hugo mudie interview

Pouzza Fest Founder

Hugo Mundie

By on May 2014 at Via Phone



Former vocalist for The Saint Catherines and founder of Montréal’s première punk festival Pouzza Fest kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about running Pouzza, who he’s looking forward to seeing the most this time around and why children and punk rock go together. 

th7FFJ84INSo this year is Pouzza Fest IV, when did the idea of it first start forming in your was it something you had thought about for a long time before it actually became a reality?

Yeah, the idea really came from going to the Fest in Gainsville, I was still with my band The Sainte Catherines went for the 2nd and 3rd editions and then later on but we thought it was a super cool idea we likes that it was just over a weekend with venues close to each other and people partying everywhere and then we took that idea and wanted to do it in Montreal,  you know the punk scene is pretty strong here and there are good venues in the downtown area but at the time I was still doing my band and wasn’t really working in the ‘music business’ per se. Then about 5 years ago we stopped touring so much and it was one of the things that we really wanted to do so that was kind of based on the Fest in Gainsville and then 4 years ago we just decided to do it, so yeah it was basically based on that, kind of our version of it.


Its interesting though, Gainsville is obviously a city in its own right, but its not Montreal sized so are there logistical challenges to get that same type of atmosphere that is related to the fest?

That’s the big difference with us, its obviously based on the Fest but it’s a totally different experience (in Montreal), being in the downtown area, in a real city of 2 million people and yeah it has a city feel to it and obviously its not in states, its here in Canada which makes it different but especially in Quebec with the French culture mixed with the English culture, you know? And that’s what makes it cool, I think it’s a different setup. That’s why we tried to do something based on it, but with the added atmosphere Montreal adds.

I read in a previous interview that using bikes is the easiest way to get around from venue to venue, and is that something you guys champion?

I actually think walking is the best way to get around, the furthest venues are probably no more than 15 minute walk apart, so a bike is a super cool idea especially if you need fast transport to another venue but I think the best way to get around is definitely to walk.

I noticed too on the Pouzza Fest website that Pabst Blue Ribbon is a partner and too much of that mixed with cycling is never a good combination!

Yeah, definitely! But we were happy when Pabst got involved, it just makes sense as everybody involved, that’s the kind of beer they drink. You know you have to .see this as a party so you drink, you eat and you see good bands

So just going back to the beginning of Pouzza for a second, obviously you were still involved with the Saint Catherines, but how did you go about getting bands and the lineup arranged for the first time, was it just about finding you liked and building the dream lineup and working down the list from there or was it getting bands that you know from the scene, so how did that first lineup come together?

Yeah, the first year was more about the connections I had built up over the years with The Sainte Catherines so the first year we went more for bands that we knew and we didn’t have to explain everything and they knew and trusted us not to do a shitty job or try and steal money from them or something.

And then pretty fast after that, even the 2nd year bands started contacting us directly about playing and that was down to us doing a  good job the first time and having a good reputation and then that spread through word of mouth and now we pretty much do have a dream list and work down from there based on who’s available.

The lineup this year has got to be pretty close to a dream lineup, its so eclectic and you guys cover so much of the spectrum within the punk scene, was that a deliberate or did it just come together like that?

pouzza (2)

Yeah it was always the goal for us, but like I said there’s a lot of luck involved on who’s available but every year what we want to do is cover as much ground as possible as far as the spectrym  of the punk genre. Me personally I don’t really mind about the sub genres and shit like that, I like bands that play music I don’t care if they’re considered a post hardcore or indie or whatever it just pretty much what we want to do. I like some crust bands, I like some pop punk bands, I like some folk/country dudes so we try and incorporate all those into the festival and try to be open minded about it and we want the fans coming to be open minded about it as well. That was pretty much our goal as we’ve always been against the divisions in the punk scene so its one of our ways to go against that.

Just in terms of the fans and audience, there’s a lot of people that travel down to the fest, do you find the same with Pouzza?

Its actually more out of town fans than the locals, more than 50% of the audience comes from outside Quebec, a lot of people from Ontario, New York, Jersey and Philly as well as people from Europe, Japan, Australia. Its been like that since the first year, we’ve had people travel from everywhere to come to Pouzza, which is really cool. Its cool for us to know that people get to know the city too.

Like you say, if you build up such a solid reputation from the first iteration of Pouzza to where you are now the groundswell of support will only grow which is absolutely fantastic. One of the other things I read was that there’s a real child friendly vibe about Pouzza, was that a personal mission based on your own family experiences and an attempt to make it as inclusive as possible?

Yeah definitely, its really from my own family and my friends who also have kids, you know you want to take your kids to cool stuff, but there’s not a lot of them that are child friendly so we really thought we could do something. At first it was just one show in a venue for the kids, but last year we had this big outdoor thing, and this year its even bigger, more games and other stuff for them and yeah it was just something that we really wanted to incorporate and it makes Pouzza unique as you don’t necessarily associate punk rock with families but it was definitely something we wanted to try and its worked out, especially for the local fans!

With so many festivals popping up and then often not happening again as they struggle financially, how do you strike that balance between the financial side of running a festival and the more fun, musical and social aspects?

Its definitely harder, the financial side isn’t fun but is necessary and you know we’ve been running it for some time now and you just expect people to buy tickets! We did get into some trouble financially one year just because we tried some things that didn’t work, but people don’t see that because the festival still goes on, but ultimately it is a business and has to make money. And that’s one of, well I don’t want to say bad things but its just not something that you like to think about. But every year we get better partners, this year like you said with Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sailor Jerry and we try and get grants from the government and its getting better and better but its definitely not an ideal situation, but its something you always have to keep in mind as you don’t want to stop after the first year.

So just a couple of final questions then, so who is the one band that you are most looking forward to seeing, and secondly, who is the one ‘do not miss’ band of Pouzza Fest IV?

I think one of the bands that I am most looking forward to, personally that I like the most are a band called the So So Glos. I didn’t really know them until probably last year when I heard their new record and really liked it. We then asked them if they were interest in playing Pouzza and they said yes which was really great. And the one do not miss show I would say is Dillinger Four, they are the perfect Pouzza band. They don’t play a lot anymore, so hoping it will be the highlight.

Ok, great – last question, where does the name come from?

Well it’s a combination of Poutine and Pizza that I created maybe 15 years ago and now you can buy it in like local Burger King and stuff!

Hugo, its been a pleasure speaking to you thanks for taking the time and good luck with Pouzza Fest IV



The Sainte Catherines - Fire Works

The Sainte Catherines

Fire Works

Anchorless Records / Union 2112 Records

Rating: 3.5/5




I’ve never been a huge fan of The Sainte Catherines. Yeah, they’re good, but I could never get behind Dancing for Decadence. Something just wasn’t right and I don’t know what it was but it made The Sainte Catherines fall into oblivion in my mind.

Hugo Mudie’s side project, Yesterday’s Ring, changed that and made me want to hear more from Mudie. Their CD – Diamonds in the Rough – was nearly perfect. An amalgamation of country, punk, Celtic, folk and more worked together for an album that still finds its way into my CD player quite frequently.

Now Mudie is back with a new album for The Sainte Catherines. It’s the first album from the band in four years; and finally a Sainte Catherines album I can fully get behind.

Why can I get behind this record and not their previous one? Because Fire Works is not Dancing for Decadance part two. In fact, it’s far from it. Instead, Fire Works slows things down and falls in the middle of Dancing for Decadance and Diamonds in the Rough.  It’s a mid-tempo rocker that slowly grows on you rather than blistering fast melodic hardcore. This is still a punk rock record through and through, just delivered with more subtlety by knowing exactly when and where to hold it back.

But what makes this album so perfect is the sense of self-deprecation, regrets, anger and introspection that Mudie so effortlessly conveys.  His vocals are rough and worn, a mixture of Chuck Ragan, American Steel, Lucero,  Jawbreaker and – most notably – Leatherface; and he sings some of the best lyrics of the year. The songs are stories, deeply specific yet relatable to anyone built on tongue-in-cheeks turns of phrases and hidden references.

It reminds me of Off With Their Heads as nearly every songs sees them decrying the punk scene, what it’s done to them and the horrors of being in a band. Back To The Basements That I Love laments over their success and their yearning for basement shows again. D’ You Guys Wanna Fuckin’ Party After This? No is a cynical look at after show parties and the simple need to be alone. I Miss The Boysand Headliners Don’t Load (which sounds like a rougher No Use For A Name cut at times) retells the good and bad side of touring, respectively.  BLR Vs Cancer (Fuck Off Cancer Song) is an emotional tale of playing a cancer benefit show and No Friends is a perfectly depression song that I just love. I mean, “I got no friends any more / just people that I know / don’t call my house no more / I feel like going out / But I’ll stay home again / Cuz I don’t have no friends” is just a perfect opening line for a song.

There’s a lot of hidden gems in here – be it the Joey Cape appearance on Maggie & Dave or the clever Woody Guthrie reference in Chub-E & Hank III / Vimont Stories Part II – and the more you listen to it, the more they pop up. Fire Works grows on you, building in intensity and intricacies.

Slightly more reserved than its predecessor, Fire Works is a subtle and reflective album that still packs a punch. The only real downside is that somewhat muffled recording quality that’s probably due to the fact that it was recorded without an engineer.  It’s not bad, but sometimes the recording lacks a punch as the three guitars fight over one another and a slightly crisper sound may have kicked Fire Works up a notch.

Break Ups: The Sainte Catherines (1999-2011)

Sainte CatherinesThe Sainte Catherines officially broke-up today after 13 years.  The band opens their statement:

“There are hundreds of reasons for why we are disbanding, some of which even our closes friends would not even understand. Being part of The Sainte Catherines has recently brought more negative energy to our individual lives than positive. We don’t want to become pale copies of what we once were, trying to hold on to the “glory of the past”, or what little we had. Something we are proud of.”

The full statement can be read in both French and English on Facebook page. Click here to read the full statement. 

Video: Joey Cape – Montreal

Joey CapeLagwagon frontman Joey Cape has released the music video for the song “Montreal,” off his upcoming work-in-progress solo album “Doesn’t Play Well With Others.” The video can be seen below and features Hugo Mudie of The Sainte Catherines.

At the beginning of each month this year, Cape has released a new song digitally on his website. He will continue to release a new track every month until all 12 have been delivered at which point the CD/LP will be released.  So far 10 tracks have been released and all can be purchased on his website. Read More…

Studio Footage & Song from The Sainte Catherines

Sainte CatherinesThe Sainte Catherines are set to release their fourth full length titled Fire Works on October 26th courtesy of Anchorless Records in the States and Stomp Records in Canada.

The band has released some new studio footage from the album – it can be seen below. After watching that, you can also listen to the band’s new single, We Used To Be In Love, which is also below. The Sainte Catherines have booked a slew of shows, including a performance at this year’s Fest in Gainesville, FL which kicks off on October 30th.

The album will be the band’s first full length since their 2006’s Fat Wreck released Dancing for Decadence. Read More…

The Sainte Catherines Announce LP/Free Download/Tour Dates

Montreal’s punk rockers, The Sainte Catherines have announced the release of their upcoming full length for October 26th on Anchorless Records. The aptly titled Fire Works, (which the band recorded on their own in a country chalet) promises to be an energetic throwback to their earlier influences such as American Steel and Jawbreaker while still staying to true to their original sound.

You can download the single “We Used To Be In Love” here.

The Sainte Catherines will kick off a US/Canada fall tour in support of the album beginning October 2nd. A full listing of tour dates can be seen below:

Read More…

The Sainte Catherines Join Anchorless Records

Montreal’s The Sainte Catherines have joined the Anchorless Records family.  To mark the event, the band is working on their first new album in four years.  Titled Fire Works, the album will serve as the follow up to their 2006’s Dancing For Decadence, originally released via Fat Wreck Chords.

While Anchorless will release Fire Works in the States, it will be released through STOMP Records in Canada.

Sainte Catherines Sign To Anchorless

Montreal punk group the Sainte Catherines have announced that the will be releasing their long waited follow up to 2006’s Dancing For Decadence (Fat Wreck Chords) on Anchorless Records.  The album title and exact release dates remain unknown, but the band is aiming for for some time in the fall.

More as it become available.

Sainte Catherines Plans Seven Inch Record

The Sainte CatherinesMontreal’s The Sainte Catherines will be releasing a new seven inch record titled Dead Dogs sometime this year on Asian Man Records. Label owner Mike Park announced the release saying:

We will be releasing a 7″ from THE SAINTE CATHERINES from Montreal, Quebec. It will feature two unreleased songs and will be titled “Dead Dogs”. We’re looking at an end of year release date for this. But yup.. I had a chance to meet them in England around 7 years ago and they were awesome people. It’s exciting to have something by them on Asian Man. We’ll update more info. as it comes through. But here are their tour dates coming up and yeah… more FUN FUN

Those dates are below.

Read More…

Fat Tour 2007

Fat Tour 2007 (Mad Caddies, Real McKenzies, The Sainte Catherines)

Brain Flenniken - Mad Caddies, Paul McKenzie - The Real McKenzies, Marc - The Sainte Catherines

Fat Wreck Chords
By on July 19th, 2007 at Starlite Room - Edmonton, Alberta



The yearly Fat Tour came through Edmonton once again this year, this time under the moniker of 1,2,3 Punk! and featuring the musical styles of none other than The Mad Caddies, the Real McKenzies and The Sainte Catherines. Instead of doing a generic interview, we decided that we’d let the three bands roam free and interview themselves – and that’s what we did. Brian, from the Caddies, Paul from the McKenzies and Marc from The Sainte Catherines sat down before the show and told stories and jokes – some funny, some painfully unfunny. While a read through the interview may not tell you much about the bands themselves, you will discover some great stories: adventures with fireworks, playing naked, swimming with dolphins, the beauty of french cuisine and the fine snacks available at strip clubs. Top it all off with a slight dash of Canadian history covering everything from the FLQ to the roller coaster crash at Galaxyland in West Edmonton Mall and you’re in for one crazy conversation. Paul McKenzie sums it up best: “When i’m dying on my bed, it’s going to be the things that I didn’t do that I regret.” And yes, I think we actually answered three real questions too. Read More…