SNFU: What No One Else Wanted To Say

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Articles

  1. The Manitoban
  2. SNFU ...What No One Else Wanted To Say Book - 2014
  3. SNFU: What No One Else Wanted to Say | The Manitoban
  4. Library Catalogue

It was that there was no other choice. Throughout this book, as we follow SNFU on countless tours, the reader gets a true sense of what life on the road with a punk band is all about.

The reader gets a realistic feel for the erratic nature of the never-ending stream of shows. One night playing to 1, hardcore fans who know every word to every song; and the next night playing to a handful of drunks who would just as soon punch the lead singer in the face and break the windows of the touring van parked in the back alley. SNFU in Vancouver Really, for Chi there is no escape hatch because there is nowhere to escape to.

There may be no map back from the place he inhabits. We see his struggles with mental health issues, homelessness, and poverty; losing his teeth and most of his body weight; and ongoing addictions to a wide variety of substances. Chi Pig is heartbreaking. But it is also inspiring. A kid from Canada with every card in the deck stacked against him as a boy grew up and started one of the greatest punk bands on the planet. And when you see him on stage, even now, you see he is in the presence of some great force that many people in this life never get to touch.

On a good night, Chi Pig can walk onto a stage and he is magic; and he gives that magic to everyone who is lucky enough to be in his presence for a short time. Nobody knows where Mr. Beam me up Punk Globe! Tweet SNFU. Follow PunkGlobe. After spending time on the prairies honing the band into a tight machine, the reader follows SNFU on their first extended tour across America.

The Manitoban

It starts with several not surprising unsuccessful attempts at crossing the American border. That kind of surprised me, but I was impressed nevertheless by the tenacity of Marc Belke and Chi Pig, especially in view of that. After leaving Epitaph, they just carried on the same as before and went back to touring in one van with no road crew or support of any kind.

Those guys were diehards, and nothing was going to stop them from touring and making records. They were in a punk band because they loved playing live every night and everything that happened in between was just stuff they had to endure.

True fucking grit, if you ask me. My emotions went from pure, unadulterated happiness in some places to deep depression and grief in others. Some parts were so inspiring, so exciting, but others were very sad and hard to write. It was like being the passenger in a stolen car piloted by reckless young men with a serious death wish, and every time I thought we were going to crash, they somehow steered around the obstacle and kept on going.


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Some nights I was physically and emotionally drained after writing all day, and I would lie in bed thinking about the story and wondering how they managed to keep going for so long. I found it very difficult to separate myself from the book, and I was always thinking about it on some level. Perhaps I simply dug deeper on this project than I did with my other biographies, but it really affected me deeply. Even thinking about it now stirs up a flood of thoughts and memories. It was tough at times. Do you ever wonder if punk has served you well? You ever think like that?

I feel that punk mirrors the world around us, and if people see pain and failure, then maybe they need to take another look.

SNFU ...What No One Else Wanted To Say Book - 2014

Would you ever consider turning your talents to a more mainstream band, in the interests of making more money? The other reason was that I wanted to pay homage to the Winnipeg scene that was so important to me coming up. While I still plan to write more fiction, I also intend to cover bands that found a little mainstream success.

Would you agree that Mr. Chi Pig does not seem to be someone who has been served well by a life in punk…? Art has always been the only thing in his life, and punk was the way he chose to express it. Chi Pig.

By Chris Walter

I actually felt a little uncomfortable with the film, to be truthful. But I digress…. How did your consciousness about homosexuality evolve from your time as a Winnipeg punk? Did you know punks back then who were gay? Did you partake in homophobia that you had to confront in yourself?

Was there any sort of an alliance between gays and punks in Winnipeg, similar to what one hears about in the early Vancouver scene?

SNFU: What No One Else Wanted to Say | The Manitoban

The metrosexual thing is a bit much for me because it seems that straights are just trying to horn in on the latest trend. But to answer your question; there were gays in the early Winnipeg punk scene, but very few chose to advertise it, and I applaud those who did. That guy was awesome, haha. And I was very aware of a sort of theatrical homophobia in his lyrics and gestures. And then I found out Chi was gay, and it put quite a spin on my understanding of things. You do a pretty good job, actually — you seem to keep a respectful distance, but you do give a sense of how things must have been for him.

Library Catalogue

Besides, who really cares about that? Can you give some details of that? How frustrating did that get? Did you end up with everything you wanted? He was there in the beginning, and I got all the stuff I wanted about his childhood and the formation of the band, but he dropped out in the middle and his presence is almost negligible during the Epitaph years.

He came through in the end, and I conducted the last interview in his room at the assisted-living hotel where he has resided since That was an emotional experience in itself.