Pouzza Fest

Pouzza Fest: Direct HIt, The Old Wives, Fire In The Radio

Nick Woods, Dix, The Whole Band


By on May 5th, 2017 at

 

 

On May 19th, dirty punks will make their annual pilgrimage to downtown Montreal for the 7th annual Pouzza Fest. Three days of fatty foods, cheap beers, friends, adventures and music spread across numerous venues – the festival is not to be missed.

Last week we caught up with The Real McKenzies and Worst Days Down to discuss the upcoming festivities and we continue our coverage for the festival by chatting with three more bands playing this year.

Read on below to hear what Direct Hit, The Old Wives and Fire In The Radio have to say about Pouzza Fest.

And don’t forget to pick up tickets to the festival here.


DIRECT HIT

Direct HitDirect Hit are no strangers to the punk rock world of touring, nor are they strangers to the chaos of a punk rock festival. They’re consistently a main attraction at any festival they play – whether its Death to False Hope Fest, The Fest or Pouzza Fest. This year the Milwaukee four-piece are set to headline at the Katacombs on Saturday night at Pouzza, promoting last year’s critically acclaimed Wasted Mind.

Considering he’s a festival veteran, we reached out to frontman Nick Woods to get his advice on what to do at this year’s Pouzza Fest and to find out exactly what makes the festival stand out.

He also really loves The Dirty Nil.

Over the past couple years, there’s been a marked increase in festivals – especially punk related festivals. You have The Fest, Goezrock, Death to False Hope Fest, Punk Island, Riot Fest and, of course, Pouzza Fest among many others. Why the sudden rise in festivals?

Because it’s easier to get people to show up to a weekend-long thing where you can hear all of your favorite music live in the in the same place, for a fraction of the cost of going to 20 shows individually. Festivals pay bands really well too. Basically it’s easier and more fun to go to a party where all your friends are at than it is to visit each of em individually. It probably means a lot less, personally, to all parties involved, but people certainly love convenience and money.

What makes Pouzza stand out?

That it’s in Montreal. It never feels like I’m that far from home when I’m in Toronto or Vancouver. But Montreal really feels like I’m in a different part of the world. Not only because the language is different, but because the city’s constructed in a way that makes it feel older, and more historic.

What are some of your favourite festival memories, either going or performing? Pouzza or any other festival.

Meeting Guerilla Poubelle and playing at 1AM after our very first Pouzza set is definitely a favorite festival memory of mine. Till came to our show that year and asked if we wanted to play an afterparty, which we hadn’t really done before. Small spot, no bullshit, people who were pumped to see us, lots of sweat… Super fun time.

What are the elements that must combine to create the perfect festival memory?

Spontaneity’s big for me – being able to line up really cool stuff on the fly because so many cool people are all in the same place at the same time. When you have so many different ingredients to pick from, and so many awesome chefs cooking in the same kitchen, you get to see combined elements that you can’t get with headlining shows. And you can’t really repeat them because that chemistry doesn’t happen all the time.

For the past couple years, Pouzza has added an outdoor stage. What does having an outdoor stage bring to a festival like this? Or do you prefer the real venues?

Personally, I prefer the “real” venues. Outdoor stages are always tricky with sound, and I think it’s harder to make a connection between band and audience. They certainly make festivals more inclusive in that they provide larger capacity for bigger shows. Maybe it’s just that I get more excited about bands with smaller crowds? I also hate rain. So there’s always the anxiety that weather will fuck with me if I’m outside.

There are over 150 bands playing. Who’s on your MUST see list and why?

Brutal Youth and The Dirty Nil honestly. It kicks so much ass they’re playing our show on Saturday. I’ve known Patty since the very first festival we played – Death To False Hope Fest back in 2010, I think – and we always joke about how whenever we’re in Canada the universe conspires against our two groups playing together. I’ve set up shows with The Dirty Nil on the bill a couple times too, so I know what I’m in for there. It’s like dudes at the fest read my mind.

How do you make your band stand out in the schedule to try and pull a crowd to see you?

I honestly don’t worry about that. If people show up, they show up. If they don’t, then that’s their loss, and it makes it easier for me to make new friends with whoever decides to stop in.

There’s also a lot of non-music related activities, family friendly mornings, stand up comedy lines ups, Jason Guy’s Smiley pineapple party, yoga, BBQs, even a baseball tournament this year. What does having those bring to a festival? Especially one with such a community like the punk scene? Will you be partaking in any of these non-show festivities?

I won’t be partaking, because we’re only gonna be in town on Saturday, and have to be back home by Monday morning to work. But I guess it gives people something to do when they get tired of loud music blasting in their ears? Festivals like Pouzza, I feel, are as much about having all your friends in the same place at the same time as they are about music – The bands playing are there as a shared interest, but people do a lot more with their time than just listen to hacks like me scream into a microphone. I think it’s cool that events like Pouzza are branching out.

Pouzza is, of course, Poutine Pizza. Have you had it before? If so, what are your thoughts and how does it compare to other unhealthy dietary delicacies??

I haven’t. Sounds gross. I’ll totally try it if someone brings me a slice though.

Do you have any advice for someone attending Pouzza Fest? Survival tips for a three day, non-stop punk rock onslaught?

Pace yourself, for the love of god. And don’t die at my show.


THE OLD WIVES

The Old WivesAbout to play their third Pouzza Fest, Edmonton’s The Old Wives know the ins and outs of the festival. Although this time, the trio from out West is bringing their newest album, Three, with them. Vocalist and Bassist Dix tackled our Pouzza Fest questions as he warmed up to take part in this year’s Baseball tournament.

Over the past couple years, there’s been a marked increase in festivals – especially punk related festivals. You have The Fest, Goezrock, Death to False Hope Fest, Punk Island, Riot Fest and, of course, Pouzza Fest among many others. Why the sudden rise in festivals?

Festivals are a great way to get a whole bunch of bands in front of a whole lot of people. You may be going to see Band A but you’re going to get to see Band B, C, & D etc whom you may never have listened to before. It’s great for fans and great for bands. Bands are usually accessible at these festivals too – so fans get to see the show and meet the bands (a lot of times, anyhow). 

 What makes Pouzza stand out?

Well, if not just the sheer beauty of the city, I would have to say the accessibility of it all. All of the venues are right there within walking distance. It gives you that venue feel instead of a sea of humanity in front of a Main Stage. And the community in Montreal is just so rad! Everyone is super cool!

What are some of your favourite festival memories, either going or performing? Pouzza or any other festival.

As it pertains to Pouzza, I think seeing The Lawrence Arms at like 4 in the morning at a secret show was pretty rad! I was tired (drunk) as hell but I made it! Outside of that, our Drummer Darren was on the Warped Tour all summer with Teenage Bottlerocket. I made a few of the dates and drank all their beer. Good times. 

What are the elements that must combine to create the perfect festival memory?

Being sober enough to remember it!

For the past couple years, Pouzza has added an outdoor stage. What does having an outdoor stage bring to a festival like this? Or do you prefer the real venues?

I personally prefer being inside in a dank gross venue. That’s just me. Having an outdoor stage allows the crust punks to get some sun light and air out so I guess… beneficial to the crust punks – that’s what the outdoor stage brings. 

There are over 150 bands playing. Who’s on your MUST see list and why?

Good question! Direct Hit had probably one of the best albums of the year last year so them for sure. PUP for the same reason. Iron Chic because, well, Iron Chic. Pretty excited to see a re-united Daggermouth. We try and get to as many shows as we can always. Hearing new music and meeting new bands is awesome! Sometimes the best shows are the ones you just walk in to with no knowledge at all. 

How do you make your band stand out in the schedule to try and pull a crowd to see you?

That’s tough. You’ve got your fans who are going to come out and support but really you hope to gain new fans at the same time. Being surrounded in a good lineup (like we are) helps a lot. But really, just put the best show forward and hope for the best! Be the best Old Wives that you can be! 

There’s also a lot of non-music related activities, family friendly mornings, stand up comedy lines ups, Jason Guy’s Smiley pineapple party, yoga, BBQs, even a baseball tournament this year. What does having those bring to a festival? Especially one with such a community like the punk scene? Will you be partaking in any of these non-show festivities?

I think this stuff is great! It really brings that sense of community out. The punk community is the most welcoming and non-judgemental community that exists (as far as I’m concerned) so to tie in events like the ones mentioned just helps us grow our community and stay connected with one another. And yes, Shaun and I are playing in the baseball tournament!

Pouzza is, of course, Poutine Pizza. Have you had it before? If so, what are your thoughts and how does it compare to other unhealthy dietary delicacies?? 

You know, this is our third year at the festival and I’ve never had Pouzza! Maybe this year is the year! I usually always get my fill of regular poutine but what I really like is the poutine with hot dogs on it! That shit rules! It’s literally just a shitty hotdog from like a twelve pack cut up over fries & gravy but hot damn! So much salt!

Do you have any advice for someone attending Pouzza Fest? Survival tips for a three day, non-stop punk rock onslaught?

Just have fun! If you miss a band that you wanted to see, don’t worry – they will probably play again. Except it will be at 4 in the morning and you’ll be hammered. Approach bands – talk to them. If you see that infamous ‘band wristband’, say hello. Learn about a new band. Go to see bands you wouldn’t normally go see. If you don’t know who they are, you probably should. 


FIRE IN THE RADIO

Fire in the RadioPhiladelphia’s Fire In The Radio are worried about one thing when they play Pouzza Fest this year. They’re worried they’ll be having too much fun and not make it to Foufs 2.0 for their slot at 10PM on Friday, May 19th. That’s a possibility because there is so much to do this year in Montreal, as Fire in the Radio point out.

Over the past couple years, there’s been a marked increase in festivals – especially punk related festivals. You have The Fest, Goezrock, Death to False Hope Fest, Punk Island, Riot Fest and, of course, Pouzza Fest among many others. Why the sudden rise in festivals?

We think there’s been more of festivals now both because of practice of packaging bands for tours and because of the advancement in promoting shows using the internet and social media. It’s allowed festival organizers to market and promote their festivals worldwide. It also allows bands to get exposure to a wider audience than they might otherwise. We’ve also seen a huge number of band reunions, often exclusive to the festival lineups, which helps build interest in attending. 

What makes Pouzza stand out?

Pouzza stands out for us because of its location and Hugo and his staff’s commitment to the bands he books and people who attend the festival. Pouzza makes sure each year that the line-up is compelling and everyone has a positive experience. In addition, Montreal is a such a beautiful City with wonderful people. It’s a different atmosphere and vibe then we experience living in the U.S., so it’s always special for us to be invited to come and play.

What are some of your favorite festival memories, either going or performing? Pouzza or any other festival.

Getting to see Joey Cape perform “Montreal” in the Parterre du Quartier des spectacles with the backdrop of the City and everyone singing along was pretty special. Also, seeing Beach Slang blow the doors off Katacombes and getting to play there the next night with Knapsack were big highlights.

What are the elements that must combine to create the perfect festival memory?

The best memories are always the happy accidents. The ones you didn’t plan for but they take you by surprise. Getting to see old friends, and make new ones. That’s what it’s all about.

Forthe past couple years, Pouzza has added an outdoor stage. What does having an outdoor stage bring to a festival like this? Or do you prefer the real venues?

As mentioned above, getting to see bands against the backdrop of the City creates moments that might not otherwise exists. It also creates a sense of community right from the start of the festival, before everyone splinters off to their favored den.

There are over 150 bands playing. Who’s on your MUST see list and why?

First and foremost, we hope to see our bandmates on stage at Foufs 2.0 on Friday evening. If you happen to see them meandering around the town aimlessly, please send them our way. Seriously though, we’re looking forward to seeing Pup, their last record was brilliant. We’re also looking forward to seeing Lagwagon, The Flatliners, Red City Radio, Iron Chic, Off With Their Heads, John Sondgrass, Mannequin Pussy, Signals Midwest and so many more.

How do you make your band stand out in the schedule to try and pull a crowd to see you?

Bribes (psst…free stuff for anyone who comes to our show!)

There’s also a lot of non-music related activities, family friendly mornings, stand up comedy lines ups, Jason Guy’s Smiley pineapple party, yoga, BBQs, even a baseball tournament this year. What does having those bring to a festival? Especially one with such a community like the punk scene? Will you be partaking in any of these non-show festivities?

Again, all of these extra events is part of what makes Pouzza so special. The punk scene has always revolved around a sense of community. These events really give people the opportunity to meet and make new friends from all over the world. We’ll definitely be availing ourselves of some of these activities. We’re giving fair warning to those playing in the baseball tournament though, our Philly stick ball style is pretty serious.

Pouzza is, of course, Poutine Pizza. Have you had it before? If so, what are your thoughts and how does it compare to other unhealthy dietary delicacies??

Don’t know how we missed it on our last go, but no, we didn’t get any Pouzza and we will definitely be correcting that this time. In actuality, we had a hard enough time just getting Poutine. Our good friend T-bo, who lives in Montreal was our cicerone during the last tour. Unfortunately, after a few too many collective barley waters, T-bo broke one of his flip flops in route to Poutine. This slowed our progress and as we arrived at each establishment they continued to close. Finally, we found a place that was open and secured a large order of Poutine. As we sat on the bench outside and were ready to dig in, the Poutine slipped from our grasp and ended up all over the ground. It wasn’t meant to be. The moral of the story – don’t wear flip flops to Pouzza.

Do you have any advice for someone attending Pouzza Fest? Survival tips for a three day, non-stop punk rock onslaught?

Stay safe, take care of each other, be respectful of everything the Pouzza team has done to make this great, each raw ginger – it staves off sickness, and most of all have fun.