My friend Farah and I sat down with School Damage for an interview recently. We talk about a lot of weird shit... check it out.
You guys tour with so many great punk bands made up of great dudes. Who are some of your favourites to play with so far?
Brad: BOIDS are good!
Jon: BOIDS are super fun.
Brad: Yeah we like going on runs with dudes we get along with.. we play with BOIDS a bunch. They're definitely on like a different skill level than we are but they're just solid dudes all around. Or like The Raging Nathans who we've toured with twice now who are just the funniest people on the planet.
Curtis: Oh yeah fuck we can't forget about our buds from Ottawa, NECK.
Brad: Oh my god NECK... we've played a lot of shows with those guys because we love those dudes.
Jon: We'll play a city with a band for the first time like we played Fort Wayne with Flamingo Nosebleed and became good friends with them so we brought them up and went on tour with them. And like Dougie Tangent and The Putz.
Brad: Yeah, The Putz!
Has there ever been a band who you thought you'd get along with on tour but ended up hating them by the end of it?
Brad: No. Not at all.
Curtis: It's been pretty smooth.
Brad: There's definitely been people who you're stoked to bring on the road but they're just different than what you expected, like they're like 'we have kids and a wife, we're just going to go to bed' and we'll be like 'whoa I just barfed'.. that kind of stuff. Or we're like 'come on smoke this!' and they're like 'no we can't'. But honestly we've never met anyone who has been shitty... except for White Lung, they were shitty.
Jon: Yeah but they were on the ass end of a long tour and they had a shitty show. They played Duffy's to a packed house but noone cared.
Brad: That's probably the only show that anyone was just like rude to us and they were probably just rude because they didn't want to be there.
Jon: We didn't want to be there!
Brad: Yeah after our set I went home and watched Saturday Night Live. That's a fact!
Curtis: Probably had more fun watching that.
Where's the creepiest place you've found love with yourself while on tour?
Brad: One time I masturbated in Sherbrooke, Quebec in a toilet in this venue after a man took a shit in it. I hadn't wacked on in like 3 weeks and it was just like a wash of a show so I went in there...
Curtis: To relieve some tension..
Brad: They had free Wi-Fi! I brought my laptop into the stall and masturbated for the first time in 3 weeks!
Curtis: I think on our East Infection tour I jerked off in the van... I slept in the van that night and jerked off in a condom. And these guys think it's soooo funny like 'oh he jerked off in a condom' but at least I didn't get cum all over the seats!
Brad: Well it was only weird because we had a garbage can in the van which was facing the backseat where I sit all the time and I saw the wrapper so I was like 'who had sex in here last night' and you were eating a banana and were like 'no one, I jerked off into a condom' like it was no big deal!
Jon: All of mine are romantic instances! On the beach, at a campsite... I like to romance myself!
You guys gave me a ride back from Pouzza Fest and I kind of got the sense of what it was like on the road with School Damage which was all about sexually harassing Curtis...
Curtis: Not all of the time, but most of the time. It's all about Brad wanting to get me hard. He's all like 'what do I have to do to man get you hard' and I'm like why do you want to do this you fucking creep!
And that was like an end of a long weekend shitty drive, like a 6 hour drive..
Brad: 6 hours of trying to get Curt hard.
Curtis: It was maybe like 3 and a half hours..
Curtis did you get hard?
Curtis: No! Not at all.
Brad: And I was pulling out all the stops and everything man!
So is it always non-stop jokes like that with you guys on the road?
Brad: Here's what it's like. So day 1 is like...
Jon: Curt falls asleep 30 minutes into the drive..
Curtis: Nooo that was just our first tour!
Brad: You always fall asleep! Anyway, it usually goes by just listening to records and then next day or so it's just like we'll get into more obscure stuff in terms of music and then usually on the way home or like the way from somewhere we play that Would You Rather game, or we talk about really funny sex stuff or we pretty much just rip on each other the entire time.
Jon: Typically if we tour the states after we cross the border we get super excited and then it just gets pretty ridiculous from there. But it's always just us talking about weird shit.
Brad: The walls of that van have heard some things! But yeah we usually we just fuck with each other.
Curtis: And we get along with each other for the most part!
Jon: You have to find humour in everything when you're on the road crammed in the van for like 6-8 hour drives or else you'll just go insane.
Brad: There was this one time when we were coming back from Detroit and we stopped at one of those ONroute's and Curt was taking a poo and I just kicked open the door and he's in there pooing. I don't even know why I did it... just that kind of stuff.
That leads me to my next question, what's the most self-deprecating thing you guys have ever done as a band?
Jon: Probably wearing short shorts on stage at Pouzza! I had a crop top set up too but I didn't have the confidence to pull it off.
Brad: I was a little cowboy! That's actually kind of dope, it's not self-deprecating at all. Um, we do stuff, like I do stuff all the time to make them laugh that's self-deprecating all the time but it's never like in the public eye.
Jon: Like trying to get your buddy to get hard?
Brad: Yeah, or I'll like look at them and then pull out my dick and try to piss in my mouth..
Curtis: Oh yeah like in Halifax.
Brad: I did it in Detroit too actually...
Jon: That's more like self abusive..
Brad: No it's just funny.
Curtis: We were in Montreal and I was looking after the van for the night and I had to take a shit in the morning and everything was closed so I took a shit in an alley and wiped my butt with some leaves.
Jon: I think the most self-deprecating thing we do as a band is write songs about self-deprecation.
At your last Bovine show there was a dude who was dressed up as a clown handing out balloon hats.. what other weird shit like that has happened at your shows?
Brad: On that first real tour we had Jon got flashed like all the time.
Curtis: Yeah he was working merch for, well they thought he was working merch for Dayglo Abortions.
Jon: We were playing Barrie and some random Barrie skid just came up and flashed me her tits and said 'does this give me anything?' and I was like I think you're looking for that guy over there and she just like pivet towards him and does the same thing and he like takes her under his arm and is like 'come with me'... and then we were playing Oshawa and while we were playing someone flashed us again! It was the tour that I saw tits.
Brad: I didn't see any tits that tour.
Jon: Oh, and there was Minneapolis!
Brad: Ok, no, let's move on.. nothing but BO..
Jon: We went to Minneapolis and Brad was super stoked that we were where The Replacements were and he just got blasted like drank whiskey all day in the van..
Brad: We woke up in Madison and smoked hash and drank before we had to leave and then we left and kept drinking all the way to Minnesota and then turns out when you drink whiskey all day and smoke hash you get really drunk and we loaded into this club and I was wearing sunglasses all night and felt that was the only thing protecting me from looking like I was blackout drunk and I did some karaoke and shit at a legion before out set... I don't remember our set at all.
Curtis: He was on auto-pilot.
Jon: He was in the golden ballroom.
Brad: I was in the golden ballroom where I thought I was doing great but I wasn't doing so good. And then some guy put his finger in my mouth to make me puke.
Jon: The drummer for this first band who is this greasy fucking dude.. Brad was trying to puke outside to make himself feel better and he goes outside and offers him his help by sticking 3 fingers down his throat like to the top knuckles.
Brad: He was trying to help me.. Anywayssss.
OK we should probably talk about your album...
Brad: Yes, let's please move on.. my girlfriend is sitting beside me dude... I wonder if she's going to respect me still..
Have you sold any of the new album in Europe yet?
Brad: We just got the numbers back and yes we did sell some! It was like, 10 copies!
Do you have plans to do a Europe tour?
Brad: Next July sista!
Jon: Yeah we're working on it for next July!
Brad: We'll be there in no time.
What's the writing / recording process like with you guys?
Jon: Typically Brad or I will come up with ideas ready for practice, either verse or chorus or something then we'll flush it out as a band, work out all the kinks... and then put lyrics to it later or we'll have lyrics for it then. And for recording we try to do it all ourselves. We're just in the middle of tracking demos for a new album. We're about 10 song down, working on 5 more.. Trying to keep up with our one release a year.
Brad: When you think about it, we finished the last album and then it took a long time for it to come out..
Jon: It took about 6 months to get anyone interested in it, and then like 3 months from then it came out.
Brad: So it will be the same with this one, we're doing the demos for the new records now and it will be done in probably November, out like next November..
[Farah] Has anyone ever heard those songs yet, have you played them live?
Jon: We had one of them in our set a few times.. and we played one of them at a party. We might start peppering them into our set..
Are the new songs along the same lines as those on Battered Lives?
Brad: It's definitely a bit different, I had to solo a lot more than I used to have to solo. I dunno I'm cool with these songs man, I'm more psyched about these new stuff than some songs off Battered Lives, no offense..
Jon: But we're still super proud of that album!
Brad: We're trying to drop the whole like 1, 2, 3 kind of stuff..
Jon: Yeah, step away a little bit from the Ramones-core.
Brad: Yeah just do our own thing.
It must be weird playing songs that you wrote so long ago and are kind of over already but you have to play since the album just came out..
Jon: We've had some of those songs for like 2-3 years... we don't play a lot of them live.
Brad: That's true there's a lot of songs on that album we never play live, and we don't even rehearse them... so if you like them on the album, don't look forward to seeing us play them!
You guys have a video for "You'll Shoot Your Eyes Out"..
Do you plan on making a video for any other Battered Lives tracks?
Brad: Yeah, I've been seriously considering doing another video.. it's just so time consuming and annoying. The last one we did was kind of a pain in the ass because I had to set it all up myself, I had to book a venue and get people to show up early and had to promise everyone beer and everyone got pissed because there wasn't enough free beer.
Jon: And we had to lose a tire..
Brad: That was pure coincidence! We actually built that video around the fact we lost a tire. But yeah we'll do one probably soon, most likely fall... but don't expect any free beer!
Catch School Damage opening up for Chixdiggit! at the Bovine on September 23rd orrrrr at Beau's Oktoberfest on the Black Forest stage on September 24th.