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Q&A: Fist City

Fist City is a four piece dark-surf/garage rock band from Lethbridge, Alberta. Drummer Ryan Grieve was just in Abbotsford playing with Pitchfork-approved The Ketamines at AfterMath Social House at the beginning of June. Now he’s returning along with Evan Van Reekum and siblings Brittany Griffiths and Kier Griffiths for the Abbotsford debut of Fist City. The band just released their It’s 1983, Grow up! LP (available on Black Tent Press) and are touring Canada in support. Catch them at U-House at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.

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By Stephen O’Shea (CIVL DJ) – Email

Print Edition: July 4, 2012

Fist City is a four piece dark-surf/garage rock band from Lethbridge, Alberta. Drummer Ryan Grieve was just in Abbotsford playing with Pitchfork-approved The Ketamines at AfterMath Social House at the beginning of June. Now he’s returning along with Evan Van Reekum and siblings Brittany Griffiths and Kier Griffiths for the Abbotsford debut of Fist City. The band just released their It’s 1983, Grow up! LP (available on Black Tent Press) and are touring Canada in support. Catch them at U-House at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.

Fist City – A/S/L?

Ryan Grieve: Two years old. Three guys and a girl. Lethbridge, AB.

Why are you touring? 

RG: We are touring in support of a new LP out on Black Tent Press… as well as a new 7” on La Ti Da Records as part of their spring releases.

Lethbridge: another small city of scene politics, division and awkwardness?

RG: Not at all. In a smaller setting such as Lethbridge, like-minded people must cleave together in order for creativity to thrive. Our only downfall is the frequency at which people move on from Lethbridge. We are a university town after all.

Josiah Hughes is originally from Abbotsford. Thoughts on the spawning grounds of a LEGEND?

RG: Abbotsford gives me a similar vibe to that of Lethbridge. Close to, but isolated enough from a major city centre. University/college town. When I was there in June, Aaron Levy shared with me that Lethbridge is actually an arch-nemesis to Abbotsford, and that the University of [the] Fraser Valley went as far as printing a headline in the school paper that read “Lethbridge Sucks!” I need to see this!

[Editor’s note: The Cascade is an autonomous campus newspaper; therefore, UFV had no control over the 02.29.2012 headline “Suck It Lethbridge”]

Name five genres that Fist City is NOT! Then give us two that you expect to be in five years.

RG: Nu-Country, Argentine rock (a genre we will always be excluded from, damn geography!), CrunkCore, whatever you would call the collaboration between ICP and Jack White

Acid Rock just because it sounds cool to say, or maybe something real smooth and soulful like Barry White.

Tour experiences in the following three cities: Medicine Hat, AB; Brandon, MB; Dryden, ON.

RG: Oh no! We have never played Dryden or Brandon. Medicine Hat on the other hand is to Lethbridge what Shelbyville is to Springfield. GIVE US BACK OUR LEMON TREE!

Thoughts on vinyl in an mp3/digital era.

RG: You can’t beat it. If you are reading this, go to your local record store, buy a record, and thank the person behind the counter for doing what they are doing.

Venues you’ve played in Vancouver in the past?

RG: Anti-Social Skateboard Shop was an incredible show last time Fist City was out there. Anytime we get to play with pals Korean Gut and Needles//Pins it’s the best night. Evan and I have also played in Vancouver with an assortment of other bands we’ve been in (Endangered Ape, Moby Dicks, Radians, Ketamines) at places like Brandiz (when it was still a thing), Waldorf, Pat’s Pub, 360 Glen.

Plans for the rest of the year?

RG: We plan on touring for the rest of the summer and hopefully a bit in the fall. I am jobless at this point, so it’s either make this work or go full-homeless.

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