Watching people react to a Dig it Up set is a lot like watching a dog being shown a card trick, It's all cocked heads, weird looks and slack jaws. Playing self described "Party Punk" which by now has become synonymous with the Fest/Pouzza pop punk, it's easy to see how some people can get the wrong impression. Despite being veterans of the aforementioned festivals, Dig it Up bring more to mind The Bronx, Orchestra of Wolves era Gallows and fellow Montrealers The St. Catherines than anything else that is coming out of that particular scene. The new record "Bad Water" delivers more of what I've come to expect but while "Manners", their previous record, and this new effort offer the same in terms blistering, riff fueled hardcore "Bad Water" does it better by making things heavier and a bit darker. Mike Rokos answered a few questions in preparation of their upcoming release on July 23rd at Turbo Haüs.
Turbo Haüs-You guys seem to take a pop punk/fun first approach to playing music, which is fun to see but you get lumped into this category that you don't fit at all. Where does that come from?
Michael Rokos-If there are 300 people partying at a show, odds are, they’re going to have a pretty good time, they’re going to give you energy, and ultimately make performing like a lunatic a little easier. When there are like 4 people in the venue, you have 2 options, you can be a mopey jerk and waste everyone’s time, or you can give an even crazier show than you normally would, and make damn sure that those 4 people have a blast, are coming back next time you’re around… and they’re bringing their friends. (give it 110%, put the puck in the net, hit a home run, do a points…)
That’s kind of the way we’ve always looked at this band, and it’s most probably why we’re still playing together. Early on, shows that could have been a total bummer ended up being some of the best nights.
This band is definitely not a career plan for any of us, so if we’re gonna do it, we might as well enjoy it every time.
T.H-You've expressed a few times to me that you don't really have a desire to tour that often anymore. This seems to be the case for a lot of punk/hardcore bands from Montreal especially compared to some of their counter parts in Toronto. Even your other project that's based in Toronto seems to play more often than Dig It Up. why do you think all this is?
M.R-That’s a pretty loaded question… I don’t know if I can speak to Montreal vs Toronto on this. I do see a lot of up and coming bands in both towns and I think it’s a matter of perception. You always hear more about bands that aren’t from your hometown, you know?
For us, it’s really a matter of organization, time and priorities. We’re all working, we’re all “adults” I guess. I wish we could tour a bunch and do shows all the time. We do what we can!
T.H-Marc Andre Beaudet did "Manners" and "Bad Water" with you guys which i guess is where I get the Sainte Catherines vibe. How important is a guy like Beaudet in the writing/recording process or was he just more there for finishing touches and a fresh set of ears?
M.R-It was kind of a no brainer to work with Beaudet. He definitely adds a lot to the process. We all really enjoy working with him, because there’s no stress in the studio and we’re still always paying attention to detail and that he’s not going to let anything slip.
We usually have the songs ready and rehearsed by the time we get to recording, but Marc-André provides great ideas all around. I personally really like working on vocals with him because his singing always stood out to me and was such a big part of the Sainte Catherines sound.
He provides guidance and structure, while keeping things easy going. He’s also a pretty great dude.
T.H-I checked and you guys still have a Myspace. Without looking, can you tell me who your top eight are?
M.R-Damn, that’s tough… I’m gonna say:
1. Wayfarer (not for real, but because I’m pumped to be playing with them)
2. Prevenge RIP :’(
3. Party at the Moontower
4. The Video dead
5. Junior Battles
7. Weird Al
8. Alf again?
Now I need a quick break. Gonna check our top 8 to see what’s up.
T.H-If you could stop any band from ever existing, who would it be?