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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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



"More about Skookum"

An interview with the guys in SKOOKUM at:

popYOUlarity: What were some of the major touchstones of 2007 for you?
Audie: Major highlights in 2007 for SKOOKUM: established a solid line-up, the release of our debut album, and being a part of New Music West.
Shiny: Joining the band, establishing the camaraderie and friendships, and putting a new spin on the Skookum sound, and new music for recording.
Vanman: We went through a difficult period of line-up changes starting when our original drummer (who played on the first album) left mid 2006. We now have the band in order, and have finally released the album we had worked on from the start. It’s exciting to put that album out and move forward with even better material with the new guys.

popYOUlarity: Where does a song start?
Audie: We are open to the creative juices oozing in from anywhere, yet usually it flows from a riff and/or jam.
Shiny: Riffs, riffs, riffs.
Vanman: It’s usually a brain fart that hopefully doesn’t stink. If it stinks, you let it go, make a few jokes and prepare for the next leak that comes from your unconscious. The worst smelling ones happen when everyone’s in the room. But sometimes, I think we all just get inspired about an event or a riff or by heavy sedation.

popYOUlarity: Do you ever step on-stage and look over the crowd and say to yourself ‘damn, I can’t believe these people are here to see us’?
Audie: Yes! It was our debut CD release party and I remember thinking. “Oh my, look at all the people.”
Shiny: Sometimes, yes.
Vanman: Yes, and I hope their pockets rattle as much as we like to rattle their ears. Playing to a large crowd is a trip.

popYOUlarity: What goes through your mind when you put a record together? Audie: How much is this going to cost? Seriously though, Cory brought up that question a week ago. “What to do for the second album?” I know we will draw from SKOOKUM being a different group of people, at a new time and place. We are evolving and so will the music.
Shiny: My god what a lot of work!
Vanman: “When is it going to be done?” “Then what do we do?” It’s fun though to try all the angles, tweak all the sounds, and add or subtract all the possibilities, etc. So much is involved you can’t help but be consumed by it for just a little while, and then hope everyone likes it as much as you hope they might.

popYOUlarity: What do you find more exciting, touring or recording?
Audie: At this point, I would say recording. This time, in the studio, we are approaching it with a directive capture of the energy and emotion extruded in our live performance.
Shiny: Both, each with their own payoffs.
Vanman: Yeah, I’d have to say they both have equal payoffs, but I think the writing process trumps it all. It’s such a release of creative energy to make sounds and words into this thing we call a song. Getting it recorded like you hear it in your head and playing it well live are just another two forms of the release. All are exciting; no wonder rock n roll is such a drug.

popYOUlarity: Is there any type of music that you don't appreciate?
Audie: Well that question brings up two of our biggest pet peeves, one, people intolerant of all types of music and two, Bluegrass music, that music sucks!
Shiny: There is music/bands I don’t like, but even that band can come up with a song I can enjoy.
Vanman: Personally, not a fan of anything that is so brutally contrived or that so obviously copies another. Oh, and I just don’t “get” Klingon Opera.

popYOUlarity:In the big picture how would you like people to view your music?
Audie: We hope the people view our music as “rawk!” Rawk music with a driving groove that sticks to your booty like glue baby.
Shiny: Just like it, were not trying to change the world here, just enjoy, if that’s your thing. If we connect on a deeper level with people, fantastic.
Vanman: I’d like them to view it in their collection alongside some of my own favourite groups. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of how they perceive us or our songs that way until recently. To me writing was always personal and I think trying to write songs in hopes that people will like it, may make sense from the point of view of making music as a sustainable living. But I fear that you may get in a rut where you don’t make music you actually like. I often wonder if anyone does that. I bet there are and I bet as empty as it may make their souls that perhaps their fat royalty cheque helps fill the void. I hope people see our music as fun and enjoyable as we do.

popYOUlarity: Was there anything that you didn’t expect to happen when you went into the studio to record the album?
Audie: The waiting. Also, we realized that the mood or vibe in the studio will be sensed in the finished recording.
Vanman: Definitely the waiting. Definitely the time involved and really surprised at how little can be done during a session. Most of all, for “Big Phat Sounds,” I never ever imagined that one of the guys who wanted it to be an album instead of say, a strong EP, would actually decide to leave the band before seeing it through. I always just expected it would be the four guys who started the process would see it through, promote it like crazy, and move forward. I hope that’s what happens on the 2nd album currently being worked on, but anything can happen.

popYOUlarity: Are any of you perfectionists? If yes, how does that impact the writing and recording process?
Audie:This is true to some extent but we realize that we can only do so much.
Shiny: I’m not a 100% perfectionist but, I know when I’m writing something, I find it hard to share or leave it open for alteration. I have a very specific idea how something should go sometimes, I’m probably better at contributing others material, if they don’t have the same quirks as me.
Vanman: Guilty as charged. It’s difficult to realize the recorded version of a song when you’ve heard it next to the thousands of variations, instruments and mixes as well so many times in your own head. At some point, in order to grow and create new music, you have to let go and do your best to do it all right the first time on the next song.

popYOUlarity: Do you find it easy or hard to be critical of your own music?
Audie: Easy!
Shiny: Easy, very easy, probably why I don’t enjoy others criticism, usually hardest on it myself.
Vanman: Oh so easy! But, love what you’ve done and hope to love even more what you’re going to do!

popYOUlarity: What is the best advice you have ever received from a song?
Audie: I don’t know…
Shiny: Would by AIC, it connects really deeply with me, because I know “I’ve made a big mistake, try and see it once my way.” It’s hard not to be judgemental, human nature I guess, but that song is about trying to understand, and looking for forgiveness.
Vanman: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a Stones song that I’d like them to stick up their own tour bus! Why can’t you if you work hard for it? Ah well, the other song I would take advice from is, well, really anything John Lennon ever said.

popYOUlarity: What are you looking forward to this year?
Audie: Promoting SKOOKUM and our debut CD, while putting the wraps on number two.
Shiny: More gigs, new album, new music, and more exposure of the band, not myself.
Vanman: Elevating Skookum and being heard by more people. Our goals are being met week to week and I think as frustratingly slow a process that it can be, we’ll have album number two done by summer (knock wood) and be promoting Skookum as a 4 piece band, not just two guys with an album with two new guys; that’s all Audie and I ever wanted.

popYOUlarity: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of popYOUlarity?
Audie: Come see SKOOKUM perform live!
Vanman: Come see a Skookum live show, and like the greased up deaf guy from Family Guy says: “Don’t hate me, I’m just doin’ my thang!”

+ March 5, 2008
Photo: Official -

"Band draws its own conclusions"

Don't call Skookum a bunch of cartoonish rockers, though penciled self-portraits have become part of the band's charm.

Art-schooled members of the quartet have crafted a series of inspired comics that document Skookum's travels through the local indie-rock world, with a good amount of Sasquatch-y fantasy tossed in. (Not only does "skookum" mean "good" to those who live west of the Rockies, for the most part, it also describes a mountain giant or monster.)

Next Friday at Cheers nightclub, the launch of the band's 'zine-style comic book coincides with that of its debut CD, Big Phat Sounds.

In Skookum's case, the sounds are big and reminiscent of KISS, Sabbath and some of the Seattle bands of the early 1990s, the riffs fused to amusing lyrics that'd make Frank Zappa proud. Some of the song titles are hilarious enough: "The Stink," "Does Your Face Hurt (It's Killing Me)" and others, several of which shouldn't be printed in a family newspaper.

The comics, which can be viewed online at under "Art", are created by bandleaders Cory "Vanman" Van Ieperen and Nairne "Audie" Morris, artists who were schooled at Kwantlen University College in Surrey before graduating from Vancouver's Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Both have residential ties to Surrey and North Delta.

"Audie and I enjoy a good laugh and not try to take ourselves too seriously," says Van Ieperen. "When we play live, people tell us our music makes them punch fist to air while laughing out loud at the words. It's memorable music because of that."

The aim of the band, which includes Brad "Shiny" Wilson and James "Python" Johnson, is to release a comic book with each of its CDs, the second one due late next year. "We'll take it to the next level and have super powers, like KISS did," said Van Ieperen, a professional caricaturist.

Skookum's history dates back to 2002, when, as a trio, it graced stages at Sawbucks in South Surrey and Central City Brew Pub in Whalley, among other bars. Along the way, the band encountered people like the evil "Jam Nazi" immortalized in song and landed some high-profile gigs at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium and Richard's on Richards. Judging by the stories told in comic form, the journey was atypical for an independent band (hellish rehearsal-studio sessions, lousy set times, brain-dead promoters and the like).

Van Ieperen says he's thrilled to have Skookum return to Cheers, one of the area's few live-music venues and located not far from where he lives, on December 7. The night's entertainment includes live performances by guests Crop Circle and Burn Hollywood Burn and, when he's not rocking out on stage, caricatures drawn by Van Ieperen (see samples at "We're there to have some fun," he said.

To see online:
- Tom Zillich, Surrey Now


Big Phat Sounds - CD - 2007

Rockstar Dreamers - CD - 2009
iTunes ~
CD ~



In the beginning there was a catastrophic BOOM... and, without the use of an epidural, SKOOKUM was born. Together, they drew up the SKOOKUManifesto: No pretenses. Big Phat Sounds. Good Times. Rock & Roll!

Skookum is a Chinook term for big, strong, powerful and swift. Most people know it as slang for "Big n' tough" or impressive. The band's sound? Powerful guitar riffs, big grooves with a walloping vocal punch! They sound SKOOKUM!

Of course, making great music is serious business for this group who claim creativity and solid laughs as their mantra. Skookum simply doesn't feel it has to write gloomy material for it to rock. Look at the success of Queens of the Stone Age, Tool and Faith No More as examples of fresh and original heavy rock that doesn't always dwell on the negative.

See them live, that's another thing altogether. Their unique collection of anthems separates Skookum from the chaff of the multitude of bands. These guys engage their audience with witty banter setting up some outrageous and memorable songs, like "Bender"(drink till yer sick), "Great to See You" (but I wouldn't wanna be you) and their staple live classic "the Team Canada Montage": a semi-cover song that will never get played on commercial radio but has them rollin' in the aisles and patriotically punching fist to air!

Skookum has played some of the finest venues in Metro Vancouver like UBC Thunderbird Stadium, Richards on Richards, Cheers, Amberjacks, Pub 340, the Bourbon and the Roxy. They've shared the stage with Moka Only, Sweatshop Union, the Black Halo's & Todd Kerns and were featured at New Music West 2007.

Like no other band (except for singer Vanman's idols in KISS), Skookum embellishes their tales of life in an indie rock band with their ongoing comic series, SKOOKOMIX. It's a semi-autobiographical cross between Spinal Tap & KISS with some fantasy thrown in for good measure. The first issue was release in conjunction with their debut album, Big Phat Sounds.

The first single from their debut, "El Stinko", was a featured YouTube hit and one of Canada's most watched rock videos in February 2008 at 20,000 plus views! The track was also featured in a Vancouver-based indie film titled Revenge Inc.

In 2009, SKOOKUM released their 2nd album, Rockstar Dreamers. The band is currently demoing for a 3rd.

During the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Canada, SKOOKUM released their 2nd video for "Rye (Can't Remember)" in time to celebrate their hometown hosting the Games by boasting one of Canada’s favourite pastimes, drinking Rye Whiskey!

Great riff rockin’ tunes, live shows, hot videos and even comics! All from one band?!?! Don't just take them at their word! SKOOKUM backs up all the talk with the walk of, their official website, fully operated and updated by the band themselves.