Saigon Hookers
Gig Seeker Pro

Saigon Hookers


Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Beer, Smokes and Hookers: Hello Rock & Roll"

By Patrick Finch

- October 26/06
"Check this out!" Tommy Smokes eagerly says to me over beers on the patio at Ethel's Lounge while rolling back the sleeve of his Backyard Babies' t-shirt. He's just come from getting his most recent tattoo and it's nothing short of glorious. Perched on his shoulder is a massive Royal Norwegian lion holding a Gibson SG, its tail running down his bicep. On the guitar's headstock is the letter "R", for his wife, Rebecca. His new tattoo neatly encapsulates all the things that make Smokes who he is: an obvious, (he's blond and 6' 3" with an accent), and proud Norwegian, a born rock 'n' roller, and a devoted family man.
In Norway he played in many bands but put that lifestyle on the backburner when he came to Canada to study, start a business, and build his family. With his home and professional lives now secure, Smokes has been making up for his few years of neglecting rock 'n' roll, and he's steam-rolled his way onto the Canadian musical landscape with his band, Saigon Hookers.
Formed with friends Carmine Romano, (bass), and Shawn Feeney, (drums), the Hookers recorded a debut EP which quickly found its way onto rotation on the Edge 102.1, (courtesy of fast-fan Martin Streek), and managed to play nearly a hundred shows in 2006. Their vicious, precise, and shit-yer-pants loud shows attracted the attention of many eager to help higher-ups, and now they've released their debut, Hello Rock And Roll, which is available in stores across the country, (via Addictive/ Fontana North/ Maple/ Universal). The sheer tenacity of the band is remarkable, but it's been paying off, and the ride is just starting.
"Right now we're pretty busy promoting the new album," says Smokes. "We're doing a bunch of shows with Romeo Liquor Store and the Inner City Surfers, going from London, to Montreal, to Sudbury, Timmins, all over the place. Hooking up with Addictive Records for distribution has landed us some free publicity and they're hooking up some live-to-air shows and a bunch of interviews, which is pretty cool. Things certainly seem to be happening fast, which is good, but much different from a few months ago when I was on top of everything myself. Now we've got help!"
Many have taken notice of the Saigon Hookers, eager to hitch their wagons to Smokes' train. GenSub Records, Addictive Records, and Jagermeister have all stepped up to offer their services, (not to mention innumerable bookers and promoters), but none have been so instrumental as the undisputed king of Canadian underground rock, the one and only Sir Ian Blurton, who offered to record their debut on the cheap.
"We had sent Ian our demos a few months in advance, (of recording), and let him know that we were open to suggestions. When we started recording, we picked the order, got comfortable with his changes, and hammered them down. Ian's a well traveled and respected rocker all across Canada, so getting to work with him was amazing. He was able to really capture our live sound and make the album sound like real rock 'n' roll, which you don't hear much in current music. We draw a lot of our inspiration from rock recordings from the 70's, and Hello Rock And Roll definitely has that feel to it. It also didn't hurt that we had a lot of amazing retro gear at our disposal. They really have some amazing stuff at Chemical Sound. It was a great experience and we hope to work with Ian again."
Saigon Hookers still only have just over a year of life under their belts and it would be easy for some to assume that they've fallen ass-backwards into fantastic luck. While that may be the case to a degree, (it always is), Smokes and Co. hold their fates firmly in their own hands, and have achieved their successes by knuckling under, and working as hard as their drunken little hearts will allow.
"We are all very determined to take this band as far as we can, and we love to play. Having played nearly a hundred shows this year has been tough, given our responsibilities outside the band, but it's something we have to do. It's hard sometimes leaving the house when you've just returned home, but my wife and the boys' girlfriends have all been great."
Saigon Hookers will be gracing their favourite local haunt, the Circus Room, once again on October 28th before they take off again across Canada with Ian Blurton's C'Mon. Joining them at the Circus will be the ultra awesome Maximum RnR as both bands continue their righteous and never-ending quest for the ultimate level of rock. It's safe to say that liquor will be mandatory.
"I guess you could say that playing in a rock 'n' roll band ain't the healthiest thing in the world," says Smokes with a chuckle, "but fast food and beer do go a long way. Until the day after." - Echo Weely


(Oct 5, 2006)
Ever since he started gracing stages with his flying V, ripping into mind-numbingly audacious solos not so long ago, Tommy Smokes has been a larger-than-life presence in these parts. It's not that the extremely genial frontman of the Saigon Hookers is overtly trying, he just happens to be one of those people born to be a rock star -- and he doesn't have to go on some lame TV talent show to prove it.
It's all there on the Saigon Hookers' debut album, Hello Rock And Roll, a 10-track slab of loud and greasy sleaze that has vaulted the band, also comprised of bassist Carmine Romano and drummer Shawn Feeney, into a class by themselves within the Kitchener-Waterloo scene.
When speaking in person, Smokes' ambition seems boundless, and infectious. Aside from their full-on performances, his personality is clearly a reason why things have happened so quickly for the band. Originally from Norway, and during the day the owner of hip Uptown Waterloo clothing store Gloss, he formed the Hookers after the dissolution of his previous outfit, The Babyshakers.
The Hookers immediately started getting gigs with like-minded acts C'Mon, Maximum R&R, and Supersuckers. As word about them spread, their first demo started getting regular spins on 102.1 The Edge, and C'Mon's Ian Blurton offered to produce the album, which has been released through Universal subsidiary, Addictive Records.
''Things got a little crazy with The Babyshakers, mostly due to my behaviour," Smokes admits. "So I decided to form a band to play the new songs I was writing, which were based on what my idea of rock 'n' roll is all about -- mainly sex and drugs."
Tales of the band's excessive exploits on the road have been circulating over the past year, but in reality, the members are basically three fun-loving, and extremely hard-working guys. Feeney, a former member of The Miniatures, has plenty of touring experience and says he wouldn't have been part of the project if it wasn't taken seriously.
"I was flattered when they asked me to join," Feeney says. "We all kind of come from different musical backgrounds, but playing these songs every night is a blast, especially when people are obviously getting off on them."
With each passing day, Smokes says he's been getting to live out his rock 'n' roll fantasies, earning sponsorships with Gibson Guitars, as well as Jagermeister. "We've been doing all these things ourselves, just because the opportunities are there," he says. "We might not sound like other bands in K-W, but that doesn't mean we don't feel connected to the scene. Anyone who plays music full-time is in the same boat, and I hope that even people who might not like us appreciate that we're going our own thing."
And if there's one true aspect about the Saigon Hookers, it's that there's nothing phoney about them. That is, if you believe the essence of great rock and roll is to live by Derek Smalls' immortal credo of having a good time all the time. It's something that will never fall out of fashion, and Smokes knows it.
"Every time we've opened for a band like C'Mon or the Supersuckers, we've seen that their audiences expect you to give it everything you've got, and that's all we try to do now whenever we play. Sometimes that takes people by surprise, but more and more of them are coming around."

- Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"Rocking Stages, Not Streets"

(August 10-16, 2006
“When the guys wanted to quit, I was like, “fuck man, we can’t quit, I’m just getting started here.” I was so fuelled with rage in a way and I (thought), “I can’t believe you guys want to quit, this is so much fun,”” remembers Tommy Smokes.
Today when he speaks of his previous band The
Babyshakers, it’s merely a footnote in a story that focuses on the uprising of his latest musical endeavour, Saigon Hookers. Formed in September ’05, guitarist/vocalist Smokes enlisted the services of ex–Miniatures drummer Feeney and never–been–in–a–band–bfore bassist Carmine A. Romano and started gigging around various cities in the Ontario region.
But the story of Smokes goes far beyond that of just another rock and roll brat who picked up an axe, grabbed a mic and decided to start up a band. Born in Kitchener almost 32 years ago, his family decided to relocate to their homeland of Norway when he was just a year old. By the time Smokes hit the age of 12, he was in a group playing Iron Maiden covers.
However, while growing up Smokes endured numerous personal and health struggles that came along with the troops of people he happened to be hanging out with. After an attempt at straightening his life out through mandatory military service, Smokes took it upon himself to find a “fresh start” by going back to his original birthplace. Not only did this move provide him with a new beginning, but it also provided an opportunity to check out a music scene that was slightly foreign to him.
“I grew up in Norway, so I was a little bit sheltered from a lot of smaller, really cool rock bands that I’ve only discovered later on in life when I moved to Canada,” explains Smokes from one of his two Gloss clothing stores.
“I moved here in ’96. I started hanging out with a bunch of people when I moved here who were rock and rollers, and they constantly introduced me to all of these smaller bands that I heard about but couldn’t get records of.”
In fact, the impact of meeting those new people has a lot to do with the momentum that Saigon Hookers have begun to experience.
Recently, 102.1 The Edge host Martin Streek checked out the threesome at a gig at Toronto’s Bovine Sex Club, grabbed an EP, and eventually got the Hookers some airplay on one of Canada’s most influential radio stations.
This was a little surprising to Smokes, considering that his music is very much straight–ahead, no bullshit rock and roll that touches on drinking, hookers, driving fast and getting punched in the face, themes not always embraced by commercial music audiences.
Beyond that, Smokes and company made an impact on Canadian indie rock superhero Ian Blurton (C’Mon, Bionic) who, after playing a few shows with Saigon Hookers, decided to take the band under his wing. In fact, he just finished producing their record, scheduled for release around late August, early September.
Saying that the material came out “differently,” than originally expected, Smokes appears rather pleased by the songs’ “raw and hard” nature captured in studio. It manages to maintain the Hookers’ live sound aesthetic as well as their appreciation for an energetic form of rock and roll that Smokes thinks has been dormant for way too long.
“I think from the late ’80s to the early ’90s there was a huge introduction of house music, trance music, hip hop, and I think a whole generation sort of missed out on some rock,” believes Smokes.
“Either you were a lone kid and you grew up with your friends listening to this stuff, or your older siblings didn’t listen to rock, because they were listening to more electronic music,” he continues. “So when rock got introduced to the kids that started playing this new mall music, they didn’t have anyone to show them the way, so they got their own perception on it, and it sounds like shit.”

[ADAM GRANT] - View Magazine


You're The Deer, 3 song EP 2006
Hello Rock and Roll 2006
Bootleg #1 Live EP 2006
Kings Of Regret 6 song EP 2008



Loud. Lewd. Gritty and overdriven.

Such are the essentials of any bona fide rock n roll band from AC/DC all the way through to the Supersuckers, Turbonegro or Hellacopters. Uniting the disparate worlds of guttural attack with lush, unforgettable melody and supersonic guitar solos, the brash, primal essence of rock n roll is unavoidable.

Welcome to what is clearly inherent in Kitchener, Ontarios Saigon Hookers. Formed in the summer of 2005, this raucous, rockin trio redefines the abrasive albeit energetic dominance of a power trio. From Eastern Canadian tours after barely a month together to busting through the 49th parallel with fellow rockers, Ohios Luxury Pushers, ravenously adored sets with the likes of Nashville Pussy, Supersuckers, Black Halos, CMon and many more (racking up a whopping 100 shows in their first year), Saigon Hookers relentless assault is brazen and enduring.

It goes without saying that this endless devotion to The Rock has shaped debut full-length effort, the aptly-titled, Hello Rock And Roll (Addictive/Fontana North/Maple/Universal) into a frenzied barrage of four-chord mastery that makes the women swoon and the men rage. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Ian Blurton, Hello Rock And Roll finds Saigon Hookers stepping up their onslaught as blues-based, high-energy rock riffs collide with punk rock ethos to create inspired, unique songs that are quickly becoming a staple of modern rock stations nationwide.

Blasting out 10 songs of adrenaline-pumping, sexy riffage, Hello Rock And Roll not only certifies that true rock n roll still thrives in Canada, but that it only takes three fearless ruffians to take on the unconvinced. Yet another bold addition to Saigon Hookers catalogue, Hello Rock And Roll takes its throne amongst equally compelling works such as their independent four-song live bootleg and five-song EP, the daring Youre The Deer, Were The Headlights.

Culled from various equally-passionate bands as Norway's Sordid Conditions (openers of the 1994 Olympics) and The Babyshakers, Saigon Hookers may have talent and gusto on their side, but experience speaks just as loudly. The bands never-ending lustful relationship with the road continues throughout 2006/2007 as tours with Torontos CMon and Romeo Liquor Store ensure insanity, decadence and plenty of the aforementioned loud, lewd rock n rollall of which have resulted in proud sponsorships from the likes of Jagermeister and Gibson Guitars.