Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chris Walter: Wrong

Chris Walter has a new book out, Wrong. I interviewed him awhile back for the Georgia Straight, before Wrong came out. I've just started the book - we're once again in the company of Dill, his junkie protagonist from Chris' earlier novel (still my fave), East Van. Dill is back on drugs and pissed off at the effects the Olympics (which are a little bit closer in the novel than they are right now) are having on the DTES. I thought the cover of Wrong was pretty striking - since it seems to have a big bald punk (not quite as profusely tattooed as Mr. Walter, but certainly ChrisWalterlike in his dimensions) holding a Molotov cocktail. This leads to an obvious question....

Allan: Do you support direct action against the Olympics?

Chris: As much as I feel the Olympics are an incredible waste of resources that are badly needed elsewhere, I am not in favour of direct action against the Games. I think it would be a mistake to give the masses a valid reason to dismiss all protesters as being violent, hot-headed thugs. I do, however, support demonstration and protest, but not through bombing or vandalism. Aside from the fact that innocent people could be hurt, direct action will send the wrong message. I urge everyone to look at the true cost of the Olympic Games, not just in dollars and cents, but in terms of human misery and suffering. We need homes before games.

Allan: Wrong is an interesting title. You used to be a band in Winnipeg called the Vacant Lot; there’s a punk band in Vacant Lot in New York that put out an album called Wrong. And now you’re a punk living in Vancouver, where Nomeansno are now based, and of course, their most famous album is called Wrong. Does any of this connect?

Chris: That’s just one of those strange coincidences and not even Nardwuar could string them together (but you know he’d try). I completely forgot about the Nomeansno album––even though it’s one of their best––and I’m too attached to the title to change it now. It fits the book so perfectly that I think even the Wright brothers would forgive me. I toyed with the idea of calling the book Talk – Action = 0 but I ran it by Joe Shithead and he told me that he would very unhappy if I did. God forbid I should make Joe unhappy, ha ha.

News flash - you can actually hear a streaming MP3 of Chris' old band, the Vacant Lot, singing their song "Ritz Chic," here! The story was that the song appeared on a compilation of Winnipeg underground music, but no one I talked to - here or in Winnipeg - knew anything about it - including Chris! If you do, tell us!

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