that the one on Queen?
P: No, it was Dundas and Sherbourne almost at the corner. It was a big huge house and we used to practice in the basement and so did they at one time.
B: I remember going to parties there.
P: We used to have parties. TSOL.
P: Our basement used to run underneath our neighbours house.
Oh really?
P: Yeah, like it was a huge basement. We had our basement and then there was this cut-out.
Like an alcove almost.
P: It was as if it was like prohibition or something back then, you know it was like this little secret, dark place. Yeah, we used to have wicked parties down there.
B: But like three people lived down there…
He showed me some pictures of them.
P: A lot of people lived in that house it was huge.
What about BFG? What were they like?
P: They were fun!
I mean I know they are still around but what were they like back then?
P: Back then?
I mean they were a very different band back then.
B: Yeah, Bambi was on guitar, Steve was singing, the little guy, can’t remember his name?
P: Brian was the bass player. Probably still the same drummer. They were great fun.
They did a cover of “Meow Mix”, I remember, fun things like that.
P: Yeah, Exactly. There was nobody else like them really at the time, other than maybe BURNING RING. They couldn’t really get through a song.
B: Yeah, by this point we were starting to pride ourselves on musicianship, like being able to play and coming from a couple of years of not being able to play and now we’re sort of getting half decent and BFG just stripped it all away and went “this is punk rock guys!”
P: They didn’t give a shit.
B: This is punk rock.
P: Exactly.
B: This is back to square one. So for me it was just like chaos, but it was fun chaos but you know because like CHRONICS by that point, Christian was a monster on guitar. They were all really talented kids, at that point. Yeah well Christian when I met him was a talented guitar player.
Yeah they talk about him being a bit of a virtuoso before.
B: Yeah, he was way back when.
He was the only one who could tune their guitars because they didn’t know how to.
B: But you get that juxtaposition of really fun and kids went crazy for BFG back in the day. They were fun. Definitely fun.
I have another flyer for a Larry’s Hideaway show on Monday, April 2 and this was in 1984. Do you know about this show, can you remember this show? BFG’s the headlining. APB is opening up with PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE and maybe BLIBBER AND THE RAT CRUSHERS?
P: Yeah. I’m just reading all the other stuff around it, since all the dumb rockers are at JUDAS PREIST, see you at Larrys. Why stay at home and watch TV. That’s hilarious!
It must have been a JUDAS PREIST show on the same night at the Gardens. There’s a great picture of a cop with his back to a punk, I think it looks like Steve Goof and he’s drinking a beer. So Steve’s drinking a beer right behind the cops back in public.
P: Looks like it’s in Kensington Market too.
It’s an awesome little, I mean that’s a great picture right there!
A: The show, I don’t remember the show at all, to tell you the truth.
P: I don’t. But they were headlining. That says something, you know.
Yeah, already. But there was also this collegiality amongst bands in the scene.
B: One thing with the Goofs that they did is that they put stuff out. Like they put out vinyl. They put out tapes. They organized shows. They went on tours. We never had our stuff together enough to get a document of what we were doing. These guys did and then you know they had not the gall or anything but they just went like “Hey you know. Its our show, we’re headlining. You guys can open for us, we open for you guys” and it’s like “Sure, no problem.” You know it just didn’t matter.
There was no egos about that.
B: Definitely not.
Okay, who are POC?
Yeah, who are they?
A: There was a guy named Kent who was in the band, that’s all I remember.
P: Scott sang for them for a while. Yeah.
I think that I’ve heard that Scott was in the band. Would this be the first time you would meet Scott?
P: That would have been it, yeah. Definitely, probably at that show.
Yeah, sure. Okay there is a scene report that came out in Maximum Rock n’ Roll, in August 1984. MRR was four months behind so it would have been written around May of 1984 which is one month after this BFG show just to put it in perspective. The report says, “APB were on retirement but occasionally playing red hot gigs”. What did the writer mean by retirement?
B: Oh, I had probably joined DIRECT ACTION by then.
Around May of 1984?
B: Yeah because I joined them just after New Years of ‘84.
A: Yeah because that was kind of the real show that we had played as a band and I think we all kind of splintered off at that point.
B: Yeah and Andy was starting his band.
But I was tracing this show back here, this next flyer with DEAD END and it was also in ‘84 but it was in September with MICROEDGE at the Turning Point. So it would have been a few months later.
P: We definitely came out of retirement.
You did. It sounds like it. Well I guess you were saying about possibly breaking up and then Buzz joining DIRECT ACTION.
B: There was no animosity and everything was sort of loosey goosey so if someone wanted us to play it was just a matter of jamming a few times and what songs do you want to do.
A: Yeah because we never really had a breakup it just kind of sort of fizzled. Buzz was doing something else.
B: And Paul got the call for the DOUGHBOYS shortly after all that, or a while after all that or a while after that.
P: Ten years after that but I don’t know maybe we used to break up a lot.
B: I don’t think so.
Okay. Can you tell me, so there’s this show in September with DEAD END, who are DEAD END and what were they like?
B: DEAD END were Pete Golly, he was the bass player tall guy who went on to form or played drums in GOB from the west coast.
P: Pete Savage was the singer.
B: Pete Savage?
P: No Pat Savage, sorry. And Joe Average.
B: Joe Average who has moved to Alaska. He was a cousin of the bass player Pete Golly.
A: And he had a recording studio in his garage, a little four track that a bunch of us went to. We did that NO MIND stuff there the first.
B: Yeah they were good. They were a good band.
P: They were a good band. The drummer had a lot of drums.
A: They were guys that could actually play. They were another one of those bands that were actually good players.
And they released two tapes. That makes sense that they would have access to a studio. What about MICROEDGE, who were they?
B: They were like another metal band.
P: Skate band.
A: Yeah they were like a skate thrasher band too.
P: Boris. They were one of the original ones, yeah.
B: They were, weren’t MICROEDGE the predecessors of SUDDEN IMPACT?
Reid English.
P: Reid was the guitar player yeah.
Yeah, Reid played guitar for them and then went onto SUDDEN IMPACT.
A: Yeah and Dave Buchannan, I think was the drummer?
So now I’m going to ask you about CHRONIC SUBMISSION, what were they like? What are your thoughts on the CHRONICS.
P: They were a great band. They were phenomenal.
A: They were really young. Younger then everyone else and they could really play. They were one of the first thrash bands that I ever saw and they were all like 12. And I was like what is this?
B: Yeah, I became really good friends with Christian for a long time. We hung out and we had the same sort of guitar influences, but he was light years ahead. He was way ahead and he was so good and you just couldn’t believe that some kid so young could just be that good and that caring and we were trying to figure out VAN HALEN licks and stuff like that.
Not selfish, like he totally…
B: No, he was just really good.
Because people that talented you would think would be nobs or something like in a normal environment, like in the punk scene…
B: Yeah he was so not a nob.
P: They were all shy. They were all really shy kids.
That probably had something to do with them being so young and hanging out with people that were older than them.
B: They were messy. Like you know, two beers and they were loaded and they were silly.
P: Yeah, they were 12!
B: Yeah they were just kids.
P: They were kids and they were skinheads, so they were just hanging out you know as part of being a band. They were kind of in that skinhead scene so I just remember them always getting like thrown around by the big skinhead guys.
A: I remember the first time I saw them, they started and the first two songs. I’m like what the hell is this and by the third song, more like this is awesome! I totally bought into it after the third song. This is really cool I like this.
B: They could stop on a dime in the middle of a million mile an hour song and then back in and nobody ever missed a cue, nobody missed a beat they were so tight and I, that’s all coming from Christian. Maybe what you were saying earlier, Ruston just being like.
I think it’s a combination.
B: But the musicianship was like well beyond what we were doing for sure!
Okay, I often hear of a story about Paul playing with DIRECT ACTION. Some people have said it was playing with APB and you were really sick and still playing the show and puking mid song, never missing a beat? Puke in your snare.
P: I’ve done it a bunch of times.
P: Oh yeah.
Well, one version I’ve heard was at CBGBs with DIRECT ACTION.
P: Yeah, that’s true.
And another was at the Turning Point.
P: I did it down the Turning Point which was…
So it happened both times?
P: Oh yeah, it happened both times.
But someone else a long time ago told me about you filling in for DIRECT ACTION and this happened at CBGBs.
P: That was the DIRECT ACTION tour.
Yeah and you had the flu or something?
P: Yeah I think it was a thing of nerves.
Yeah, CBGBs.
P: CBGBs was a Hardcore Sunday, it was a very hardcore gig.
New York City.
P: Yeah, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY were on the bill, I loved that band at the time and I think I was beat. Pretty much came home from that tour because I got really ill and I threw up on my snare drum there but the good time at the Turning Point behind the drums where the electrical outlet was. It was down a hole behind the drum kit.
Oh, holy shit, so what happened.
P: That’s where I puked.
Did it short circuit?
P: I don’t know. No. Electricity is very strong but whoever had to reach down there later on. They’re bumming. But yeah, I did I got very good at vomiting while playing drums.
Okay, did you play much, I’ve heard you guys also played with FLIPPER?
P: FLIPPER? I don’t remember that, I don’t think we did?
What about playing in booze can with the NEW YORK DOLLS, is there any truth to that?
B: No, I wish.
P: We would have had to have been older to play with the DOLLS.
B: I went and saw, I think Sean Pilot put on Johnny Thunder’s at Ildiko’s and I went and because I knew Sean I went into the sound check and I was there. TEENAGE HEAD was the group and Johnny Thunders was the act, the star that…
The headlining.
B: …yeah but TEENAGE HEAD backed them up. Johnny Thunder was the coolest guy. So after his sound check I walked up and I said “You know I had Steve Jones guitar pick, I had Rick Neilson’s guitar pick, I had Mick Jones from the CLASH from the O’Keefe guitar pick” and I walked up to Johnny Thunders and I said “Hey, you know I’m a big fan” and you know fanboy right and can I have your guitar pick?” And he looked at me and he goes “Fuck off, just fuck off” and Denise Donelon was standing beside me and she said “Well I was going to ask him for an interview because I think I’ll pass now he seems like a goof.” So being told to fuck off by Johnny Thunders is a badge of honour.
Yeah, pretty much. Did you play many shows outside of Toronto?
B: Not a bunch, definitely some though. We played out in Oakville at a YMCA or something. I remember that it was a community centre we played at.
So pretty much APB is like a Toronto phenomenon.
A: Phenomenon might be strong.
Okay, well what about booze cans. You were saying you played a few booze cans. Where were some of these places at?
B: River street.
P: The main one at the time was on River street.
That’s the one right beside the animal shelter.
A: Yeah its just tucked away.
P: It’s a condo now.
P: There’s Liberty Street. People legitimately live there now.
A: Were you guys there the night that the cops came in?
B: Yes.
A: And the RCMP and the Riot Squad?
The RCMP showed up?
A: Yeah with in full riot gear and there had to be 80 cops and they all came in with assault rifles?
Just because you guys were playing or?
A: Well they thought it was a cult or something.
B: DIRECT ACTION was headlining, we opened. I remember going to court and the judge says so you’ve been charged with alcohol consumption in an unlicensed place, how do you plead? And I said “Well, guilty but with an explanation” and he said “$300.” I didn’t get to talk—I was hired to be—doesn’t matter, oh thanks. Yeah you had to walk through a gauntlet of riot cops.
A: And up those windy stairs.
B: And each one of them gave you a whack with a billy club as you walked past.
Holy shit.
B: So you ended up with like 15 welts on you and they were hard. Steve Goof was there and he was having a beer and the cop says to him you know you gotta put that down, not so nicely right. And he said listen if I’m going to be charged for drinking this beer I’m going to drink it. At which point the billy club just almost broke his arm. Just smashed the beer bottle right out of his hand. All right I just reached over and put mine down on the stage, I’m good officer where do I need to go.
A: I had the exact opposite. The cop who looked at my I.D. goes how old are you? And I said 16 and he goes come here. So he took me over and there was another kid who I didn’t know and he goes here’s the deal, since you are under age your going to get charged with this plus this, this and this and he goes follow me. So he walked me upstairs, through the gauntlet, outside and he goes okay go. Perfect thank you very much and I went off scotfree and you guys all got burned for it.
B: Yeah that’s where my ride went.
CHRONIC SUBMISSION said that because there was a curfew and if you were underage the cops had to babysit you essentially and they didn’t want to do that. CHRONIC SUBMISSION spent many a times at the police stations waiting for their parents to come and pick them up.
B: Did they?
And the cops had to basically sit with them until their parents showed up and they didn’t want to do that. That’s probably what was going on by them letting you go.
A: Yeah probably. Yeah because you guys were already two years ahead of me in school. I think I was always the younger one so it actually paid off there for a change. The other good booze can was that one on Yonge street that we played.
B: Yeah, that was with MDC.
A: Yeah and ARTICLES OF FAITH played that night.
Where was the boozecan on Yonge street.
B: Yonge south of…
A: Down by King, wasn’t it?
B: South of Dundas, north of Queen.
A: Yeah somewhere in that ballpark. It was a big place too.
So that would have been before the Eaton Centre was around.
B: Oh, on the other side of the street, it was upstairs.
P: 63 MUNROE played. It was ARTICLES OF FAITH because MDC were in jail. It was passing the hat around trying to make money to get them out.
Get them out of jail.
P: Yeah because two of the guys were busted.
A: Yeah because that was the weekend we played on Friday and a booze can that night, we played Saturday somewhere, played a booze can that night and then we played two shows, like a matinee on Sunday…
B: It was probably the Matinee that he was talking about.
A: …and then by the time we got done you couldn’t even talk. Your halfway through the last set…
You had no voice left.
A: I can’t hear vocals, its Buzz going…
P: We were on tour, the Yonge Street tour.
A: Yeah the seven block tour.
Well that night of Start Dancing you guys played early, you played first because you had another show to play that night.
P: Really?
Yeah, I totally remember you guys running out the door with your gear and I was like man is this common?
A: I guess it was for us.
Punk bands playing two shows in one night, like that was kind of my first exposures of the Toronto punk scene and I was thinking, wow these guys work fucking hard. Well you know you’re doing two shows in a night.
B: I forgot that we even played Start Dancing.
P: We had another Start Dancing to get to.
Okay when did the band break up, was it in 1984, late 1984?
B: I think ‘84 because…
A: It would have been early ‘84.
B: Because I was asked to join DA and so that’s when I joined them but I don’t think we ever just stopped playing.
A: It just kind of fizzled I think.
B: Yeah. As far as I’m concerned we’re still together. We’re just waiting for our next show.
A: You just haven’t been in the same room since 1986.
You guys played in NO MIND together after, right? Can you tell us about who NO MIND were and how that came about? Were you guys trying to find something after Buzz left.
P: Because I started ‘85ish, ‘86, ‘85.
A: No it was late 84 when I started with Dave and Scott was singing.
So Andy you were in NO MIND first.
A: Yeah and Steve Lion was drumming and that went on for five or six months and then he left and then I called you and then you came in and then we did that.
P: Yeah because I remember Scott was bothering me for a while asking me and I just kept humming and hawing for whatever reason. I don’t know what I was waiting for but it was fun. I remember the first rehearsal and just leaving thinking …
A: In that tiny little place the size of this room.
P: …it was just awesome. Like Dave Walsh the guitar player he was just phenomenal and that band pretty much was kind of an extension of AFHAKEN.
That’s Dave’s old band.
P: … yeah it was the band Dave Walsh was in with Richard Carson and they were just, they were great.
And Richard Carson wrote a lot of stuff for NO MIND too, right?
A: A lot of old AFHAKEN songs.
P: We started playing basically like five AFHAKEN songs, which was easy to do because we both knew them just from seeing them play a billion times and they were great. It was a fun band.
Okay, why did APB break up? Was it just because you guys were doing other things?
P: I think mostly it was…
A: I think we were just sort of branching out and we were sort of, punk was changing and we were all sort of starting to listing to different things. I was kind of going more towards like a pop sort of thing and Buzz was doing more of a VAN HALEN thing and I don’t know what the hell you were doing.
B: Well I was playing in DA.
A: You guys were getting heavier and I was getting lighter. I was going more towards the pop melody stuff and they were going towards more metal stuff.
P: Yeah that could have been it because I remember Buzz leaving for DIRECT ACTION and I think there was probably an argument over a girl or something, that probably just solidified it all. But then you know we ended up playing in DIRECT ACTION together and stuff so I guess it wasn’t that serious right? Right?!
What do you think APB’s contribution is to the punk scene, the Toronto punk scene was?
A: I never really thought we had much of one to tell you the honest to god truth.
B: Do you know what we were nice guys.
A: I always felt vaguely like the outsider.
B: We were not intimidating. We were always willing to play shows and we weren’t pricks to any of the other bands. We always lent equipment and made it easy, made it easy for bands. It was that sort of attitude that was pretty prevalent throughout the scene but as we got a little bit older, bands like the CHRONICS were coming in behind us all and the bands that we learned from all sort of shared that same mentality. Even if we were just a stitch in the time of all of these things. Street kids having fun and not having an attitude and being nice to the other bands that you played with and being nice to the people that came out to see ya. I would hope that’s what we left and started with. I don’t think that changed. We were always nice to our crowd.
A: Yeah I think we took what we did seriously but we never really took ourselves all that seriously. We had a sense of humour, yet we still had something to say.
B: You know, you’d play with bands from out of town and you know you couldn’t even look at their amp.
P: Can I use that?
B: Yeah, sure you can. Turn it up as loud as you want. You know and it never mattered. Because mostly because I was using Andy’s stuff so. No but that’s what I hope that people just you know in hindsight the bands that we played with went, oh yeah, they were good guys, they were good to us and we were good to them.
One of the things I was thinking of is that you also provided, I mean because I agree with Andy when you were saying that there’s like a seriousness but also some lightheartedness to A.P.B. in terms of the lyrics. I mean that’s even in the songs on this comp. Its pretty much there but one of the things I was thinking is that you also provided a model for how youth subcultures could work together. I always thought of Andy being part of the mod and you guys being the punk kids and I felt that you stood up there together and played. This showed the rest of the kids that we could all get along. You were the SHAM 69 “If the Kids United”. You were living it. And as a three piece you said you didn’t need four guys. You know just get up here and rock in some ways, right? It was that easy, just get up here, best friends and started playing and make an arrangement.
B: And that’s what it started as and that’s what it really ended as too. Like Andy would come up on stage and we’d be wearing what we wear and Andy would have a shiny red shirt on and it didn’t matter.
P: Yeah, it was never like can you change? Wear what we’re wearing. It was whatever.
As a kid getting into it, it certainly led, it took the pressure off a little bit and said its about having fun its not so serious about finding a leather jacket and spiking up the hair, its all about having some fun about yourself.
P: It’s just an attitude.
A: It was easier for me to shop because I could go to Marks Work Wearhouse. Instead of having to go and find the cool leather jacket I can just go got Marks Work Wearhouse buy a pair of workpants and be done with it!
Yeah for sure! You guys went onto play in incredible bands, what do you think would have happened had APB stayed together.
A: I’d of killed them both.
P: Yeah probably.
Really? You guys seem like great friends still, even to this day like you seem…like you can still get in the room together and hang out and just have conversations.
B: What would have happened, good question.
Because, you know I would think you guys would have become a monster band, you would have been…
A: I think we were at the end of our time. Everything has a lifespan. I think it was over and it wasn’t like we said there was no you know I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I don’t want to see you again, screw this band, I think it just ran its course and it was over so I don’t think it could have stayed. It would have been forced after that. You know, like you see a lot of bands stay way longer then they should have stayed together and you listen to what they’ve done and you think “Wow that’s really bad.” Its not because they got any worse they just lost what they had.
B: I think for us at this point if we were together it would be silly. I couldn’t seriously sing any of this stuff at this age. I hate you or whatever the heck the lyric was. I mean you know from the perspective of a young kid writing it and that time frame that it was written in its not embarrassing but it would certainly be embarrassing now but could we get up and play together? Probably.
P: Yeah, it would be fun.
B: It would be fun but it would have to you know, be something I don’t like the USSR, you know there isn’t even a USSR, I don’t think that would quite work anymore but that’s just the way it goes. We did end at the right time.
A: I think so too. All of us had different things we wanted to do. Even though I went on to play bass with NO MIND I wanted to go back to playing guitar because I was a guitar player. I was not a bass player.
B: You can play, I was going to say this earlier when you talked about a three piece, Andy played a lot of chordal stuff on bass. He filled up a lot of sonic space.
That’s what, yeah the way your describing it, I was thinking, well did he play or bass?
B: Yeah, he played a lot of the, he played a lot of the song…
P: Guitar on bass, pretty much.
Yeah, that’s what it sounds like.
A: I think this was the first band to ever play, I actually had to buy your old mans bass from him for like $25 dollars or whatever that was, which I’ve still got somewhere.
B: Yeah, playing out of two amps, one with a distortion box so and it was huge, huge sound.
Yeah, and I remember seeing NOTHING IN PARTICULAR and I’m thinking Andy plays guitar? Because I always saw him on bass.
A: Because that’s what I always was, was a guitar player until APB.
B: Sorry, I mean it made writing easy too, right because you’ve got two guys, and I played bass in Mark. We never really switched off in APB, eh?
A: No never.
B: That’s crazy.
A: That’s because I didn’t want to play the flying “V”.
B: Yeah, I wouldn’t let you!
A: Yeah, that’s what it was.
B: I could only use your stuff, you couldn’t use mine.
A: See one way street.
One last question. What are your thoughts on the Toronto Hardcore scene now looking back on it so many years later.
P: On the past scene?
Not today’s scene, the past scene.
P: It was a lot of fun. I had a really good time, it was a good time to come up. Learned a bit, made some good friends along the way, it was great.
A: I think it was a unique time. For us and most of the bands, you weren’t playing to make money…
P: Definitely not!
A: You weren’t playing to make it a career because who was going to play that stuff on the radio, first off, like nobody and there was no real way to make money. If you made a record you were hoping to make enough to make another record not to live off of and every other era in music, in almost every other genre you’ve, you make money to become famous and you play music to become famous and on and on and on. I think we played because we wanted to play. Knowing full well there was no future in this, in the punk rock side anyway. Which kind of almost makes it, you know seem somewhat pure?
Yeah, it takes the pressure off of having to follow bullshit lines of whatever, you know.
A: Yeah you just did what you want and played what you could and you had the freedom to play whatever you want and look however you wanted, which was good.
B: I think for me the, whether it be the hardcore scene or the punk rock scene which to me is somewhat different…
A: Yeah they are two separate things really.
B: …but it gave me a perspective that I still live my life from which is not you know question everything but certainly question people’s perspective. Where are they coming from to have that viewpoint and you know how do you want to be treated, how do you want to treat others and how do you want to go through life? I know that I still have punk rock values, I mean I still live punk rock values. It doesn’t mean I sleep in a car and drink only lousy beer but it certainly offered me a viewpoint to move forward with. It was a unique time and I don’t know if you’d get that now out of the music scene, I think now the music scene has just become so splintered that really what you might only get out of it is the music, rather than a lifestyle but back then it certainly offered a lifestyle and a perspective on life so, that’s what I got out of all my years of, you know in that scene.


  1. wow excellent and long ass interview. thanks for posting. I foudn out about this band when i finally watched the Not Dead Yet documentary. I think their live set was in the last moments of the documentary.. but it sounded great. it's too bad they have nothing recorded.

  2. Interview so precise..wow I was around
    100 bonds street..turning point..all the they spoke of I was there..fucking amazing good memory dudes..exploited etc.start dancing..every single word is truthful...black pete

  3. Interview so precise..wow I was around
    100 bonds street..turning point..all the they spoke of I was there..fucking amazing good memory dudes..exploited etc.start dancing..every single word is truthful...black pete