First of all, let’s do a little recap for all the new Calgarians in the city.
Madcowboys formed in 2003, with vocalist and guitarist Mike McLeod and bass guitarist, Dave Sowsun. McLeod and Sowsun then met drummer, Will Schatz at The Underground (now, The Commonwealth) and he joined the band shortly after their first album release. Playing loud, fast punk rock, it all started to make sense.
In their 10-year history, they’ve released three albums, all DIY and they’ve toured Canada extensively. In recent years, however, they haven’t been that active due to band members living across the country; Schatz has also been constantly touring for his job as a sound technician. That being said, the three members are excited to get together for this celebration.
Schatz and I recently sat down and chatted over the phone. We talked music, tour stories and all the nonsense that comes with being in a punk band.
BeatRoute: How would you describe the Madcowboys to someone who’s never listened before?
Will Schatz: Fast punk rock. There’s really not much to it, it’s about as straight up as you can get. It’s fun music.
BR: There have been a lot of ups and downs within the band. How have you guys managed to stick together for these last 10 years?
WS: With my job, I tour a lot and so there were some very convenient opportunities for me to come up to Calgary and play a show or multiple shows while still just going to and from work. So that worked out quite well. I moved from Vancouver to Newfoundland, so this last year has been our least active because it’s pretty much impossible for me to do anything from Newfoundland. But there’s been about three or four times where I’ve flown to Calgary just [to play with Madcowboys].
BR: Over the years, what cities or tours did you enjoy the most?
WS: We’ve played some wonderfully shitty bars, basements and small shows. And we’ve gotten to play with a lot of great bands, but not necessarily toured with them. Touring has its ups and downs; they’re all pretty fun. It’s a stressful lifestyle. There was no luxury when we toured — a lot of living in the van. As for cities, Calgary has always been a great city for us. Montreal is always fun as well, because our friends Trigger Effect make it great for us. Halifax was probably one of our favourites to play in, for sure. We’ve played there many, many times and it’s great. Maybe, as well, Kenora, Ontario: we have a really great friend there that would put on shows for us. It’s always such a great time, small towns like that are usually the best. They don’t get a whole lot, so they’re always pretty excited and appreciative.
BR: It’s been over a year since Madcowboys have played here in Calgary, what are you looking forward to the most with this show?
WS: I’m looking forward to this whole week, seeing old friends and going to all the places I used to hang out. The set we’re (hoping) to play, we’ll see how it goes when we start rehearsing: we’re aiming for some songs that we haven’t even played in around seven years. The wish list is like 28 songs, so we’ll see how many of those we can get through.
BR: I have to ask, is there an album in the works?
WS: Every time we get together we managed to write a few songs. So, the likelihood of that happening is much higher now that I’m off the rock [Newfoundland] and in Toronto. Things will be a lot easier to do and really it would take about a week. It’ll be interesting to get us all in the room and see what we’ve all been listening to and what turns out.
Don’t miss the Madcowboys’ 10-year anniversary show! Come early and stay late, December 6 at Broken City.
By Sarah Mac
Photo: Sanja Lukac