Twenty Big Years of Chixdiggit!

It’s been five years since Chixdiggit! launched their previous album Pink Razors onto an unsuspecting world.  The Canadian pop punkers have returned with an infectious new EP entitled Safeways Here We Come, now available from the folks at Fat Wreck Chords.  We recently interviewed one of the founding members of Chixdiggit! to talk about various topics of interest, including their new collection of tunes, disdain for dogs and basketball, 20 years as a band, and a whole lot more…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Chixdiggit!, and how long the band has been together.
My name is KJ Jansen. I’m the singer of Chixdiggit. We’ve been together for 20 years.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
Chixdiggit is based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It’s a city of just over a million people, but we have the music scene of a city twice that size. Or so I’ve heard…

It’s been a few years since the last Chixdiggit! recording? Where have you guys been?
We’ve just been “being ourselves” which just means that as a band we’re lazy. We’ve been playing some shows, working our day jobs, having kids, going to college, shoveling sidewalks etc. Not very rock ‘n roll stuff. We’ve also been writing lots of songs too and you will see evidence of that soon….ish.

Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Safeways Here We Come?
A typical Canadian is known – up here anyway – as a “hoser”. Saying “Safeway’s” is the hoser way of saying “Safeway“. We wanted to make an Ep because we figure that will make us release stuff more often than the usual 5 or 6 years we’ve been leaving between our other releases. I’ve heard that it’s bad for the bottom line though…

Why do you hate basketball?
When I went back to college basketball was kind of everywhere. Everyone was wearing basketball themed clothing and even bouncing balls in class. It’s better now, but it was one of those “it’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans” kind of situations. Plus I suck at playing basketball. I’m sure there’s some really nice people involved in basketball. I just haven’t met any of them yet.

Tell me about the pet you are singing about on the song Since You Got A Dog. Is this a true story?
More like true stories. I just want to preface all of this by saying that I like dogs just fine. They’re great. Lots of things are great, though, but not when they’re shoved in your face all the time. People with children are the same way about their kids sometimes. I find that most people don’t want to hear about your dog, cat or baby stories. They also don’t want to hear the accompanying excuses that usually come along with them about why they can’t hang out anymore.

Who did the cover art for Safeways Here We Come and how much input did you have on it?
Tom Bagley from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He was the ideas man. The only input we had was that our guitar player Mark wanted to be smaller. Tom also plays in a great band called Forbidden Dimension who are one of Calgary’s most loved bands.

Will there be a Chixdiggit! tour here in the States in 2011?
Probably not a full tour but we’ll be trying to have as many long-weekends down there as possible. We miss playing down there. It’s been a long time.

What could one expect from a live Chixdiggit! show?
The whole point is that we have a good time. If anyone else wants to join in, that would only make us happier. The band (ie: Me) will probably do some talking as well.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Chixdiggit?
Just Chixdiggit.

When you look back on your time with Sub Pop Records, what do you think of it now?
It was an excellent learning opportunity on the business and how to read the people in it. We met a lot of great people there and through Sub Pop and had a lot of really cool opportunities there that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. It also makes us appreciate being on Fat Wreck Chords that much more.

Will we have to wait five or more years for the new Chixdiggit! release?
If all goes well, we’ll have something ready for next year. It’s not a promise, but it would sure be nice. We have lots of songs ready to go. It’s just getting to the point where we can record them is the problem. Like I said before, we’re a bit lazy.

Have you ever played Warped Tour and if so, what was the experience like? Any chance of Chixdiggit! showing up on Warped Tour this year?
We’ve never played the Warped Tour. I’ve heard that it’s hard on a band and that there’s lots of driving. We’re not scared of that too much. There’s always a chance and we’re open to almost anything.

Do you have any messages for your fans here in the Los Angeles/OC area?
We’re looking forward to hanging out soon. There’s shows being planned for LA as we speak. Also a bunch of us are coming down to LA before that for my birthday to drink and enjoy the LA-ness. You’re all invited to buy me a birthday drink. If you buy me a Sparxx, I’ll want to go and pick some fights. Do people still have guns down there?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Thanks Ken! Hope to see you soon!

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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