Montreal-based punks The Sainte Catherines are known for many things: outspoken political views, driving guitars, gruff vocals and deadpan humor, just to name a few. Keep that last point in mind as you read through this brief Q&A with the band’s front man Hugo Mudie.
The band has just released their latest, Fire Works, on Boston’s Anchorless Records. Mudie discusses the new record, their departure from Fat Wreck Chords and the death of his stellar country/punk side project Yesterday’s Ring.
IW: What can you tell me about the new record?
Hugo Mudie: It has 13 songs on it, most of them are good. It was recorded in a chalet. I don’t remember exactly where, but I know that the Loch Ness monster showed up and said my name when I ate that green jalapeno filled with Feta cheese.
IW: Was it a tough decision to release Fire Works on a different label after leaving Fat Wreck Chords?
Mudie: It was not a decision. Fat Wreck sold our contract to Anchorless Records in the U.S., and we won the Stomp Records deal for Canada in a bowling match: Punx vs. rude boys. (Editor’s note: A spokesperson from Fat Wreck Chords wants you to know that Hugo is kidding).
IW: Your sound has changed a bit on the new record. Did you have every intention of the change, or did it just evolve when you were working on Fire Works?
Mudie: Our sound didn’t change; it’s just that people now smoke tons of weed and are under the impression that everything is slower, when it’s actually 4BPM faster altogether.
IW: What did you do during the four years between records?
Mudie: We learned to fly, bought a pool, shaved our heads, drank shampoo, became Buddhists, skanked, sold all our merch and bought guns to shoot and drank more shampoo.
IW: Accents aside, what’s the biggest difference about tours in the U.S. vs. Quebec?
Mudie: Tours in Quebec are great. There [are] people at our shows, and we get free pizza and money. In the U.S., nobody cares and we don’t get shit, unless we tour with Leftover Crack, then we can load for them and eat their leftovers for free.
IW: You guys have never been shy about expressing your politics through music, but it seems like some of the newer punk bands have completely left politics out of punk rock. Any thoughts on that?
Mudie: I think that if you are afraid of saying anything or singing that might offend “potential fans,” you should just become a politician.
Mudie: Starving, hearing bands every night and not sleeping with the local band’s girlfriends.
IW: Is your other band Yesterday’s Ring planning a new record or shows anytime in 2011?
Mudie: Yesterday’s Ring died in September 2010. We are still grieving.
IW: Do you have anything else to add for the readers?
Mudie: Breathe deeply, watch hockey and stop smoking weed.