The Vapids Return

Veteran music fans will be well familiar with the Vapids as their musical career spans past two decades with this year actually marking 25 years

Veteran music fans will be well familiar with the Vapids as their musical career spans past two decades with this year actually marking 25 years since Jimmy and Scotty Vapid would begin making music in Burlington as the Vapids. With a litany of former members and real life concerns of wives and families and more, the band didn’t stay at the forefront in the members’ individual lives with singer and guitarist Jimmy Vapid moving out of the Hamilton/Burlington area to the more rural climbs some two hours away from Hamilton, north of Oshawa. While the Vapids proper didn’t come together as regularly, Vapid’s musical muse never wavered and he built a home studio to record other bands and his own solo material.

The Vapids last played their old stomping ground three years ago on the heels of their last original release, Suburban Reptiles and with only one more gig haven’t played together since. This weekend, the latest incarnation of the Vapids returns after three years to Hamilton on a international band stacked punk show Jimmy Vapid helped organize like the halcyon days of the mid-nineties.

“I just released my fourth solo album, Night Moves in June of last year so I’m pretty busy with that but not the Vapids,” says Jimmy Vapid. “We recorded our last album Suburban Reptiles we played a show in Hamilton and then our van blew up in London for our last show and we decided that we weren’t going to do it anymore.

“It has been 25 years but we’re going to celebrate by not celebrating,” deadpans Vapid. “I started doing solo work when I moved out of Hamilton and now I live just north of Oshawa about two hours away from Hamilton. I still keep busy with music with my home studio, it keeps my musical boat afloat when I’m not playing live and I don’t play live much at all anymore. I’m recording a bunch of different bands and sometimes my solo stuff.”

Vapid has international label support to release his music on vinyl to a dedicated audience via the internet but locals can check out independent retailers like Crash Landing for copies of Vapid’s vinyl releases both solo and band. Some may lament the days where you’d see a weirdly named band coming from God knows where in the world to play Hamilton with the Vapids opening up the show... but for those that lament those days, the Vapids return with one of those shows like it was twenty years ago. After a three year hiatus, Jimmy Vapid has gathered up the troops to play an unexpected Hamilton show with some internationally touring punk bands.

“I met Dee Crack and Lone Wolf when I went to Europe,” explains Vapid. “They’re coming to Canada to play a music festival, Pouzza Fest in Montreal so I decided to help them out and booked some shows in London, Toronto and Hamilton for a mini tour. Dee Crack is not too far away from what the Vapids do and they tour constantly. They just went to South America and just got back from Japan. Lone Wolf is a great band from the Netherlands with a female singer and they’re touring with Dee Crack so we got them a few more shows but the Vapids only play Hamilton.

“We’re not itching to rehearse or play too much, we just do the Vapids for fun and we’re not ready for some big comeback,” adds Vapid although rumour is there might be something happening later this year to celebrate a quarter century but you’ll have to stay tuned. “We thought our last gig was going to be our last gig but you never know. If Scotty {Vapid, drummer] says he wants to play, we’ll play. The other guys are always in. Eric [Felgner] joined in 2007 and Matt [Ellis] joined in 2008 so those guys have been in the band longer than anyone else has been in the Vapids. They both have tenure already even if we don’t play that often. The Vapids start the show at 8:30 pm so we hope to get everyone home by midnight. It’s good to know we can round ourselves up every once in a while to do a hometown gig. It might be a little dangerous because we don’t rehearse anymore. We hope everyone comes out for a good ol’ punk show and these bands won’t be playing Hamilton again anytime soon and well, the Vapids. We’ll do our best, I’m not too worried though. Right now, I’m just trying to wrap my head around playing fifteen Vapids songs we haven’t played in three years — it should be fun.” V

The Vapids play this Wednesday May 15 at This Ain’t Hollywood with Dee Cracks (Vienna, Austria), Lone Wolf (Rotterdam, Netherlands), School Damage and more. Doors for the licenced all ages gig open at 8pm and $10 gets you in. Click on

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