No, the title of this article is not an exaggeration. Ever since Alberta’s The Dudes released their album entitled Bloods, Guts, Bruises, Cuts they’ve been cursed with all of the above. What exactly happened? Brace yourselves for this unbelievable sequence of events!
A week before the band set off on their Canadian tour lead singer/guitarist Dan Vacon took a ride on his BMX bike and ended up with twelve staples in his head and a broken collarbone. A month later drummer Scott Ross rode the same bike, only to end up missing three of his front teeth, a bunch of his face and a piece of his moustache (the accident took place at the same intersection as Dan’s!). And that’s not nearly the end of it! Vacon then crashed into a tree while skiing and broke the other side of his collarbone. AND, last, but certainly not least, while hailing a cab during a blizzard, Ross slipped and got dragged thirty feet underneath the bumper of an oncoming car and busted both his knees.
Now, things seem to have settled down and The Dudes are back to rockin’. Here’s what Vacon had to say about the band, their new album, all the madness and … tattoos.
Q: Let’s start off with how you guys got together as a band?
A: Ok. It started off with me and Bob in high school and we actually made the band for the talent show. We wanted to just rule the talent show and funny enough we didn’t make it to the second round, and the girl who won actually sings the national anthem at the Flames games now.
Q: Well, you’re in good company I guess. What was the musical environment like in Canada at the time you were growing up?
A: Oh, man it’s hard to say. You know I started going to see like punk rock shows ever since I was, you know, fifteen or fourteen years old and we had a rad all ages scene and that’s kind of how I started cutting my teeth. And I was like “Dude, I think I can do that.” Got my first real six string when I was sixteen and just kind of been plugging away ever since.
Q: There’s a nod to Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” on the song “Girl Police” – were they one of your favorite groups growing up?
A: Oh yeah. My family is huge into music […] I definitely got the classic rock influence in me. I got raised right, you know?
A: Yeah. That is my house [in the video]. That’s pretty much what goes on. We had a great summer. We’re taking it easy for the winter. You can’t really go like that all the time.
Q: Themes in this album are about love gone wrong and I found the song “Mr. Someone Else” very interesting. Is that something you’ve ever communicated to someone else in real life or is that an inner monologue that you just used as a lyric?
A: No, it’s real. But yeah, I never really acted on it. It was my inner struggle, something you can’t really do anything about. Your friend’s got a rad girlfriend and you wish she was yours, but what are you going to do? That’s your buddy.
Q: When you’re putting songs together, what do you find works best in the creative process?
A: Personally, you got to go even before that. Yeah, you gotta just be a wild person, willing to go there and get life as it comes. I just make sure that I get myself into lots of romantic trouble or just like party trouble. You’ve got to have stuff to write about. I keep my life open like that. Once I get the subject matter, I start. I always have this guitar sitting around and then you take your life and you put it to the guitar. That’s what I do.
Q: Speaking of your life riff, I know you guys like the extreme sports and I read that both you and your drummer Scott Ross broke bones? At the same intersection?
A: The same bike too.
Q: Do you think this was like a message from the rock Gods saying “Don’t do extreme outdoor sports?”
A: Yeah, if it is a lesson from the powers that be, I’d say we haven’t learned anything.
Q: Did you come up with the album title after all the accidents occurred, or before?
A: That was funny. We always thought that was going to be the album [name] when we wrote the songs. We thought it sounded cool, you know. It sort of represented the bad-ass [and] it was supposed to be about touring and partying and what kind of toll that can take on your life.
I broke my collarbone the first time two weeks after the album came out and a week before our first tour across Canada. And as soon as we got back from that, Scott started messing himself up. After we got back from Montreal, Scott got hit by a car.
A: Somehow he avoided a broken leg, but his leg is totally messed up – he can’t walk, he’s in one of those splints, right? We took one show off and he was right back on drums after that.
Q: He’s a real trooper. It takes a lot to knock you guys out of anything. I read the girl in the video broke her ankle too, right?
A: Yeah, Megan, the poor girl. The bad luck just comes with this album.
Q: Maybe it will get all the bad karma out of the way and something good will happen. Where will you be playing next?
A: We’re actually doing two nights to raise money to fix Scott’s teeth. He got his front teeth knocked out, so we are doing a benefit tomorrow. Then after the Christmas show we’ll do some one-offs.
Q: Are you planning on touring the States at any point?
A: We’re waiting for someone to ask us, you know? It’s on the horizon [for us].
Q: Glad to hear it. You’re also pretty well inked, and I always like to ask this of musicians with lots of tattoos – do you have a favorite?
A: You know what? I don’t know, but I’m really into birds it turns out. Covered in birds, man. One of my new ones is my fave: a two-headed bird with a black octopus heart coming out. Love is kinda like a two-headed bird: dark on the inside, if you know what I mean.
More on The Dudes at http://www.myspace.com/wearethedudes