If you’re new to Banff, you might wanna pay attention.
There was a time when seeing this old, beat-off, brown camper van, busting at the seams with fireworks, porno, Jack Daniel’s and 18 year old sluts, was not out of place on the streets of Banff. Lovingly nicknamed Curry-Poo by most of our community, its owners were at the centre of Banff’s live music scene.
Blacked Out played many a show over their years in town and have recently up and left for greener pastures (Vancouver, BC). They’ve been back once or twice and their last show at the Devils Gap left me with a massive hangover, empty wallet and mystery bruises on 90 percent of my body.
They’re back on July 18th at the Devil’s Gap. If you don’t like to party, stay the fuck home.
Evan sat down with Wade and Dicker a while back and got the scoop.
Who is Blacked Out? Give us your full names.
Wade: Myself, Wade McLeod and Morgan Farrell and uh……Dicker. Ryan Dicker Walker on drums.
Where is Morgan?
Wade: Morgan had to take a trip to Thailand. He’s gone for 6 weeks.
How do you feel about that?
Wade: Its good. Good for him. Sometimes it’s nice to have a little vacation.
Wade McLeod (left) and Dicker (right) – Blacked Out
Where are you all from?
Wade: Im from Dawson Creek, BC. Redneck land.
Dicker: Im from the Valley [Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia] with all the lobsters.
You’re recording a new album?
Wade: Yeah, we’re working on it. Its going pretty good.
Why are you recording it at home and not in a professional studio?
Wade: We tried going into the studio before and found we easily could have gotten better sound and did a better job right here at home. Chris Barkhouse is our tech and he’s really good. So far we’re really happy with the progress. Its kinda on hold right now while Morgan’s off jet setting around Asia but we’ll hopefully release it in late January, early February, something like that.
How’s the Banff music scene now compared to when you first started out?
Wade: Well there was another band back in the day called _____. We got a bunch of gigs with them and they helped us through the rough times.
Dicker: The 508 Deer times.
So, is the scene better now? Then?
Wade: Its still all you guys just fighting each other in the pit hahah….but….we have the Devils Gap now so that place brings a lot more bands into town. Some of them we know and some of them we don’t so we get to network with a lot of people, which builds the scene here more. People want to come here and play.
Dicker: We’re a little older now.
Wade: We’re a lot more mature.
Dicker: Im a professor.
Wade: Yup, Dickers got his degree is professor-ism.
We’ve all seen it. Tell us about Curry-Poo.
Wade: Its our van man! It’s the bloodline of Blacked Out. Without Curry-Poo we wouldn’t be what we are today.
Dicker: The tampon box in the front windshield is essential for our bands image.
Tell us your favorite Curry Poo story.
Dicker: My favorite is one time in Vancouver, we lit a sonic boom [firework] and tossed it in the van while our roadie, Moneen, was sleeping in there by himself. He came out all covered in fucking dust and smoke. It was great.
Dicker: Best fuckin’ roadie ever.
Wade: Way better then Beeler. Way better then Boozy.
Dicker: Hell yeah, Boozy cries all the time and wants to go home to his girlfriend. Haha.
Wade: Beeler just shows up on the road bleeding with a concussion so he can’t really get the job done.
Groupies or girlfriends?
Wade: haha…..definatly groupies. They’re good to have around, they’re a lot more fun and they don’t get mad at you for the little things that would make a relationship weird…
Whats up with you guys wearing shorts all winter long?
Wade: I dunno if you noticed but I’m not tall, so when I wear pants they just hang off the bottom like 4 or 5 inches. I just wear shorts all the time to save material.
Dicker: I only have one pair of pants.
What kinda stuff do you guys do in your off time?
Wade: No, but we do other stuff too. Snowboard, mountain bike, skateboard. I used to climb mountains a lot but I don’t really do that much anymore. Dickers a climber now too! What are you supposed to say when you get to the ground Dicker?
Dicker: On the ground!
Wade: Yeah that’s it, really technical climber talk. We don’t expect you to understand.
How do you guys promote Blacked Out?
Wade: Yeah we have a myspace account.
That’s pretty much the only way to get ahold of us. We have a lot of word of mouth promotion too. Banff’s got such an international crowd, a lot of people just move back home or whatever and tell everyone about this crazy band in Banff.
If you had to choose a season in Banff, would it be the winter or summer?
Is it true that Dicker invented a new drink?
Dicker: Tequilarade! Tequila and Gatorade. It gets you wasted and hydrates you at the same time! The best part is, if you throw your Tequila and Gatorade in the freezer at the same time, by the time you’re half done your bottle, it starts to freeze then you have Margarita-rade!
Are you guys having a hard time in Banff trying to find a place to play live music?
Wade: Yeah its hard. It feels like the town isn’t very supportive. Bylaws and stuff change from time to time it seems. We’ve had noise complaints. Its hard to even practice cause you get fines and stuff in the middle of the day.
Do you guys think you portray a punk rock image?
Wade: We just like having a good time. Its not really punk rock. Don’t get me wrong, I think studs and all that are cool, but like, we don’t have spikey Mohawks or anything. I do have a pretty cool bass though. Its painted green and orange. Its custom. I painted it myself, Its pretty cool and I’m pretty cool so I thought I should paint it.
What’s your favorite thing about playing live?
Dicker: Energy in the crowd.
Wade: Yup energy…its great
What bands have influenced you the most?
Dicker: My drumming is probably old school Lagwagon. Pantera.
Wade: Pantera for sure. I grew up with the metal heads so my roots are pretty heavy. Pantera and Slayer were breakfast for me. I had a mullet when I was a kid. Im not afraid.
Jack Daniels or porno?
Wade: Jack Daniels. No wait….arrgh….porno? No Jack….man…is there no comprimise?
Dicker: argh….thats not fair.
Wade: That’s a draw. Can we move on to some more fair questions?
Why do you guys always seem to have fireworks?
Dicker: They’re fun. Really, really fun.
Wade: Firecrackers and stuff are just as fun now as they were in grade 6.
So you only use them for visual effects? You would never shoot them at people right?
Wade: Only close friends. They’re kind of like a warm hug.
What’s you favorite place in Canada to play?
Wade: Banff. All the idiot friends are here and come to shows and support us. Nothing like the hometown crowd.
Dicker: Vancouver’s got a pretty good scene too.
Dicker: I have a question for you….whats that pink bracelet you got on there?
Its for breast cancer.
Dicker: Save the titties!
The interview finishes with Dicker putting Morgan (his pet fish) on one of his drums and as it flops around, it makes drummy sounds. Everyone laughs.