Candid Questions and Answers with Murray Acton as “The Cretin” (1979–present) of The Dayglo Abortions (DGA), a Canadian punk band from Victoria, British Columbia
Coordinated by Chip Ruggieri and Cole Bernstiel of Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.
Interview by Don of Don411.com
April 11, 2016
ADVISORY: There are some words contained within the interview that might offend the pious, don’t go beyond this sentence. – don
(Summary per The Dayglo Abortions website, April 11, 2016)
The Dayglo Abortions are a Canadian punk band from Victoria, British Columbia. Their lyrics are informed by a complete disregard for societal norms. They formed in 1979 and released their first album in 1981. The band’s biography, Argh Fuck Kill: The Story of the Dayglo Abortions, by author Chris Walter, was published in 2010 by Gofuckyerself Press.
In 1988, a Nepean, Ontario police officer instigated a criminal investigation of the Dayglos after his daughter brought home a copy of Here Today, Guano Tomorrow. Two albums featured in the resulting trial; the covers and the lyrical content being showcased by the prosecution. Here Today, Guano Tomorrow had a cover showing a picture of a hamster eating from a box of chocolates on nice satin sheets, along with a glass of wine. A gun points at the hamster, and the back cover shows a depiction of the resulting carnage. The previous album, Feed Us A Fetus, was perhaps a little less graphic, with a depiction of a baked fetus on the table in front of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. This resulted in the criminal prosecution of Fringe Product, their label at the time, for distribution and possession with intent to distribute of obscene material—the first such prosecution since the offense entered the criminal code in 1959. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The Dayglos, for the title song of their next album, Two Dogs Fucking, concerned the supposed priggishness of Ottawa’s public officials leading directly to the extinction of the human race. Dayglo Abortions singer, Gymbo Jak, also writes for Maximum RNR.
On their most recent album, the Dayglos showed a new-found political awareness. Holy Shiite has song titles such as “America Eats Her Young”, “Christina Bin Laden”, “Scientology”, and “Where’s Bin Laden?”.
“Blind Mark”, drums – 2011–present
“The Cretin”, guitar and vocals – 1979–present
“Willy Jak”, bass – 2000–present
Few punk bands have remained in business for as long as the veteran Canadian trio, Dayglo Abortions, has. Since 1979, the band (in one configuration or another) has been offering up no-holds barred punk rock (that was eventually merged with heavy metal), as well as some truly over-the-top (and unforgettable) album cover artwork/images. And the lads are back with their first studio album in twelve years (and ninth studio set overall), ‘Armageddon Survival Guide,’ which will be unleashed on March 25, 2016, via Unrest Records.
Since the beginning, the group has been led by Murray Acton AKA “The Cretin” (guitar and vocals), and made their mark on the punk underground throughout the ’80s, with such over-the-top classics as ‘Out of the Womb’ (1981), ‘Feed Us a Fetus’ (1986), and ‘Here Today, Guano Tomorrow’ (1987). But it was also during this time that the band found themselves in hot water with the law, after obscenity charges were brought against the band and their then-label, Fringe Product, after a police officer’s daughter bought a copy of ‘Here Today,’ and the officer failed to appreciate the band’s irreverent sense of humor. Happily, all charges were dropped in 1990.
Dayglo Abortions continued on their merry way throughout the ’90s with such additional recordings as ‘Two Dogs Fucking – Deux Chiens Fourrent’ (1991), ‘Little Man in the Canoe’ (1995), ‘Corporate Whores’ (1996), ‘Stupid World, Stupid Songs’ (1998), and ‘Death Race 2000’ (1999). And it was around this time that The Cretin was joined by bassist Willy Jak, who has remained a member of the band to this very day. The early 21st century saw the arrival of further albums, including ‘Holy Shiite’ (2004) and ‘Live 2011’ (2011), which led to the arrival of the group’s modern day drummer, Blind Marc (who is indeed legally blind), as well as the aforementioned ‘Armageddon Survival Guide.’
“Just like Armageddon, our new album has been rumored to be coming out for ages now,” explains The Cretin. “In fact it says in the Bible, that in the end times, the world will go totally to shit, everyone will be sinning their goddamned asses off, and they will all be listening punk bands like the Dayglo Abortions, who clearly couldn’t give a shit about God or the Devil. Now those aren’t the exact words used of course. But that was a long time ago, and what the fuck did they know anyway. Anyway…those days are here, the world has gone to shit, Lady Gaga is rubbing her Satan worshiping vagina all over the Super Bowl, and the new Dayglo album is out.”
“The ‘Armageddon Survival Guide’ is gonna kick the shit out of you. It’s gonna scare the fucking Jesus out of God and all his sissy angels. We’re not sure how Satan will take it, but we don’t believe in him anyway, so fuck Satan. Let your head get smashed in by the ‘Armageddon Survival Guide,’ brought to you by those Messiahs of the UN-sane, the Dayglo Abortions.”
Interview Questions and Answers:
What was the biggest break through during the entire Dayglo Abortions existence. How did you decide on that name? What’s does it mean exactly?
We got our name from two things. 1) a case of Dayglo Orange spray paint, and 2) the most frequently used word on the front page of our local paper. As luck would have it an abortion clinic in Montreal had just been shut down and the ensuing court case had just hit the supreme court, and the paper. (the clinic won and abortion has been the choice of the mother ever since) As far as a meaning goes… uh… it’s a noun….the last time I checked nouns don’t have a meaning. The biggest break we ever had was without a doubt when our label at the time (Fringe Product) was charged with possession for the purpose, and manufacturing for the purpose of distributing obscene material because of our first two albums. That also went to the supreme court on a freedom of speech defense. We won so they had to rewrite a clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights. And thanks to the year long trial with lots of media coverage we were a household name by the end of it.
What has been the evolution of Dayglo Abortions, such as watershed moments?
1980 – we started off with the original lineup, Jesus Bonehead drums, Spud bass, the cretin (that’s me) on guitar and vocals.
1981 – recorded our debut album Out of the Womb at Legacy Studios in Victoria.
1982-83 recorded another 8 or 10 songs to make Feed Us A Fetus which was originally released on Toxic Shock Records out of L.A.
1984 Fringe Product from Toronto signed us and they did their release of Fetus. Mike Jak and Nev the Impailer started playing with us.
1986 – Recorded Here Today Guano Tomorrow and released it on Fringe.
1988 – Fringe gets busted.
1990 – Recorded Two Dogs Fucking at profile studios in Vancouver with the assistance of John Write of No Means No. And released it on Fringe.
1992 – I took a break from the dayglo’s to work on another band (Lummox) and Mike Jak (and Nev) also took a break when I did. Spud and Bonehead found Gymbo on Vocals, with Hung Jak, and Squid on guitars.
Through the 90’s they released Little Man in a Canoe, and Corporate Whores on Boneheads label God Records.
1998-99 I rejoined the band (and started writing the songs again) and we recorded Death Race 2000 and released it on God Records and Spud quit so we got Hung to play bass until he left and we got Willy Jak on bass.
2006 – We released Holy Shiite.
2008 Gymbo left and we were back to a three piece again.
2010 Bonehead packs it in so we dump God Records and sign with Unrest Records then they re-released our entire catalog on vinyl.
2014 recorded the Armageddon Survival guide at the Armouries in Vancouver, Rob Shallcross producer.
2016 the Armageddon Survival Guide is finally released on Unrest.
I didn’t check any of the dates so they may not be accurate.
What are some funny things that happened on tour during the your careers.
Lots of funny stuff happens on the road but I’m afraid we can’t got into that because of the third rule of rock and roll. What happens on the road stays on the road. But way back when we were starting out and that abortion clinic I mentioned was in their court case, there were lots of Pro-life vs Pro-choice demonstrations going on so we decided to join in. We made big signs with coat hangers hanging from them with a baby (doll) strung through the ears etc, and started marching along with the pro-lifers, and the pro-choicers. They were so unimpressed with us they put aside their differences and joined forces to run us out of their. It was really fucking fun, and funny.
After listening to the entire album, ‘Armageddon Survival Guide’ it is a mature sound for your genre; meaning that members are now one with their instruments and singing is appropriate, how much writing and rehearsals were required to make this album? Why did it take “12 years”? What was happening between that time?
I think I explained what was going on in between albums already, but as far as the writing goes, I get an idea for the theme of the album then start with some songs. Once I have the first couple down it really speeds up and usually only takes me about a week to write the rest. Then I bring the songs to our jam spot and teach the other guys. Once we have the album recorded we don’t practice much together. Maybe a couple of times before a tour. We all have other bands and jam with lots of people so were always in good playing shape.
What are the band’s and musician’s plans after the current tour?
Well, after this tour we plan on starting another tour as quickly as possible, then next year we will record part 2 of the Armageddon Survival Guide.
In your opinion, what is your ideal demographic that listens to this music? What do you believe their personality is like? Their ages?
Seeing as I am an innocent child of the 70’s and grew up with Black Sabbath and shit my musical taste has always fallen somewhere in between punk and metal. Because of this we play to a very mixed group of people, not just pure punks. The one thing I notice is there is a percentage of society that uses humor ( as in Satire and Sarcasm ) to help them process the world. They are our type of people. We have become I guess, something like the Frank Zappa of punk. As far as ages go, we often get 2 generations and occasionally 3 generations of people at the gigs. I love it when a young kid tells me that their grandparents turned them on to us (then I start wondering if I might have fucked this kids grandmother back in the day, your never know, it happens).
What is currently happening in the world that makes ‘Armageddon Survival Guide’ relevant that others can relate to?
I don’t mean to tease you but, is this a rhetorical question? I mean check out the internet. It’s Armageddon every other day. We have survived at least 5 or 6 of them, so I figured, maybe we should share what we have learned.
What advice would you have given your younger self if you could go back in time?
Oh this one is easy, FIRE BONEHEAD. Ditch the 2nd wife as soon as the kids are in school. If I did both of those things I would be much wealthier, and still capable of being a functional partner in another relationship, instead of being a flat broke recovering drug addict. Actually I’m kidding about these things, I wouldn’t change anything, it’s all an important part of the process. If you want to sing about the world’s pain, you have to feel the world’s pain.
For those that want to perform at your band’s level of musicianship, what advice could you provide to aspiring musicians?
Well, you better prepare yourself for a life poverty and strife because you probably wont get rich, at least not before years of hard work. What you will get though is a ticket to see the world and to meet and become friends with people everywhere you go. Once you have been at it for some years you end up knowing people in pretty well every town you play. It rules. Everyday is an adventure, and you can take it as far as you are willing to push it. And as you go through your career you keep getting better and better at what you do so you play better, do more, and see more as you go.
What are questions you’d want asked of you but haven’t and what would be the response?
I’m thinking that was a shitload of questions and my hands are tired of typing so… nope can’t think of any.
Optional Bonus questions:
These are optional bonus answers.
Do you have other bands you like and admire?
Big fan of Lady Gaga, and Anne Murray.
If you could guest spot or open for another band, who would it be?
Definitely it would be Kanye West.
What festivals would you like to perform in that you haven’t yet?
I would love to play a christian rock festival. Or possibly a Muslim rock festival.
Would you do anything different to appeal to a broader audience that would has not considered listening to this type of genre?
We have thought of playing more polka style songs to attract the older, fatter, German, Oom Pa Pa crowd.
Thanks for your questions, have a great day. – The Cretin
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
Original Press Release by Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.
DAYGLO ABORTIONS DISCUSS ‘ARMAGEDDON SURVIVAL GUIDE’ AND SET TOUR DATES
Canadian punk vets the Dayglo Abortions will unleash their first studio album in twelve years (and ninth studio set overall), ‘Armageddon Survival Guide,’ on March 25, 2016, via Unrest Records and produced by Rob Shallcross.
And members The Cretin and Blind Marc have discussed the album here:
‘Armageddon Survival Guide’ combines DA’s unique blend of catchy punk rock, heavy metal, comical humor, and pissed off political rhetoric, with lyrical content that challenges and disputes the verities of modern life, and is available for presale on iTunes (with Cockroaches instant gratification track you get when pre ordering):
Additionally, US west coast dates are set for May – including a performance on May 29th at the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in Las Vegas (on a bill that also features DOA):
Classic Dayglo Abortions style goes hand in hand with feelings that are not so far from bands like Antiseen, and their anti-social nihilism attitude. In general, this is the band’s best material since their classic records from the 80’s.
CONFIRMED TOUR DATES:
Venue: The Funhouse @ El Corazon
109 Eastlake Ave. Seattle, WA 98109
Doors: 9:00 PM Starts: 9:30 PM
Tickets $12 Advance $15 Door
Age Limit: 21+
Venue: Ash St. Saloon
225 SW Ash St. Portland OR 97204
Doors: 8:00 PM Starts: 9:00 PM
Tickets $12 Advance $15 Door
Age Limit: 21+
Venue: Old Nicks Pub.
211 Washington St. Eugene OR 97402
Doors: 8:00 PM Starts 9:00 PM
Tickets $10 Advance $12 Door
276 E. 1st St. Pomona CA 91766
Doors: 8:00 PM Starts 8:30 PM
Tickets $15 Door
Punk Rock Bowling
Venue: Las Vegas Country Saloon
425 Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101
Doors:10:30 PM Starts:11:00 PM
Age Limit: 21+
‘ARMAGEDDON SURVIVAL GUIDE’ TRACK LISTING [Deluxe gatefold jacket, poly-lined black paper sleeve, 61cm x 61cm full colour poster. Cover artwork painted on canvas by Chany Pilote of INEPSY notoriety]
A1. Your Facebook Can Kiss My Assbook
A3. Another Boring Day
A4. Velcro Shoes
A5. Sick Of The Lies
A6. They Hate Me
A7. Aliens From Outer Space
A8. I Love My Mom
B9. The Dishwasher
B10. The New Black
B11. Left Handed Nazi’s
B12. No More Bullshit
B13. To Prove That We Are Free
B14. Canadian Hate-triot
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