Volume 91, Issue 91

Friday, March 20, 1998

Lynn and Tonic


Move over chuckwagon, it's lag-time

By Lisa Weaver
Gazette Staff

The punk music scene of the '90s is fraught with bands with such similar sounds that it is completely impossible to tell them apart.

And although they are on FatWreckChords, one of the industry's largest punk music labels, Lagwagon has a bit of a problem with the musical genre they've been grouped into. "We're way more heavy metal," states Jesse, bassist of Lagwagon. "I personally don't know what punk is."

He describes the band's influences as rooted in old metal (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest), although his influences are more recent than the rest of the guys in the band, as he is the youngest member at 23. "I started with Metallica, Operation Ivy, Gorilla Biscuits and moved on from there."

Lagwagon spent last summer on the last half of the Warped Tour, followed by shows with No Use For A Name and a month-long tour of Europe. "We toured Australia with Avail, which was pretty cool because they're one of my favourite bands."

The entirety of punk music history bears on bands today and Jesse feels this pressure to do something new. "Jawbreaker is the best band that will ever exist. Sometimes I feel pretty hopeless because it's like everything that's possible has been done before."

Reviews of Lagwagon's last album, Double Plaidinum, charge the band with a more "matured" sound. "I don't necessarily know if that's a good thing," says Jesse warily. He states the band has changed in that they "write with a song in mind, not just putting parts together."

The band hopes to be in the studio this summer working on a new album. Jesse is confident that all will go well, as the band is working well together. "It kind of got to the point where the band was becoming a chore. And now with the line-up changes it's becoming fun again."

Unlike other bands in their genre of music, Lagwagon's lyrical content tends to stick to personal rather than world politics. "Mostly they're just about what's going on in our singer's life at the time. We avoid the whole political thing because everything important has already been said," explains Jesse. "Like Propaghandi, their goal is to influence people. Our goal is to have fun. We take ourselves pretty lightly."

For a taste of heavy metal with a pop/punk edge that's none to serious, come out to the Embassy tomorrow night. Lagwagon will be performing with fellow 'rocker-punks' TriggerHappy.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998