Interview – Paul Spence, aka FUBAR’s Deaner
Although there might not be a third FUBAR movie, the character of Deaner is still alive and given’r. And fans have another chance to watch the drunken spectacle unfold as Paul Spence, the man behind Deaner, takes this beloved character and puts him in a band called Night Seeker, playing tonight (April 25) in Vancouver.
For those of you who missed them, 2002’s FUBAR and it’s 2010 sequel, FUBAR: Balls to the Wall, are mockumentaries targeting Canadian headbanging culture. Both films features two shot-gunning, mulleted, life-long best friends from Alberta, Terry (David Lawrence) and Dean (Spence), whose simple lives are disrupted by some serious life challenges. Both movies have enjoyed critical acclaim (in fact, the second movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 86%, which is 30% higher than the first) and achieved cult status.
In my interview with the Deaner, he wanted me to warn Vancouver fans that his band doesn’t tour often, so the Biltmore Cabaret show is their “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to see them. He also wanted me to pass along his sage advice for givin’er and how to prepare your ears, and your soul, for the fury of sound that Night Seeker unleashes.
Melissa Wade: Are you excited to play Vancouver?
Deaner: Yeah, we’re super stoked – the Biltmore. Biltmore, drink more.
MW: What should people expect from a Night Seeker show?
D: I know there’s always some people who are like, this is my first rock show… you can’t be coming out of the womb knowing what a rock show is like. You got to prepare.
Basically it’s about finding your centre – your centre of givin’er. You pre-give’r at someone’s house or at your own house; then you listen to a bunch of rock tunes. Even if you don’t have any Night Seeker, I recommend listening to some Sabbath or some Maiden or a little AC/DC or Van Halen.
MW: So people need to get their ears warmed up?
D: Yeah, and they need to prepare their psyche. Then you hobble on down to the show and when the opening band plays you’re like, sweet. They just kind of warm you up. Then the lights go out, and the curtains open up and it’s Night Seeker. You’re kind of scared, but you’re also really pumped and excited. It all comes together when the first chord plays, and you’re kind of blown away. Then all of a sudden you’re banging your head all night
MW: What do you like to listen to before a show to get yourself all psyched up?
D: Good point. I really like Van Halen before I play. Something like “Light Up The Sky” or “Hot for Teacher”, that kind of speed. That really gets me going. I like to do a little jogging on the spot to get ready, just to get the heart racing a little, ‘cos if you go on stage and you’re cold, people can tell. Being a finely tuned party machine is basically like being a professional athlete; you got to warm up and shit.
MW: But you don’t want to warm up too much, right? What if you can’t play because you gave’r too hard beforehand and you’re so worn out that you need a nap?
D: Oh, that’s so true. You’re hitting something right on the head there. The key to givin’er is all about pace. I need to take an afternoon nap. I’ll have a couple of wobbly pops for lunch or breakfast, around eleven o’clock or ten; then nap around two until four or five. And then you can get the motor going again. Cause if you’re up givin’er since noon, there’s no way you’ll be in shape to play a show let alone go and see one.
MW: Have you ever missed a show because you gave it too hard before hand?
D: I never missed a show, but one time me and a buddy were in Amsterdam, we went to see AC/DC, and I gave’r too hard before the show; we almost didn’t make it [to the show]. Basically he had to hold me up by the back of my leather jacket. At one point I was actually drooling on the jacket of the girl in front of me. I was half passed out on her, but she was cool with it. My buddy was like “We’re men. Wake up. You’re about to pass out on her.” But then they started playing “For Those About To Rock” and that woke me up.
MW: What did you do for 4/20?
D: What didn’t I do? [laughs]. Four-twenty is kind of funny because the real burners have no idea what day it is, ever. Four-twenty always comes and goes and they’re like “Oh, yeah, it’s 4/20” but it was a week ago. That’s how I see it. It was a coincidence that I happened to be celebrating it anyway. But I like to go get those alien face rollies – those are my special occasion ones, the friendly spacemen.
MW: [laughs] So, what do you plan on playing for the Vancouver show? Mostly covers, originals, or a mix of both?
D: Yeah, a mix of both. It’s always fun to pull out a Judas Priest tune or an Iron Maiden tune. We’re going to do a couple tunes from FUBAR, the movie – people will recognize that kind of stuff. We’ll do a couple of our own songs like “In The Garden of Evil”, “You Got To Get Hammered Before You Get Nailed”, and one called “Give’r Take All”. That one is kind of our tribute to AC/DC; it’s very AC/DC-style.
MW: Night Seeker is known to play “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”. Any chance you’re going to play that one for the ladies?
D: I don’t know. We haven’t been playing that one much lately ‘cos you know the ladies – they go too crazy and start tearing the place up. But we might do it if the crowd is calling for it. We might have to pull it out [laughs].
MW: Are you going to get someone from the crowd up on stage to shotgun some beers with you?
D: Fuck yeah. I’m looking for the shotgun champion of B.C. I’m going to be timing people. We’re going to Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, so I wonder where the champ’s going to be.
MW: Does the shotgun champion get an award?
D: The shot gun champ will be rewarded. They might even get a box of my patented Kraft Deaner.
MW: (laughs) Can you explain what that is?
D: Well, it’s like Kraft dinner except you use pilsner. I also like to throw in a little bacon grease instead of butter. That’s the ultimate Kraft Deaner.
MW: So you guys have played with a band called Monster Truck from my home town, what do you think of them and their recent Juno win?
D: Oh, you’re from Hamilton. Cool
MW: Yep. I’m originally from the Hammer.
D: It’s kind of hard to believe they won a Juno-not that they don’t deserve it, but because these guys are actual party animals. When we were on tour with them, they were like, “come on guys, lets giver harder and longer. ” They were always the last men standing.
I think it’s a tribute to the Junos and how they know its not always about some guy with an acoustic guitar and a laptop. They gave it to the new and most upcoming band, Monster Truck. And I’m just stoked that they gave it to a band from Hamilton ‘cos you don’t always hear Hamilton in the news.
D: I want to tell you where the band name Night Seeker comes from.
MW: [laughs] I’d like to hear all about it.
D: The Night Seeker is a finder of lost items. You have to summon the Night Seeker. You get your wizard staff – I don’t know if you know what a wizard staff is but it’s a bunch of pilsner cans that are all taped together to make a stick. Then you tap your wizard stick on the ground three times and you go “Night Seeker, Night Seeker, Night Seeker” and then he appears, and says “What did you lose, my son” or daughter in your case.
Then you tell him you lost – let’s just say your snow shovel – and then he disappears in a cloud of smoke and comes back with your shovel. Sometimes he is like, “Now it’s time for payment,” and he’ll ask for a pair of socks or a box of condoms or something. You never know what he’s going to ask for. Sometimes it’s no big deal, but then other times he’ll ask for all the beer in your fridge, and you’re like “What! That was so not worth finding my shovel.”
You better make sure that when you summon the Night Seeker that you’re willing to pay the price.
MW: Well, I’ll be sure to pass that warning along. Thanks for chatting.
D: Thanks for your time.