WR100: Propagandhi

Episode 100 November 12, 2014 01:07:53
WR100: Propagandhi
Witchpolice Radio
WR100: Propagandhi

Nov 12 2014 | 01:07:53

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Hosted By

Sam Thompson

Show Notes

For our 100th episode (bet you never thought we'd make it this far, did you?), we invite Propagandhi frontman, Escape Velocity Radio co-host and hockey-loving activist Chris Hannah to the blanket fort. Chris talks about the history of his band, staying true to his values and being a banger, as well as the randomly-generated "murder" theme
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Episode Transcript

JON: Hey, welcome to Witchpolice Radio. SAM: This is episode 100. JON: Yep, we've made it. SAM: And this week we have a very special guest is Chris Hannah from the band Propagandhi and from various other things people probably know him from. JON: Our randomly generated theme word for the week is murder. SAM: So if you haven't heard the show before, we all select songs that relate to the murder theme. JON: And you can find all our past episodes on Witchpolice.com. SAM: And you can hear our show Monday nights, 11:00 p.m. On one one five, um FM. We're also all over the place on social media. We're on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, whatever else you can think of. And we're on the Garbage Hill Podcast Network. So please check that out at garbagehillnetwork.com. And check out our show and a bunch of other really good ones. JON: Yeah. And to kick things off, we're going to start off with a song by Propagandhi. Enjoy the show.... (music) JON: All right, welcome to Witchpolice Radio. SAM: This is our 100th episode, actually, which is pretty exciting. CHRIS HANNAH: Oh, congratulations. JON: Bringing it in. Yeah. SAM: Yeah. And I'm your regular host, Sam. JON: Regular host Jon here. SAM: And this week we have one guest. I think last week we had multiple guests, but this is back to a single guest to host thing. And we have Chris from Propagandhi and from the Escape Velocity Radio podcast and probably from a lot of other things. CHRIS HANNAH: Hi, that's me. SAM: Yeah, we're very happy to have you. I think that when we first started having guests on our show, we kind of went through a list of bands, local bands, we'd like to have on there. JON: Yeah. As far as local bands go, Propagandhi is right up there for bands that are known internationally. CHRIS HANNAH: Really? SAM: There's a lot of local bands that have gone on to bigger things that maybe I don't necessarily want to talk to, but glad to have you. So, people who haven't heard the show before, it's pretty straightforward. We have randomly generated theme word. We just punch a button on the computer. It shoots out to work for us. And this week we've got a pretty good one. The theme is Murder, which there's a lot of good songs that go with that. So we all select songs and play songs that relate to the theme and talk about music and everything else. JON: So I don't know. Chris, did you have an okay time finding some murder songs? CHRIS HANNAH: You know, I did. Where's that friggin. Oh, my God. It's upstairs. I actually noticed you guys can. Do you edit the show or is.... JON: No, this is all fine. This is where you're trying to find your phone. CHRIS HANNAH: Sorry about that. SAM: Oh, no. CHRIS HANNAH: Okay, so I picked four just in case. SAM: Cool. Well, let's give you some choices. CHRIS HANNAH: Right? I got two here. Should I pick one right now? JON: Well, we could always start with one right off of the hop. Yeah, that's a good idea. SAM: What's the first one? That, I guess. First one? You. CHRIS HANNAH: Well, I'm not sure when you guys are going to release this, but Kreator are playing here this Saturday. SAM: Yeah, this is after that. [00:03:49] Speaker F: After that. Okay, so anybody who went to that show will appreciate this. This is from the new Kreator record. Death to the World from Phantom Antichrist. Definitely first of... I mean, I searched murder all over my library, and I couldn't find that many, actually. I was surprised. SAM: Well, the good thing about the show with the random themes is people can go in any direction they want. We've had people take just the most ridiculous tangent to get to the word. So death is a pretty direct, for sure. JON: All right, let's check it out.. SAM: Holy shit. Yeah, that was a good way to start things off, for sure. Yeah, that was awesome. JON: Okay. CHRIS HANNAH: Hopefully the show was great and not pathetic. JON: Where's it going to be? CHRIS HANNAH: The Garrick. SAM: Where was it at? CHRIS HANNAH: Where was it? Yeah, it was at the Garrick, and hopefully I was just blown away by it. SAM: Let's see if there are anything like that. That would be pretty awesome to play, for sure. Actually, I had kind of an idea of what I wanted to ask you about your band and your podcast and everything, but this kind of changes it. That song you played, I think I've been listening to you since, I don't know. I think the first album I got of yours was, Less Talk More Rock. Like, when it came out, then I kind of backtracked about the first one. But, I mean, I've been listening to you for a long time, and that definitely sounds more like the kind of stuff you guys are doing these days than the kind of more Fat Wreck Chords-y skate, punky thing. And I like the direction you guys have gone in, especially in the last two albums, a lot. To me, it's very cool for it to see a band I've been listening to for that, like, 15 years or however long it's been, first of all, progress, because a lot of bands will, at that point, just kind of stagnate or find something that works and stick with it. But you guys have got heavier, you got more technical and just, like, the songs. Yeah, just more complex and everything. I mean, what. Maybe that's a long answer, but how did the progression happen from what you guys were doing at the very beginning, which know, maybe poppier, hookier, and then to now, which is more thrashy and kind of technical? CHRIS HANNAH: Well, when we started the band, actually, me and Jord... Jord was the guy who was into more of the punk bands, and I was the metalhead in the band. And when we started the band, if you listen to our first demos that we made, like, in 1988 or whatever, it's like kids trying to make songs like Kreator or Sacrifice. There were demos, like, with the name propaganda on them that had these ridiculous attempts at being creator and failed attempts, but I can appreciate them now. And it's just funny because the other day, Kowalski had sent me on some, down the YouTube Rabbit hole, some metal videos, and I came across this Exodus video. Exodus, the pioneering thrash band from the Bay Area back in the 80s, putting out records like Bonded by Blood and Pleasures of the Flesh. And there was a video by them. It was some fucking, like a cowboy song, like Kid Rock, something done in like 1992 or something like that. And I was like, oh, my God, I've never seen this. And this is shit. Now I remember why. I remember why I lost interest in the thrash metal scene that I had committed myself to in the. Got interested in underground punk bands at the time, like Born Against or Drop Dead or whatever, and was interested in that NOFX Ribbed record or the Bad Religion Suffer record, because they were still playing fast. For sure. They weren't trying to stay abreast of the grunge scene and all this embarrassing stuff that a lot of the metal bands did in the think that's. We were like, okay, well, fuck it. This bad religion suffer record is absolutely amazing. It's like Motorhead meets the Ramones. Let's try to do that, Jord. Let's incorporate some of that. And then, especially when we recorded those songs we made at that time at the studio, that NOFX and Bad Religion made the records at with the same producer, it sounded even more like that stuff. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: And I still think it was different. There was still the metallic. We were shitty at our instruments, but it still had that metallic. SAM: Yeah, for sure. CHRIS HANNAH: It wasn't undertone to it. And essentially we just got better at playing our instruments as the years went by and were able to finally kind of approximate the sounds that we wanted. JON: Yeah, because this is ridiculously... CHRIS HANNAH: I mean, we can't do that, I mean... Jord doesn't do double kick. I can't play leads like that. I can't sing like that. Kowalski can for a short time, but he just blows his face off when he does it. But we do. Yeah, between the two worlds, for sure, that we like. So that's the answer. SAM: That's a good answer for sure. CHRIS HANNAH: It's because Exodus sucked in the early '90s JON: I imagine you've gained a lot of fans along the way. Did you lose any fans from changing over and putting it a lot heavier? CHRIS HANNAH: Every record. Every record we lose fans, but then new ones show up, for sure. The first record obviously came out at a really weird time, and it got around, like a lot. So many people heard it. And it was a novelty record for people back in the 90s skate scene like, oh, look at this fucking weird band. SAM: Well, I guess the lyrical content too wasn't really what people were singing about in those other bands at the time, right? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, it was a bit different, but it was more cartoonish and a lot of people latched onto it. And then when we realized, oh, people are listening, let's stop getting drunk all the time and let's be relatively serious about what we actually, our values on the next record. And then less talk, more rock came out and it was like, nosedive. People were like, what the fuck? Back then. Putting gay positive on the front of your record. SAM: Yeah, right. CHRIS HANNAH: Instantly, all those skate, surfer, snowboard crowd. Gone. They're gone. SAM: I remember having that shirt at the time with that on the back. And like, in high school, people gave me some weird looks. CHRIS HANNAH: Oh, yeah, for sure. Luckily, that's kind of changed. SAM: I mean, seems like it's a little better. CHRIS HANNAH: And then every record from there, same shit. Everyone's like, this is the worst. What happened to you guys? Well, I don't know, man. And then six months later, those same people maybe listen to it and they're like, okay, actually, this is their best record, but it's too late by then, the marketing cycle is done and everyone's already said it sucked. SAM: The bad reviews and everything. CHRIS HANNAH: I think for the past three records, probably, maybe there's a bit less of that. It's like we've retained some people since 2000 and maybe even 2001 people have stuck around a little more because maybe there's more of a common thread. I think there's a common thread from the very first demo we ever made till now. But I think I can see how an outside listener would either pick Today's Empires Tomorrow's Ashes from, like, 2000, or Potemkin City Limits as being like, okay, now the band is doing this. SAM: Yeah, something changed. I definitely thought that about Today's Empires because when that came out, I had listened to you guys for however many years before that, and I was sort of getting into different stuff. And I was like, oh, hey, cool new Propagandhi record. And I buy it, I put it on. I was just like, holy fuck, this is like, you know, I mean, it hits you really. It's really heavy and fast and awesome. And that kind of. I didn't realize that was going to happen because I had this preconceived idea of what you sounded like based on the first two. And this was. It was totally different. And it sounded to me like a turning point. But I guess you guys were just always kind of just growing whatever you were doing, moving that way. CHRIS HANNAH: And we also grew up with records. Like, bands didn't put out every record you got back in the punk and the metal scene. Each one was like, what? Whoa. You had to kind of recalibrate to listen to the band. Like Voivod. Oh, my God. Every record, it's like a different band in a way. And that was great. That's what we loved about why it was so exciting to get a new record, for sure. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: Because you didn't know what they were going to do next. And I think we don't do it like, let's be different. I think it's just you try to move ahead and titillate yourself with something new. Cool. JON: All right, well, let's get into another tune here. SAM: Sure. JON: Should I play one? SAM: Yeah, go ahead. JON: Okay, well, I'm going to play something from the is a group. Or a guy who goes as Snowy Red. And he's from Belgium. And played in a band called Chainsaw before that. I don't know who they are, but maybe if one was from Belgium, they would know. And his stuff was re released not too long ago. And so this is part of like a re release. After being in a punk band, started doing solo stuff. He started getting into keyboards. I'm kind of into keyboards. And found that none of the punk bands around the area wanted keyboards. And the sounds he was making in his music. So he just started doing stuff on his own with a rhythm box. Very inspired by a band like Suicide, for sure. Yeah. I've been thinking about what I could play off of. I've got a couple of these what I could play on the show. There's a song on here called Blood. Blood. Blood sounds like someone may have been murdered in it. CHRIS HANNAH: This is newer reissue, though. JON: This is a reissue. CHRIS HANNAH: Now. Is this part of something from the 80s? JON: But this is recorded on a two track. CHRIS HANNAH: Cool. (music) JON: All right. That was a strange song by Snowy Red. SAM: That's pretty awesome. JON: Yeah. So this album was just him in his room with a two track recorder, instruments on one and some vocals on the other. And. Yeah, a lot of the stuff has like that sort of delayed vocal effect. CHRIS HANNAH: Delay pedal. SAM: Probably live, I'm sure. JON: Yeah. And later on he would play with. He had a four piece band at one point, and I'm kind of curious if there's some video out there. He put out a VHS once to coincide with one of his albums. But he would have pretty theatrical live shows too, with like two different projections happening. And he had dancers when he first started. Very, like, there's a... there's a picture there. He's in makeup. And it was kind of like a whole affair. Yeah. So interesting music. SAM: It was cool. JON: Interesting guy. SAM: If it's the murder theme with the blood. CHRIS HANNAH: The vibe reminds me a lot of, again, going back to Winnipeg in the 80s, staying up late to watch alternative rock. Stand on the cable access channel. Used to be this show with Dan Pache. This guy hosted it, and they just play crazy shit like that. It was interesting for little punk rockers to be waiting for a punk song to come on. He sit through all this stuff. It sounded like the residents just thinking, what the fuck is going on here? SAM: Yeah, but that stuff is almost like more punk than the punk songs. Sort of the attitude of it or whatever. Just take a weird synthesizer and a microphone. CHRIS HANNAH: It's a cool vibe, for sure. SAM: One thing I was wondering about when we were talking before, the song about the way your band has progressed and everything, or hasn't progressed, depending on. You want to look at it in terms of the actual content, the message you guys are getting across. Because obviously you're a band that has a very strong message in pretty much every song. If you. You know, a record you recorded 20 years ago, like the. The rerelease that came out of how to clean everything last year to something Now. I mean, has, has there been any significant changes where you look back and say, oh, I can't believe I'm thinking 20 years ago, something I would have said, maybe you've changed your mind. CHRIS HANNAH: Not really. The nuance, the sense of nuance has changed. And the way we would say stuff definitely changed. But I think the stuff on that record that is the most regrettable is like, the songs that were never meant for anybody outside of the Royal Albert. SAM: Right. CHRIS HANNAH: On a drunken Thursday. Yeah, they're just novelty songs. They're just fucking dumb and embarrassing. Cartoonish. But no, sometimes, I mean, sometimes I'm surprised, I look back, I'm like, holy fuck, we're lucky we got some of that stuff right in quotation. As far as our values have remained consistent, whether or not they're right in somebody else's eyes, I don't know. But I'm not totally embarrassed by the statements on the record. SAM: That's good. CHRIS HANNAH: Just mildly embarrassed by the statements. JON: In a similar vein, like, you're writing the lyrics. I imagine everyone in the band is on the same page for these things. Is there a lot of discussion, or are you guys similar minded? Minded as far as causes are concerned? CHRIS HANNAH: Similar in that a lot of our values are the same, but how we project those out into the world can sometimes be very different. Or there's lots of. On any one issue, all of us, I'm sure, see things a little bit. JON: Different from a different angle, of course. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: But I don't know if we've really... I think on maybe one record, I have a memory of us sitting down and having a discussion. Are we sure this is what you want to say with this song? Otherwise, I think we've all been relatively on the same page. We're not a political party, and maybe some of the guys in the band are a little, 'give the lyric writer more leeway'. They know. Perhaps the lyric writer is essentially representing their own feelings and dragging everybody along with them in a way. But we haven't had a. And we've actually adjusted lyrics now that you mentioned it. Like that song on the first record called Haile Selasse Up Your Ass. We're just calling it Fuck Religion now. Or is that what we're calling it? I don't know. SAM: If you didn't know the song title. You heard it. That's what you just sing in the song. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. And the title and some of the lyrics were just confusing and meant for our own reflection at the time. And we've just adjusted small things to make it more. To give it meaning to us now without, perhaps embarrassing ourselves further. JON: Sam, did you play that song on the show? SAM: No, I didn't. I've played some of your songs on the show before. Not that one. No, that one seems like it would be funny for me to play because I'm a huge reggae nerd. CHRIS HANNAH: But so were some of the guys in our band, but we were not proficient at reggae. SAM: There's no way knowing this, obviously, but do you think there's a significant percentage of your audience, is there for the message and some of them, or just for. I mean, hey, this rocks. I want to listen to it. I can jump around to it, and I want. In my headphones, obviously, the message is an important part of the band. You look at the liner notes. You got a lot of detail on there, book references, websites, people to check out. Obviously, it's important. I guess with every band that has a political message, there's got to be a segment of the audience that is just there for the show. Do you feel like the message is getting across to those people? Do you feel like someone goes to your show or buys one of your records and they actually maybe learn something, or do you think there's still a group of them that are just going to. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, I think it's a potpourri of different people. If you take a cross section of any group of people at pretty much any sort of entertainment related event, all kinds are there. Kreator that we played. They're actually a very intensely political metal band for a thrash metal band in terms of progressive politics. But I wouldn't suspect that their entire crowd are activists. And it's the same with us. We have, like, everybody under the sun shows up to the shows, and we have very wide range of interactions with people who listen to us via social media or letters or whatever. Everybody from. I mean, some really fucked up people in prison to really to people who are now movers and shakers in sort of more reputable lines of work. Everybody and all of them have something to offer us when we cross paths with them. I think it's definitely not a one way street. We don't expect. I mean, like I say, we're not a political party. We're not fucking teachers. All we've ever done is said what we thought or felt. And I guess people call that political. And I don't really have expectations of the listenership, really just put it out there. SAM: And they kind of interpret it how they want. JON: Yeah, you do your part. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, I guess in some way, I think what we're trying to do is connect people out there who are like, we were totally isolated and divorced from grassroots activism on a number of issues. Connect them to people who are actually on the ground doing that stuff. We're just conduits sharing with our people, which is largely white dudes in NHL starter caps. Yeah, sharing with them what we found out from people who aren't that demographic, because those are our people, whether we like it or not, to try to make things a little better. SAM: I think that explains it very well, because when I first heard you guys, I grew up vegetarian. I'd never eaten meat. Still haven't. And for me, it was like, this is a band singing about animal rights. I think it was really cool, and no one else I knew was in that situation as I was when I was 14 or however old it was when I first heard it. And I feel like people hearing that it did encourage people I knew to kind of look into it more. Or maybe not try to sneak turkey into my food as much. I don't know if it was just you guys or there was other bands and other things they were kind of influenced by, but it was cool to see that happen because I definitely felt isolated as a kid because everyone I knew ate meat. And it was like this weird thing I didn't do. But it was nice to hear a band that I liked and you guys had the same message and kind of on the same vibe there. CHRIS HANNAH: That's great. I mean, we grew up in small town Manitoba in the 80s, so we know how it feels to, again, be isolated and then to go somewhere and realize we moved into Winnipeg. We're like, holy fuck. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: It's all these people doing these different. In a backwater town like Winnipeg, for sure. It seemed like a new beginning, so. Yeah, I get that. SAM: Well, the thing about Winnipeg too, is that I like about your music, and I mentioned this in the show before about a lot of bands. I like when bands will make hyper local references. And you guys do that a lot. I mean, with the hockey references, for one thing. For sure, you have hockey references on, I think, every record probably, which is great. And then the specific. I mean, and specific Canada stuff. Specific. And it always seems weird to me. I mean, I listen to bands from other countries, other cities, and I'm sure that's happening and I'm not even picking up on it, but there's a video that I've seen on YouTube of you guys playing at Dear Coach's Corner in Australia. And the entire crowd is singing along and it's really cool. But the whole time I'm watching, I'm thinking, does anyone here know who Ron MacLean is or Don Cherry is? And how does that feel for you? You. It's obviously a very specific thing you're talking. I mean, the song is more than just the hockey references, but it's a localized reference. And everyone in the crowd in a country that may not even have ever touched a hockey stick. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, there might be some. I mean, with sport at least, because that is about sport specifically. People seem to have made an effort to like, well, who the fuck are they talking about? And they pick up, oh, this is about some organized sport. And, oh, that sounds a lot like what happens before NFL games. SAM: Yeah, right. CHRIS HANNAH: We've had a lot of people contact us saying, yeah, man, I'm fucking so sick of. And they talk about it in soccer, Some in Europe or wherever. SAM: Yeah, I guess the same routine happens with every sport. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. To a larger or lesser degree, I think it appears like the NFL and the NHL are the worst. I mean, people seem to kind of get that tune at least. But I'm sure the other Winnipeg references are just cool. SAM: Yeah, you have one about those billboards that were on Broadway. CHRIS HANNAH: Right, which are now gone. SAM: They don't even exist anymore. CHRIS HANNAH: Had I known that... SAM: But, yeah, that's someone in the States. Even someone in Calgary might not even get that. I don't know. I like hearing that. Even if I'm not from the city, I hear something. It sounds like something that I'm never going to know about, but it's cool you guys do that. But anyway, I'll get into a song here. So I stop rambling, and I'm going to play a song from 1930. It's by Lonnie Johnson. I think people who've listened to the show a lot have kind of know that I really like the weird, old, really crappy recordings of these old blues guys. And there's a lot of really kind of twisted subject matter in the songs. And so this is a song. He's basically kind of idolizing Mexico as a place he wants to be. And it starts off all these reasons why he thinks Mexico will be great. And it eventually turns out he wants to go to Mexico because everyone is just killing each other. And it's awesome because they're just killing each other all the time. He wants to go there so he can shoot people. So it's called Blues for Murder only, which is a great name for a song. And it's very strange. I mean, I have no idea how well this was received in 1930, but it's cool. Lonnie Johnson. Blues for Murder Only. (music) JON: All right. Back on Witchpolice Radio where we're joined in the blanket Fort by Chris from Propagandhi and Sam. That was quite... SAM: Yeah, that was Got the Blues for Murder Only by Lonnie Johnson. Yeah, 1930. I mean, I don't know. That doesn't make me want to go to Mexico. I don't know if he had ever actually been to Mexico. It seems like he's got this idealized. Well, I don't know if it's idealized, but idea of shooting. CHRIS HANNAH: Where was he from? SAM: He's from the States. He actually ended up... CHRIS HANNAH: You know where? JON: Let me find out... New Orleans. SAM: And he born in the 1890s, which is crazy, but he ended up living in Toronto in the 60s. Like, he died in 1970, and he lived in Toronto in the 60s. He played a show there, apparently, and four people showed up. And then he played a show the next night, and, like, a ton of people showed up. And he apparently figured that Toronto was, like, less racist than states. CHRIS HANNAH: Right. SAM: He stayed there and had been becoming Canadian, so that's kind of cool. CHRIS HANNAH: That's another great vibe of a song. Yeah, I guess. Robert Johnson. Dark was the Night is sort of the benchmark, for sure, that has that really nice, ghostly. SAM: Yeah, it's creepy. A lot of the songs are creepy. CHRIS HANNAH: That one almost had a modern. Like, there's a little chord in there that he uses, and some of his vocal stuff sounds almost like a modern vibe to it. SAM: Well, apparently Jack White has covered this, which kind of makes sense. I mean, I could see that kind of style. CHRIS HANNAH: I was going to say it would make a good cover. SAM: Yeah. And this guy apparently, too, Lonnie Johnson, is apparently a pioneer of the electric violin, which I haven't actually heard. I've only heard a few of his songs. This is one of them. And I've heard a lot of the acoustic guitar and singing, but I'm kind of curious to see what he did with that, because it's sort of an unusual thing to be playing, but yeah, fits the murder theme. It's talking about plenty of murders down in Mexico so I figured it'd be a good choice. JON: So, Chris, you have a podcast now, is that right? CHRIS HANNAH: It's called Escape Velocity Radio. SAM: Seems to be a lot more professional setup than ours down here by the sound. CHRIS HANNAH: Barely. Not really. We're in a basement. SAM: Best place to be for podcasts. CHRIS HANNAH: Yours is more cozy. Mine's a little more depressing. JON: Okay. CHRIS HANNAH: And we just stick mics in our faces. That's the big difference. SAM: That's the difference. Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH No, but it was sort of the outgrowth of a dead podcast called G7 Radio, which... SAM: Yeah, I remember that. CHRIS HANNAH: Me and Derek, the guy who does the, I do the podcast with... We used to do this record label. We put out some Winnipeg stuff like Malefaction, the Weakerthans, and we closed shop on that. But the thing we missed the most about it was the podcast. We started it up again in the basement. JON: I'm not familiar with it. What's the format? CHRIS HANNAH: Well, the format. That's a good question. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: I don't even know what the format is. SAM: Well, I mean, it seems to me, I've listened to it quite a bit. It seems like it's. I mean, it's funny. I don't think it's the idea behind it, but it's definitely funny. And then there's, like, a lot of interviews with people on. On very serious topics, but done in. Not necessarily overly serious. I don't know. And then I've noticed recently, too, you guys have been kind of relooking at old G7 albums at the end of the shows and that But Alive album. I've played that on the show here, actually, before you did from that. I love it. I still have it. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. SAM: So that was really cool to hear because I knew none of the background, I think, at the time. I just bought it because it was on G7, and I liked every other band I'd heard on G7, and I still know nothing about them. But that kind of filled in some info, which was cool. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. SAM: And it's a monthly, right? You guys are doing it once a month? CHRIS HANNAH: We're trying to. Yeah, sometimes we skip a month because I'm either out of town or I have fucked up my schedule so badly that I can't make time for it. But for us, we edit the things so heavily because we waste so much time. This is probably a much smarter way to do it, doing it live and fuck it, send it off. But we just got in this habit of trying to make ourselves sound smarter than. JON: It's nice to cut out a few ums and uhhs along the way and likes. SAM: Yeah, I know. We listened back to our show and the amount of likes and uhhs and for sures and all that stuff. Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: Oh, my God. Yeah, we still do it. Still going. I can't believe we're up to 25 episodes now. We just did one with Ryan McMahon. SAM: Yeah, I listened to the other day. It was good.He's got a good podcast, too. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, totally. Red Man Laughing if you're a podcast lover, go check out Red Man Laughing. JOE: Yeah. So where would that one be and where would yours be? If people want to check them out. CHRIS HANNAH: Escapevelocityradio.Com is where you can check ours out online, or I'm sure through the iTunes directory, you could find it there. And same with Ryan McMahon's. Red Man Laughing yeah. Another Winnipeg podcast. SAM: Yeah, it's very good one. For the guests on your show, how do you sort that out? I mean, for us, we're mostly talking to bands. We've played in bands a lot. Most of our friends have played in bands. It's fairly easy to get the connections. But, I mean, a lot of people we're talking to are not very outside of the music world. Do you have preexisting connections with all these people or is it just. CHRIS HANNAH: Well, sort of. Everybody knows somebody who knows that person that you're looking for at some point, especially when you hit our age. So we just find a topic that we find ourselves talking about casually outside the podcast and arguing about or that people are arguing about, and we try to get somebody in to make sense of it for us and then debrief and find out if we've learned anything, which we rarely have. SAM: Have you had a good reception to it? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, I think so. Especially for. I mean, it's kind of typical of stuff I'm involved in. There's really not a lot to hang your hat on. It's all over the place. And like you say, it's kind of funny. But a lot of people who like funny don't want to sit there and listen to a fucking serious conversation. But we can't help it. That's part of why we're interested. So it's another little sort of niche thing we do. SAM: Do you listen to a lot of podcasts? CHRIS HANNAH: I try to. Time is of the essence for me, but I kind of go with what I know, like the big picture science, which is the SETI podcast, the Red Man Laughing podcast. What else? There used to be a bunch there used to be this one mysterious universe. You ever hear Mysterious Universe? Oh, my God. It's like this paranormal podcast. SAM: Oh, cool. CHRIS HANNAH: So it's so dumb that it's genius. JON: So they're just way out there on stuff. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. And they've really professionalized it, so it's extremely silly. But anyways, yeah. I haven't had a lot of time in the past four and a half years to dedicate. I see all these titles go by and I'm like, oh, my God. SAM: Well, so many of them now. CHRIS HANNAH: It's crazy. JON: Do you want to throw to another song relating to murder? CHRIS HANNAH: Sure. Well, the other one I have here, I'm just going to seem like the fucking dumb banger at this event, but it's a band from Chicago called Etrope, from a record called Amnesty that they put out back in probably 1987. And the song is called Kill the Enemy. And they were another criminally underrated metal band that actually had some progressive politics, which was kind of unheard of back then, especially for a band that called themselves street metal from Chicago. So this is E trope with kill the enemy. (music) JON: All right, we're back. SAM: Yeah, that was murderous. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. SAM: I don't listen to too much of that kind of stuff, but usually the heavier stuff I listen to is like, I really like doom metal, so I like really slow and super sludgy and the faster stuff, I mean, I'm not too exposed to, but it seems like I might be wrong. But a lot of this stuff's getting reissued. Or is this coming back? CHRIS HANNAHF: I think there's been sort of a resurgence in interest in that scene. Some of it's sort of ornamental, like some of the younger bands coming up and fucking dressing up. I don't know. At first I was torn. I saw the bands kind of trying to cop the image of some of the 80s Bay Area bands, and you get that feeling like you weren't fucking there. But now. I recently saw an Iron Reagan cover band. It's the guys from Municipal Waste who have this band, Reagan. Yeah. And they kind of do that whole. I don't want to say shtick, but they do. A couple of them are a little older, but they weren't there, but they do it really well. And it really has the same fun, ridiculous vibe. I don't know. I think Etrope are still going to get missed, overlooked. They had some bad records after this first. This first one was really good, called Amnesty. And then they had a decent one after that, and then shit after that, which was most bad. When they hit the 90s, everybody except for Sacrifice, Razor and Voivod just became shit. SAM: Not everybody, but a little Canadian bias, too, right? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. Might be a little biased, but Sacrifice was still putting out good records in 93. And Razor, all the way through the 90s, had good, weird records. SAM: And all that stuff got reissued by War on Music, right? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, a lot of that hilarious local fucking connection to all that. Unbelievable. It's great. SAM Well, then you guys did that split with Sacrifice, too? CHRIS HANNAH: Yes. Also unbelievable. The most unbelievable thing ever. I was almost worried when it came out because I thought, well, now what? SAM: You can end it. CHRIS HANNAH: Nothing else to do. SAM: Yeah, for sure. JON: So, yeah, that's kind of like a high. Sounds like sort of a career high. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, absolutely. JON: It seemed like you guys have a pretty steady stream, though. Were there, like, points where things weren't working out, or is it a pretty. I mean, maybe there are times when there's less focus on certain aspects of what you're doing, but as far as maintaining a band for this long, it's pretty remarkable. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah. In 2003 or 2004 or whatever fucking year it was, the record Potemkin City Limits came out. It was our last year as a three piece. That was a tough time because I just felt like, we can't do this like this anymore. We don't want to add another person to the band. Playing these songs live sucks because we made them record them with two guitars, and it was just a very dismal time for our band in relation to what was going on in our so called. Amongst our so called peers in the punk scene. SAM: It was a pretty different record, too. CHRIS HANNAH: It was another one where everyone's like, oh, you're really done this time? But now people are all like, oh, that one's really cool. That's a cool record. I like to think of it the way I think of some of the Rush records that came out after Moving Pictures and before Roll the Bones, because people that's sort of like this. For some people, it's this black hole. You know, the keyboard era of Rush. I think it's their best era by far. Grace Under Pressure, Hold Your Fire and I like to think of Potemkin in the same way because it's sort of a dreary record, like some of those Rush records were. The recording isn't, as in your face, but there's sort of, like, hidden things. I don't know. I kind of like that it's the runt of the litter. Yeah. SAM: It's the underdog record. Yeah. JON: And you've alluded to being super busy a few times and, I mean, you guys have tours coming up, but is this just all consuming trying to maintain the band, or is there a lot of other stuff you've got on your plate? CHRIS HANNAH: Well, it's all consuming trying to get all four guys in the same room at once. Yeah, I bet. Which is how the magic really happens for us. It's always been pairing off to get things rolling. But then once you've beaten a sketch of a song in the shape, you need all four guys to make it something that you really want to show the world and you want to steamroll people's faces. And it's so hard. Like, Beave's in school, I got two kids. Jord got this fucking stupid job. Todd's going off for all this art class stuff all the time, which. And I don't begrudge anybody for anything they're doing, you guys. It's always been that way, actually. Our band has never been easy to pull it off because we've never committed to doing it in any sort of reasonable. Well, not reasonable, any sort of full time, 24/7 fashion, even though we kind of live and breathe it like that, but not the way other bands do, where they treat it like a business. We've never treated like a business. We've just treated it like something we love. SAM: That's interesting because of how successful you've been, because this comes up a lot when we talk to local bands. It's like, how much do they actually, is it a full time job? Do they have any time for other things? School, jobs, mortgages, whatever. And a lot of those bands that are doing it business, they're just starting out. They maybe put out one album and they're trying to push it as hard as they can. That's interesting to hear from you guys who are, what, six, seven albums in and you have tons of fans, you can tour the world and stuff and you're still not a business. That's kind of cool. CHRIS HANNAH: Well, we got lucky, too. Just sort of the climate of the 90s with the whole fucking Fat Wreck Chods/Epitaph thing. For a while we benefited from that, for sure. It kind of launched us, and then we came down a bit and then we just gliding on a thermal somewhere. It's nowhere near as easy. Not that it was easy, but it's way harder now for anything to happen for people unless they do the whole kind of by the numbers shtick. It seems to me like there's not a lot of room for something to come out of thin air doing your own thing and bowling people over. At least for making a so called career of it. Yeah, but I think we are sort of a case study, and you can be really fucked up and do things the absolute opposite of what you're supposed to do. And it works and you can still make it work if you just don't have these crazy expectations. SAM: Do you guys have anything set up for future? Like, are you working on any new music? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, we got a bunch of tunes in various stages of incompletion, and if we could commit to full time, four guys in a room stuff, we'd be recording a record by next spring for sure. But it's going to take longer just because we're doing it so piecemeal right now. But we're excited. I mean, we're, again, genuinely excited where the stuff we have, where it's heading. So that's a good sign, because with everything going on, if we felt like we plateaued, it'd be easy just to be like, fuck, just phone it in, we're all busy. SAM: Well, I think that's what I was saying before. What I kind of like about how the progression of your sound. CHRIS HANNAH: Right. SAM: I mean, it would be easy for someone in your situation. You've been around this long, you have this many records, you have an existing fan base to just phone it in, do the same thing for the next three records as you've done before. CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, I think the four of us would be emotionally incapable of phoning stuff in. We would just quit. SAM: So I'm going to play another song that relates to the murder theme. This song is by Barrington Levy. It's called Murderer. It's obviously very direct. Both of my songs here. Connection to theme. This came out in 81, and it's kind of the era of early dance hall that is sort of my go to, for sure. I mean, we've talked about this in the show a lot before. I tend to play a lot of reggae on here. And this is sort of. There's a time frame and there's a certain set of producers and backing musicians and stuff. And it's just like. It's the sweet spot for me. I could listen to it forever. And this is in there. It's a really iconic song. I think even people who don't necessarily know it will recognize because it's been sampled so many times and things like that, but fits the murder theme. It's basically about the cops and the authorities and how much they suck and. Yeah, so check it out. (music) SAM: All right, so that was Murderer obviously fits the murder theme. Pretty blatantly 1981 Barrington Levy, pretty iconic reggae song, I think. And yeah, I mean, it was the first thing I thought of when the theme murder came up, so I forgot. I should probably play it. Usually that's going with the first instinct is good. I know Jon may not agree with that, or you do, actually. You kind of grab stuff right off the shelves. JON: I'm usually grabbing stuff 10 minutes before the guest arrives. SAM: Yeah, that's true. JON: That's all I got. Yeah. SAM: So, yeah, I don't mean it's a good tune. Fits the theme. Enjoyable. JON: All right, well, we're going to, I think, wrap it up for another week here on Witchpolice radio. But before we do, do you want to just tell people where they can find, again your podcast and obviously your band's music? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, you can find our podcast at escapeplocityradio.com and you can find our band Propagandhi at propagandhi.com. JON: Yeah, you can probably just Google. SAM: I'm sure if you Google it, it's probably... try to Google it. Yeah. Do you guys have any touring going on soon? CHRIS HANNAH: Just like a Southern US, a short Southern US thing in December. SAM: Cool. CHRIS HANNAH: And nothing planned after that. Our other guitar player is having a kid in the spring and is just overwhelmed at school. So maybe we'll try to jam in some weekend things or play Winnipeg or something. I don't know. SAM: Hope you play Winnipeg. I haven't actually seen you live since 1997. I'm either not in town or it's sold out. It sells out crazy fast. Like those shows lately. Every time I hear, oh great, I'm going to go to this and then no, people lined up at music at six in the morning, whatever. And got that. Must be nice though, the hometown crowd. CHRIS HANNAH It is. It hasn't always been that way. SAM: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH: At all. We were hated locally for a long time. JON: Really? CHRIS HANNAH: Oh yeah. SAM: I think that was at Le Rendezvous that I saw you guys...rock against racism. CHRIS HANNAH Yeah. JON : Yeah, I would have been at that. I've seen you since, I saw you at the Garrick. Still a little while ago though. CHRIS HANNAH: I think the Garrick was post hate. JON: Yeah. CHRIS HANNAH People were like, okay, well, time has passed, give them a chance again. SAM: I mean, I know you have another song to close it out. But if people want to find our show, they can go a lot of places, like the Witchpolice.com hit podcast. There's a link to all the previous 99 because this is episode 100 episodes for free download and streaming. You can find us on the actual radio Monday nights at 11:00 p.m. 101.5 UMFM. If you're not in Winnipeg, it's umfm.com. You can stream it there. We're on Facebook. We're on Twitter. We're on Instagram now. And we're also on the Garbage Hill Podcast Network, which is the local podcast network of really interesting DIY radio. The goal of it is to be like a one stop shop to find really cool things people are doing in their basements on various topics. Like, there's not all music, but I think we're the only music show, actually. JON: All right. SAM: Yeah. People should check that out. JON: And you guys, I imagine, are on Twitter. CHRIS HANNAH: We are on Twitter. Do you Twitter? JON: Because Sam's the only one who does the Twitter for the show. And as far as I know, I think he only Twitter's about hockey. I wonder if you guys do the same thing, kind of the same Twitter about hockey? CHRIS HANNAH: Yeah, generally, yeah. JON: All right. SAM: It's really their best use of Twitter. It's just complain about hockey. JON: All right, well, I'm going to close off the murder themed show with a song by Neil Young. I'm going to play Pocahontas. SAM: This is actually one of my favourite Neil songs. JON: Yeah, I really like this song. Figured it. Yeah, it fits the theme. Some murder, some genocide in it, for sure. So thanks for tuning in. Thanks for coming. SAM: Yeah, thanks a lot for coming. CHRIS HANNAH: Thanks for having me, guys. Congratulations on a hundred episodes and thanks for having me here to listen to some cool music I haven't heard before. JON: All right, thanks.

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