Volume 97, Issue 3
Thursday, June 5, 2003

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Not By Choice: on touring and groupies

By Anna Coutts
Gazette Writer

The Gazette had a chance to catch up with Mike Bilcox from Not by Choice, the energetic pop punk band from Ajax, Ont., after the band recently returned from a successful cross-Canada tour.

Did you find the tour across Canada really helped with exposing people to your music?

The tour was awesome! A lot of shows were really packed. Last time we toured across Canada the album had just come out and not as many people knew who we were.

When you were out touring, did you miss people at home?

There is a lot of down time when you're on the road, just driving to shows and stuff, where all you can do is think about the people at home you're missing. Playing the shows makes it worth it and you can forget how much you miss your family and friends for a little bit. But it is still really hard.

What about the sex, drugs and rock and roll legend? Is it a myth?

I think it totally depends on the band. For me personally it's not true, because I think it just messes with your focus. There are a lot of bands that have gotten in too deep and it messed them up.

What about groupies? Now that you have become more successful you must have some.

Yeah, we do – it's kinda weird. You just don't really know what to do to deal with them. I just try to avoid them [laughs]. I'll just play the show then head back to the hotel and call the girlfriend.

Is Ajax really a town full of crazy punk lovers, or is it just a coincidence you and fellow punk rockers Sum 41 both come from the same place?

Coincidence! Although there was definitely a scene in Ajax when we were both starting out, now it's pretty much a dead scene. They got rid of a lot of the places that used to let bands come in and play.

What inspires your songs? Politics? Love?

Not anything like politics – I really don't follow politics. I just write about the stuff in my life, or what I see other people going through. It's usually personal; it's a way to express how I feel.

Alright, last question. You guys are working on a new project – what are your goals for it? Are you going for a different sound or style?

Not sure yet. But a lot of the songs we're playing now are three or four years old and we've changed since then. So maybe it will be the same, maybe not. Who knows? It could end up being country [laughs]. No, seriously, it will probably be of a similar upbeat level, but with a more mature edge to it. At least we hope.


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