“At that point, I began to fear for my life. The Psychic Alliance were clearly an insane religious cult and had probably spiked everyone’s drink with MDMA and cyanide.” I can understand Vivian Pence’s trepidation. She was an unassuming Vancouver hipster sent into a den of weirdos by the Georgia Straight and now she was facing down against an already crazed crowd being driven further into madness by the pounding psychedelic pop of The Psychic Alliance. But, she made one mistake: The Psychic Alliance would never do something as wasteful as mixing a slow acting chemical like MDMA with an instantaneous poison like cyanide. That’s just a waste of good drugs.
Also, killing your audience tends to make for a really bad show, which is not what this cult — I mean, band — is about. It’s been almost two years since the band made the move from Calgary to the coast, yet their new home leaves them wanting.
“Vancouver needs to loosen the fuck up, live a little and have some fun,” says Shaun Lee, lead singer of The Psychic Alliance. “There was a time in Vancouver when you would see some bands that would seriously scare the shit out of you and you just don’t see that anymore. There’s a serious fun police problem. Vancouver is full of pussies, cowards and chicken-shits, which even people from Vancouver would agree with. I think it’s because they don’t listen to enough country music.” Shaun continues, adding, “I’m really glad this is running in a Calgary publication.”
“We’re a polarizing band in a polarized city. We’re too smart for the dumb people and too dumb for the smart people,” says Marc Guenette, lead guitarist.
It’s not too surprising that the band hasn’t been met with open arms everywhere they’ve gone in Vancouver as the boldness of their statements is matched by their performances. They’ve been banned from more than one venue, but their overall impression of Vancouver is still positive. “It’s different in all the ways you want it to be,” says Lee.
This month The Psychic Alliance will return to Calgary to release the album that was recorded live off the floor in Calgary prior to the band’s relocation. “The world wasn’t ready for this album two years ago. It’s still about seven years ahead of its time,” Lee says of the upcoming release. As for the show in Calgary there was talk of dancing bears, a mongoloid boy playing the tambourine and the reanimated corpses of FDR and Stalin in a bare knuckle brawl to the re-death. “Also we’ll have Kyle fucking Qidl, which is more than anybody else has,” Lee boasts of their bass player. Regardless of the sideshows, any night spent with The Psychic Alliance is sure to be memorable, no matter how much you may want to forget it.
Psychic Alliance will be playing as part of ShakeOut! on May 17 at the D.
By Stephen RussellAB, Alberta