CIRCLE THE WAGONS.

When writing an article for a zine you have only two things to worry about. Deadline and word counts. When I interviewed Jord, the new singer of freshly reformed Circle The Wagons, I was WAY over word count and had to chop a lot of good stuff. Thankfully my blog has no word count, so break out your reading glasses and prepare to read it all folks! 


And be sure to catch Circle The Wagons playing with Dayglo Abortions @ Funky Winkerbeans on Thursday April 14th for their tour kick off, gonna be a great show.




Circle The Wagons – Not Dizzy Yet.
By: Denis Maile

Denis - When did Circle The Wagons form?

Jordan - To the best of my knowledge, the band was formed in 2001. Back history and such should be directed to someone who was in the band at that time. I was 15 years old then, and too busy splitting my time between youth group and masturbation to document any kind of local scene.

Denis - And when did they break up?

Jordan - The last show was in June of 2006, in Fernie of all places. Not quite sure when the decision to quit was, but it wasn’t too long after that tour.

Denis - Any idea what caused the hiatus?

Jordan - Not really. I do remember asking them at the time and being told to shut up.

Denis - So how did it come about that Circle The Wagons got back together? 

Jord - Paddy and Mike had asked me to try out for the new project they were trying to get going. I'd already made the decision to move to Vancouver, and the prospect of starting a new group from scratch when I would be living 8 hours away seemed a bit daunting. You know all those bands that form that never make it out of the jam room? I really, really didn’t want that to happen if I was going to be irregularly commuting and splitting my time between two places, even though those guys are two of my favorite musicians and I trust that they would have been committed and not have bailed. Also a new project would require a lot more of my time initially while I was trying to get settled and look for work here, and it just sounded unfeasible. Over lunch with Paddy I made a joke about how they should just get the Wagons back together with me on vocals and that I'd do that in a heartbeat. He thought about it for a sec and asked if I was serious and I had to decide on the spot whether I was or not. Two days later we had the first jam (the first for me, their first in 4 and a half years) and it came together super fast. Unfortunately longtime drummer Chrislite Deluxe fucked up his shoulder shortly thereafter and hasn't been able to drum. Thankfully Kyle Sheppard of Datura and a bunch of other sick heavy Nelson bands stepped up to the kit. The guy’s a fucking octopus and I’m really stoked to be playing with him. He’s definitely from a tech/ death metal background and had to rein it in a bit to a tight, solid punk beat. The addition of me and Kyle also ushers in a new era of 100% hirsute members for the Wagons.



Denis - How many drummers have Circle The Wagons had?

Jord - Man, I don't even know. The obvious joke would be to compare us to Spinal Tap, but I'd rather be a smart ass and say we've had more drummers than N.W.H. had managers. The first person to e-mail me with the title of the movie I'm referencing gets 10 free Wantmonster 7"es.

Denis - What is your earliest memory of Circle The Wagons?

Jord - When I was 16 I saw them for the first time at an outdoor party on our friends' property. They were still a 4 piece at the time, with Paddy and Mike both playing guitar and Rich from Les Taberfucks on bass. The thought of there being a band that sounded like that coming from my small town was mind boggling. I bought their EP as soon as it came out, and played it for all my friends. Prior to this me and my brother had been listening to Paddy's punk show on the local co-op radio station for a couple years, exposing me for the first time to stuff like Poison Idea, Dwarves, Beyond Possession, and RKL. I think I might even still have a couple tapes of that somewhere. Before that I was mostly into whatever crap I could find that was on the Punk O Rama comps. Circle the Wagons and the Creatures for a While radio show were both big influences in my interest in DIY hardcore. They were also really supportive of my very first (terrible) high school punk band, much more than they should have been. They recorded all our demos, got us on some cool gigs, and were just really encouraging of us 4 dipshits making a tuneless racket.

Denis - The Wagons had been going for a long time and built up a solid fanbase, are you worried that these people won't embrace the idea of a new singer?

Jord - In a way I kind of feel like I have might have to prove myself a bit more, but I'm not losing any sleep about it. I've already had a little bit of experience with internet detractors, but to them I would like to point out that these days Paddy absolutely refuses to sing lead, and the band would not be playing without the addition of a lead vocalist. The needs of the many, and all that. If it weren't me, it would be some other equally untalented schmuck. At least I already look like them. Also, I've been singing these songs to myself since I was in high school, and my last band even did a Wagons cover. This is also the longest I’ve gone without performing since I started playing as a teen, and frankly I’ve never been so horny to get on stage and kill. I have zero doubts that the new lineup is gonna destroy.

Denis - Is it true these die hard Circle The Wagons fans are called 'Wagoneers'?

Jord - It is now! Please go forth and spread this term. Any 'Wagoneer' that gets the lyrics to 'The Honky Problem' tattooed on their ribcage gets 5% off admission to Circle the Wagons shows for a full month.

Denis - Formerly of the band Wantmonster, so what happened there?

Jord - I wish I had some juicy drama or gossip to share, but I don’t. Those guys are all my best friends and I had a total blast playing with them, they just don’t really want to do the same things I do. I’ve sacrificed all manner of financial stability to be in a band, roadie, and do a record label. It’s the only lifestyle I’m interested in, and understandably that’s not the case for most people, especially those in a small town with no real punk scene and no reference point for a lot of the things I wanted to do. I released our 7” in 2007 and it remains the worst-selling release I’ve put out simply because we never toured or put ourselves out there enough. Songwriting had slowed to a glacial pace and families and careers were developing, and I was getting sick of playing the same 20 minutes of music at the same 2 venues. A lot of cool things came about from being with Wantmonster though, I learned a lot about performing and it gave me an excuse to bring some awesome bands to town and actually have local support. After years of no venues and shitty turn outs we finally started doing shows in the basement of the house me and two other members shared. I wish we’d gotten on board with that sooner ‘cause in my opinion those were some of the best shows Nelson had seen in a long time.

Denis - What brought you to Vancouver?

Jord - I’d been half heartedly telling people I was going to move to Vancouver for 5 years. After we all moved out of the house we shared and practiced at it just seemed like time. I like Vancouver. Every time we’d play here or I’d come to visit it would strengthen my resolve to live here. Also, Nelson was driving me insane. The whole town is permeated with apathy and spilled bong water. Outsiders routinely visit Nelson and fall in love with it, but the whole town is super restrictive and arbitrarily regulated, and though they pride themselves on being an ‘arts town’ their idea of art is restricted to a very narrow field. And the “local identity” the fucking city council wants you to buy into... I have zero tolerance for some misguided, malnourished yuppie trying to get me to pay 200 dollars a session for ‘soul cleansing’ therapy or trying to get me to pump wheatgrass juice up my ass. These people thrive in Nelson. Critical thinking hasn’t yet been written into the town charter. That said I’ve lived there my whole life so I’m far more cynical than your typical resident. There are a lot of good things about Nelson and I’m sure I’ll be there again some day.

Denis - What are your thoughts on the Vancouver music scene thus far?

Jord - Personally I think it fuckin’ rules. Too bad I work shitty restaurant jobs and miss 80% of the shows I want to see. Really though, Vancouver has some awesome bands, and Gordon Smith is only in 60% of them. I haven’t been here long enough to pretend I’m any kind of expert, but every weekend there’s 2 or 3 shows to go to. Osk has been one of my favorite bands for a couple years. Ahna is one of the most exciting bands I’ve seen in ages. Invasives are old friends of mine and are still kicking ass. Baptists are the rare band that is actually worth all the buzz- I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve played their 7”. Nun Un, Real Problems, Unfun, Haggatha... honestly there’s some really mind blowing shit going on here and I’m excited to be here for it. There are also some really cool show spaces that are as important as the bands in my opinion. I have an affinity for DIY venues, so to see so many shows that are taking place in basements, warehouses and rehearsal studios is awesome, and I have a lot of respect for people that are willing to put in the legwork to make that possible.

Denis - What's it like being the singer of a band based in Nelson when you live in Vancouver?

Jord - I dunno, ask me in 2 months. Half my reason for moving here was to find a band, and then I was asked to join one week before I moved. Call me stupid, naive, or dedicated, but one thing’s for sure: I’m fuckin’ broke!

Denis - You also run your own label Black Banana Records, tell me a bit about that, and how it got started.

Jord - Strangely enough, the label was started by Circle the Wagons. Paddy was doing the layout for my aforementioned punk band’s first demo, and made up the logo and included it in the artwork. The original idea was to spam every local DIY release with it and build up a sort of local mythology, a la Incentive Records in Victoria. That did happen for a while- I know there are a couple CD-Rs by one off joke bands that even I don’t have. The first ‘proper’ release on Black Banana was the Married to Music (now Invasives) ‘Miracles’ 7”, which Paddy put out. Later on I’d been wanting to start a label and distro, so I just asked them if I could do it all on Black Banana, and take advantage of the
releases they’d already put out. Since then I’ve been focusing mostly on small run vinyl releases by western Canadian thrash and powerviolence bands, since there’s a bunch of killer shit coming out here these days. I’ve been too broke to release anything for a while, but there’s gonna be some sick stuff coming out this year. Check out http://blackbananarecords.blogspot.com for release and distro info.

Denis: So what are the current/future plans for Circle The Wagons?

Jord: I’m heading back to Nelson to learn the new material for a new 7”, then we tour western Canada with the Dayglo Abortions in mid April. My whole plan for moving was to join a fastcore band that would only play all ages DIY shows, and now my first tour with my new group is with one of Canada’s most established bar punk bands, so that’s an indication of how quickly I sell out my ideals. I listened to them a lot as a teenager though and I’m sure the whole trip is gonna be epic.

Tour Dates and misinformation can be found at: 

www.reverbnation.com/circlethewagons

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