By Vish KhannaCanadian underground rock icon Ian Blurton understands why fans might be upset that, after nine years of bringing the rock, C'mon are playing their final shows together this month before breaking up. But the man himself is notably upbeat about the situation.
"It's great, it's awesome; life is good," he says cheerily, "Don't be sad. We're trying to celebrate; quit bringing us down man."
As someone who made his name in the influential Change of Heart, which formed some 30 years ago, and has gone on to produce amazing records -- including almost every single one by the Weakerthans -- Blurton's a real seen-it-all kind of guy. So he and his C'mon bandmates, Katie Lynn Campbell and Dean Dallas Bentley, have enough experience and perspective to know that their punk-infused power trio has simply run its course.
"People wanna do different things in their lives," Blurton says. "We've all been touring for a long time in this band and other bands and it doesn't get any easier for us. Don't know why; probably because we make it harder on ourselves. Nine years is a long time for a band. I was talking about this yesterday; all my favourite bands only made three records and barely existed for five years. So, we feel lucky."
Even though it's pretty common these days for bands to announce a "hiatus" rather than a definitive break-up, Blurton's having none of it. "So lame," he scoffs. "Are you a band or are you not a band? I think that's wishy washy."
So, this really is the end of C'mon and, for now, Blurton says individual members have no immediate plans to pursue any other musical projects. "I think we're all gonna sleep for a long time. We're all tired. We don't have a booking agent or a manager. We have friends who put out records for us but none of them have huge budgets and you have to do a lot of stuff yourself."
"When we started the band, one of our models was Black Flag. Not that we're anything like Black Flag but just the whole SST thing of grinding it out. And we tried and we did our best and had tons and tons of great shows. And we're about to have a bunch more."
Since the final batch of concerts was initially announced (and dubbed the "Climbing the Mountain Tour"), there's been a key addition. "We're now opening up for Fucked Up at the Mod Club," Blurton says. "They tossed us a bone and we're gonna chew on that bone and that spit it back out and say 'Pfft, good bye bone.' We did one of their Halloween extravaganzas at the El Mo maybe five or six years ago. It was amazing but their audience hated us beyond belief, it was incredible."
Why would Fucked Up fans hate C'mon? "Well, we're better than them," Blurton says, laughing. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding."
In terms of their final two Toronto shows, C'mon will focus more on their first records, Midnight is the Answer and In the Heat of the Moment at Cherry Colas, and then at the Bovine, they'll concentrate more on their last two records, Bottled Lightning of an All-Time High and Beyond the Pale Horse. At every show but Kingston (which is free to attend), the first 40 paying customers will each receive a complimentary copy of a new C'mon double A-sided seven-inch.
The band are also doing a live recording at Chemical Sound on Monday October 17 and running a contest for the 30 available audience spots at thisiscmon.com. Fans are encouraged to e-mail the band and, in 30 words or less tell them why they would like to be there. C'mon will choose the winners and "Haiku and other forms of wordplay are encouraged."
In the end, Blurton is likely more emotional about the end of his band then he's letting on, but he seems completely at peace with the fact that C'mon is finished on its own terms. "It's time," he says. "I don't wanna be 50 years old, standing on a table, and kicking somebody's drink over, and that's an integral part of the band. But, as you get older, your body hurts more. I tore my rotator cuff two tours ago and it still hasn't healed. All these things add up."
10/11 Toronto, ON - The Mod Club # 10/13 Kingston, ON - The Toucan * 10/14 Ottawa, ON - The Dominion Tavern ^* 10/15 Montreal, QC - Barfly ^+ 10/17 Toronto, ON - Chemical Sound Studio 10/19 Waterloo, ON - Starlight ^ 10/20 Toronto, ON - Cherry Colas % 10/21 London, ON - Call the Office $ 10/22 Toronto, ON - The Bovine Sex Club *$&
# with Fucked Up * with Miesha and the Spanks ^ with The Mercy Now + with The Dead Messenger % with Shevil $ with Bison BC & with Burning Love