Monster speaks out
against the bombs
By Christopher Hodge
|DID CLOSET MONSTER
KILL THE RADIO STAR? No, but London (far left) recently said "bye-bye"
to a career in Avril Lavigne's backing band.
While the war in
Iraq continues to wage on in a desert far, far away, here on the
slowly thawing shores of North America London, (think Cher, Madonna,
Prince ect...) the bass player for the Canadian punk outfit Closet Monster,
is preparing for a European tour. His motto on the road is simple: everything
"We try not to smoke too much weed during tour-time," London
says. "Personally, I find it easier to kill time by driving. You're
forced to keep your eyes on the road; otherwise, I read books, listen
to albums or culture-jam to pass the time."
A seasoned backpacker, London packs from experience, bringing only the
basic necessities during the band's many travels.
"I always bring a blanket, a notebook, a pen to write song ideas
down, a disposable camera, a toothbrush with lots of toothpaste and my
boys!" London enthuses.
London seems undaunted by many of the less glamorous sacrifices he and
his bandmates often have to make during a long, often poorly-paid tour.
Nonetheless, London admits that touring conditions are improving.
"With each tour, eating gets better," London says. "After
gas money, we may end up with like 20 bucks to spend. So, we'll go to
a grocery store, pool the money and put together a good vegan meal. Sometimes
a promoter will cook us a meal. We'll ask them, 'Can we have gas?' or
[we ask them] if they can cook us a meal sometimes you can get
some of the best home-cooked meals that way."
When discussing their brand-new album Killed the Radio Star,
London who was the former bassist for Avril Lavigne says
the aforementioned radio star is not someone specific.
"People can draw their own conclusions," London says. "The
radio star, to us, is the transformation of artists into products. Music
is such a valuable thing. Instead of art, a lot of these big companies
are just putting slick products on the shelves to be bought."
In our current media environment, where bands like The Dixie Chicks are
spouting antiwar sentiments and paying dearly for it, London says that
now is the moment for punk rock to shine. The punk genre traditionally
very anti-establishment and pro-diversity will once again be the
voice of political reason during these troubled times, he adds.
"We all have a right to speak," London says. "A lot of
bands are creating awareness and starting to pick up some positive feedback.
Since the appearance of bands like Sum 41, a lot of young kids are starting
to replace Britney Spears with this new punk rock thing. I'd say that
happens about every five years there's a turn-around where what
is sold changes 'cause the kids change.
"In the end, I hope punk will go back underground: to its roots and
the rebel cause."
Whatever the outcome of the war in Iraq, London fiercely waves the flag
of peace in the face of opposition, and intends to be on the frontlines
of the public debate.
"It's great seeing artists becoming more vocal," London says.
"What are we, in 1984? I heard they changed the name of
French fries to freedom fries, what the fuck is that all about? If there
are going to be any peace rallies in downtown Toronto, we're going to
join in. As Canadians, we're going to do what we can do to express our
feelings about war. We're going to keep talking to kids and people we
meet. In the end, it will only make us more passionate."
Closet Monster play Call The Office tonight. Tickets are $8 in advance
and $10 at the door.