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The Fantods’ finale

After 10 years of song experimentation, the group calls it quits


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The Fantods are just sleeping, honey.
  • The Fantods are just sleeping, honey.

With a grand finale on Friday, February 3 at Gus’ Pub (with No Flyers Please, The Fat Stupids, and Geordie Vision. 10pm, $5) that aims to distill the essence of 10 years into one set, The Fantods say farewell. “We're just going to do what we always do: carb up, drink swamp water, choke down a fistful of amphetamines, and chant the five hundred sinister names of the mysterious Bog God,” says Neil Peacock (guitar and vocals). “We got three of our favorite bands and we're gonna crash our own party with sorcery and daredevil stunts.”

For Neil, Gary Peacock (drums), Dan Gallant (vocals), Jay Methot (guitar) and Tim Topping (bass), daredevil stunts are de rigueur. Neil remembers one of the worst moments in their decade together as a stunt gone wrong. “Probably the worst thing that happened was when Dan's ‘smash bottle on own head’ routine misfired, and he bled a whole lot. It was off to the hospital, and that was the only set we ever had to cut short. One man's courageous sacrifice to rock and roll.”

So why the break? As any music fan in town knows, The Fantods are a fixture---a band of brothers. “We reached a point about two years ago where we were doing pretty much everything we wanted to, where the songs sounded like we wanted them to, the experiment was complete,” says Neil. “It was a great place to be, but it meant that our songwriting was slowing down, and we kept getting further away from what made us love this project in the first place.”

And don’t forget the intoxicating allure of birthday parties. “We are all involved in other bands and full time jobs,” says Neil. “We're starting to miss having free time for birthday parties and stuff.

Narrowing down their favourite moments as a band proves a difficult task. They mention a show where a pregnant friend stripped down and danced wildly “like some kind of pagan ritual.” But for the most part, the band memories “all blend together into one big thing, almost like a different universe with it's own quality of time.”

The group has some advice for new bands looking to make a go, which also happens to be good life advice for anyone. As long as you replace the word “band” with “person”:
“Don't worry too much about having a solid concept of what kind of band you're going to be, and never polish anything too much. Keep everything bloody. The payoff to being a bunch of unrefined dilettantes is you can just do what you feel like doing, and what's the worst that can happen? As for songwriting, keep it honest and don't back away if it gets squishy and uncomfortable. A famous guy once said, ‘write drunk, edit sober.’ Don't overdo the sober part," says Neil. “We were friends first, and nothing else seemed very important.”


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