Best of bands 2014: Kōban

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      Had Kōban issued its black-as-night VIDE EP in the U.K. back in the ’80s, singer-bassist Brittany Westgarth and guitarist-vocalist Samuel Buss would’ve been legendary, card-carrying Batcavers. Fortunately for us, though, the duo chill to the bone in present times with pounding darkwave sex beats, ghoul’s-night-out six-string, and frontwoman Westgarth’s bleak, bilingual cries.

      Best local release other than yours: “Cowards, World Champions in Male Chastity. It’s a bunch of songs that they’ve recorded over time with a bunch of different singers—they’ve had a lot of singers over the years. They finally put out this cassette, and every song is different. It’s just really heavy, and I love it.”

      The year’s best gig: “Holograms at the Electric Owl [on December 15, 2013]. They kind of go with that whole Iceage thing. There’s really nice melodic vocals—that guy [bassist-vocalist Andreas Lagerström] has such a sexy voice. The songs are catchy, with really good synth parts. It’s driving and danceable, but still very punk.”

      Best album ever: “The album that I’ve listened to the most is probably Is This Real? by the Wipers. It’s just really inspirational, like a reason why you
      pick up a guitar or bass—for me, anyways. It’s so powerful. The lyrics are heavy and the guitar lines get stuck in your head for days.”

      Jonathan Simkin’s paying—where’s dinner? “Joe Fortes [777 Thurlow Street]. I went there as a Christmas present from Sam one year—it was the fanciest thing we’ve ever done. We got a tower of different things: oysters, a little bit of shrimp, and scallops. The scallops were the size of hockey pucks. I didn’t even know they could get that big.”

      In the spirit of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”, who do you want talking dirty to you? “I don’t really want Johnny de Courcy talking sexy to me because we’re friends, but he’s very dreamy.”

      You won Lotto Max. Where’s your club opening up? “The Rogers Sugar Refinery. It seems like one of the older buildings in Vancouver, but it reminds me of New York because of the architecture. It’s on the water and in an industrial area. It’d be cool to take it over as an art space one day. I’ve never been inside, so I don’t know how it would be acoustically, but it’s a beautiful building, and a location not anywhere near residential areas.”