Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a big fan of Calgary. The couple times I’ve been there haven’t been stellar. I never feel like I fit in, but apparently I’ve been going to the wrong places there because this is the city that helped breed HighKicks, stonerfuzzrock extraordinaires. (Also, Calgary is home to Sled Island, a thing I should probably be going to sometime soon.) These guys kick way more ass than any two people have the right to be kicking with their catchy, brash Keys-esque rock ‘n’ roll. I didn’t know who they were until a few weeks ago but I’m super glad to know them and their music now and hope that you have just as much fun getting to know them as I have been.
Go check out HighKicks on their Road Fuzz tour through Western Canada, Mar.17-Apr.10. Check the dates and cities on their Facebook page.
Get their tunes over on their bandcamp page.
1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money?
Danny: This is totally dating myself but the first album I bought with my own money was back in the days of Columbia House. Among others on that list was License to Ill by Beastie Boys and, I’m not even ashamed to say it, but Bobby Brown’s album from that time, whatever the title was.
Whatever, man. Bobby Brown had some great stuff. “Humpin’ Around” still kicks ass.
D: I know, right? It’s great. I wanted some parachute pants right then.
Did you ever manage to fulfill that dream?
D: <laughs> Yes I did, actually. There was this bullshit in our local mall called Stitches where you could get all the black and white rayon shirts the kids were wearing and girls could get $5 pleated skirts. And I nailed down some rayon/silk parachute pants when I was in junior high. Everyone gives Hammer credit but I think it was Bobby Brown who kicked it off.
Matt: Mine was Appetite for Destruction by Guns ‘n’ Roses on CD. I still listen to it. I’m happy with my first choice. To this day it still sounds pretty kickass.
2. If you had to choose between keeping your sight or your hearing, which would you keep?
D: I actually thought about this the other day and goddamn life would be hard without sight but I feel like I’ve seen everything. If I was born that way I’d rather have sight but now that I’ve seen everything it would be all locked in my memory. It would be hella hard but damn I love music so much. So if I had choose right now, today, definitely I take my eyes. I need my ears for rocking out.
M: I’d go with…that’s a tough one…I’m going to go with hearing. Life is beautiful but I couldn’t enjoy music as much if I couldn’t hear it. Simple.
3. Can you think of a movie that had a genuine effect on the way you saw the world?
D: I was pretty blown away when I was a kid and watched Back to the Future for the first time. The time paradoxes I’d never thought about. Marty trying to hit on his mother and stuff was crazy. That got me thinking on some different levels being the first time travel movie I saw as a young fella. It got me thinking outside the box. I also remember seeing Clockwork Orange when I was way too young. It had a horrible effect on me seeing all that violence too young. “Come on mom, you’re supposed to be caring for me. What is this ultraviolence? Come on, I’m not ready.” All that sexual violence. I’m lucky it didn’t turn you into a weirdo. I’m weird for completely different reasons. <laughs>
M: Ooh! I like movies a lot. I really enjoyed Trainspotting when I saw it because I was super young and I had no idea that being a little outside the norm could be so fun, exciting and cool. But also very dark at the same time.
4. If the world was ending but you got to escape to safety and save one piece of culture from anywhere in the world, what would you save?
D: Goddamn, I didn’t think I’d have to be thinking today. I’m already on my second beer, jeez. <laughs> I would say a TV but without everything attached to it it’s just a box of useless. I would probably take a guitar. Obviously it’s just what it is but more than that it’s what you can make it do.
Do you have a specific guitar you’d like to take?
D: I would take the very first guitar I ever owned. Well, that’s not true. I traded my first two guitars that I owned and hated for this one Brazilian classic. Her name is Suzanne. I still write all my songs on her.
M: I guess if it could be anything it would be the Rosetta Stone, so people hundreds of years from now might be able to read our languages. It seemed like an important piece of history when they found it and I’d try to keep that alive.
5. Do you believe technology can set humanity free or does it stick us in an endless loop?
D: Obviously a very difficult question. Technology has not got the potential to set us free. It has the potential to open eyes and reach out, bring us closer together but in the end it’s the human stuff that has the potential to set us free. The loving, the kindness, the understand, the community – that’s the human thing.
M: I think the next step of evolution is us merging with our technology. To the point where maybe our consciousness is kept alive in computers and bone and flesh aren’t even around anymore. But I don’t think that would necessarily set us free. I think we’re never going to be completely free until we leave the state we occupy now and go on to the afterlife.
6. Chali 2na wants to know…Do you believe in God? AND do you believe there’s a difference, a separation, between religion and culture? Are they one in the same?
D: I don’t believe in God as he’s presented to us these days. I’m smart enough to say in the end, “I don’t know.” Until I’m given some kind of proof I’m willing to say, “I don’t know.” As for the other part, I certainly think culture and religion can exist on their own, beside each other. You don’t need religion for culture to exist.
M: First part: I definitely think there’s something out there bigger than us that can’t be fully explained and isn’t meant to be fully explained until we reach that point of the afterlife. I guess that’s an Agnostic sort of approach. There is something higher, but lots of people call it lots of different things. Second part: I think to a point, religion and culture were the same thing maybe in the past. But I think over time religion’s importance has gone down a lot but culture has remained vibrant. It seems like religion is something that’s already written and doesn’t change with humanity whereas culture, the longer we stay alive, the more culture we have. Culture evolves with us.