Jord from Propagandhi answered many questions from me on monday the 5th of february 2001. Please read on.
You have been on the road for a long time , but you haven´t
many records as other bands, howcome?
-We played our first show in 1991. We've released 3 full-length albums
since '93, and we pretty happy with that. If we would have tried to pump
'em really fast, we probably wouldn't have been very impressed with the
results, so that's OK. Haven't done a shitload of touring either; hopefully we'll
get to a lot of places to support the new album. Also, Chris and I have been working helping establish "The G7
Welcoming Committee", a record label based here in Winnipeg that supports radical
counter-cultural music, spoken, and written word.
.The name Propagandhi, have it woke up many reactions?
-Pretty much just a name because you need a name, I guess. Not to be
confused with propagandizing non-violence as an exclusive means to social
change however!! Take this shit down by ANY means possible, there
You seems to be very angry on many things, how can you hold your flame
-Well seeing as Todd happens to have the largest untapped resource of
natural gas this side of Thunder Bay in his large intestine, I think our
flame will be burning brightly for many years to come (that is, until the
US government invades our practise space, claiming Todd's large intestine as
the property of Exxon under NAFTA, confiscates it, leaving Todd to crap
into a colostomy bag for the remainder of his days....).
What´s the best and what´s the worst thing of living in
-What?! We're from Canada there pal, don't you ever, EVER, think that
Actually, we live in Winnipeg, about a 1 hour drive north of the US
border, and about 1 1/2 hour drive from arsenals of nuclear weapons, YAY!
The worst thing about living near the USA are the warheads (which no one
ever talks about), or the non-believable television that constantly
blasted at us up here. Scary shit....
What do you think about the new president George W Bush and
election as it was?
-My guess is that in the next 4 years, he will become known
internationally as an international war criminal (like the others), an
enemy of the environment (like the others), as a president that treats the
interests of corporations (especially ones that produce weapons!) with way
more respect than the interests of people (like the others), and so on and
He may go down as one of the most hated people of all time ( as should
almost every other president of the USA). His election proves again that
the US electoral system is a sad joke, hell, he lost the popular vote, and got
in because the Supreme Court that elected him in (5-4) have one more
Repulican than a Democrat! The system has been bought out, since it's very
Is it important to sing about politic in songs, can music change
anything in the world you think, if it can, in which way?
-Insofar as Todd, Chris, and I were changed by listening to some
great political hardcore and punk bands in the mid-80's (ie Dead Kennedys,
M.D.C., Subhumans, DOA, etc...), we hope that we can contribute to this kind of
scene at this point. Otherwise, is it really important to sing about
relationships, cars, and all that stuff? I mean, we were all kids brought up under the current crap culture
that brings us all up as clued out consumers. Punk and hardcore helped bring
a different kind of consciousness to us over the years. Personally, this
took place over a long period of time, I'm not sure that these ideas sink in
to a lot of young people overnight. That being said, we hope that our albums
will serve as a kind of reference point for young people to have access to
for years down the road.
You do a comparation between Orwell, Ralston Saul and
Stalin, what about those people?
-The Hitler and Stalin quotes were intended to show people that these
dictators saw the importance of controlling the ideas of the people they
ruled through propaganda. This is definitely the case in which our
governments influence us in the West at this time. For example, NBC, a
huge media comglomerate in the US, is owned by General Electric, which makes
a large amount of high-tech weaponry for the USA. They were also huge
supporters of the Gulf War, the NATO war against Serbia, and for the
sales of weapons to countries outside of the USA, many of them dictatorships.
The corporate media is very similar to state run media under totalitarian
regimes, and is something that should fall under very intense critisizm.
People over here are far too trustworthy of the corporate media empire,
but I think that legitimacy is starting to be questioned.
The Orwell and Saul quotes were intended to show our purpose in
putting these kinds of records out. To question our position as we culturally
sit and rot happily in the lap of priviledge and luxury, to question the
interests and motives of our leaders, who say they operate in the
interests of the people, but the record clearly indicates otherwise (historically,
they operate in and almost exclusively for the interests of the rich and
You have many adresses to alternative things, what´s the most
important to be involved in you think?
-Any kind of anti-globalization, or anti-capitalist movement in
general. This form of economy makes no sense, and provides no solutions to the
massive problems we now face because of it (environmental devastation,
global intensification of poverty, etc....). Actually, the solutions
they want us to adopt would serve to intensify the problems they have
created, through such mindless and destructive organizations like the WTO, IMF
and World Bank, free trade agreements, etc...
Now back to the music, are you satisfied with the new album, Today´s
empires, tomorrows ashes? What could you have done better?
-Yeah, we spent the most time on this album than on the others, we're
pretty happy with it as it is.
What do you mean with the title?
-Every empire comes to an end at some point. With the new global
order, I think it is important for people to think of an anti-capitalist struggle
in a "think global, act local" kind of way. When the time comes for a new
era to begin, we should act hoping that the next era is not replaced by the
same old shit in a new form, but is something that actually represents true
democratic and self-governing ways of conducting our activity. We have
to learn to avoid the mistakes of the past, and find a truly sustainable
and fair way of relating to one another. And there are examples of this
taking place all over the world. Self-determination. Usually this is met
harshly by the powers that be, that want to subvert self-determination so they can
go on controlling and profitting off of peoples misery (ie Indonesia, armed
and trained by the US against East Timor, the world war against indigenous
peoples everywhere, including the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico, etc...)
When you do songs, which is most important, the lyrcs, the
music or a
refrain that people can remember?
-For this album, I think if a good lyrical idea was brought up, we would
try to fit the music around the words somehow, trying to make the music
interesting enough that people would be into listening to it. We've
never been much of a band to rely on catchy choruses however...simply hasn't
worked out for us that way.
Is Fat Wreck a good record company?
-We met Fat Mike very early on in all of this. He has always treated us
well, with a lot of respect, and has shown a lot of patience in dealing with a
band like us. Overall it has been a good experience dealing with him,
and our other friends at Fat Wreck.
Is there any good bands in USA right now?
-Not too sure, we haven't toured in quite awhile....of course there are
many great bands to be heard on our own label, G7 Welcoming Committee (hehe).
If anyone is interested on checking out the stuff we put out, please check
What do you know about Sweden?
-Randy, (International) Noise Conspiracy, and Mats Sundin....More of a
liberal place than over here, I think....hopefully we'll do some shows
to support the new album later in the year.
Have you heard any swedish bands you like?
-In addition to Randy and I.N.C., I've heard good things from Satanic
Surfers, Intensity....a few other bands....Abhinanda......
You´re only three in the group, what´s the best and what´s
of only being three in a group?
-Easy to schedule band practise, only 2 phone calls! If you fart in the
practise space, there's a good chance you're going to be found out!
How is a good gig with Propagandhi?
-Hell, I don't know!! I'm usually mad at everyone at the end of the night!
How does the average fan look like?
-Strangely enough, most of our fans kind of bear some kind of
resemblance to Chris (guitar/vocals). Strange indeed....
Do you have good contact with your fans, in which way?
-Well, judging from our correspondence, most people that take the time to
get in touch with us are supportive of what we're trying to do, which is
appreciated!! Sometimes it takes awhile for us to keep in contact, with
so many other things going on, and so much to do....but we try!
What´s the most peculiar which have happened on stage or
audience under a concert with you?
-I think the whole "mosh-pit" violent dancing this is peculiar,
mainly because people seem to be into that shit all over the place. It's a
"monkey-see, monkey-do" kind of thing. I don't get why a bunch of macho
arseholes feel it's the only way they can get their money's worth at a
punk concert, to try to show off by acting like such MTV cloned little
Totally bizarre! They're so occupied with the idea of the "pit", that
they don't have a chance to watch the band play, and they take up the best
spot to see the band from other people who probably have a better idea what
the band is about in the first place!
Some of our most memorable shows have been in places where people
happen to dance in ways different to this kind of crap, actually...
You have an own website, is it important to have it
-Yeah, our "official" website is:
I guess it is kind of important to keep up by having a website at this
point. At least people have the option of getting our CDs direct from
us, if keeping $ out of the hands of shitty distributors/stores is an issue to
some people....Also, it gives us a chance to suggest other good websites
(such as www.zmag.org) and to get other important info out to interested people.
What´s the best and what´s the worst thing about Internet
-For important activist groups, I think it empowers them to network
in a grassroots way using instantaneous technology. This is very important.
However, I think the internet could be used much like television is
used, to distract attention away from important things, and simply serve to
function as a entertainment source for the consuming morons that our culture
mainly produces. It makes sense for the powers that be to convert the internet
into mainly existing to reproduce the ideas that the "ruling class" wants to
uphold, to re-legitimize their power, through bad entertainment, and
through misleading news media. It's an info war, and we should be very sceptical
of corporate influenced internet sites.
Any favouritesite yourself?
-Yeah, the one I mentioned above - www.zmag.org is an incredible site for
anyone interested in almost any facet of activist movements in North
America and elsewhere. Great contributors, an excellent resource. Another is
I have a Propagandhi t-shirt with the text Fuck right off
and a flag
upside down(the american) What does people think about that t-shirt, are
they saying that your antiamerican or what, and how did the idea to the
t-shirt come up?
-As a reation to living above such a fucked up place...."Fuck right
Pretty much says it all right there! We've sold quite a few to
Americans actually, I think the sentiment is held all over the place....Actually,
the upside down flag can be taken to mean a "distress signal" to those in
the Navy, I believe. That may be more appropriate, I suppose....
First and latest record you bought, and the most expensive
-I usually buy most of my records used....not into the whole record
collecting thing....I think the most I've paid for a CD would have been
around $24 or so....First LP I bought was Van Halen's "Diver Down" album
(that tune Hang 'Em High still rocks me!!). Last album was the latest
Public Enemy release....
Idols when you were small?
-Iron Maiden, Judas Preist, Van Halen, pretty much normal for a 12 year
old skid on the Canadian prairies...
Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, actually Pelle Lindbergh, he was my
favorite goalie....I'll never forget the day he smashed his sportscar into that
brick wall.....what the hell was he drinking?
Is it many interviews, is it boring?
-Hmmmm.......wha, huh? Snore......
Which is the question you never get but you want to have,
it and answer it?
-Q: Yachtum poopits??? A: Oh fine! Thanks for asking!
Futureplans for the band?
-Touring USA on the "Humanitarian Intervention Tour 2001" with Avail,
JChurch, and Fabulous Disaster in March. Attending the Free Trade of the
Americas protest in Quebec City this April, more tours of Canada and the
US for this summer, Europe in Sept or Oct....also hope to do more recording
and not wait another 5 years until the next album!
Futureplans for yourself?
-Eat, breathe, sleep....
-No time for boredom!! Turn off our TVs and video games and let's get to
playing the real game - take power from the wealthy, and give it to the
Anything more to say?
-Uh, eat the rich, or something...i dunno....if those "free trade"
promoters are planning some kind of summit meeting in your country in the future,
get out and support the protests against that insane shit!! It's happening
all over the world, let's do our part, and act against it!