By Cole Young
VANCOUVER – “Every time we go to some Music BC workshop they always say ‘you need to look like you belong together,’” says Shafer Carson about why You Big Idiot always play in costume. “So we just took that to the extreme.”
You Big Idiot, which consists of Carson (Vocals, Bass), Colin Pearson (Vocals, “Easy” Guitar), Chris Hogan (“Hard” Guitar), Kurt Anderson (Guitar) and Steve Pearson (Drums), is a fun punk band that’s made a big splash in the Vancouver local music scene. They choose to use comedy as a way to express themselves, peeling away from the usual more serious attitude you might get from their scene counterparts.
“We all came from angrier punk bands,” Pearson explains. “I don’t know if our name was meant to be angry or not but we’ve evolved into a comedy band anyway and I like that. I like getting mad but comedy is such a more fun way to get mad.” You can tell by the album, this band of friends and brothers like to laugh. Mega Donair is the name of their sophomore release and it boasts subtle comedic references to everything from Seinfeld to the Barenaked Ladies.
Mega Donair was self recorded and mixed by Shafer in a studio the band made in the Pearson’s family home basement. Although it’s a homemade album, you’d never guess it. They spent two years perfecting each track and it shows. The album was also mastered at the legendary Blasting Room in Colorado to give it that final spit shine.
The album is packed full of fast, fun songs, most of which are at over 200 BPM. “Usually he or I write a song,” Shafer says, nodding to Colin. “And that’s like chord structure and lyrics, then we’ll all jam it out together.” They’re also quick to acknowledge that everyone contributes to the songwriting. While discussing the pro’s of playing in a band with old friends for so long Shafer says, “It’s always tight, you can take breaks and the groove is still there.”
One of the mega standout moments on Mega Donair is the incredible jazz jam as the outro to the track “Selfie.” It takes you from feeling like you’re at a crazy show at Pub 340 to suddenly an old smoky jazz bar. It’s a unique and beautiful end to the song. All of the parts where recorded by the talented Kristy-Lee Audette, Shafer explains the recording process. “I kept sending her into the booth with different instruments, trumpet, trombone, glockenspiel etc. I never played her anything we had previously done so she just did track after track and I mixed it all together later.”
At the end of the day You Big Idiot are some cool guys playing music for all the right reasons. They take their craft seriously without taking themselves too seriously, a nice change of pace in this day and age.
Mega Donair is available April 20. You Big Idiot performs April 27 at SBC Café.SBC