Once upon a time, it was cool to be a full-tilt Rock and Roll band and get in a van with your mates and drive around continents plugging in goofin’ round and playing it like your life depended on it night after night putting in the hard yards – earning those Rock and Roll stripes without much fuss just doin’ it because you had to it where your heart was taking you for little reward except to find like-minded people around this globe digging what it was you were playing and the records you were writing and releasing.  Well, guess what.  It’s still cool and those guys who were in the trenches back then are still in the trenches fighting for their cause in the name of entertainment some Brothers fell by the wayside like The Dragons but some kept at it and still have records coming out like the recent ‘Live At The Pic’ set on Yeah Right! Records so I thought Id give CC a call and find out what it was like playing in cool rock and roll band and let him tell the story of The Spitfires.  So here goes folks sit back relax and enjoy…


Tell us about The Spitfires how did the band come about where did you guys meet?

The original line up of the band grew up in the ‘burbs outside of Vancouver. We’d been jamming for a couple years under different names, not being very serious about anything. Being from a small town, anyone who had an instrument, or a place to jam, was someone you knew. The later members were friends we made in Vancouver.



That debut CD how did it come about?


C.C. We had a record finished and ready to release with Vancouver’s Mint Records before they suddenly dropped us. I think we were too trashy for them. I sent around the recordings (on cassette tape and in the mail!) to a bunch of labels I’d seen in Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll or Flipside. Mike at Sonic Swirl in Cleveland loved it, and he had released some stuff from Jason Solyom’s other garage rock band, The Fiends. Somehow Brian at TSB in Scotland got a hold of the album too, and he released the UK/Euro version.


Was the late 90s a good time for Rock and Roll bands in your district?  Who else was out at the time? That you’d meet on the road?

Yeah, it was a blast. We had a really amazing group of friends up and down the West Coast. The Dragons, Murder City Devils, Humpers, Black Halo, Catheters etc. We’d gone to NYC a few times and never really made any tight friends. In Columbus we had the New Bomb Turks, and up in Montreal and Toronto we had The Spaceshits and The Deadly Snakes. It was a fun time. People made phone calls to book tours, and connect with people. We’d drive into some new city and hope the promoter would pick up the phone. Otherwise we’d sometimes be stuck at a coin phone at some gas station. Compton was a particularly interesting gas station phone booth to wait at.


What bands were inspiring you guys at the time?

We were really into Crypt Records bands and Sympathy for the Record Industry. A lot of the “Glunk Punk” as Eric Davidson would later coin it. But we were all suburban kids, who weren’t afraid to say we liked Alice Cooper, Kiss, Aerosmith and all the other great arena rock bands of our youth.


You managed to get Junk to press the new album on Vinyl.  That must have been so uncool at the time hardly anyone was pressing vinyl at the time what kinda deal were labels like Junk offering at the time was there the opportunity to hit Europe on tour?

Haha, that’s a different perspective. Over here vinyl was totally cool at that time, at least with the scene we were in. Labels like Junk, Estrus, Sympathy, Crypt, were all putting out loads of good stuff. On CD too of course, but we had been hoping to get some real vinyl out. It was actually Estrus who put out our first vinyl single, “Cut Me Some Slack”. Junk was a really good label at the time. Lou Carus, the owner, was working as an engineer with Boeing. I’m pretty sure he spent every penny he earned on his bands. He’s still a really good friend, and every time I’m in California I make sure to see him. Junk was a sub label to Nitro at the time, so we really had great press and distribution. We didn’t get to Europe until the third album though.


Who decided on the third album title?  I guess you were firing on all cylinders at the time? You also added a second guitarist.  What was the reason for that?  and by the time you made it back into the studio, you were back to a four-piece for the ‘Aim Low’ album.

I think that “Three” was a band decision? We love classic rock, and that seemed like a cool classic rock kind of thing to do. And yeah, we were on fire at that time. We did add Dave Paterson for that album, who was a lot of fun and a great player, but he only lasted a year. We replaced him with Jay Millette from the Black Halos, because Rich had just quit their band and moved to L.A.. “Aim Low” was a few years after the band had actually broken up. Jay Millette wasn’t in the band by then, he had moved to Toronto. It was actually a 5-piece recording with Marcel LaFluer and Deano on guitars. Deano, the last of the originals besides me and Solyom, was still in the band but he quit after the recording. That’s when Graham Tuson joined. We recorded a few songs with that line-up that are still in the vaults.


Did you ever get any heat from other bands called the Spitfires?

Good question. At the time that we started we had found out that “Pooch” from Flipside Magazine had a band in L.A. called the Spitfires. So I wrote him a letter and sent a demo tape. I said we’d happily chnge the name if they wanted us to. He wrote back to say, in fact, they would change their name! They became The Condors, and I’ve remained friends with Pooch to this day.


What were some of the tours like?

That’s funny, Marty (drummer) and I were talking about this just the other day. I’ve forgotten a lot of the stuff we did. We were a rolling disaster. I mean, we had a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t be able to tell my colleagues at work any of those stories! Haha. One of my best memories though was the U.K. tour we did in 2002. We had so much fun and so many laughs. The highlight was playing the Astoria in London with the Rezillos! We also played the Dirty Water Club which was packed and super fun.


What with hindsight was the best Spitfires album?

I’m partial to “Three”. I think the production and songs are really the best we had. Howard Redekopp recorded and produced it at a really great studio (Mushroom RIP), and that made a big difference. A lot of people thought we had recorded that on Pro Tools (which people thought was lame at the time) but it’s all analogue 24 channel board to 2-inch tape.





On the Yeah right! Bandcamp page they say to hide the fire extinguisher.  Care to expand?

Well, this goes back to The Dirty Water Club in London. We had set an extinguisher off on stage, and it was awesome. Looked totally cool and it was a mellow shot of water that misted the whole room. But when we did it at the Horseshoe, it ruined our career and got us banned in Toronto. The build-up to the ban in Toronto was signing on with a bigwig agent, Ralph James at the Agency Group and touring with the Headstones (and getting them back on the sauce). When our agent got us a show at the Horseshoe Tavern for Canadian Music Week we were blown away. Then we ended up being Now Magazine’s pick of the week and headlining the show with Robbie Robertson, Chad Kroeger, Brittany Murphy, etc. in attendance. Ralph was fast tracking us at the time. Then our singer shot off a chemical fire extinguisher on stage which choked the crowd and created a panic and rush to the exit. This was shortly after the Great White fire in Rhode Island, so people were on edge. Anyway, it effectively ruined our career and probably rightly so! haha.

Who’s idea was the ‘Live at the Pic’ album? just released after some 17 years,  It’s a bit tasty.  How well did it capture the band live?  Recorded in 2003 the line up had two guitars again, did the dynamic change when the band went from 4 to 5? What memorable shows stand out and why? Was the pic a one-off show for the recording or were you recording shows most nights and this is the pic(K)  sorry couldn’t resist it 🙂

The album has been sitting collecting (digital) dust for more than 17 years now! It was the pinnacle of our career I’d say. We were totally on fire, and this might be the only recording that truly captures what the band sounded like. It was recorded by Howard Redekopp before he became well known (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother, New Pornographers). The live footage that will accompany it was shot by Danny Nowack and his crew (Hard Core Logo etc.), so there’s some Canadiana there. The video was lost in our Jason’s basement until this spring! It is, however, not just a digital release. Yeah Right! Records is releasing the vinyl LP before Xmas this year!


When you hit the UK for some shows how did that come about?

That was through the help of Brian at TSB records in Scotland. He hooked it up with Ian at Hidden Talent over in the UK who booked everything and set up the gear/van/driver. Unfortunately, it was The Spitfires only trip off the North American continent. Our other bands have all toured Europe, but we never quite managed. It was an incredible tour tough, and we loved it. We got as far North as Glasgow and as far South as Brighton. Met a load of great people. Mark (RIP) up in Nottingham, Baz and the Punker Bunker, Dave Kerr and the Chery Kicks up in Scotland at the time. It was so fun.



Neil Leyton tried hard to put on a few tours of these shores for bands like The Pariahs as well as his own band.  How cool was the scene back where you are because of all the Canadian bands I saw him bring over they were all excellent and there has always been a really healthy underground that I’ve been aware of especially power pop and alternative rock n roll bands.  Is it still a cool place for bands and shows?

Yeah, it’s a cold country, what else are we gonna do? Haha. I think there are probably a few advantages we have here like Sweden, with a good education system that supports arts and music, as well as government assistance programs to support and develop Canadian talent. Which translates into free money for wild rock and rollers to take expensive trips around the world. You’re right though, this last decade has seen a hell of a lot of great Canadian music from all genres.

What’s next for the Spitfires post-pandemic?

There’s still all that new and unreleased stuff we recorded in 2009 sitting in Jason’s basement. At this rate we’ll have a new album done by 2030 hopefully!


You guys will win the record for the most bands within a band tell us about some of the projects you guys are working on that you think the readers should check out??

I really like the Dysnea Boys stuff I did while living in Berlin, but I’m in a New Wave/Power Pop trio now called Autogramm. I’m also working on an album with Rich Jones (Michael Monroe/Loyalties/Black Halos) called “Dangercans”. It’s an epic project that I hope we actually finish. Jason Solyom is drumming and mixing the record too. Jason is in a great 70’s inspired boogie rock band called La Chinga. They’ve done a bunch of touring. Jay Millette in the reformed Black Halos (who I am managing!) and recording his own solo stuff under the name Silver Receiver. Jay Solyom also has a recording studio and Graham has also been recording a bunch of new stuff. Shock, the newest Spitfire, has a band going called The Slip Ons.


Buy ‘Live At The Pic’ Here

Facebook  / Yeah Right Records

Author: Dom Daley


Joseph Anthony Pereira born September 10, 1950. Otherwise known as Joe ‘Fuckin’ Perry. One half of the Toxic Twins and also regarded as the go to player along with Keith Richards for a whole generation of bands that followed in the footsteps of Aerosmith through the ’80s and beyond. 

Perry was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts to an accountant father and school teacher mother.  Early on Pereira wanted to be a marine Biologist and it wasn’t until he failed to get the grades needed and his parents moving him into boarding school yet still Young Joseph couldn’t get the grades (due to him having ADHD) which wasn’t diagnosed until much later on in his life. He slipped in School and leaned towards Rock and Roll.  Only a short few years ago Perry talked about his condition and how it was both a curse and a blessing when it came to learning the guitar.

It was whilst he was away he discovered music in a big way influencing him from all the different cultures he was now being exposed to.  His earliest memory of Rock and Roll was seeing the Beatles on TV and being blown away.  He had picked up the guitar at the young age of ten but was left handed learning to play it right handed. It was here that this kid learned to play Hendrix, The Kinks, The Who and the Yardbirds that would go on to shape this kid and the style he would adapt.  He went from wanting to work as a biologist to being a Rock and Roller.

It was Tom Hamilton that he met first and jammed with in their band called the Jam Band. It was later when Kramer, Tyler and Whitford joined did they morph into Aerosmith.  As a band in the early years were just dismissed locally as a Stones rip off.

The rest as they say is history from that debut album featuring the iconic ballad of ‘Dream On’ and the excellent musicianship and seemingly telepathic chemistry between the band they would go on to become one of the most well known Rock and Roll bands of the 21st century.  It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Boston band as the Toxic Twins became just as well known for their hard partying and wild adherence to the well trodden path of Sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Things were going so well for the band to begin with it was after ‘Rocks’ was released and all the trappings of success did they begin to stumble and cracks began to appear.

By the time they came to record ‘Draw The Line’ in ’77 regardless of its multi platinum sales the pair of Toxic Twins were fighting and getting high alone and distancing themselves from the band dynamic they did manage to tour amidst a lot of reported chaos and mad nights the band released the iconic ‘Live Bootleg’ record with their excellent cover of the Beatles ‘Come Together’. in the late ’70s  the band were headlining a tour that also boasted AC/DC, Van Halen, Ted Nugent and Foreigner but bad habits and taking your wife on tour reached breaking point as Perry and Hailtons respective wives got into a fracas over a glass of spilt milk it seemed to be the straw that broke the camels back and after a fight between Tyler and Perry  the later decided that he was going to split even though the band were almost done recording ‘Night In The Ruts album. It was decided that Perrys parts would be finished by somebody else and the band would continue without their iconic guitarist.  Perry went his own way with a buch of tunes finished and half finished and recorded his own project that would become his first solo album entitled ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’ who knows what the title was about? He then toured the Joe Perry Project and followed it up with ‘I’ve Got The Rock And Rolls Again’ again who knows whats behind a title?

Seemingly unable to keep the line up together Perry was to see his project dropped from Columbia Records. But it wasn’t for long and he soon had a new band and was signed to MCA who went on to release ‘Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker’ in ’83. Whilst his sales might have been dipping and never selling as well as his old bands releases Pery recruited his old partner in crime Brad Whitford to join his line up in ’83.  I guess whilst being creative Perry missed the spark he had writing with someone as creative as Tyler and one needed the other to draw the best out of them.  It was a meet up the following year with the other members of Aerosmith that sparked interest in a reunion and with the writing on the wall for his solo project maybe common sense prevailed and pride on all sides was swallowed and Geffen became involved with a new record deal which signaled a fresh start all round.

By the mid ’80s the band were back on the road and had a new album the much underrated ‘Done With Mirrors’ which spawned the Perry track ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’  which was a minor radio hit but whilst it might not have been the huge comeback some were expecting fans of the band were delighted with what they were hearing.

It was undoubtedly the rework of the classic ‘Smiths track ‘Walk This Way’ featuring Run-D.M.C that catapulted the band back into the mainstream front and center. their problems weren’t over yet as certain members of the band underwent rehab the landscape of music was changing and it was decided that some big name writers would be brought in to work with the band and commercially it would pay off as songs like ‘Love In An Elevator’,’Janies Got A Gun’, ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ would become MTV staples and with the videos being on heavy rotation the band couldn’t put a foot wrong.  Perry and Tyler were indeed back in the saddle. a large focus was on the pair as they became hard rocks version of Jagger / Richards which worked for the pair until their old habits would creep back into the dynamic and the mid ’90s would be a testing time

Whilst personally I don’t think the band had written a great song for many years you couldn’t deny their success and Perry was instrumental (literally) in writing their first number one with ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ which was used in the movie ‘Armageddon’  which starred Tylers daughter things had certainly moved on and it seemed they might be destined to be remembered for the ballads and their number one hit rather than their output from the ’70s.

Perry now has his name and face on a Disney roller Coaster has written a book and continues to write and play live as well as with Aerosmith he plays alongside his friends in the all star roadshow of Hollywood Vampires alongside legends like Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp.  Even if his music doesn’t reach the standards we might expect he has earned his stripes and deserves to sit at the top table for guitar slingers who walk it like they talk it and has been there seen it and done it and we’re glad at RPM that hes still doing it  – Happy Birthday Joe Fuckin Perry you rock and roll legend.


Buy Joe Perry Here