ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ralph Nader rules, say the Mad Caddies
By Dale Wyatt
Gazette file photo
THEY LOOK MAD. I GUESS. Punk outfit the Mad Caddies are proud of their
president. Umm, are we sure they’re sane?
About 45 minutes from the Canadian border, the Mad Caddies partake in a familiar
band ritual: they clean their van and dump any paraphernalia which may hinder
their crossing. As guitarist Sascha Lazor explains, you never know what to
expect when crossing the border.
As an American band that has travelled the world playing their unique style
of ska music, the Mad Caddies have been faced with their fair share of anti-Americanism.
“We have been to Europe several times and we always get asked about
[being American],” Lazor says. “It is especially bad in places
like France, Germany and Australia. I really get sick of having people I don’t
even know walk up to me and tell me how much they hate our president and our
The band is currently touring again, with a presidential election on the horizon
and ongoing trouble in Iraq. One might believe these events would make things
worse for the band, but according to a relieved Lazor, that’s simply
not the case
“Oddly enough, I have noticed far less flak from people since the war
broke. It has probably been a quarter as bad as it used to be. Rarely do we
ever get asked about [being American] anymore.”
So why the change?
“I guess before people were not afraid to hold back. They would flat
out say shit like the president sucks, but that has slowed. Maybe it’s
just become an old subject and people [want to] get back to the music.
“Although we haven’t been back to Australia yet,” Lazor
adds. “We get it more there for being American than anywhere else we
have been. When we were there it seemed like everyone hated Americans.
“I hate when people tell me that George Bush is the devil and Al Gore
would have been rad. The two-party system in the [United States] is bullshit.
I don’t think there is really that much difference between the Republicans
and the Democrats. I don’t trust politicians.”
Many Democrats are pleading that independent candidate Ralph Nader not run
for president, claiming he could hurt the Democrats’ chance of winning.
However, Lazor disagrees.
“Some people blame Nader for Gore losing the election, but it says a
lot that it was that close. More importantly, Nader’s running raises
awareness that there are other people out there you can vote for.”
Despite all the political chaos, it is business as usual for Lazor and the
band as they begin their most recent tour, bringing them to Call the Office.
“We’re used to touring now. Sure it’s still fun, but it
is familiar territory. You don’t feel the same way you did when you did
it the first time. We kind of know what’s going to happen. We are looking
forward to Australia, though, as we have only been there once. I’m sure
that will seem really exciting again. It matters more where you tour as opposed
to when for us. Anytime we go to a new country it would be exciting like it
was the first tour.”
If you ask Lazor, he’ll tell you the secret to living off punk rock: “We
just have to keep busy. We don’t have enough money that we can do nothing
for months on end, but we do have enough to pay the essentials during our time
off, like rent, gas and food. We just keep costs low.”
The Mad Caddies bring their American asses to London to rock Call the Office
on Monday, Mar. 15.