- Sean Parsons
When Adrian Bruhm, Joel Langis and Coleman Johnston got together to form a punk band, they realized what united them more than their love of punk music was their passion for professional wrestling. Or as Bruhm puts it, "the world's greatest form of sports entertainment." Joined by newest member Mike Ainslie on guitar, The B+ Players will release Gorilla Position on Friday, an eight-song tape of original tunes that pay homage to their all-time favourite wrestlers.
"It's more of a genre-jumper," explains Bruhm. "We have punk, country punk, rock and blues." The band's mishmash makes sense, since the tributes aim to encapsulate the spirit of the wrestlers, whose characters and backstories in various wrestling franchises range from blue-collar workers like Dusty Rhodes to foul-mouthed jerks like X-Pac, and all the scripted betrayal-drama in between.
"A lot of these guys had vastly interesting careers, and had a really big impact on us growing up," says Langis, who composed the bulk of the songs for childhood heroes like Roddy Piper. "It's a really fun game to try and write something that best represents the joy and interest you feel about a subject matter that holds such a strange, goofy and iconic place in pop culture. Wrestling fans seem to organically gravitate towards each other in a way that I've rarely seen in any other fringe fandom."
Taking the name from the slang-term for mid-card wrestlers, performers who will never be regarded as all-time stars, The B+ Players have also started the "Average Wrestling Podcast" to discuss the current events in both the WWE and indie circuits. For them, wrestling is an inexhaustible resource.
"There are decades of already written material out there spanning individuals who have had multiple personalities in a wide variety of companies in both North America and worldwide," says Bruhm, on the endless song possibilities available to The B+ Players. "We just need to put the music to it."
The B+ Players tape release
w/The Graboids, Beach Bait, Elk Lodge
Friday, March 25, 10pm
Gus' Pub, 2605 Agricola Street