'You have so much damn fun it should be illegal' 

Dayglo Abortions still love to tour four decades on

click to enlarge Dayglo Abortions play The GLC on Saturday, Feb. 8. Photo submitted
  • Dayglo Abortions play The GLC on Saturday, Feb. 8. Photo submitted

Victoria punk rockers Dayglo Abortions have been touring the world and pushing boundaries since before most of the people in Whistler's party scene were even born.

But after four decades, 10 albums, and countless shows, frontman Murray Acton "The Cretin," still has boundless enthusiasm for the job.

We caught up with him ahead of the band's show in Whistler at The GLC on Saturday, Feb. 8 in celebration of local legendary ski bum Johnny Thrash's 50th birthday.

Pique: After four decades, do you ever get sick of rehashing the past?

Murray Acton: Well, yeah, you know. To be honest, it's been 40 years since we started. Of course it has its moments. Then you start playing and you have so much damn fun it should be illegal. Once you start playing, the audience has so much fun. There's something really special about walking into a place and have everyone just love you. There aren't too many places you can go and have that. But I've got other bands, too.

Pique: Who are you seeing at shows nowadays? Are there a lot of younger kids?/p>

MA: I see a lot of younger kids being taken to shows by their parents. I've met three generations of fans at a show. You definitely see a lot of old farts. I just about had to stop playing in Toronto last time we were there. I was like, 'Watch out guys, somebody is going to break hip!' I consider myself fairly lucky compared to what people my age days do for kicks. It keeps me physically active.

Pique: Have you stayed in Victoria your whole career? It's cool when musicians stay in smaller hubs.

MA: One of our guys lives in Vancouver right now. We had a guy for a while living in Toronto, but I've always lived in Victoria myself. When you go out and travel around the world you realize what a nice place Vancouver Island really is. It's got a lot of elbow room here ... It's a government town, but there's so much nice, natural stuff around here. I ride a bike everywhere.

Pique: The band's last album was Armageddon Survival Guide, released in 2016. Are you working on anything new or just focusing on touring?

MA: We have a couple we're working on. We're going to do probably two albums. Our drummer Mark, he's blind—Blark, as we call him. Maybe not super PC, but whatever. He's been in a stem cell research program in the States. They've been injecting stem cells into his eyes to see if they can stimulate cell growth. The summer before last, we did 68 shows in 10 countries and he couldn't come on [tour]. At his request, this drummer from L.A., Vince—he's been an old friend of ours for years—came and played drums. So, we're going to do one album with him and one with Mark. We've got all the songs written, we've just got to get together. We don't practice too much.

Pique: How do you build a set list for shows with so many songs to choose from?

MA: There's got to be 10 or 15 songs that people will be upset if we don't play. You get 24 or 25 songs on an hour-and-a-half set list, so we try to squeeze in the new ones. There's this core people are not going to let us leave if we don't play them. We might as well give them what they want.

Pique: After all these years, do you get sick of playing those songs?

MA: It's pretty fun to do. Especially when everybody is singing. It's crazy; it gives me goose bumps. They really put their back into it sometimes. I've been places where even the bartender was singing.

Pique: You guys are known for pushing the envelope. Has it gotten harder to do over the years?

MA: It's almost easier to offend people now. It's not about offending everybody or an individual—that's not fair. That's just being a dick, really. It's about provoking people to into thinking about stuff.

Tickets are $25 at showpass.com/dayglo-abortion-return-to-glc-for-johnny-thrashs-5/.


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