Touring out of sheer stupidity

Greenback High plot world domination

This Friday when a sold-out crowd packs their B.O. drenched studded denim into Broken City for a rare appearance from U.K. crust legends Doom they might be a little surprised by the less-than-aggressive sounds coming from Vancouver power-pop punk troupe Greenback High.

The quartet was accidentally double-booked by the venue but rather than cancel the show they’ve decided to endure potential disdain from the audience and hope to win over some new fans. Then right after they’ll cruise over to Tubby Dog and play with some more like-minded locals.

It’s the sort of hectic running around not uncommon for a DIY punk tour but it’s all the more hilarious considering bassist/vocalist Rob Wright spends his day job booking tours for some of the country’s biggest most successful artists. Rather than push for the best possible road strategy however his goal with this band is to have fun.

“Ultimately if I was looking at my band objectively in the music industry I would never work with us” he says laughing. “It’s just a punk rock band. We’re not trying to grab the brass ring. We’re not trying to be the next Billy Talent. So we’re not following the path or doing the things that those bands would do.”

Greenback High have existed since 2011 and include members of other Vancouver luminaries like The Vicious Cycles The Jolts D.O.A. and Carpenter among others. Guitarist/vocalist James Hayden might be a familiar face to Calgarians having served time in the Von Zippers the Ramblin’ Ambassadors and Fire Engine Red. More recently their other projects have sunk to the back burner and Greenback High has taken over.

The band’s touring in support of their top-notch 7-inch single that came out late last year a collection of crisp ’77-influenced power-pop that’s sure to resonate with the right crowd (and potentially win over some crusties too).

Even though Wright’s not working his venue-filling mojo on this particular touring itinerary he does have ambitions to conquer the world with this band. Those stem from a recent trip he took to Cuba touring the country with The Vicious Cycles. “There’s people over there that are making rock shows happen on less than a shoestring — like half of a homemade shoestring” he explains. “If a bunch of punk rockers in Cuba can set up a tour over there and make some really amazing things happen surely four dumbasses from Vancouver that all have real jobs can make some cool shit happen….

“And if I learned anything from that tour in Cuba it’s that you set a plan in place and then you make it happen. It happens. It sounds ridiculously teen posi but it’s kind of true.”

We have little doubt that his ambition to tour all over the world will come to fruition because Wright and his bandmates are unquestionably lifers. When asked why he keeps hitting the road the bassist chalks it up to “stupidity” adding “You spend a lot of time and money and literally risk your life playing in a rock band in Canada. Going across the Rockies once or twice a year in questionable road conditions with often questionable transportation. But when’s the next show? Where are we going now?”

Laughing Wright breaks into his best rap voice. “Can’t stop won’t stop” he says. “I think of Dave Chappelle doing Puff Daddy. Me doing Dave Chappelle doing Puff Daddy.”