While everybody else in the city is turning into a back-to-nature hairball, lysergic psychonaut, or avant-garde laptop jockey, the Vicious Cycles remain endearingly loyal to three chords, shouty choruses, and perforated eardrums, as permanently (and loudly) enshrined on this year’s Bad News Travels Fast. Along with “Norman” (keyboards and theremin), “Beardo” (bass), “Skinny Tim” (guitar, vocals), and “JT Rat” (drums), guitarist-vocalist Billy Bones is here to represent those of us who envision Cock Sparrer as a bunch of Vancouver-based bike mechanics. And why not?
Best local release other than yours: “The Jolts, ‘Hammer Every Nail’ 7-inch. We played a show in some other city once, maybe twice, and the DJ was playing the Jolts, and when they came on I thought, ‘Who is this great punk band?’ Then I realized, ‘Aw, it’s the Jolts, these guys that I see around town every day who are my buddies who are actually in this really great rock ’n’ roll band.’ ”
The year’s best gig: “On September 20 of last year [at the Rickshaw Theatre], I got to see the Sonics, one of my all-time favourite bands. I love that they were in their 70s—a couple of them, anyways—and obviously they weren’t teenagers jumping around but they still had the same essence of what it is to make rock ’n’ roll that I like.”
Best album ever: “My go-to is almost always the Clash self-titled, but if you choose the Clash self-titled, what about [the Sex Pistols’] Never Mind the Bollocks? You can’t really choose between the Clash or the Pistols, so then I thought probably At Home With Screamin’ Jay by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. And that’s ignoring Yma Sumac and the Louvin Brothers’ Satan Is Real.”
Jonathan Simkin’s paying—where’s dinner? “The Black Lodge [630 Kingsway], even though I’m not a vegetarian. But they have a Sunday-night motorcycle-movie night and it’s always full of good people. And they have a great poutine.”
In the spirit of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”, who do you want talking dirty to you? “I would assume you mean talking dirty like you’re in the garage and you’re getting dirty wrenching on motorcycles? Then I would want Paul McKenzie from the Real McKenzies in his Scottish accent, or Evil Norton Niels or Big John Bates. I’d love to be in a garage with those three, talking dirty about motorcycles.”
You won Lotto Max. Where’s your club opening up? “Grandview Lanes Bowling Centre [2195 Commercial Drive]. I play my best pinball when there’s good live music, so in my head this is probably mixed up with the White Stripes’ song ‘Hand Springs’. He has his girl at the bowling alley but she’s talking and playing pinball with this other guy, so he drops a bowling ball through the pinball machine and he says, ‘How do you like that, Mr. Clean?’ or something like that.”