Volume 93, Issue 101
Friday, April 7, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
SNFU nears the home stretch
Gazette file photo
By Jeff Warren
While listening to guitarist Marc Bekle speak, it is evident that the lid is closing on SNFU and its sarcastic brand of "skate" music. This will bury a career that has spanned two decades and left its mark on the underground scene of Canadian punk music.
What started almost 20 years ago in Edmonton has doggedly run its course. Various lineup changes, an unusual consistency of switching record labels and a steady, often overlooked effort to achieve some form of success has been a tragic way of life for Bekle and company.
The final straw may have come when Bekle's brother Bret, guitarist and co-founder of SNFU, left the band to pursue other avenues a move which left Bekle pondering his own future with the band. "You always have moments of doubt about whether you should be [playing music] or not, so I don't blame [Bret]. He just wanted to try different things in his life," he states. "I think we both thought of quitting, you know, being in it so long. We're not getting rich off of it, that's for sure."
Despite Bekle's modest claim that SNFU never had any kind of major success, their portfolio suggests otherwise. Since their 1984 independent debut...And No One Else Wanted to Play, SNFU have released eight more albums, assembled a loyal following of fans and musicians alike and become the emblem of the indie punk scene. While currently on tour in support of their latest release, Ping Pong, SNFU is more concerned about getting a new album out, even though it may be their last.
"We don't really have a recording date," Bekle says. "But we have enough material to record and we're just trying to figure out how to do it logistically. We are more eager to record a new album than we are to tour."
Although Bekle has expressed an interest in following his brother's example, he is still guided by a sense of loyalty to the band he helped create. For now, Bekle seems to think sticking it out is the right thing to do. "Being the only guitar player now might have something to do with it," he laughs.
"I kind of want to do one more record because I've worked at it the last couple of years to get it going again to gear up for a new record so I kind of want to finish it off."
After that, the future of SNFU is up in the air. Bekle has been working on a project which will put the final nail in SNFU's coffin. "I've been working on my own record for the last year on the side," he says. "It is mellower and stripped down and it's different in style for sure. There would be less punk."
As for what will become of the band, its future is completely up to its maker. "If [lead singer] Chi really wanted to keep doing it I probably wouldn't say no, but I don't think it would happen."
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