J.B: So let’s talk about the origins of Pouzzafest how did you end up being a longtime supporter of the festival? It’s only natural of course that one of the best independent labels would have something to do with the best festival around?
Back in 1978 my brother put a pair of headphones on me and cranked Bodies by the Sex Pistols. I was shell shocked. Haven’t recovered. So...I was a natural sucker to become a loyal fan of a festival like Pouzza. As for Stomp, it's the festival we've always wanted in every city in every province/state!!! There’s close to a dozen Stomp bands performing at Pouzza this year, and that’s no different then previous editions, so we try to support the festival as best as we can.
J.B: Pouzza is now in its seventh year and it started out with these bands coming together and every one I knew that went in the first couple of years was talking about it. Did you ever think it would be as big as it now? Is there any certain thing that really stood out for you over the first couple of years?
No. Nothing specific, however the first couple years set the path for future years. It’s a festival about bringing different styles of punk together, big bands and small bands, strengthening the indie punk rock community, meeting new people, having fun, enjoying good bevys, checking out new music all within the confines of downtown Montreal. Pretty dope.
J.B: Pouzzafest has always had some really amazing people behind the scenes that make it all work and of course I’m talking about yourself everyone at Stomp the endless devotion that Hugo and Hélène put into it and of course Melanie Kaye PR. Last year was a big change and that team grew with Graeme Philliskirk and others how is the family behind Pouzza fest? What’s the secret behind the best Festival around?
Working with Graeme, Sam, Alex, Corinne is awesome (Hugo, Hélène and the Stomp crew too!!!). All 4 bring something different to the table, which is amazing for me cause I get to learn new shit but more so for festival.
The secret…I’m going to go with "don’t take yourself too seriously” and “get ready ready to party hard".
J.B: The festival always has had something new last year that was the baseball which is continuing again this year and of course the punk rock yoga for the recovery on the Saturday. Is there anything new added this year beyond the secret shows or something new maybe that street hockey game finally?
We’ve made a slew of modifications to try to improve all aspects of the festival…but for me, my favourite new addition to the festival is our new outdoor food provider, L’Gros Luxe. Their food is awesome. And they’re going to make some even more awesome cocktails.
As far as trying to make things better; we reduced the number of venues and tightened up the distance between each one (there’s more shows at Foufs, 2 new venues with the Midway and Cleopatras), Pouzza Bambino for kids is on the Saturday from 11am-1pm, Yoga For Punks is on the Sunday noon-2pm, 12 baseball teams this year with 3 fields, more BBQ’s, more secret shows, more beer options from Beau’s and Trou Du Diable!!!
J.B: Pouzza isn’t Pouzza without the food because after a long day substance is a must, this year you guys are partnered up with L’gros luxe? How that come to be did is better epic food?
The founder of L’Gros Luxe is a guy named Alex. He used to own a club in Montreal called Underworld. And before that he had a snowboard shop also called Underworld. AND BEFORE THAT he had a punk rock label also called….UNDERWORLD. So, the point I’m getting at is that he’s been around for ever, he’s a punk rock dude, so it made perfect sense for us to ask him. We’re super stoked he said yes.
J.B: The coolest thing I love about Pouzza that was also added I might add was the addition of the beer gardens. Of course you guys have some fantastic support on that end from almost the complete beer line of Beau’s to Trou Du Diable also and of course amazing drinks over at the Sailor Jerry bar? Are there going to be the green cups again? Those cups where a hit last year you could see everyone wearing them from blocks away?
Those green cups were cool BUT they made it hard for Beau’s + TDD to pour a proper beer and not everyone had one, so we were making too much landfill. This year we’re changing to an eco-cup design, it’s see through so the bartender’s can see what their doing…and it’ll be greener than the old green cups + plastic ones.
J.B: Of course the main stage is always free of course to the public which is what makes Pouzza Fest and supportive of all ages. This year there’s quite the amazing lineup from The Slackers to Mustard Plug and this year Lagwagon. Who are you looking forward to seeing this year on the smaller end of the more intimate shows?
Sammy Kay, Bats in the Belfry, Boids + Audio Visceral (they’re having a Pizza party during their sets @ Foufs) to name a few. And..it’s a bit self centred, but I can’t wait to see Stomp bands like Penske File, Raygun Cowboys, Real McKenzies, and Isotopes play new songs from their new/upcoming records.
J.B: Talking about venues which I noticed you guys switched up venue locations this year and there’s the Midway and Café Cleopatrea which looks REALLY interesting? Can you describe these two new venues?
Midway is swanky nice with killer killer killer drinks. We’re using their back room for shows.
Cleopatra is a strip club. Hugo says he won’t do it but I’m working on him. Kidding. We’re using the upstairs rooms above the strip club, it’ll be like a private hall show. Should be really f’in cool.
J.B: And of course Pouzza Fest is about the various venues and times that’s important to keep track of so you don’t miss out on a secret show or a certain band and that became really handy with the Pouzza App who brilliantly thought of that?
Um…not me? But definitely get the app.
J.B: I always try to wake up early on Sunday well for the breakfast of course over at Fou’s with some Ceasers that happening again this year? But I also enjoy hanging out seeing all the cool things that go down at Pouzza Bambino for the kids?
Food will be up and running at Foufs almost all day long!!!
Saturday this year for Bambino. I’m going to do a short kiddie set with Alex from the Beatdown, I think we’re going to cover Paw Patrol. More importantly we’ll have a jumpy castle, field of lollipops, a piñata, face painting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mascots, ice cream, cotton candy, and vegetables!!! All free for the kids.
J.B: I always notice that Pouzzafest always has a lot of bands that are like a last stop from nowhere concept that it always goes down on the final leg of their tour for Pouzzafest it truly has become that iconic and legendary. Is it planned out that way or is it just that kind of ends up that way, with some bands they fly in and out and others stick around for the entire meddling meeting new friends?
Good observation…but I honestly don’t have answers. :)
J.B: Last year I walked into a comedy workshop at the Saint Catherines Theatre which was really cool anything happening with the comedy this year?
Yes! I was there too, so good.
J.B: There’s always the best concept art for Pouzza from cats with several eyes to dancing pizza and so forth who does the illustration pieces for Pouzza?
Hugo Mudie, Hugo Royer and Chubb.
J.B: Is there still going to be some Hot sauce this year?
No. Hot sauce went poof.
J.B: I also noticed you guys made a Spotify playlist of all the bands playing this year to check out that’s pretty cool?
J.B: Is there anything else that I may have missed that’s new this year that’s going to be happening? Or anything you would like to mention?
This is a very extensive and comprehensive interview. :)