By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY — Dust off your blue suede shoes. It’s time for you to stop cryin’ all the time, as the shambling corpse of Calgary’s Helvis has been reanimated for a gig. The last time they graced the stage was in 2007. So, we had to ask – did those deep friend banana sandwiches shock you back to life, or was it the invocation ceremony by our good pal Satan? Neither, claims “skronk box” player Helvis Spice.
BeatRoute: It’s been eight years since the last Helvis gig, a reunion show also at the Palomino. That’s a long ass time. Please, tell us why the spirit of Elvis has reanimated your shambling corpses once more.
King Sausage: Helvis doesn’t think of things in aspect of time. More like space. Some space has gone by. Helvis was off blowing minds in other dimensions since the last time we were here in this one. We did some time at the Royal Conservatory of Prague where we’ve transcended music theory and developed a 13th note in the scale. Similar to the classical “devil’s tritone,” we’ve named this the “Helvis thirteentone.” It has unexpected effects on people, bring a spare pair of pants on Saturday!
BR: Helvis has had numerous breaks/break-ups/etc. Is this a one-off gig? Or is the future of Helvis TBA? I saw in the event description some story about a screenplay dubbed “More Songs about Sex and Meat.” Is that a new album? If so, tell us about it NOW!
KS: Helvis likes to keep its future wide open, man. Let’s say the future is TCB! Maybe we’ll morph another time soon. Maybe we won’t. You dig?
We did have a dude follow us around with a docu-camera for a little while, but that cat was too slow…couldn’t keep up. His shutter speed was weak.
We’ve been working on our gospel duology albums Helvis does God and He Fuckin’ Touched Me since 1998. Maybe they’ll make it to that bandspace page thing one of these days.
BR: You’ve got a new member in the band. Please, tell us who is part of the project now and how they embody the spirit of Helvis.
KS: We used to get member questions all the time. Helvis doesn’t have “members,” Helvis is an entity, sister. One soul. In the past though, there have been parts of the soul that have defected…but as a vile weed, a new one sprouts almost instantly, the newest being what Helvis calls CB Fontanel. CB’s host was a Filipino furnace repairman who succumbed to his injuries from a Pho eating contest.
BR: What sparkling, gaudy ensembles can we expect you to don on stage? Will you be eating fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches while performing?
KS: We do not commit the act of laundry, the suits are our skin. They are to protect the human eye from our hellish disfigurement that is the raw soul of Elvis. Helvis doesn’t disclose anything menu related to the live show. Have things gotten buttery in the past? Yes. Have corndogs been used as microphones? Maybe.
BR: Musically speaking, you guys were surrounded by a vastly different musical landscape when you were around nearly a decade ago. Do you think that Calgary has changed in the time since you reigned supreme?
KS: Calgary has seemed to have gotten very sonic since the ‘90s. Lots of pretty haircuts staring at their shoes. Did everyone forget how to rock ‘n’ roll!!?? Dudes look like chicks again. Reminds us of WHAM! and Duran Duran. There’s no danger anymore. Everyone is playing safe music.
BR: Anything else you’d like to add?
KS: Thanks ‘lil mama! Come see what could possibly be the last thing Helvis does outside of a mental hospital.
See Helvis on Saturday, April 4 at the Palomino Smokehouse and Bar with The Ramblin’ Ambassadors and The Detractions.AB, Alberta, Helvis, Palomino