5 Questions with Rags #47 - B.A. Johnston

B.A. Johnston is apparently some kind of Canadian folk hero. Every time I mention him, to people across various culture and genre affiliations, there is some kind of recognition. I've been criminally unaware of his presence until just recently, with the release of his fucking glorious new album Gremlins 3. The album is full of fascinatingly obtuse songs about doing whippits whilst working a grocery store, getting drunk on Sourpuss (That awful, awful “liquor” we all drank in our early 20s), getting drunk in a canoe, getting drunk on cheap beer, and slowly turning into his grandmother. The song that really grabbed me ears on the record was “No Wanna Shambhala,” a song about the confusing, wrecked feeling that comes at the end of a multi-day festival. It could be about any festival, really, as Mr. Johnston was so kind to offer up.


1. What's the first album you bought with your own money?

The first album I bought with my own money was The English Beat – I Just Can't Stop It. I don't listen to it all the time, but I still have it. I listen to it maybe twice a year or something. It's kind of weird to listen to records you knew 20 years ago and you still know it perfectly.

2. When's the last time you did something for the first time?

I don't know. I'm very old. Hmmm...nothing's coming up...Cleaning a toilet a year ago. That might be the last new thing I did. It's not very pleasant. I always assumed they were just clean but then I looked at them more closely and there's stuff inside. I realized I have to clean them.

Wait, wait, wait. How did you get this far in life without having to ever clean a toilet? What kind of blessed life have you lived?

Roommates. Also, I pee perfectly into the centre so I never leave a mess, so I never thought it was my problem.

Read More