What's In Your Fridge: Billy Hopeless

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Billy Hopeless

      Who are you

      It’s me Billy Hopeless—don’t you remember me you talked about me all the time in the early 2000s? Man, I thought we had something special! Oh well, nothing like a fresh start to rekindle the old flame, right? Well let me re-introduce myself. I am a founding member and lead singer-lyricist-frontman with the (insert rock and roll sub-genre of choice) band known as the Black Halos.

      First concert

      KISS Dynasty Tour at the Pacific Coliseum on November 19, 1979 . I was in elementary school and, after discovering the Beatles, the next Fab Four was KISS. I remember going into the boy’s bathroom at Grenfell Elementary and there were two other kids pulling a Brownsville Station “Smoking in the Boy’s Room”. One of them looked at my KISS shirt and said, “Yeah, Hopeless, what do you know about KISS?” I took off my GWG jean-jacket and showed them my poke-and-stick tattoos from the KISS Alive! album and said, “I got tickets to see them at the Coliseum.” We started hanging out after that. KISS were like a gateway drug.

      Life-changing concert

      Now what part of a spaceman, a cat, a star-child, and a demon playing disco rock and roll don’t you understand? Especially when witnessed by a pre-teen kid from East Van. Loverboy opened and got booed off the stage. Just recently I saw an act called Captured by Robots while we were playing a gig in Toronto. The singer and the two robots who make up the band were very art affirming, and as they’re playing here in Vancouver on December 3 at Lana Lou’s. I highly recommend the experience.

      Top three records

      Of course I’d love to say How the Darkness Doubled by the Black Halos as honestly it is the best record ever! But that would come across as too egotistical. Even though it is better than when that Q-Tip hits that magic spot in your ear tunnel. So let’s go with....

      The Hangmen The Hangmen Just one of those underrated, start-to-finish perfect rock ’n’ roll albums, including the best cover of the Flamin’ Groovies “Slow Death” ever.

      The Yo-Yo’s Uppers and Downers Danny Wildheart and Tom Spencer really hit something amazing on this album. Songs like “Home From Home”, “Too Lazy to Bleed”, and “Champagne and Nakedness” delivered perfectly. Like a modern-day hybrid of the Clash and the Jam, yet very unique . A lot of people missed out on this album back in 2000 but I’m glad I didn’t, as it’s still as brilliant as the first time every time I take it for a spin.

      AC/DC Powerage What can I say? No matter what is going on in my world I can put this album on and it’s like Bon Scott is my spirit animal or wingman. It also includes one of my favourite lyrics ever in the song “Down Payment Blues”, when Bon Scott states “Can’t even feed my cat”. Let me tell ya something, when you can’t afford to feed your cat you really got the blues. Anyways, once again just perfect from start to finish much like the Black Halos How the Darkness Doubled, but that would be repetitive and egotistical for me to say so I won’t.

      All-time favourite video

      The Menzingers “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore” At the moment the Mezingers “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”. I don’t want to give it away, but imagine if Jason from Friday the 13th had a change of heart. As a horror fan, and a hopeless romantic, this was an instant hit and the band is pretty great too. Trust me on this one, it’s got everything.

      What’s in your fridge

      That’s a good question, with the price-gouging in groceries these days it’s pretty hard for everyone. Even the guys who used to sell stolen steaks on Hastings have expanded their sales to walking around asking “Hey man you looking for some high-quality cauliflower? I got some killer romaine lettuce, you interested ?” Let’s see....

      Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chilli Crisp oil. My favourite condiment and must-have. I’d eat pretty much anything with this stuff on it. If you Google the story about it on www.guardian.com, it’s quite amazing historically as well.

      A can of Yoo-hoo chocolate drink. It was a staple in the Ramones dressing room and so Gabba Gabba Hey one of us. I’m sure it’s expired, but it just makes me happy seeing it there. Yup it’s me-he for you-hoo all the way.

      JUST Egg plant-based egg liquid. Black Halos guitarist Rich Jones turned me into this stuff, and as eating chicken abortions never really sounded appetizing to me, this stuff is great. When fried it’s got the same texture as it’s made out of beans. You still get to enjoy a good Bronx cheer in Lower Manhattan and sharing is caring right?

      You can check out the Black Halos How the Darkness Doubled here. And you can see the Black Halos at the Rickshaw on January 13.