Deja Voodoo's Gerard Van Herk Og Records

When did you first form?
We formed in 1981, but didn't put anything out until 1982. The whole first year was just in Montreal, then we started taking short trips to Quebec City and Ottawa.

Was there anyone else in Montreal doing what you were doing at the time?
Somewhere between zero and none. That's an approximate number. When we started, there was very much a synthesiser, clubby dance kind of thing going on, and we were very different. Which was nice in a way, because bands could sound like whatever they wanted to outside of that thing, because there was no traditions of bands - unlike other cities that might have traditions of roots music, or punk. Montreal had none. Actually, there was a band before us called the Ontario Motor, who were a really good band.

Were they in a similar vein as yourselves?
Yeah, but slightly more talented.

It was Cemetary that was the first album?
The first vinyl. We had an EP and a cassette before that.

When did you first cross the country?
Just before Cemetary came out, we went out west. Before that, Toronto was the furthest we had played.

What was the reaction to what you were doing? It was pretty minimalist next to the zeitgeist at the time.
It was pretty much always positive. I don't know if we had some kind of self-screening mechanism, but people who were unlikely to like us never bothered to come see us in the first place. It always seemed to be positive. We always worked at getting it across live.

The first release was on Midnight?
The first album was on Og, then the second thing we did was on Midnight, and I think that was the only thing we had on Midnight: Too Cool To Live Too Smart To Die.

What was Midnight?
It was run by a guy who ran a collector's record store in New York City, the same as Primitive in Montreal, and he ran a label. Most of his sales went to Europe. But those kind of guys aren't used to bands don't sound just like the records they have from the '60s. I don't know if it was the best home for us. We had been selling some records through their mail order to them, and they'd been distributing it and thought it would be good to do an album.

So you were looking for a market outside of Canada.
It was good for us from that point of view, not so much for the U.S. but for Europe.

Were Gruesomes the first band signed to Og?
No, the first Jerry Jerry record. He moved to Montreal shortly after that. They still lived in Edmonton when they recorded that. We encountered word of him; people kept telling us, "You will love this band." Then eventually someone got around to sending us a tape, and we said, "Yes! We will love this band!" The tape they sent us was much wilder and rawer than the first album, and I don't know if it ever came out again. It was on Rubber Records in Edmonton.

So that was the beginning of the Og empire outside of Montreal?
I think so. We put out a four-song Montreal compilation on a seven-inch, which featured Condition, Terminal Sunglasses, and the American Devices. Also, the Terminal Sunglasses album came out on Og at the same time or a bit before Jerry Jerry.

Was Og the first independent with a national scope, as opposed to a regional one?
It might have become that way by default, just because we were touring around the country so much and finding out about all these bands. I'm sure that's not completely true; it sounds like overstating what we did, but I can't think of anyone else.

Who compiled the It Came From Canada compilations?
It was the two of us. We got tapes in the mail. If you start a record company and stay around long enough and have a mail box number, within a year's time you'll start getting more tapes than you could ever listen to. We found very few bands through the mail; it was usually a friend of a friend thing. But we listened to every damn one, even though they'd build up in a big pile, and we'd write back to everyone who sent us a tape because it was the right thing to do. But I don't think we got more than a couple of ICFC bands that way.

Was there a point when more people started to take notice?
A lot of stuff was very gradual. By sheer coincidence we happened to be playing in Montreal when the campus radio conference was in Montreal, and we didn't even know they were in town; we weren't the most intelligent promoters in the world. A bunch of people showed up and took tapes back to their radio stations, and that gave us a framework to set up tours. That was right before Cemetary. That helped, and then once we were up on the good foot that way, if you're consistent and keep putting stuff out, even if you don't get better at doing something, stuff builds after a while.

Brave New Waves were big supporters.
Definitely. It helped that they were in Montreal, too.

Montreal was very much the epicentre of a lot of things.
I think that goes back to the freedom that the city had, because there was no big established live music scene of any kind. The synth-pop stuff was all records, there weren't real bands who went out and played. You could do whatever you wanted, because no more than 13 people were going to like you anyway. So you might as well play what you want to play!

Then many of those bands would find an audience across Canada. It's interesting that Jerry Jerry moved to Montreal. Did he have an audience there, or was he playing to the same 13 people you were?
I think it was a bit more than 13 by that point. Gigs were so far apart in the Prairies that it made sense for him to come east. A lot of Westerners were moving to Montreal at that time, there was a bit of an expatriate community there; like bars you could go to that sold beers you could only get in Saskatchewan, just because there were so many Westerners living around St.Henri. It was some hipster version of Americans going to Paris in the '20s, where you could go to this cool city where you can have a good time and have cheap rent.

There was also a weird cross-pollination between Doughboys, Men Without Hats, Voivod, all these odd bedfellows worked together quite a bit. Did they ever cross over with Og people?
Occasionally. We'd see some of those people at our shows and vice-versa, to some extent. We even talked to the Men Without Hats guys at one point about doing something together, but it never happened. Once people started to talk, we realised how far apart we actually were. And too, they had marketing people who knew what to do, and of course no one knew what to do with us, because neither did we.

The first Gruesomes record came out within a year of them getting together, didn't it?
Yes. We knew them before they were a band, more or less. John and Bob would be at shows, Terminal Sunglasses quite a bit. The Terminal Sunglasses used to have what they called "fuck bands," a band you'd do on the side just for fun but sounded different. The Gruesomes would always be going to see those bands, and so would we. By the time they were playing, we were hanging around.

What were the Terminal Sunglasses like live?
I always had trouble getting a handle on them. They had very divergent musical tastes. Chris the lead singer guy was very Iggy-ish in his own way, and the rest of them were more calmer, and more noodly than the other Montreal bands. Their audience overlapped with some of those bands, but not completely. They were neat. Speaking personally, I would love two songs and then hate the next two.

Did The Gruesomes do very well right away?
They did pretty well from pretty early on. Anyone who decided they didn't like them just went away, and other people just liked them. They had a broader appeal than a lot of other bands, which helped. They'd get people from the ska scene.

They were more of a pop band than a lot of the others.
They had the correct number of instruments. And good hair. Even though we were playing different music, it's still Montreal, where at that time you wouldn't get on stage wearing yesterday's T-shirt and jeans. That's just the way people are in Montreal; you put on make-up to go to the corner store. For women, too!

What were integral parts of the Voodoo stage persona?
Realising that every song sounds the same, but that it's not what rock'n'roll is about. It didn't really matter, like the Ramones. We'd always play not as fast as possible, but as hard as possible, and if we had room for jokes that was good. We'd try to take down walls between performer and audience, so we'd spend a lot of time in the audience.

A lot of the ICFC bands had an interest in blues, which wasn't in vogue anywhere else in the '80s.
I think what happened with a lot of Og stuff was that there was that rockabilly revival, which of course appealed to Montrealers because it meant dressing up and doing your hair. But the actual musicians who listened to that stuff would take rockabilly back to its roots and listen to R&B and blues. There was a record store in Montreal called Cheap Thrills were you could get a lot of that stuff on reissue. There was also a campus radio show that would play all that stuff, and we'd listen to that. There was tendrils of interest going back to all of that stuff.

The raw nature of the music tied in directly with the punk that people grew up on.
Yes. It was do-it-yourself party music.

What was the Canadian touring scene like at that time?
It was fairly ad hoc. Places and promoters would come and go fairly fast, and every now and then you'd get hosed. We toured quite often so we never got out of touch with any particular city, but it was a make-it-up-as-you-go-along. It wasn't picking up the phone and saying, "Hey you, book me a tour."

Were you holding down jobs at the time as well?
The early years we were both sandwich makers until 1987, then we did it full time for a couple of years. Once we started going to Europe, we'd be gone so long that our boss wouldn't hold our jobs for us.

Where in Europe?
Oddly enough, it was opposite ends: Greece and Finland. Then on each trip we'd fill in a few countries in between. We'd been sending out a fair number of promotional copies over there, and that one record came out on Midnight over there. There was also a distributor in Amsterdam who would get the record into the one cool store in each town. Eventually this guy in Finland decided to put out a Deja Voodoo album, and he set up a few shows. We booked a few more through friends of friends of friends of friends. The first time we had very few gigs, like five, and we built it up from there. We lost money the first time, and after that we'd make money. Once we sold the car and started touring by bus and train, the advantages of being a two-piece band kicked in and we could do all kinds of stuff. On the last European tour, we had seven shows in six days in four days. You'd just hop on the train, and not have to worry about staying awake or anything. Everything fit into four big packages; we'd take two each.

How'd you get to Greece?
Somebody had said they could get us a show there, so we phoned and said, "We're coming, we're coming." They said "Great, we'll be happy to see you," but they didn't actually believe we'd show up until we phoned them from Italy two days before, and the managed to put the show together and it went quite well. We eventually put out an album in Greece.

What did people know about Canadian music?
A little bit, not a lot. One guy told me the only musicians he knew of from Montreal were Deja Voodoo and Corey Hart. We had to admit to him that we never hang out together.

Where were the BBQs held?
The first couple of years they were just in Montreal, and one year we did Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. I think we did five of them. Once we started doing ICFC there were lots of bands around, so it made sense. Once on an Easter weekend we took two or three bands, rented some vans, and did Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto or something.

Many of those bands were regionally based, coming from places I didn't think bands came from before.
We tried to get a balance. They were always heavily weighted towards Montreal and Toronto, but we tried to get away from that. If we had a choice between two bands we liked equally and one was from Montreal and one was from somewhere else, we leaned towards the somewhere else band.

Were there ever any from out East? Or just Guilt Parade from Fredericton?
Just them.

Have you run into inspirational stories about Og over the years?
Sometimes in the strangest places, like someone will pop up when I'm at the mall and say, "Hey, I know you!" Usually it's a heart-warming story like how the first time they got drunk was at a BBQ. I was in Chicago for a conference last year, and I got back to my hotel room to find a message saying, "Are you the same Gerard that used to be in Deja Voodoo?" That was really strange, when I'm in my professor mindset and there's some guy who wants to talk bands.

Had it just run its course by the end?
It was still growing. I guess from the minions of geeks point of view we could have kept it going, but I was married at that point and wanted to be home more. Even years before, we'd tell people how much we disliked seeing really old guys playing in bands that didn't know when to die. We weren't referring to anyone in particular, except maybe DOA. (laughs) I'm sure we weren't thinking of DOA, probably older people in their 60s.

Did Og die at the same time?
We considered continuing it, and we had obligations; we promised a couple of bands that we'd put stuff out. But I felt bad, because Voodoo was subsidising Og a fair bit, and once we stopped being a band that stopped happening, and once we stopped doing all these gigs we weren't in contact with everyone all the time. It trickled out at the end. And the Gruesomes decided to call it quits at the same time, so that kind of sealed it.

A couple of years later everyone had an indie label and was driving on the roads that Og paved.
Well, again, I got out of it so fast that I'll have to take your word for that! In some ways, the sheer mechanics of running a label are easier now. CDs are easier to mail, and to cut as well to some extent. Back then it was all breakable vinyl, and you had to pack them in these stupid cardboard boxes. People would come by my house at ten at night because they had an electronic music label and they needed some mailers and they knew we had a few. Weird shit like that. It was some French language psycho electro-acoustic label. But the independent scene was small enough that you did a fair bit of that.

Who put out full-length releases on Og? Jerry Jerry, the Gruesomes...
I think for a while we did Voodoo and another band, Voodoo and another band, then Voodoo and two other bands. The Dik Van Dykes had two... the Gruesomes had three... just the one Jerry thing... in the last year we had a whole bunch of stuff because we'd signed with a more commercial distributor, and they needed lots of records all the time, so we started sub-distributing some other bands. We kept doing it with Cargo as well, but we needed these people to get us into the shmucky mall stores, which in retrospect was a huge mistake. We should have stuck with Cargo and the Record Peddler and Zulu and the smaller distributors.

What was the company?
Electric, and they went out of business. They were largely a dance music distributor.

The Ripcordz?
Yep, the Ripcordz was in the last year. Captain Crunch and Let's Do Lunch, UIC, Supreme Bagg Team, and the Vindicators.

Many people from the "ickfucks" went on to greater things. The Cowboy Junkies, obviously...
The Junkies, we played a lot of shows with them, but they weren't an especially Og-y band. By the time that It Came From Canada (Vol. 4) came out, they were already on the verge of doing something.

Where did you play with them?
Mostly out West.

That strikes me as an odd bill.
An incredibly odd bill. I think it was their first tour out West when we played with them. Their audience would go to the front of the room when they played, and our audience would buy beer. Then the room would shift when we went on. The weirdest thing I remember doing with them was a Halloween gig in Winnipeg for CBC radio program "Night Lines." Both of us played two gigs in two nights. They opened for us at the University of Manitoba, and we opened for them at the Bluenote bar, and that was the show that was being recorded for "Night Lines." We both did our gigs, jumped into taxis or cars, and zoomed to the other venue and met each other on the way and did our separate gigs. I think they played until 4 a.m.; I remember going back to catch the last bit of their set.

... Any idea where Julia Gilmore is?
Last I heard, living on a farm near Toronto somewhere.

E.J. Brule?
I think he's still in Montreal. Just before I moved to Ottawa in 1994 and after I got out of music entirely, someone was doing a retrospective at Radio McGill and I went in for an interview. The next day I got a phone call from E.J., based on the assumption that I was going to start putting out records again! But I haven't heard from him since.

Deja Voodoo's Tony Dewald
I've been making beer for the last ten years. I started in Toronto at the Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and then in 1997 I moved back to Montreal. When the band broke up I looked for work in Montreal, but in 1990 the work situation was quite desperate here. I had a friend in Toronto who was the brew-master there, and he offered to teach me how to make beer. I gave him a call one day and a week later I was working.

The band broke up in 1990.
We did our last show on December 19, 1989. When we started in 1980, we had said that when we turned 30 it was all over. Gerard turned first; he's a year older than me.

Was there a national independent label before Og? Or was it the first to have not only a national presence but a national roster?
There were a lot of other independents at the time, like Psyche Industry here in Montreal, and they went on to Cargo Records. Pipeline was even before Psyche Industry, and they were also Cargo.

Were those people signing bands from Vancouver or Hamilton?
No, I don't think so. We only started signing non-Montreal bands when we started doing the ICFC series. The Terminal Sunglasses were first, in 1985 I believe. But that was the type of record where they put up the money for the project and we just put it out.

Other than Psyche and Pipeline, were there other precedents, or was Og just born out of necessity?
That was basically what it was. We were always prolific songwriters, and in 1982 when we put out our first single, we happened to get lucky. A few days later there was a college radio conference in Montreal, and we were doing a show at the Foufounes Electrique and a lot of those people came down and we got a bit of a buzz going. We hung out in the suite where people hang out, the schmooze room, and started handing out singles and buttons and what have you, and we got a lot of interest out of that. From there what happened was we got a national tour through it. Then we had a lot of songs and didn't feel we were ready for a record, so we decided to put out a cassette. Then we found out that in order to get a good price on cassettes you needed to make a crapload of them, so we figured we could never sell that many cassettes ourselves, so we signed another band, which was Condition. Og 2 was Dirty Business, a Condition cassette. We put out Og 1 and 2 at the same time, both cassettes; ours was Gumbo. We couldn't call ourselves Deja Voodoo records like on the single we put out, because we were now putting out bands other than Deja Voodoo. So we called ourselves Og, because of that series of children's books that Pierre Berton had put out. Both Gerard and I read them as kids, and they stuck in our heads. We put those out and things started going really well. After the first tour, we decided it was time to do an album, which was Cemetary.

What was the Canadian touring scene like at that time?
It was totally non-existent. We were the only Eastern bands going out West for touring. The West already had a tradition of touring, and we heard lots of stories about Los Popularos, and Jerry Jerry was also touring the prairies at that point. Los Popularos were the big buzz, they were Art Bergmann's band. They were legendary for drinking and car troubles.

Did you know their records at all?
I just knew their touring reputation. It wasn't the sort of music I was listening to at the time.

Were there any local or Canadian influences at the time?
We were definitely different. Gerard and I were listening to a lot of Cramps, and original versions of where the Cramps' tunes came from.

A lot of the Og people drew from traditional music, and my first exposure to traditional country was through people like Ray Condo. It wasn't really in the zeitgeist at the time.
One of the things that qualified people to be on Og was that they listened to or knew about stuff from the past, and they would fuck with it to make it their own. That's what drew Gerard or I into it.

Montreal was very much the centre of things: Ray Condo moved there, Jerry Jerry moved there. Was what it about that time in Montreal?
Our success had a lot to do with it. People saw that we were able to do it. Gerard and I are huge Montreal boosters, we always were, so we'd go around talking about how great it was, and people bought into it. Montreal is welcoming to artists because it's very cheap to live here, and you can get a lot done, and it's close to central Ontario ¾ a place where you can make a lot of money without having to pay the exorbitant rent to live there. That's why a lot of people hung out here, and moved here. Montreal has always had a weird scene for live music, and it has to do with the winter and the isolation. You're allowed to develop on your own, you play your own brand of weirdness and because there's not a lot of clubs that you could play at, there was no homogenous sound like what was coming out of Toronto at that time. In Toronto there were clubs who had an idea of what would sell, so a lot of bands would tailor their music so they could play out more at clubs and they would get noticed that way.

How did your Montreal-bred music go over in other cities, then?
People saw us as pretty weird, right off the bat.

Was it the hearse?
It wasn't a hearse, it was a '59 Edsel. We got more press out of the Edsel than from anything else we ever did!

Where, in car magazines?
No, in student newspapers and stuff. Everyone picked up on the Edsel. It got us our thing in Spin, because Andrea Anthal who was writing the underground column at that point was a huge Edsel fan, so as soon as she found out we had an Edsel she started sending us drawings and cartoons and just wanting to be our friend, basically. She was really nice to us, and that little article she did on us did quite well for us, and after that we got signed to Midnight Records for the Too Cool To Live EP.

The Montreal scene was always quite diverse, apart from the Og scene, with people like the Doughboys, Men Without Hats, Voivod, who all seemed to travel in the same circles. Was there much interaction with that crowd?
Everybody came out. Gerard and I had been going to punk shows in Montreal since '76, '77, and when you're one of the 12 people you see everywhere at all the shows - there was a show every few months - you knew everybody. Montreal developed that way at first. There wasn't enough niche things to do, so everyone went to everything. In the early days you saw everyone everywhere.

Was that around Foufounes?
Well, Foufounes only opened in '85. There was a club called the Hotel Nelson Bar and Grill where the punk shows went on.

How did they survive if only 12 people were coming to the shows?
Well, there was a bit more than 12. At first we had to book space and put on our own shows, because there were no bars willing to put us on.

Later on there would be the Asexuals and the Nils. Did that stuff come out of a different space?
A different space, really. I didn't like that kind of music. At that time we were both completely into discovering old stuff, our tastes were getting older and older. Like cave people making rock and roll records. Nothing else mattered. Hardcore? Woo-hoo.

And that taste extended to curating the compilations.
Exactly. And the compilations came from a lot of the bands we saw that opened for us across the country, and us liking a song or two and yet knowing that there was no hope in hell of these people selling even a few hundred albums. So putting a track on a compilation, we thought we could move a couple of records here and there in each band's hometown.

The national scope of it always struck me, because there would always be city compilations, but rarely ones that featured bands from Victoria, BC and Exeter, Ontario and Fredericton, NB. Was there any precedent to that kind of compilation?
We just wanted to put out a compilation of all these great bands we saw from across the country. The first ICFC sold so well that immediately we said, "Wow, we got to do more of these!" We sold out the first pressing in a week and a half, just from shipping orders. We had national distribution at that point. Cemetary sold quite well, and because we were touring as well, we were very lucky in that some record distributors were able to use us as their calling cards to get into a lot of stores. They liked us a lot, and they were willing to strike a deal where they would pay for things up front which allowed us to cover the pressing, which enabled us to put out some of those records.

Looking at the Og release schedule, it certainly never over-extended itself.
In the record industry at the time, you needed to have your next release come out in order to get paid for the previous batch. Gerard and I thought, let's get a regular release schedule so that people are always wanting the next thing so that they have to pay for the back stuff. Or else they never will!

What was your criteria for bands that put out full-lengths?
Stuff we dug. We were an artist-run label, and we had a view about what we wanted to put out. At one point we were getting 50 or 60 demo tapes a week in the mail. At one point the Tragically Hip sent us like five or six in a row, and we had to start sending them letters back saying, "No, we hate you, please don't send us stuff anymore!" Their stuff was always the most professionally-packaged. They were religious about sending out demo tapes to us, and we kept sending them letters saying, "No, don't bother. You're just not our style. Don't you understand? Go away!" We also got a lot of tapes from out of the country. A lot of stuff from Japan. Once you start getting listed in Maximum Rock'n'Roll or Option, people would make lists - I know we did - of every record label, and they would send their stuff all over. We never signed a band based on one of those cassettes. A few got onto the compilations, but we never signed a band for a full-length record that way. We were about to, with a band called Gordie Gordo and the G-Men from Waterloo, Ontario. But then the whole CD revolution happened and we went out of business.

How often did you tour?
Two tours a year for eight years. Around the same times of the year; we'd do a tour in Sept/ early Oct every year to get the students back in school, and we'd do a tour in the winter because there was no competition! No one else was going to play Saskatoon in February. And we did four European tours.

Obviously you had reasons to go back.
In Finland we did incredibly well. We had a good relationship with a record label and had a domestic deal in Finland. The live album came out with then and we licensed it back for Og. We also recorded a song in Finnish, which was a cover "Rockaway Beach" by the Ramones. There was a Finnish Ramones clone band, and we basically just stole their translation. Once that came out, a lot of the Finnish people went nuts for us: "A Canadian band playing songs in Finnish? My God!" We toured extensively in Finland and played a lot of small towns. We made tons of money going there.

Did the compilations sell over there?
We had a distribution deal with a company in Amsterdam and we sold a few hundred of every release in Europe.

The States?
We had an unsuccessful relationship with an American distributor early on, and that kind of soured us on getting records into the States. After the Midnight deal blew up in our faces, we figured we'd never get paid for records we put out the States. So we relied on Cargo, when they had their American arm, to start selling records in the States, because it was never a big market for us. Even though the Midnight EP charted at #34 on the national college charts. We figured that's worth something, but we never saw any money from them.

The second-biggest band on Og was the Gruesomes.
The Gruesomes did five or six Canadian tours.

You signed them when they were 16, or something, didn't you?
They were the sharply-attired guys that would come to our shows. You couldn't miss them, because they were so cool-looking. And they dressed like that all the time, they were king mods at their high school. One day they invited us to come to a party at their house, it was in their garage. They were in a band and could barely play, but it was a lot of fun. So they started playing gigs, and by their fourth show I think they were playing in front of 1000 people. They played Ontario quite a bit. Once they started going to Toronto, Elliot Lefko was their promoter there and he got them a few high-profile gigs, and they sold out Lee's Palace several times; they might still have the capacity record for Lee's Palace. That was around 1987. They were just huge.

The video for "Hey" was on MuchMusic quite bit.
Yes. That was a lot of fun. Having James of the Ten Commandments as the "indie video guy" at MuchMusic helped quite a bit.

There were quite a few more Og releases in the last couple of years.
We had started touring more, so we had more money to put into these things. In 1986 we quit our day jobs and became full-time independent musicians. By the end of it, we were touring five or six months of the year, maybe more, and we had enough money to pay for new releases. That's where all the touring money went to.

What attracted you to Jerry Jerry?
Road Gore, that's a great record. You should have heard the original demo tape we got before, it was even hotter than the record. They were completely wild. Jerry Jerry was one of the few bands ever that completely blew us off the stage. We were a pretty good live band, and we even blew a few bands off the stage ourselves, being a two-piece. But the first time we played with Jerry Jerry in Edmonton, they completely wiped the stage with us. They were opening for us. They were completely amazing. The amount of liquor they consumed was just stunning.

Where is E.J. Brule?
E.J. Brule attempted a big comeback show a couple of years ago. His name was Steven Burns, Etienne Brule.

Chris Houston appeared on several compilations.
Chris Houston, there's another head case! I know he was in Vancouver for a while. He was from Hamilton originally. The Forgotten Rebels. He wrote "Surfin' on Heroin" when he was 12. He was a songwriting genius, that guy. I really loved his songs, if only he was a more stable human. We wanted to put out an album of his, but he was way too weird to deal with. He did put out a full-length record, but between his ego and the rest of the world there was a large gap.

You played quite a bit with the Cowboy Junkies.
They opened for us a huge amount of times. It was the strangest bunch of shows. It worked out really well for both of us. We happened to be touring around the same time, and I don't think they were drawing very well. We offered them opening slots for us for a few bucks, which was more bucks than they were making on their own, so they were happy because they had a minivan they had to pay for. For us it worked out well because they'd go on and do extremely slow stuff, and by the time we hit the stage, the audience was dying to bop! Our shows became super-heated pretty quick. They were very cool people, and they were from Montreal.

They had one song on ICFC.
They felt they owed us something, I guess. I don't think we sold many more records as a result of it, but it was nice of them to come through.

Shadowy Men?
They were really nice. It's too bad we never got to do an album of theirs. It got lost in negotiations when it came down to it. Their series of 45s were so innovative in terms of the packaging: the jiffy-pop thing, and even the first one, "Love Without Words," they had hand-coloured them all.

What about the support of CBC Radio like Brave New Waves and Night Lines?
Those were incredibly good to us. Canada being so big, and there was never any national press to speak of, before Exclaim! came around. The Deja Voodoo train was really the only thing people could get into. But Brave New Waves was there, and we'd get a lot of kids saying, "Hey, I heard you on Brave New Waves, and you gave out your address so I'm writing to you. I know I'll never see you because I live in Yellowknife."