By Sarah Mac
CALGARY – Our friends at Slam Festival have outdone themselves once again! The second annual event features punk veterans Lagwagon. After 30 years of churning out melodic punk albums, Lagwagon’s prolific career speaks for itself. In addition to having the dubious honour of being the first band signed to Fat Wreck Chords, they’re also considered legends of their craft. And since Slam Festival focuses on skate and surf culture; albeit mainly river surfing, it seems like the perfect environment for these California punks.
“Surf? What are we surfing? Slopes?” Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape says, laughing at the notion.
“I have so many friends in Alberta and they’ve never taken me river surfing. Although, I grew up in California, and not to be snobby, but we kind of have the real thing here.” He chuckles.
“I would love to try it though, I do still surf occasionally. But, Chris [Rest, guitarist], he surfs all the time, he never gave it up. I bet he’s probably river surfed before!”
Whether you ride liquid, wood, concrete or asphalt, Lagwagon has long been the soundtrack of carving lines, catching air and making a big slam. And the veteran shredders know that the slender summer season is the best time to head north and soak up the best the prairie provinces have to offer.
“You know, I always enjoy coming to Alberta for the weekend to play shows. So, I wanted to do that with Lagwagon too. And at first, I think Slam Festival was just a nice coincidence, a bonus. But now, I think it’s going to be the best part of the trip, because board sports are way more fun.”
For Lagwagon fans, 2018 will be an exciting year; it’s the 20th anniversary of their iconic album, Let’s Talk About Feelings, as well as the upcoming 30th anniversary of the band. And while appreciation has been declared for the album, the latter hasn’t been addressed, leaving it to Lagwagon to toot their own horn.
“Dave [Raun, drummer] decided we should do something for Feelings. So, we have the monthly releases and we’re playing the album live at some festivals. But, because it’s the 20th anniversary of that record, it made me realize that the band is turning 30. But, I don’t know if we’ll do anything for that, maybe we’ll make a shirt, but I feel like that stuff is kinda cheesy and a reminder of how old we are.”
And who needs that kind of self-scrutiny?
“It’s kinda bittersweet. In any realistic relationship every year is kind of amazing. They do fly by after a while, because that’s your life. But it’s almost shocking when I think about it. I can easily think back to earlier years of Lagwagon when things were uncertain and more strife. So, I’m very proud of it, it’s an accomplishment for sure. It seems like 50 years though, not 30.”
Lagwagon performs July 14 at the Brewery Flats in Inglewood (Calgary)Brewery Flats, Inglewood, Lagwagon