Same letters, new name 

Van City punk rockers STREETS aging like a fine malt liquor

Who: STREETS

What: The Punk Night

Where: Boot Pub

When: Sunday, Feb. 22

Tickets: $5

STREETS are four Vancouver skaters that play hardcore tunes like it’ll never hurt.

In the beginning their three-chord garage punk was a perfect fit with their acronym: Skating Totally Rules; Everything Else Totally Sucks.

But like any band worth its spit, STREETS are progressing. Drummer Corbot, bass player Mapee, and co-guitarist/vocalists James Gnarwell and Dr. Jonny Molson, PhD are aging like a fine malt liquor, and with them their sound and consequently their name.

According to Gnarwell, while the band holds fast to its roots, it was time to ditch the snotty name in favour of Space Trucking Rangers Expelling Extra-Terrestrial Sounds.

The current incarnation reflects an appreciation for ’70s classic and psychedelic rock gods like Yes, and Gnarwell says the band intends to reinvent its acronym with each future album.

Since this Sunday’s Punk Night show at the Boot will be the band’s first Whistler appearance under the new moustache-rock moniker, Pique NewsMagazine caught up with Gnarwell in Vancouver to find out what else was new.

Pique: Describe a typical day in the life of STREETS.

James Gnarwell: It’s all about keeping your head above water right now. We’re very poor people and I’m just trying to figure out if I can collect enough cans for a pack of smokes and maybe some ichiban. We all have shitty jobs.

Pique: What do you do?

JG: I dye clothes.

Pique: Like tie-dye?

JG: That’s what everyone says. No, not tie-dye. I just dye clothes.

Pique: Fair enough. So if you’re dying clothes for ichiban what keeps you going?

JG: Rock ’n’ roll. We just went and saw Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple in concert at the Orpheum. It was mind-blowing.

Pique: What did you take from that?

JG: That I’m a fraudulent guitar player and I have a lot to learn about my craft. But I have a lot to aspire to watching 50-year-old men shred the f*** out of their instruments. It makes me so excited about life and music and having the freedom to be an asshole that plays the guitar. That’s a wonderful feeling.

Pique: Who else are you listening to right now?

JG: A lot of Budgie. I like this dude named Richard Buckner. He’s kind of a country dude. He’s rad. I still listen to my old Descendents records at least once a day and Bad Brains and stuff. A lot of classic rock right now. A lot of psych-rock like Yes. Love the Yes.

Pique: What’s one of the craziest things that’s ever happened at one of your shows?

JG: What’s crazier, a Japanese dude having an epileptic seizure on stage while playing the ukulele or naked moshers in San Francisco?

Pique: I think we’ll let the readers decide.

JG: Tanashi was his name. Tanashi would come up on stage and do cover songs with his ukulele. I remember he did Every Breath You Take by The Police. He’d do a bunch of covers in between our songs and then he’d stay on stage while we were performing. This is all happening at a porn theatre in Vancouver called the Fox. And then all of a sudden during one of our songs I look down and he’s having a seizure. It was terrifying.

Pique: What happened?

JG: Well, we stopped and his friends came up and took care of him.

Pique: Has he played with you since?

JG: No. He might have retired. I’m not sure but we haven’t played with him since.

Pique: So what’s with the name change?

JG: We want to grow a little bit. You get pigeonholed with a name like we used to have and maybe now we realize, not everything else totally sucks.

Catch STREETS at this Sunday’s Punk Night at the Boot Pub.

Call 604-932-3338 for information.

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