Sunday, 24 September 2017

Interview: A Conversation with SPACEBOOTS

Antihero Magazine recently chatted with the members of Canadian party rock band SpaceBoots about their latest release, It’s About Time.

SpaceBootsANTIHERO: So, you have an album coming out, It’s About Time?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: We actually just dropped an album in March.

Josiah Truscott:  April 29th, wasn’t it? It was about time.

ANTIHERO: So let’s just start off with why don’t you guys just introduce yourself and what instrument you play.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: I am Deriek Simon, and I sing vocals and also play guitar. Dirty D, singer of great monstrosity. Next?

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: I’m Harley. I play the bass, and sometimes I sing.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: I’m Mike, and I play drums and I sing. And I have a beard.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we call him Beard or RED BEARD.

Josiah Truscott: I’m Josiah. I play rhythm guitar, and I also sing.

ANTIHERO: Okay, excellent.

Dane: I’m Dane. I play the guitar-

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: There’s one more. There’s one more.

Dane: I’m Dane. I play guitar, and that’s it.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Lead guitar.

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: No mike for you.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: No mike for him.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: We all just call him Monica.

ANTIHERO: So there’s five guys in the band.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, sure is.

ANTIHERO: Can you tell me a little bit about how SpaceBoots started?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: It was actually basically through partying. Like, a bunch of people, we were kinda just always hanging out together, talking about jamming. I moved to Victoria like five years ago or so. And yeah, they had this thing kinda going on but didn’t really have a singer. I jumped into the band. We partied like crazy for a few years and we were basically just playing house parties, not giving a shit. Went from one place to another, all of a sudden there’s people lining up in clubs and playing shows and-

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: Doing good.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, there’s only two of us original from that era. It’s just me and the bass player, Harley. But since then, Mike RED BEARD, he joined the band when our drummer decided to do his own deal, and it’s been nothing but a blessing ’cause Mike’s a crazy talented drummer. And then he was best friends with Josiah, who basically is my brother twin. We had like, I don’t know, crazy shit happen.

Josiah Truscott: RED BEARD and I were in another band before.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, you were in the band that played before us at a festival, and I kinda told Josiah off drunkenly. Basically, I did tell him off just by being drunk. Yeah, then next year rolls around and he chirps me and dresses up like me, and the guys who were in the band at the time, he thought he was me. And then our friendships grew from there, and then eventually Josiah joined the band as well. And since the passing of our old guitar player, Sean Reinders, we got Dane in the band. But yeah, so that’s basically how we got to this point. You know, we take it like … We love the music so much, you know what I mean? Just playing shows, getting people out there going crazy with us, it’s like it’s such an energy rush, you know?

ANTIHERO: How would you describe your sound?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: I’m gonna start with rock ‘n’ roll, but there’s so many influences, like-

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: Party rock.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Party rock.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: It is party rock, you know.

Josiah Truscott: I would say we were like the Red Hot Chili Peppers from the West Coast, like of North, like, Canada. I would say that we have riff-heavy rock, kinda like Rage Against the Machine, but with the attitude of Sum 41 and Blink-182, like a sillier attitude. Also, heavily influenced by The Offspring, like a silly rock ‘n’ roll.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, there’s a whole bunch in there, you know?

ANTIHERO: Yeah I figure because you remind me kind of like Steel Panther.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we actually get that a lot. It’s hilarious, you know what I mean, you have long hair and don’t wear a shirt-

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Spinal Tap, too.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: … you play rock ‘n’ roll, then, “Oh yeah, it’s one of those guys.” You know, and I embrace that. They’re a great band. I’ve got nothing but respect for what they do. And we have some really, really messed up tunes about some subject matter that you know, you think only, like, hip-hop would talk about, but here we are doing us And from there, like, we’re just trying to kind of play a little bit of everything. You know, we’ve got some funk in there, we’ve got some metal in there, we’ve got hip-hop in there, so kind of all over the place.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Country.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: We’ve got a little bit of country, which is hilarious. But yeah, you’ve gotta see it, man. When we hit the stage, it’s just about the energy and getting everybody involved, right?

ANTIHERO: Can you describe one of your shows?

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: We are so dynamic in every show…

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: It’s bananas, man.

Josiah Truscott: Each show has a different [theme], and we like to dress up, and we have a huge Tickle Trunk full of different costumes of all sorts of varieties. We like to keep it dynamic and mix it up every time.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Just recently at Pride, we played the Pride here in Victoria, and we all dressed up like different colors of the Pride flag. You know what I mean? We can wear whatever we want. And other times, we’ve dressed up as cops and robbers, pirates, we’ve been pirates.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Cross-dressing.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: We’ve cross-dressed.

ANTIHERO: That probably went over well at Pride, though.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. They were stoked about a little cross-dressing.

Josiah Truscott: And we always like to have some other guest artist performing with us that are like local celebrities as well.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, because we like to share the stage, you know what I mean? It’s a lot better to showcase talent and have fun with it.

Josiah Truscott: And we like to do a fun cover, usually, during one of our performances, like something high energy that everyone’s gonna really love, that even if you don’t know us as a band, everyone likes a cover once in a while.

SpaceBootsANTIHERO: Yeah, I noticed you have, like, wet T-shirt contests onstage, you have robot fights…

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Occasionally, we’ll do this thing called Mushroom Theater, and it’s kind of like opening for … you know, when we first were getting into it, we got the opportunity to have a couple clubs around town, and we didn’t know any of the other bands really, but we wanted to get involved, so we just…

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: And get paid twice.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, and basically, we get paid twice. We would just do a whole bunch of skits and occasionally, we’ll have a random artist do like a song or two, then mix it up with some other random skit, whether it be jokes, like [utterly bad jokes dressed up as a cow, or if it’s like The Wheel of Shit Ideas, where it’s just-

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: That’s Harley’s baby, The Wheel of Shit Ideas.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: It just spins in mostly like, shotgun beer, show us your boobs. Yeah, and then there’s wet T-shirt contests. Yeah, all the randomness. It’s a ton of fun, man. The only thing that I always have to be skeptical when we do it, is I’m just scared I’m gonna get too drunk before we play because it’s so much fun.

ANTIHERO: Everything I’ve learned from you guys is from the three videos you have.

Josiah Truscott: We’ve got more than that.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we’ve actually released a couple new ones. We’ve got … “Elephants” we released at the end of last year, which is a video where we literally let people into our home where we jam and hang out and shit. Yeah, you want to check that one out. It’s got like … the first half of it’s kinda us going to a grocery store, making a meal for all our friends, and then there’s like a one shot for the last like minute and a half of the video, where we go through the entire house and you can see where we live and where we jam, even. And then since then, we also released this crazy zombie video for…

ANTIHERO: Oh, yeah. That’s the one that turned me onto you, about I’m Never Drinking Again.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, yeah. That’s our most recent one, and in like early to mid-August, we’re gonna be dropping another one for a song called “Too Hot For Hell”.

ANTIHERO: And then you have “Sunday Funday”.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we got “Sunday Funday”.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: That was a wild one.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: That one we did at this studio that was closing down in Vancouver.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: A prop warehouse studio.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, it was a prop warehouse studio, and they did it for dirt cheap. They let us use the space… Any props, all of the props. Like, there was Jurassic Park props in there, there was Battlestar Galactica props in there, it was crazy.

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: X-Files, too.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, X-Files. Oh yeah, The Interview, where Eminem came out. Yeah. That was a great time doing that one. And Let’s Just Party, that was done at one of the local festivals here. And at this crazy skate ramp house that we used to party at, where it would literally … the skate ramps would go off the house and kinda in the house and shit. It was fucking weird. But we’d have hot parties up on the roof…

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: We took a bus from our show to the party.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, it was a good time.

ANTIHERO: So, can you tell me about the name SpaceBoots, what’s the story behind the name SpaceBoots?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: You want the PG-13 version or the R-rated version?

ANTIHERO: The R-rated, go for it.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Drugs are bad…

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, drugs are bad. Don’t do drugs. Nobody do drugs. Fentanyl is everywhere. Be careful. But this started, I think, before I got into the group, there was Harley and yeah, they were just like so messed up on ketamine, and they’re walking around, and they were like, “Oh, man. I feel like I’m on Space Boots,” and bam, SpaceBoots was the name. It was kind of a reference to ketamine.

ANTIHERO: So, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Miley Cyrus song?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Dude, tell that fucking woman she owes me royalties.

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: But to be fair, that song is about ketamine, too.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah.

SpaceBootsANTIHERO: Can you describe the songwriting process? Is it just like drink and then play?

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: Drink and play, Kind of.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Steal a guitar riff, knock a nursery rhyme.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we have this joke where we, like, take an influence, steal a bit of a riff, steal a nursery rhyme, and throw in some “heys” and boom, you’ve got a SpaceBoots tune.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: That was the old songs.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: That was the old songs, but yeah, I know. It’s just funny, man. You know, we kinda like … we bring ideas to the table in the jam room, and we just … It’s actually funny you say that because literally you said [10 mins we will do] the interview, we were working on some new material. But we just, like, iron out parts, and feel out a sound. We’ll do some demo recording and stuff, too, see if it’s … sort of vibe or whatever, and go from there.

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: Oftentimes, we end up grabbing and taking pieces from one song and making, like, a completely new song with two parts from another song, and it works out pretty sweet.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Bing bang boom.

ANTIHERO: What about the recording process for It’s About Time?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: So, we started recording this record way too long ago, like three years ago. And our computer got… We’ve been doing it ourselves. Our old guitar player, he went to school for it, and I worked in a studio in Toronto for a while. And we worked on it for like a year and a bit, and we got like, I don’t know, well over halfway through the record, and all of our equipment and computer got stolen at a house party. I shit you not, I was sitting right beside Michael Pena, the actor, he and I were bros, and I had this like babe with me, and I’m thinking I’m the man, we’re having this crazy fucking house party, and I go to my room and bam, all that fucking equipment stolen, gone. So, we had this bullshit title for that record that was going to be Sharkcula, and then we were going to call the new one we were going to work on Sharkcula 2. But we ended up not going that direction, and … Dude, such a painstaking process.

And this is where it actually gets kinda heavy. Doing all these recordings with Sean, it was awesome, and it was such an honor to do it, and he passed away before we finished it. You know what I mean? So like, I spend a lot of time just, like, with my thoughts, like, listening to his ghost, you know what I mean? And finally getting it done and completed and putting it out after all this adversity, getting the record stolen, having our fucking homeboy, our brother fucking died, and to still be able to put this thing out is probably like the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life, as far as perseverance and getting through shit.

And I know all these boys feel the same way because we went through this thing, like … It taught us so much about ourselves. It’s taught us about our friendship with each other, like how important these guys are to me. It’s been a wild fucking ride to make this record. So, the process is, like, us in this house, having a blast, going through adversity, putting all of what we’ve got into it just because we need to have such a blast doing it.

Forever. So that’s why it’s called It’s About Time, you know what I mean? It’s about time we got this record out.

ANTIHERO: So, what about shows for the rest of the year? So, do you just pretty much play shows around Canada?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we’re pretty much rolling around Canada at this point. Well, it started as a house party thing, but I think we were going in the direction where we were going to start doing some more touring, and then obviously you know, the adversity of having our guitar player kind of slowed things down. We got a sweet bus parked in the back, so it’s like well-accommodated for us to get around. We started doing some new shows, branching out, and eventually the goal is to start going down the coast and the states. I’ve done some touring with this other artist [Kytami] a little bit, and there’s nothing but opportunity there, you know what I mean? There’s city, city, city, city, city. So definitely at some point in my life, I’d like to get us down to Seattle, through Portland, through San Francisco, LA, everything down there. That’d be dope.

ANTIHERO: Can you tell me where did the concept for “I’m Never Gonna Drink Again”, the zombie concept, where did that come from?

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Dude, well we’re gonna probably argue about this. But let’s just say we were sort of sitting down and … We’ve all got our issues, right? Like, each of those characterizations I would say to more or less of a degree are representing the individual, do you know what I mean? But by doing it with zombies … and you can go a little overboard with what it is, and then something that was like … Say, for example, if we weren’t zombies in that, and Harley’s really-

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: Freebasing.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, freebasing coke in the church bathroom, it probably wouldn’t go over well, you know what I mean? So, throw in the zombie concept, and now it’s funny because it’s about brains, right? So, it’s a way of pushing the envelope, but at the same time, staying like … Having class about it, you know?

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: [just to be clear] I’ve never been to church

Mike “RED BEARD” Restall: [always]Making fun of ourselves, as well. We like to make fun of ourselves, as well.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Yeah, we don’t take ourselves seriously, at all. Seriously.

ANTIHERO: That’s good. It’s fun, like “I’m Never Gonna Drink Again”, all of your music, it’s fun. I mean, you’re bringing the fun back to rock ‘n’ roll rather than the monotony of a bunch of bands.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: Can I be so straight-up? There’s so many bands now, and I’m not gonna call out any names, there’s so many bands where I go to see the performance and they’re just there. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes when a player is playing some complex parts, I can appreciate that, I understand it takes concentration and focus, but when there’s a band that, literally, their entire set just stands there…

Harley “H-Bad” Bragg: No entertainment.

“DiRTy” Deriek Simon: No wonder people have fucking turned to electronic music so much. You know what I mean? Because it doesn’t even matter if anyone’s playing up there because they’re just gonna stand there.

Josiah Truscott: I always say that if I want to hear music, I’ll put on the album. It’s going to sound better than anything live, anyways. But if I want to go to a show, I want to see something. I want to be entertained. I want to feel the music, you know? So that’s how I perform. I like to try to entertain people.

 

About Scott Martin

Photographer - California - Bay area

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