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Q&A: The Doers to throw punk rock dance party at AfterMath

The Doers have returned! Regrouping as the original three-piece, Shammy (guitar, singing), Barry (bass, singing) and Jerf (drums, singing) are coming to play on the Abbotsford Campus on Friday, November 23, at the soon-to-close AfterMath Social House.

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By Stephen O’Shea (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: November 7, 2012

The Doers in 2003

The Doers have returned!  Regrouping as the original three-piece, Shammy (guitar, singing), Barry (bass, singing) and Jerf (drums, singing) are coming to play on the Abbotsford Campus on Friday, November 23, at the soon-to-close AfterMath Social House.

The Doers are an acoustic punk trio from East Vancouver but their roots formed in Chilliwack during the early ‘90s. Having grown up during Seattle’s grunge era, Shammy and Barry formed a friendship while attending all-ages shows in the Fraser Valley.

These shows, for the most part, involved a community of bands known as The Veritable Shrine (which included flagship band Mystery Machine, who recently released a new album). The Doers’ sound is reminiscent of Grunge’s often-overlooked post punk predecessors, channelling rhythms of The Minutemen and the intensity of Hüsker Dü.

These three guys know how to have a good time, which was evident while they were kings of the Vancouver all-ages scene for the majority of the aughts. It’s impossible not to move to their dancey beats or sing along to their hummable melodies and gang vocal chants. The Doers simmered for a few years and explored other musical directions. Shammy performed regularly over a five-year period in different experimental projects at Fake Jazz Wednesdays, Barry still drums in Reverter and the Previous Tenants, and Jerf plays drums in Edmonton’s Falklands. They have chosen 2012 as the year of their return! Having played some of the best all-ages shows in Abbotsford between 2006 and 2009, The Doers return to create a punk rock dance party!

Presented by CIVL, the show is at AfterMath on Friday November 23; Locals Rags to Radio and GSTS! will also be playing. Doors at 7 p.m., show is $5 at the door.

Q and A with Shammy (guitar/vocals)

Why are you reunion-ing?

Well, technically we’re not reunion-ing. We never broke up; we took a four-year break. When Mrazek left The Doers for Nardwuar, we tried to get another drummer and it just didn’t work out. We played 500-ish shows in five years and I think we needed a break. We talked about getting things going again when Calgary made us a comfy offer to go play there. We didn’t do that but we did talk to Jerf. Jerf lives in Edmonton and agreed to get together, so the current Doers line-up is the original Doers line-up: Barry, Jerf and I. Credit’s really due to our sister Brendan Forest Tate – she convinced us that we’re still in good physical shape.

The Doers’ members have roots in the lower-upper Fraser Valley; does it mean a lot to return to your stomping grounds of Abbotsford and Chilliwack and give back to the youth of today?

Some of my favourite show experiences have been in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Some of my favourite bands are from the Valley. When we play Valley house parties and hall shows it reminds me of my own youth. We do give everything we have back, or at least 10 per cent, which I believe is the tithing rate out there.

Can you recall any of the times The Doers played in Abbotsford in the past and could you please share your memories of that show(s)?

At one Turd Ferguson show, with Fun 100 and YSP!, a bunch of people started doing home renos on the ceiling. Another one of my favourite Abbotsford shows with YSP! was the one where Devon’s dad crowd-surfed and Devon said “thanks for crowd-surfing my dad.”

Name five genres that The Doers are not . . . Then give us two that you expect to be in five years.

The Doers are not your boss rock, baseball caps, songs for coffee shops on Main, gender policing, or nostalgia. In five years we might be protest jingles against pro sports, or music for skin care.

Thoughts on vinyl in an mp3/digital era?

I collect vinyl and I download music too. They’re two entirely different things. I like Nomeansno Rob Wright’s take on it: “If people keep downloading [music] the way they are, perhaps they’ll put [labels] out of business. They’re lousy at making music, they make lousy music.” I don’t see how an mp3 is a threat.

Plans for the rest of 2012 and on into 2013?

Jerf’s written nine new songs already, so I guess we should make an album and tour! We just finished mixing a seven-inch that was recorded in 2008. What I really want to do soon, is go on a rich person’s boring vacation. Like, maybe a tropical trip with inclusive snacks. I can’t remember the last time I travelled anywhere. I can’t afford it anyway. What I should be doing is camping more. It’s a good idea to get out of Vancouver regularly.

What won’t The Doers do?

We won’t cover Morrissey. We won’t play for the sake of it, or because we need to be playing. We won’t play to sustain a lifestyle. We won’t use anything sharp or unsanitary on our skin tags. I really don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

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