By Matty Hume
CALGARY – The year was 1980. Speed metal’s grip on Montreal’s underground was unflinching, and everyone was taking themselves way too seriously.
The city needed heroes, crusaders of cheap beer, a few good chords, and a lot of falling down. Spearheaded by the boisterous and humble Paul Gott, the Ripcordz answered the call with anarchy in their strings and love in their hearts — and have paired with suds and skateboards ever since.
“My dad still thinks I’m going to grow out of this,” says Gott with a hearty laugh.
“At first we were sound of ‘77, then we were old school, then we were street punk, then back to old school, then gutter punk. We didn’t think we were changing our sound, but the names changed around us over the years.”
Even with a rotating roster since their inception, Ripcordz has put out 15 full-length albums with their legendary original vocalist and guitarist at the helm. Gott has no intention of slowing down now!
“Call us what you want, but we’re just playing the music we love,” he says sincerely. “We outlasted all our critics. They’re all dead or accountants, which is kind of the same thing.”
With Gott on words and chords as always, Alexandre Gauthier on bass, and François Demerson on skins, the current lineup is highly reminiscent of the one that toured Western Canada with frequency throughout the ‘90s.
The three-piece’s latest release, and first vinyl release since back in 1992, is The Vinyl Countdown (2017), a double-LP jam-packed with bonus content, including a photo-covered gatefold and 20-page booklet.
“It’s kind of like our love letter to the Canadian punk scene. That was our lives for a decade and a half — making of a point of going out west and playing western Canada every year to meet friends and drink beer.”
Once cited as an inspiration for new punk style-makers Rancid, Ripcordz has turned its riotous intent towards future musical exploits and, according to Gott, are hitting the studio with a tentative album title in mind; Don’t Buy the First Album, Jerkwad! Get This One! The perfect prescription for a band that refuses to fade and a genre that won’t let them die.
“Our new stuff is better than our old stuff,” Gott assures.
“We keep on writing songs. I don’t want to turn into a Ripcordz cover band.”
Catch the Ripcordz shredding away on May 11 at the Rendezvous Pub (Edmonton) and on May 12 at Dickens Pub (Calgary).Canuck Chaos, Dickens Pub, Rendezvous Pub, Ripcordz