According to Ken Flemming, it’s not nearly as easy when you’re pushing 50 to lug guitars, drums and other gear in and out of clubs and venues night after long night on the road.
But even though it’s not quite the same as being 18 and in your first punk band, Flemming is sending the message loud and clear that SNFU is back, baby.
The Canadian punk icons are currently on a sold-out tour of B.C. and Alberta and they’re getting ready to head into the recording studio for the first time since the 2004 album In the Meantime and In Between Time. They’re stopping in Whistler on Sunday (May 23) to play a show at Merlin’s.
“We’re ripping it up. Piggy’s on his best behaviour,” Flemming said, referring to SNFU’s famous frontman Mr. Chi Pig.
Often hailed as one of Canada’s most influential punk bands, SNFU has been a staple of the scene — in one form or another — for almost 30 years. Chi has been the only constant member through countless breakups and lineup changes.
The current iteration of SNFU includes Chi, Flemming on guitar, Just Denis on bass and returning drummer Jon Card on drums. Flemming used to play bass for the band in the 1990s, while Card has had two previous stints with SNFU from 1985 to ’87 and again in ’91.
Flemming said there’s not much of a story behind his previous service in the band and his return. He said he was asked to come back and it “seemed like fun” to do so.
Despite all the lineup changes and breakups, Flemming still credits the Belke brothers, founding band members Marc and Brent, for creating the signature SNFU sound and writing music that “stands the test of time.”
The band first got its start in Edmonton in 1982, and went on to release about 10 albums.
Though neither Belke has been involved in the band since 2005, Flemming said the current band members aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel when they head into the studio next month.
“We’re going to stick with the standard. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Flemming said.
Still, he said there’s no way to know what the new material will sound like until it’s laid down in the studio. Whether the new songs eventually end up on a full-length album also remains to be seen.
For now, SNFU is going to keep playing shows, record some new tracks, tour Australia in July and see where things go from there.
Flemming said he doesn’t want to curse anything, but he figures the current lineup has some staying power.
“We’re having a great time,” he said. “People are realizing we’re back.”
Punk up your long weekend with SNFU on Sunday (May 23) at Merlin’s. Whistler’s own punk favourites Slush and Victoria’s melodic punksters Fableway are lined up to provide the opening sets. Doors open at 9 p.m. and entry is $10.