5 Questions with Rags #10 - Chuck Robertson (of the Mad Caddies)

Confession: Second-wave ska music kind of makes me insane. I want to like it, I really do. Everyone involved with it seems pretty cool and people in the crowds are always jovial and peaceful, but man, something about it makes me want to punch someone in the face. And as a guy who’ll have a big puff and listen to Run the Jewels with no inclination to punch another face, this is really saying something. A couple of years ago the Mad Caddies, a band with 20 years under their belts and a total of zero listens from your truly, headlined the Victoria Ska Fest (the greatest music week on the Victoria calendar) and I was more than pleasantly surprised with what I saw. These cats rock and burn, throwing every genre scrap they can into their “ska” and making something honest and uniquely theirs. The good homey and frontman Chuck was super cool to oblige me with some time while he was waiting for his California hotel room to be ready.

(Note: Pictures are all from the Mad Caddies site. Credits not found. If you took the photos hit me up and I’ll make sure your name gets to where it needs to be!)

If you're reading this before Jan 25, you should see the Mad Caddies playing with Rags Music favourites the Aggrolites in Vancouver (25th) and/or Victoria (27). Find tickets and get show info by clicking here.


For your listening pleasure whilst you read our lovely little chat, enjoy "Dangerous" from the Caddies' latest, Dirty Rice, available on Fat Wreck.

 1. What was the first album you went to buy with your own money?

It was at a place called Records, Etc. I think by the time I started shopping there at age 7 or 8 they still had records, but they definitely mostly had cassettes, rock ‘n’ roll posters and posters of Ferraris and stuff. The first tape I bought was Billy Idol’s Vital Idol, if you can believe it. <laugh> That was the first tape I bought with my own lawn-mowing money. After that it was all Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Poison, lots of glam rock.

Do you still listen to any of that stuff?

Well, a lot of that glam rock didn’t really stand up to the test of time except for Guns ‘n’ Roses and a few Motley Crue tunes.

2. Can you think of a movie that impacted the way you saw the world?

The first movie I really got into was James Bond. Sean Connerey’s return in Never Say Never Again was one of the first movies I watched on tape. I didn’t know you could be a super spy and get all the girls with a Scottish accent too. That definitely changed my outlook on the world. I’ve been a die-hard James Bond ever since.

How would you feel about Idris Elba playing James Bond?

Oh for sure! Go for it. We haven’t had a brother play Bond before so I think it’s time.

Chuck rocking his heart out for the Victoria Ska Fest.

Chuck rocking his heart out for the Victoria Ska Fest.

3. If the world was ending and you get to go to anywhere in the world to save one piece of culture to preserve for future generations or new friends, what are you going to grab?

I guess it would have to be a million gig hard-drive loaded with all the important literature of science and culture for the world. I’d get the biggest hard drive I could find with a solar power battery and I’d stuff as much information, music and literature in there as I could. I think that would be the ticket these days.

What if you couldn’t find a large harddrive and you could only fit one record and one book on there? You tried to outsmart me. See, I can play this game too.

<laugh> Oh man, that’s tough. I don’t even know. Right now, for my listening pleasure I would grab Dr. Dog, a band from Philadelphia, their album Shame, Shame, from a couple years ago. And I guess I’d just grab the biggest Encyclopedia I could to remember some of our culture.

4. Another horrible scenario: You have to choose between keeping your hearing and your vision…which are you keeping?

Ooo, oh, ya. I’d take my hearing for sure. I’ve seen long enough where I could still remember what it looked like so I’m keeping my hearing for sure.

5. Immortality. Do you think you might like it? Do you ever think about it?

I’m sure everyone’s thought about it. I don’t think I’d like it. I think eventually you’re ready to just move on to whatever’s next, whether it’s infinite darkness or the next dimension, next life. I don’t know, I’m 36 and I’m already tired. <laugh> I wouldn’t want it. I mean, it would be nice to stick around for an extra 50 or 60 years and who knows, with advances in medical and science, our generation might see an extra 30 or 40 if we take care of ourselves. We might be able to get that new liver or heart that we need really easily in the future.

6. Hmmm, an extra half-life. I could get on board for that. I dig it. So, the 6th question today is DJ Dubconscious, out of Vancouver, wants to know: What is your favourite beer? Favourite strain of cannabis? Favourite hot sauce?

Very easy. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, bottle-conditioned from Chico, California. Strain of cannabis would definitely be Sour Diesel, a must have. Favourite hot sauce, hmmmm, well, I’m just going to go with the readily available classic, Tapatio.  

Keep abreast of all the Mad Caddies goings-on at their site.