Posted: July 27th, 2007
"depressed and drunk in my room writing songs"
Interview & photos by Schmitty
James Gnarwell from the epic Vancouver skate rock band STREETS has started a new project. The name is Bison, and they are heavy as fuck. I caught them the other night in SF and it blew me away, so I ended up going out to Oakland last night to see ’em again and spoke with the man behind the music, Mr. James Gnarwell himself.
How long has Bison been a band?
This version of it has been together since October of last year.
How did it evolve?
After STREETS broke up, I spent the summer totally depressed and drunk in my room writing songs for my next project. I had a hell of a time putting it together ’cause it's hard to find decent musicians who are also cool dudes.
So were these friends of yours already?
A couple were friends, and some I just knew from the music scene in Vancouver who weren’t doing any type of solid projects. I basically totally lucked the fuck out with these dudes; they're awesome and talented and can put up with my bullshit.
Where to from here?
San Diego, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Tucson, and then camping trips on the way back up.
What's up with the Vancouver scene? It seems to be cranking out epic shit left and right. Absolutely. Vancouver’s had a real resurgence of good, hard music. Vancouver's always been known for indie rock stuff, kind of lighter stuff—which is totally rad and that’s great. But there’s been more kind of rockin’ tunes coming out lately, which is really good. It’s a good balance to have, and in Vancouver all those bands can play together, you know. We play together with indie rock bands; a lot of our tight bros are in those bands, too. It’s a good community. Vancouver's showing us a lot of love, it’s great.
What are the comparisons between Bison and STREETS, and then the differences?
The comparisons are probably the reasons we do it, the stoke behind it. Just try and get people stoked, which is basically all I want to do. Get people excited so they forget about their problems. We do a lot of guitar harmony stuff, which I think was pretty present in STREETS. One of the major differences: it's a lot heavier. The songs are longer. There are less vocals too, which I was really interested in doing. I didn’t want it to be such a vocal-based band. I wanted it to be pure sound. True, heavy sound.
What are you gonna do after this tour?
We just finished this CD on Forest records, which is a new awesome indie label out of Vancouver. I think we'll probably do a small Canadian tour and send the album out and try to get an American label as well.
1/26/2020E-40 has the near-universal respect of his peers. Through his 30+ year career, his wordplay and creativity are now embedded in hip-hop forever. He is a Bay Area legend and we are stoked to chat with him.
1/26/2020Slash reached Rock God status decades ago with Guns N’ Roses. We figured the guitar legend would be out of reach for an interview. Then we heard through the grapevine that he was down with the mag, so we gave it a shot. The rest is history.
1/26/2020Check out the line-up for next year's Punk Rock Bowling and start planning your trip.
1/26/2020Come out and help raise some money for the Sam Vincent Foundation.
1/26/2020Slayter rocked the Death Match and is now hitting the road. Check out his dates here.
1/26/2020There’s a million things to do in NYC at any given moment, but there’s only one Death Match. While bands like Obituary and Agnostic Front lit up the stage and riled up the pits, ramp sessions were fueled to the next level. The energy was explosive. See you next year...
1/26/2020Many music videos have incorporated skating. No big deal. But the band Slashers and the artist Dylan Goldberger combined forces for a truly psycho skate trip. This blend is so complete that it's tough to spot any divisions between skating, music, and art.
1/26/2020The Death Match returns to NYC October 5th and 6th. Check out the lineups. Event is FREE and ALL AGES, RSVP here.
1/26/2020Come see Show Me The Body live at this show presented by Familia.
1/26/2020In celebration of AVE’s new shoe, the Vans crew came to New York for some city pushing and partying in the summer heat.