MONEEN with CIRCA SURVIVE and SAVES THE DAY at Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay East), Sunday (April 30), doors 6 pm. $23. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
After talking with Kenny Bridges, the ridiculously friendly frontman for Brampton's alt-punk fun machine Moneen, I get the feeling that if there were an award for the band that gets up to the weirdest or craziest shit on tour, it'd go to these guys.
En route to Oklahoma, Bridges describes how the night before, he and dreadlocked guitarist Chris Hughes got kicked out of the club they'd just played by two meathead security guys. At the side of the stage, they attempted to create an impromptu waterslide and mosh pit in an effort to distract their touring buddies in Saves the Day.
"Next thing, two big security guards come up and ask us to leave. I was in my stage clothes, so I asked them if I could change first. I did it all painfully slowly, stripping down to my underwear in front of these tough guys while trying to make it all as uncomfortable as possible for them."
And really, how could you blame the band, including bassist Erik Hughes and drummer Peter Krpan, for wanting to have such a good time? Their happy-go-lucky personalities are the polar opposite of their music, especially their recently released third record, The Red Tree. It's a deeply emotional, high-energy explosion that Hughes tells me was a mature departure for a band no longer interested in just singing about broken hearts and girls.
"I didn't want to sing about myself and my issues any more. There were so many things around us, like hurricane Katrina and the war - tragedies and disasters that were happening. I was overwhelmed with picking all these battles to sing about."
Bridges even went so far as to do some serious academic research for his lyrics. For one song about the Berlin Wall, he read a bunch of journals kept by people living in Germany at the time.
So, yep, the world can be an awfully shitty place sometimes. Maybe that's why Moneen have been touring perpetually for the last few years - they're trying to keep their minds off current events. Bridges says that touring, as always, is a pretty amazing time. As he puts it, "If we don't know the bands well it's fine, cuz we're really mellow fun-loving guys, not threatening at all - just weird, happy Canadians."
Describing his fans as the best ever, Bridges says he's always felt the band and the fans were a part of something together. Which leads our conversation to possibly one of the most useful tools for making new fans and the crack cocaine of the Internet, Myspace. Bridges gives me two possible explanations for the website's mountainous popularity, while also cautioning other bands about letting Myspace do all the work for them.
"It's a great tool, even though that sounds lame. It's more popular than the Internet itself; people go to a band's Myspace page before their website. We've always been about hitting the streets and pimping ourselves, though."
But the truth comes out.
"It's more of a way for famous bands to hook up with girls."