The Blame-Its: Punk Band Attributes Shelf Life To Tight Friendship

Friday 12th, May 2017 / 12:00
By Brittany Rudyck

Celebrating two decades of Edmonton’s favourite soda pop punk hooligans!
Photo by Ryan King

CALGARY – The Blame-its are ramping up to put out a very raucous, DIY tape for their 20th anniversary this month. The thing is, they haven’t even recorded yet.

Chris Workun (guitars/vox) gave BeatRoute the scoop on how he, Tye Hayes (bass/vox), Travis Hayes (guitars/vox) and Marco West (drums) intend on putting together their anniversary tape as well as how they’ve survived this long in the first place.

Part of the band’s endurance has relied on friendship, but also their-tried-and-true formula of classic, bouncy three-chord soda-pop punk. While that methodology won’t necessarily change for the new tape, their approach to the recording process has.

Traditionally, the four-piece records with Jesse Gander of Rain City Recorders and aim for a produced, polished sound. They’re choosing to strip down for a low-fi, grainy sound when they record with Graeme MacKinnon of No Problem at the beginning of the month. The Blame-its are also charging into the new tape with one of the quintessential tenets of the punk rock mentality: Do-it-yourself.

“The artwork definitely inspired the tape,” Workun confirms.

“My friend Chris Nielson, an old friend from Hinton, drew the cover for our first album Freeze My Brain. So I asked him to do it for our anniversary. He did it all in one go so that’s how we’re going to approach the recording. If it’s bad, whatever. The best part of an album for me is when you can clearly hear a mistake. It’ll be nice not to worry about it.”

It almost seems comical the band hasn’t recorded this way, as their approach to band organization has always been organic and homegrown. From putting on outdoor music festivals (Punk Rock Show) in their hometown of Hinton when they were 15, to building their own press kits to promote their first tour, The Blame-its make every aspect of band longevity look simple.

“The first trick is to be best friends, for like, ever,” Workun says, laughing.

“There’s no ego in the band, we respect each other and we’re all on the same page when we write the songs. Sometimes we’ll meet for a jam and maybe play four songs within a few hours and just have beers together. We’re good at bein’ buds!”


The Blame-its perform May 19 at the Sewing Machine Factory with Vibes, Bad Buddy and Uptights (Edmonton), and May 20 at the Valley Zoo with Uptights and Counterfeit Jeans (Hinton).

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