By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – French, English, Russian, Spanish — There’s no language barrier that can’t be bridged by the fragrant vibes of Quebec’s legendary ska-rock orchestra GrimSkunk. The veteran politipunks are celebrating 30 years of making music and mayhem under the flag of hemp and justice for all.
“When we started our career punk and metal had already gone around the block a couple of times,” says lead singer/organist Joe Evil. “It was sort of getting repetitive. We wanted to mix in a new style. How we became creative was to do punk and metal but mix it completely with any sort of style or language.”
GrimSkunk has always maintained an amazing sense of humour and grace when it comes to exploring inroads to spiritual harmony and mutual enrichment.
“We sort of did it when it was okay to do it and now it’s like, the news is pretty harsh, and can I understand cultural appropriation. We’ve taken elements from everywhere. We’ve had Greek songs, we’ve had Spanish words over flamenco-style music, and we’ve had North African songs with Persian words. We’ve done them just for the fun of doing it and the influences that they’ve had on us. Because as a ‘global band’ right at the verge of the Internet, or before the Internet, there was world music and that was a big influence on us. We were turned on by those styles and wanted to integrate it into our punk rock and psychedelic rock.”
A multilingual montage of genres that keeps the punk rock party thumping, GrimSkunk’s latest release, Unreason in the Age of Madness, was dropped on the band’s own Indica Records label in 2018. Also ringing in their 20th anniversary as a company this year, Indica has long been home to an exotic blend of artists who might not have been heard were it not for GrimSkunk’s musical green thumb.
“Obviously, as times goes by, different styles become popular,” Evil acknowledges. “We are getting influenced by ourselves earlier in our career finally. Now, I can finally start to relate to bands that have been around for decades! I can finally relate to Rush!”
GrimSkunk perform March 27 at Wild Bill’s (Banff), March 28 at The Drake Public House (Canmore), March 29 at Broken City (Calgary), March 31 at Doc Willoughby’s (Kelowna) and April 4 at Venue (Vancouver)GrimSkunk