Interview part 2: Bison’s James Farwell talks not wanting to be Lemmy, getting signed then dumped by Metal Blade, and weeding out the idiots

That’s why I think that the bands that I see now, they’re… they’re not… or they haven’t figured out that relationship, even within the band, right. And granted, a lot of that just comes with time and stuff, but, it does come with… Go out on the road! Oh, you can’t go on the road? Well, I don’t know, back when I was doing it live, yeah, I had to… I lost girlfriends, I lost houses, I lost jobs, all this stuff. I lost other opportunities because I wanted to do that. And that’s what you do. And I went out on the road, and I ate peanut butter sandwiches every day. And when my van broke down,… it’s sad, but well, that’s it. Back to Vancouver. You work, you get another van. People want it to be too easy. That does not build character. It does not make you a good person. And it does not make you appreciate what you get, no matter what it is. Work. ‘Cause man, if we make this too easy for people, then everyone’s gonna do it, and there’s gonna be so many shitty fuckin’ bands, ’cause they’re like, “Oh! All we have to do is beg for money on the internet, and we can put out an album!” Like, “Oh, yaaay!” No! We don’t want that! [Laughs] Keep that shit under control! Oh, really, you need a van? Well, get a fuckin’ job! I did! That’s how I got a van. We just paid off our van at the end of last year! And d’you think we begged our fans for money for it? No! We fucking sold records, played shows, payed off the fan. We didn’t promise something in the future for the van. It’s not like our friends are the fuckin’ bank. Or our fans are the bank. So. Keep it difficult. Then you weed out the people… You get honest people that do it because they really wanna do it. If you make it easy, I promise you… aw, you’re gonna have so much garbage. And the people making the garbage are gonna be fucking assholes. But anyway.

VW: The work pays off in the end, right? Which is a pretty classic way to approach things.

JF: Absolutely. And it pays off to you personally, because, like I said before, when you sit back, and you look at what you’ve done, you wanna say you did this on your own. You wanna say we did some good, honest work, and we made this stuff ourselves. That’s what you wanna do. In my opinion, I mean. A lot of people would disagree with me probably, but… ah, well.

VW: That’s what George is gonna hear.

JF: That’s what George is gonna hear, absolutely. Like, “Really? You wanna play guitar? Agh, no! Go to school! Don’t you ever play guitar! Goddammit! Go be a rocket surgeon, not a guitar player!” [Laughs] Nah, of course I want George to play guitar, but we’ll see… We’ll see what he wants to do.

VW: Well, to George.

JF: Yes, to George. Absolutely.


We raise our glasses and cheers to the baby Bison. The bill is settled. I thank James for his time. He straps his guitar case onto his back, exits the Hyde restaurant, hops on his bicycle, and heads to practice. Just another day in the life of a man who’s living it the way he chooses.

Bison plays this Friday, August 7 at the Hindenburg. Waingro and Invasives open.