Fifthwheel & Psyko Steve Presents:



Wed, November 15, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Club Red

Mesa, AZ

$22.00 - $25.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 12 and over

The first thing to know, if you want to know about Propagandhi, is that they came here to
rock. Right from the snarling opening riff of their seventh album, Victory Lap, that much is
clear. For everything else that swirls around the band now, and for the last 31 years — the
politics, the people and, lately, a gnawing sense of despair — the sheer volume of it all hasn’t
So even though Victory Lap was written while the world spun into darkness — we’ll get to that
in a moment — this record is still made to put feet in the pit and fists in the air. Or, as
frontman Chris Hannah sings on “Tartuffle,” Victory Lap’s penultimate track: “We came here
to rock. Single moms to the front. Deadbeat dads to the rear. That’s how we do it here.” In
that moment, Victory Lap finds Propagandhi close to how they began: a ferocious band from a
wind-battered Canadian prairie, thrashing out jams in a city erected on stolen Indigenous
Of course, much is different about them, too. It’s been five years since the band unleashed
their sweeping sixth record, Failed States. In sonic ways, Victory Lap is a natural successor to
that record; for one, it was recorded at the same cozy Private Ear studio in Winnipeg, a
comfortable jaunt from their homes. But many things have happened since Failed States was
made. Some people close to the band were born; some people close to the band died. Not too
long after the release of the last record, bassist Todd Kowalski realized that, despite years of
pushing his voice into spine-rattling registers, he’s actually a natural baritone. (He takes voice
lessons now, to undo some of the damage he’d inflicted from singing too high.)
Then there was the big change, which explains why Victory Lap came out five years after its
predecessor, instead of Propagandhi’s typical four. In the fall of 2015, the band added a new
member, Sulynn Hago, a seasoned guitar-slinger from Tampa, Florida. Her arrival came on the
heels of a departure: after nine years with Propagandhi, David “The Beaver” Guillas wisely
elected to get a real job, teaching the next generation instead of cramming their brains with
jacked-up guitars. (That said, he’s still all over Victory Lap, contributing licks to four songs.)
In the wake of his departure, Propagandhi put out a call for audition tapes; they got over 400,
and Hannah and Kowalski watched every one. Of those, about 20 had the chops they were
looking for. Of those 20, one stood out above the rest. Hago had the experience in the scene,
she’d slugged it out on the road, and — this is also important — her voice was as fearless as
her fretboard fingers. “She’s the only person who wrote to us, and identified as a raging
vegan Hispanic lesbian,” Hannah says. “I was immediately like, ‘whoa, let’s check this out.’”
Meanwhile, a refugee crisis was peaking, unarmed Black men, women and children were being
murdered by police, and the the carbon in the atmosphere kept right on heating. While
Propagandhi was writing Victory Lap, a loud man called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and
bragged about sexually assaulting women. Half a nation shrugged, and elected him president.
White supremacists started getting glossy features in magazines, and airtime on cable news.
This is a band that has always been fiercely political, that never backed down from calls for
justice. Yet the events of 2016 still left them reeling, facing a landscape in which fascism is,

among a certain crowd, suddenly trendy. “It hit me in a way I can’t really describe,”
Samolesky says. “I almost feel like I’m trying to reinvent purpose out of this change, and the
resurgence of the far right. How is this going to affect us, with what we do — and in the
grander scale, where is this heading?”
All of those travails find their way onto Victory Lap, in ways both subtle and obvious. But
there are deeper questions on this record too: oh, you know, stuff like the meaning of this
whole shebang we call life. In 2016, Kowalski’s father died; Samolesky lost his father only
months later. In the wake of those losses, Kowalski wrote two songs for the record, “Nigredo”
and “When All Your Fears Collide.” Both, he says, were written in “total darkness,” and both
wrestle with grief and existential depression. “The whole time, the whole year of making
songs in my head is complete despair,” Kowalski says. “It’s partly why I only have two songs on
the record. I felt like I had to do that one (Nigredo) right.”
On the opposite end of the journey, there was creation. Between touring on Failed States and
starting work on Victory Lap, Hannah, now 47, welcomed his second child. It didn’t make
playing in a rock’n’roll band any easier. “Seven years ago I used to get up, and go straight to
the guitar,” Hannah says. “Now it’s straight to making somebody's lunch, or making
somebody’s breakfast. At the end of the day there was that golden hour... of feeling creative.
Well, that’s gone. Now you’re getting attacked by two kids.”
Yet it is that experience of fatherhood that informs what could be Victory Lap’s most poignant
track, the closer “Adventures in Zoochosis.” The instrumental riffs are more upbeat than the
lyrics, but in their razor-sharp musings about coming to terms with life in modern society’s
comfortable cages, Hannah expresses the hope of all parents: that there will be a better life,
a brighter life for their children.
Perhaps that thought is an antidote of sorts, to the grim haze that hangs over the world these
days. Perhaps we all need someone we love fiercely enough, to keep trying. “Something I
struggle with now is that I think it’s all over,” Hannah says. “That anything short of the
destruction of civilization is just rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s the
elephant in the room. You cannot have what we have, and expect it to go on into the future.”
So what do you do, when you’re an unapologetically political band in a time when political
speech seems more fractured than it has been in years? When the darkness looms and the
rapacious maws of power seem to devour more by the day? You can’t stop the violence; you
can’t save the world. But neither can you stand to sit back, and just watch it all burn. So
here’s what you do: you strap up a guitar and get ready to rock. Single moms to the front;
deadbeat dads to the rear. This is still Propagandhi we’re talking about, and that’s how we do
it here.
RVIVR is a punk band from Olympia, WA with members of Latterman, Shorebirds, Hooky, Socks & Sandals, Casual Lust, Lightnin' Round and Glue!
Jennie Cotterill - Lead vocals/guitar
Linh Le - Bass/backup vocals
Stacey Dee - Lead vocals/guitar
Myra Gallarza - Drums

“Shove your labels / we’ll flip your tables / and we won’t apologize / for causing a scene.” – Bad Cop/Bad Cop, My Life

The lyric above is essentially a mission statement for Bad Cop/Bad Cop, who prove that the best way to battle sexist stereotypes about women in bands is to play well, and to play hard.

With catchy hooks, three part harmonies, and a drummer who fires her ‘guns’ harder than most of her male compatriots, Bad Cop/Bad Cop bring to mind the ‘90s heyday of chicks who actually rocked, from the snarl of The Distillers and synchronized vocals of Dance Hall Crashers to the guitar prowess of The Muffs and wry lyrics of Lunachicks.

All hailing from different parts of the U.S., the foursome met in Los Angeles while playing in bands like Compton SF, The Radio Sweetheart, The D’Maggs, The City, Angry Amputees, and Cunt Sparrer. Eventually realizing that their combined talents and influences would be greater than the sum of their parts, they launched the band in 2011 and quickly became the big sisters of the DIY punk scene, about which Jennie says “We have been so lucky to participate in such a supportive, inclusive, and active scene [with] great people working together and encouraging each other.”

After playing at the “Lilith Bear” party during San Francisco Bear Pride 2013, they were supported and encouraged by an unlikely audience member: NOFX’s Fat Mike. “After our set, Mike approached and said he liked all the songs and Fat Mike decided then that he was going to do something with our band. I almost crapped myself, and the rest is history,” says Dee.
Now in the Fat Wreck Chords fold, look for their 7” titled Boss Lady in the immediate future.
Venue Information:
Club Red
1306 W. University Dr
Mesa, AZ, 85201