Surrogate Activity to Reunite For Shed Island Day 3 – August 16th 2014

surrogateactivity2In 2009 following the disbandment of St. John’s hardcore outfit Rumours, Juls Generic and Steve Dejected would move on to form their second punk band since Juls relocation to St. John’s, NL from Vancouver, B.C in 2008.

This next endeavor would prove to be a bit different from the abrasive hardcore of their previous act Rumours, and would delve more into a pop-punk sound with steady vibes of early Lookout! Records, and pre-major label Green Day.

This band was Surrogate Activity.

But, Surrogate Activity weren’t just any St. John’s pop-punk band, they were a band that rejuvenated a love for the genre amongst many show-goers in and around the punk scene. I credit Surrogate Activity as being one of those bands that helped open up the scene at the time to embrace other aspects of punk and hardcore music, besides who can play the heaviest breakdown. The mark they made and bands they inspired during their tenure is still felt in various forms with the eclectic state of the punk rock scene, and the embracement of pop elements in punk music.

Tonight, August 16th 2014, at Night #3 of the Shed Island festival, Surrogate Activity will reunite for a one-off gig with Surveillance (Halifax), Coach Longlegs, MOOCH and Inland Empire.

I wanted to ask Juls (vocals, guitar) a few reflective questions about Surrogate Activity to help bring perspective to tonight’s reunion set.

Tell me a little about the formation of Surrogate Activity.

JULS: Surrogate Activity was an idea I had for a pop-punk band that Steve and I would be in after Rumours, our hardcore band, broke up so half the band could move to Nunavut in 2009. We asked Jen Squires, who came on tour with Rumours, to be in Surrogate Activity because she was such a dope bassist and an overall rad lady. There were a few line-up/instrument changes but I ended up playing guitar which was cool ’cause I hadn’t ever played guitar in a band before and I ended up really liking it. We played our first show in November 2009 at the Shark Tank, which was that punk house on Prowse Ave where Steve and I lived at the time.

Juls and Steve pick away at early Surrogate Activity tunes, 2009.

Juls and Steve pick away at early Surrogate Activity tunes, 2009.

Surrogate Activity toured pretty extensively and went beyond the typical Eastern Canadian tour circuit. How many tours did S.A. embark on?

JULS: I might be forgetting something but I think we did two. The first one was right after Regatta in 2010. My pals from the band Hari Legs flew here from Vancouver and we took that big dumb blue Ford Club Wagon I used to have down to Philadelphia then up to Toronto. That was a two-week thing. Then in May 2011 we did an extremely wild three-week blind-date tour of the Southern and Midwest American States with a band called Twat Sauce out of Chattanooga, Tennessee who bought a 60 of whiskey out of their band fund every day. One of the band members partied so hard he had to drop out of tour and Steve filled in.

What does Surrogate Activity represent from that specific time and place in your life?

JULS: It was part of my process of making a new life for myself in Newfoundland. Maybe I would have never played guitar in a band in Vancouver because I was perpetually extremely self conscious. It was just also part of this perpetual punk project that Steve and I were really focused on.

When you think of your time with Surrogate Activity, what generally comes to mind?

JULS: The Unabomber, the dank basement of the Shark Tank, slipping on ice, figuring out winter for the first time of my life, mid-20s serious punk relationships, and coffee-related stick and poke tattoos.

Joining Surrogate Activity tonight, August 16th at Distortion is…

Surveillance (Halifax, NS)




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and check out Secret East’s interview with Shed Island founders Glen May & Micah Brown

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