Just over a year after an ostensible farewell to Vancouver in anticipation of their frontman’s ultimately unsuccessful bid for elected office, Canada’s greatest punk band is back (at least for now) to unleash a new double live LP before heading back out on the road. February 7th’s record release party for Welcome to Chinatown—culled from recordings of shows at the Rickshaw Theatre—follows tour dates in Texas, and precedes shows in Washington, Oregon and Australia.
“The farewell tour is continuing,” said D.O.A. head honcho Joe Keithley a.k.a. “Joey Shithead” in an email. “We have been playing towns that we did not play early in 2013 before I lost my nomination. So we decided that it would also be cool to play a few ‘special events’ like this upcoming show at the Rickshaw.”
Last March, Keithley lost the BC NDP’s nomination in the riding of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain by only a few votes. Regarding last year’s provincial election, Keithley said, “I think the political landscape in BC is changing. The NDP badly damaged itself through the last election campaign; I would say they have lost their way. They had a chance to include somebody who’s open-minded like myself and they purposely went out of their way to make sure I could not win the nomination. The main thing I am concerned with is trying to help BC and the people of BC. So we will see in the future how that works out.” He added, “I am considering a run in 2017 for MLA again.”
Always ready to offer a political opinion, Keithley chimed in on the current war over fossil fuels: “[W]e have a resource-based economy, that’s a fact, and it’s going to stay that way in the foreseeable future. So at this point in time we need to work on the safe movement of those resources, so we can protect Canada’s people and our environment. At the same time we need to develop alternate methods of clean energy. This is not something we can throw a switch on and automatically change the way things are. We need to be creative, purposeful and patient and then maybe alternate sources of energy will be ready in abundance for humankind in 20, 30 or 40 years.”
Far from saying farewell for good, Keithley has no shortage of future plans. February will see the release of a live D.O.A. DVD (paid for via crowdfunding) titled To Hell and Back. Keithley said, “It’s taken from five shows in Western Canada between June 2011 and January 2013. It’s 90 minutes of unreleased material; 30 D.O.A. songs. You get a free CD version of the 2012 studio album We Come In Peace, and there is great little bonus section, where we take you on a tour of the studio while recording that album.”
He added that his record label, Sudden Death Records, is planning vinyl reissues of classic Vancouver punk records. “We are considering various old Vancouver punk releases and getting them out in vinyl form again, and trying to make them as true to their original form as possible,” Keithley said. He’s also working on a third book “about politics and culture and the power of both” as a follow-up to his 2003 memoir I, Shithead: A Life In Punk and his 2011 scrapbook Talk – Action = 0: An Illustrated History of D.O.A.
Clearly, even when they’re winding down, D.O.A. are earning their reputation as the hardest-working band in punk.
D.O.A. plays at the Rickshaw Theatre on Friday, February 7th with guests Mr. Plow, Jenny and The Ford Pier Vengeance Trio. Visit suddendeath.com for more info.
By Reid Blakley