Titus Andronicus’s Patrick Stickles sizes up Canada’s party leaders


TITUS ANDRONICUS with SPIDER BAGS and BAKED at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Tuesday (October 13), 8:30 pm. $16.50. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com.

If you’re going to talk politics with Patrick Stickles, clear your schedule.

The Titus Andronicus frontman known for his socially conscious punk anthems is never one to shy away from any topic. But when asked about politics, he goes all in for 45 minutes.

“There are arguments that can be made for or against one central authority,” Stickles says from a laundromat in Texas. “As a punk, the thought of a president or a prime minister who gets to put their finger on the button – that makes me bristle. I’m not sure any human is qualified for that job.”

Still, short of any otherworldly creatures on the ballot, Canadians across the country will vote in a pivotal federal election less than a week after Titus Andronicus bring The Most Lamentable Tragedy, their 90-plus-minute rock opera and most engrossing album to date (and former album-of-the-week), to the Horseshoe

While Stickles admits he’s “pretty damn ignorant” about Canadian politics, he’s game to size up Canada’s four major party leaders based on photos alone – which I send to his phone while we’re talking – without knowing the candidates’ party affiliation. 


Stephen Harper

“He seems to be doing that fake smile. People have been trained to smile because their resting faces are too aggressive. I’ve been warned about this, this fake smile people put on to be non-threatening…. I’ve always hated him! I never liked the guy, I tell you.”


Thomas Mulcair

“That seems like a name I can trust. He does have bags under his eyes. To a lot of people that would signal evil, malintent of some kind. But to me that’s a face that I often have because I’m working my ass off. So I like this guy better than Harper.”


Elizabeth May

“She seems nice. She’s quite different from the other two in her womanhood. That makes me trust her more. Not to be sexist, but women seem to have a nurturing way. I hope that’s not too misogynistic of me to say. These earth goddesses, they contain the secret of life. I trust her more than the other two, but then again, there’s always Margaret Thatcher.”


Justin Trudeau

“This is a handsome guy! Is he famous for this? His smile looks real. If we’re judging a book by a cover, this is JFK handsomeness, and that goes a long way in America.”

music@nowtoronto.com | @joshuakloke



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