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The Posers

Never Mind the Pop-Punk, Here's The Posers...

Back in the late ‘70’s and for part of the 1980’s, Windsor had a fantastic punk scene. The Spy’s erupted forth from the stank Windsor air with the MC5’s Fred “Sonic” Smith’s blessing, with their influential 7”, Machine Shop/Underground in 1980. They were followed closely by The Dry Heaves, the lovable dregs of the punk scene, with their 1981 EP Shoot Yourself. Both made waves, not only on the streets of Windsor, but across the country and around the world. It seems almost everyone who saw the Spy’s or Heaves early shows formed a band of some stature later on in the Windsor scene. But by the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, punk music was a nostalgic tour of the old guard. Bands were popping up all over featuring members of Windsor’s former punk rock fury, bands like Pummel, Elad’s Guitar Army, Toast and The Shannon Brothers. On the national level, the punk scene had been embraced by the Mainstream media as the louder younger brother of the current musical trend of the day – Grunge – but forced to smarten up if it wanted radio play, which lead to the stylized, slick production on releases by bands such as Green Day, Rancid and Blink 182. The angry youth that had fought against the system, the initial battlegrounds created and defended by the likes of MC5, Iggy & The Stooges, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Dead Boys, Germs, Exploited and so many more, was being infected by the allure of MTV Video Awards and arena rock shows. But in 1995, Windsor’s punk scene received a blood transfusion and the weary veterans received their youthful cavalry in the voice of four snot-nosed, ragtag, DIY noise terrorists called The Posers. Through nearly 20 line-up changes and a revolving cast of ten or more members, the Posers became synonymous with Windsor punk and laid the groundwork not only for what was to come, but set a benchmark of musical integrity and above else, a strict credos and ethic of what punk really was. The singe handily rejuvenated the punk rock scene – making it relevant to a whole new generation – as well as inspiring the city’s young thrash scene and giving birth to Windsor’s hardcore scene. The Windsor Scene thought it long over due that someone finally pay homage to the personal and musical sacrifices these guardians of the Old School have made over the past decade in preserving Punk Rock’s true nature. So without further adieu, this is the Posers story. As told by the beasts themselves – vocalist Rayny Forster, drummer Sean Boone, bassist Andy Gammon, guitarist/bassist Jay Buston and guitarist Brian McManus – uncensored and in their own words (unfortunately, former Posers John Bellon, Luther Heron, Maco Ogilvie, Craig Donaldson and Andrew Lochhead were unavailable or declined to comment). Here are The Posers…

 

Windsor Scene: How did the Posers story begin?

 

Rayny: Since I was a little kid I would mess around on the guitar. Then when I got a little older I got into punk and thought ‘Hey, maybe I can do this!’  It was 1994 when I started jamming with some people…

 

Sean: I saw the band Super-Patient at the Spotted Dog one night many years ago opening for Plastic Gary and Village Idiot. I couldn’t believe there were other people in the city who liked the same kind of music as I did. We became friends and I eventually joined the band and we changed the name to The Posers.

 

Andy: Mac (original bassist Maco Ogilvie) had moved off to the Maritimes at that point so they needed a bassist. Me and Rayny used to play in Cop A Feel together, so I offered to play.

 

Rayny: I was originally the guitarist and we had this other guy, Andrew (Lochhead), singing.  He was kind of a flakey Goth guy who tried too hard to act like Jello Biafra so we gave him the boot.  I’ve read a couple interviews where he calls the Posers his band and talks about how he helped the scene and this and that but he was only in the band for about a year and was pretty much unheard of in the punk scene after that.

 

Jay: I'd played in a punk band prior to playing with the Posers…joining the band (came) out of nowhere. Their guitar player couldn't make a show, so I filled in…then just continued "filling in" after that till I moved to Michigan

 

Brian: …it was when the Posers were on hiatus (around 2001). I had casually mentioned to Rayny that I'd love to play guitar, even just for one show, just for fun. Then when the time came that they wanted to go at it again, Rayny asked me if I was serious about playing, I said yes, and that was that.

 

Jay: I came back and found myself "filling in" full time again on bass.


Rayny Poser, Live at Milk, 1999

Windsor Scene: Did you see a lot of local shows prior to the formation of the Posers?

 

Rayny: I remember seeing The Implants and Shun in ‘93 or ‘94 at Jimmy’s Pub in Amherstburg.  The Implants were doing what I think of as more of a Born Against almost post-hardcore style and Shun was more like a stoner rock band, like Clutch or something like that. I loved both of those bands! Another band that was around back then was the Lager Lads, who were Windsor’s only Oi! band…we actually ended up with their guitarist, Luther, who joined The Posers in ‘96 when we kicked out Andrew and I switched to vocals. I should also mention Windsor had a pretty thriving death metal scene in the early 90’s: Sean was in a band called Athiestic Martyr who used to play with another local band Carcinogen and bring bands from out of town as well.  When I first met Sean actually he wasn’t that into punk and I wasn’t that into metal but over time we really fused and now each of us loves both.

 

Andy: Sawbill was a big influence on me as well as Lesser Known. It was cool for me to discover there were some guys in the city that were fuckin’ nuts and were rockin’ out above and beyond the norm. I was getting into the Lager Lads around that time too. I think we (The Posers and The Lager Lads) influenced each other a lot at the time too. Luther joined the band after we tossed Andrew out and the two bands used to share a practice space at Luther's and play a lot of shows together.

 

Sean: I’d have to say the first time I saw Carcinogen live at Jackson Park was what really made me want to play heavy music.

 

Jay: I saw lots of local bands perform, but the ones that really inspired me to want to play and perform where bands like Shun, Toast, Sawbill, the Lager Lads, and, at the time, the Posers.  Later, getting to be friends with and joining the band I found that we all kind of had the same ideas and a lot of the same inspirations from local bands and other bands.

 

Brian: I'd been around to quite a few local shows. Hard to say if they were inspirational; it's a pretty heavy word. Overall, it was just fun to see the bands, meet new people, etc.

 

Windsor Scene: What else inspired you musically at the time?

 

Sean: I was really into the late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s Death Metal scene, but also really liked bands like Dayglo Abortions, DRI, The Accused, etc. I would listen to CJAM religiously on Sunday nights to a show called Shredding Intensities that played all this crazy music that was so influential at that time.

 

Andy: Free Beer!! Just kidding, I just wanted to do something different. A lot of the bands playing around that time were into metal or garage rock - which is cool - but I've always been heavily into punk. There weren't a ton of punk bands playing in Windsor – we all really wanted to give it a shove and get it moving. Most importantly we just wanted to have fun.

 

Brian: I've been doing music stuff for a long time. My father is a bagpiper and I picked that up when I was 12. At about 16, my friend showed me two or three things on guitar. I played around with my father's acoustic and it all snowballed from there. I've always been heavily into music; it's what drives me.

 

Jay: Bands like Minor Threat, State of Alert and other early DC hardcore bands were my first influences to wanting to make music "like that": loud, aggressive, in your face.  When The Posers came around, they fit that mold.  


The Posers live, Brantford, 1999

Windsor Scene: How long did the Posers’ run last?

 

Rayny: The Posers lasted from 1995 to 2003, about 8 years in total, though there was a hiatus of about a year in 2001.  And towards the latter, we hadn’t really done any touring or released any new records since 2000.

 

Windsor Scene: How would you describe the Posers’ sound?

 

Sean: It varied…the earlier stuff was pretty much straight up Oi!/streetpunk. As we went on and line-ups changed, we definitely started to show more of our

metal/thrash influence…

 

Andy: Progressively harder. Meaning, we've played everything from Oi!/street punk to hardcore/thrash. We started doing Lurkers covers and ended up doing D.R.I. covers. As to who I could compare the sound too? Happily, I don't know.

 

Jay: It's fast and aggressive but at the same time has that "sing along" influence of street-punk.

 

Rayny: We started off as a silly inexperienced goof-off type punk band but got a little more serious with the addition of Luther on guitar and had more of a brickwall / streetpunk sound.  After a few years and line-up changes, we started to gain a more early hardcore sound which evolved into a thrash punk sound.  To sum it up, I usually just say streetpunk/thrash because those are the two eras we’re probably most known for.

 

Windsor Scene: Why do you think the Posers arrival was so explosive?

 

Rayny: At that time, there wasn’t much going on at all and the entire punk crowd could basically be counted on one hand.  I think it was the desire to create something for ourselves and others to get into and have a good time.  In no way did we claim to have started the scene or anything like that: we know one existed years earlier with the likes of the Dry Heaves, The Spy’s, Prehistoric Cavestrokers, etc.  But by that particular point in time, there wasn’t much left going on in terms of punk, so I would like to think we may have helped rejuvenate it a little bit.  Since that point, the scene has grown steadily into what it is today, although I am sure the commercialism of punk rock in general has done much more for that fact then any local band ever did.  In some ways it’s good because there are hundreds if not thousands of kids getting into it but I think for a lot of them they think it’s all about all that wimpy watered down shit.  But it does open the door for them to find out what it’s really about.   Although we get a certain amount of credit from people, the fact that we were playing raw and dirty punk rock as opposed to that polished shit has never made us the big cool fad band.  We’ve always had our following and as with most true punk, I feel it’s actually been rather untouched by punk’s modern commercialism.

 

Windsor Scene: How did the first Posers show go?

 

Rayny: Our first show was for a small crowd at the Spotted Dog (R.I.P.) in February of ‘95 after only jamming with that line-up for a week.  We opened for Village Idiot, Speculum and Plastic Gary.  I think we had about 7 songs which we played twice each.

 

Andy: My first show was in 1996, at Jimmy's Pub in Amherstburg. We played with Septic and an unnamed band with James from Hardtime on vocals. Some local kids showed up and we had fun. At the time, Jimmy's Pub was a sweet show space, lots of bands played there.

 

Jay: The first time I ever played with the guys was on the way up to PunkFest in 1997.  I was filling in for their bass player who couldn't make the trip.  We played a small, not so good show at a record store in London on the way. The show though at PunkFest was phenomenal. It was (basically) my first time playing live with the guys and in front of the biggest crowd I had ever preformed for. I loved it.

 

Brian: Holy fuck. I remember (for my first show) I hadn't even jammed with the band. When I first joined (in 2002), I told Rayny to give me a list of songs to learn for our first show then I sat down with the CDs and figured it all out. Come February of 2002, I had to watch my friend's dog in Toronto for two weeks, and I got home the day of our first show. So, I didn't jam with the band at ALL before our first show – I'd been up for about 30 hours and hadn't eaten anything except a whole wheat bagel and lots of coffee…and the show turned out great! It was actually a very delicious show. I sort of had "cheat sheets" taped to the floor next to me which had like "Riff a X2, Riff b X4, Riff a X4..." But it turned out swell.


The Posers' legendary 7", Kill The Ravers

Windsor Scene: What are some crazy incidents that have gone done during the Posers’ runs?

 

Sean: One that I’ll always remember was playing at Spiderland one time, when this filthy crusty kid, covered in blood, kept knocking over and bleeding all over my drums before being tossed on his head off the stage. Also, this show in Marsville – a kid did a front flip off the stage and broke his leg. There are so many stories…

 

Andy: One that pops into my head was in Toronto, at "Punk Town". This was a "Punk Fest" type show as a benefit for ABC No Rio in New York, although only one band was from New York and I don't believe ABC received anything either, ha-ha! It was a 3 day fest; we arrived on the Friday night and caught a couple of bands. We were supposed to be playing on Sunday. We walked out to the parking garage where we left Jay's van (and all our instruments) after the show on Friday and noticed a sign that said "Closed Sat. & Sun." The van and everything was locked away!!! After trying to kick in the windows of the stairwells, head-butting the garage doors and rolling on the ground in terror for hours, some security guard popped open the door and actually let us get in and at the van. After that the entire weekend was filled with the most drunken madness the world has ever seen!! Sean fell asleep on the ladies room floor, I couldn't manage to sit in a chair without falling on my head and think Rayny and Jay drank enough beer to kill a small donkey. They made a documentary of this weekend too! I've never seen it or know anyone who's seen it, but I hope it gets released some day, it was mental!

 

Jay: I do remember getting drenched with pitchers of beer every time a certain part of a certain song came up…

 

Brian: Probably the time the Dayglo Abortions wedged my cabinet between their van and a building and it took about 10 minutes of shimmying with the van and cab to get it out.

 

Rayny: There are waaaay too many to recall.  I remember playing a show on tour and the cops wanted to shut it down and the promoter payed us $300 to stop playing.  I think that was more then we ever got for playing in the first place.  But the best moment I remember was in ‘99 at the Spotted Dog.  The garage door was open and someone had lit an amplifier and some newspapers on fire outside on the sidewalk.  The cops showed up and walked right across the stage and through the mosh pit to shut the show down.  It was pretty funny seeing cops in a mosh pit.   So they said we had to stop and a bunch of kids started chanting “Off the Pig” (the name of one of our songs) over and over so we cranked the PA as loud as it would go and just busted into it right in front of the cops in direct defiance to their orders.  Everyone there was chanting “Off the Pig” with their fists up in the chorus.  I think they pulled the plug before the song ended though but we gave it our best shot.  A couple other local ones were the riot of Windsor Punkfest and the fire extinguisher incident with the Dayglo Abortions resulting in many people visiting the emergency room.  There are many many great and crazy memories…

 

Sean: …it seems that at almost every show there was something that could be considered an "incident", ha-ha!

 

Windsor Scene: How did audiences react to you guys?

 

Jay: There's always been a really good turnout and the people seem to really enjoy the shows: lots of dancing, sing-alongs. The kind of stuff that makes you feel good to perform.

 

Andy: We've had a lot of fun. I hope the audience did too.

 

Brian: Great! They're usually very active and get into it – especially the younger kids. It's good to see that.

 

Rayny: For the most part, it was great.  Lots and lots of sing alongs and circle pit action. We got a decent turnout in certain areas out of town which is always cool but I think our best shows were here in Windsor.  Especially the house parties we used to have on Highland and then later Brant Street.  Those went down as some pretty memorable shows.  I’ve got some pretty insane video from those that I was considering sending to Real TV!

 

Sean: It was usually really good, especially in Windsor and at Spiderland (R.I.P.). Like any band, we also had our share of shitty shows, but overall the good heavily outweighed the bad.

 

Windsor Scene: What Posers recordings are available?

 

Rayny: Our Kill the Ravers 7” is still being bootlegged on all different colours of vinyl from a German label (Blind Beggar Records).  Please don’t buy this.  Also, our last CD Anti-Christian Animosity is widely available through Cargo Music for a pretty outrageous price (usually about $26.99).  We haven’t received a penny in royalties so keep that in mind if you plan to support these people. Our Worse Than Nothing 7” should still be available and was done by a cool label, Oink! Records - if you can find that, check it out.  We did a 7” on the local label Sounds of Revolution which is sold out.  I am planning to put together a select discography CD which will be available soon and the easiest way to get it locally would probably be at Dr. Disc downtown.

wtn.jpg
Their Worse Than Nothing 7"

Windsor Scene:  How did you hook up with Germany's Blind Beggar Records in 1996?

 

Rayny: The guy who runs the label had put out a record for our guitar player Luther’s other band, The Lager Lads, and he came to Windsor to see them play.  We were on the show as well and I guess he liked what we were doing and asked us to do a release with him. Things went bad and now he's still pressing the record without giving us anything.

 

Windsor Scene: How’d the deal with Oink! Records come about?

 

Rayny: Oink! was another smaller label based out of New Jersey/DC area.  I used to send out a lot of demos and he was someone who wanted to do a record.  He did the Worse Than Nothing 7” which sold a press of one thousand and then pressed another thousand.  We had planned on putting out Anti-Christian Animosity on Oink but then we got the offer from Cargo, and the Oink album actually ended up being a collection of rare unreleased and out of print material. 

 

Windsor Scene: So it’s fairly well known that you and Cargo Records parted ways rather poorly. What really happened?

 

Rayny: Gubby from Cargo called us "a bunch of glue huffing drunk squeegee punks" and their official position was that they wanted to "throw the fucking CD’s in the river”.  We had a 1 to 3 album contract with them, giving them the option of the 2nd and 3rd album.  They probably just didn’t sell enough copies for $26.99. 

 

Sean: We really shouldn’t have done it in the first place. We were warned by lots of people about them. Perhaps it can be a lesson to younger bands that might be reading this…keep it DIY. Don’t mix business with punk rock.

 

Rayny: Cargo Records is a business and they wanted us to be touring a lot and get the name out there so they could sell CDs.  They were supposed to help with promotion which never happened and gave us some guy to book our tour who didn’t do shit.  So they got pissed and threatened to sue us.  They threatened to sue us about 3 or 4 times actually.  Basically we were trying to survive and didn’t have the funds to be out there travelling constantly like they wanted.  I guess they didn’t realize they were dealing with real punks here.  Another thing that kind of pissed us off was that our CDs are like $26.99 and they're telling us they only sold like 500 of them worldwide.  It really sucks that we put out a 7" on a DIY label that sold 2000 copies and then did a CD/LP on the same label which sold 2000 of each then we go to a bigger label and they jack up the price, probably alienating our fans and selling a small fraction of that amount, if its even true at all.  I went on the Cargo Germany site and it was listed as a best seller. Then I emailed them and they can't tell me any info. A week later it’s mysteriously taken down.  We're supposed to get statement 4 times a year and we've never gotten a single one no matter how many times we request it. So basically whatever’s going on we won't be doing anything else with them. It was pretty much a mistake for us in the first place.  We thought it could lead us to better things but I guess it’s something we just weren't meant for in the first place! In 2007 we regain the rights to those songs should we choose to re-record and re-release them.


Their controversial Cargo release, Anti-Christian Animosity

Windsor Scene: How did the recording process change from Kill the Ravers through Anti-Christian Animosity?

 

Rayny: It didn't differ a whole lot.  We recorded pretty much everything we'd done with a friend of ours named James Tiller. The main difference was maybe a little bit better recording gear, as well as our own gear.  Both are raw as fuck but Kill the Ravers was done on a 4-track while the latter was recorded on an 8-track reel to reel.  We didn't get a whole lot of money from Cargo to record so we had to do what we could with it.  Recording with a friend who knows what he’s doing makes things a whole lot easier and it’s fuckin’ DIY as fuck - not too many bands these days do shit like that, they've all got polished recordings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we were a real punk band just making it work however we could. We did our shit live and then just over dubbed the vocals.  For Anti-Christian Animosity it took me a period of several months to finish the vocals because I had a hernia at the time which caused a lot of pain when I let out the screams. I recorded all those vocals and played a shit load of live shows with a fucking hernia.  I had an operation before we got back together though and it made playing live so much of a relief, as you could imagine.

 

Windsor Scene: With so many recordings, did you manage to capture the sound you wanted on record or do you feel that the Posers' true live energy wasn't fully chronicled?

 

Rayny: That’s a tough question. In some cases yes and in some cases no.  A lot of times we had trouble getting practices organized and would go months without jamming.  So what we would do was book some recording time and write a couple extra songs right there on the spot.  I think most of our best songs were written that way.  But in terms of sound, we really let a lot of shit slide on the records.  The Whats Become 7” had a weird guitar tone that we didn’t love but could live with. On Worse Than Nothing, the guitar tone is just awful, its really fuzzy sounding.  It had a lot to do with having shitty equipment, but in a way it probably captured us pretty good as a band for the most part.  After all we weren't professionals and we weren’t trying to be.

 

Windsor Scene: You guys got to tour quite a bit outside of the local scene during your run. How was it bringing The Posers’ chaos machine into the United States? Did it differ much from the hometown Canadians?

 

Rayny: The US scene is different. We did a bit of touring there in ‘99 and 2000. There are a lot more places geographically to play. I just spent some time over there singing in another band and it seems like there’s more enthusiasm.  It really really depends where you go though. I was in Minneapolis, which is supposed to be the best place, and all the punks are old and jaded - they don’t even dance for the best bands. Then we played with some of the same bands in Milwaukee, where it’s all young kids, and it fucking smoked Minneapolis. I'm not sure how the crowd reaction differed; I'm thinking they didn’t know us as well over there, although we did well. They weren’t familiar to the point of singing along like we get around here. But Sean was once recognized and approached on the street in Chicago!

 

Windsor Scene: So with all the touring, who were some of the craziest bands you ever played with?

 

Rayny: We were on tour in northern Wisconsin and we decided to attend a festival on our day off that had some of our favourite bands playing.  All top notch crust bands like Misery, Code 13, Brother Inferior, Aus Rotten, Oi Polloi - fuck man, I can’t even remember them all!  We somehow ended up playing and they were even nice enough to pay us.  It got pretty crazy when some punks stole a car and decided to explode it by parking it on top of someone’s campfire! Some of the craziest bands we've played with though have been from right here in CanadaBunchoFuckinGoofs have always put on a tuff-as-fuck-no-holds-barred kind of show. I saw their singer, Crazy Steve, drink about 20 or 30 shots during their set once. Their bass player, Jamie, is like 7 feet tall and 500 pounds.  We watched him dangle an American by his feet over the edge of the Detroit river at 3 a.m. on acid after playing a show at the Spotted Dog with them.  I've seen them on more then one occasion throw down their instruments and take on a bunch of Nazi’s in London or some rapist scumbag at Punkfest.  Dayglo Abortions are another bunch of guys who like to get crazy and have a good time. Last time they came to Windsor they tore apart the Coach and Horses. The Dregs from New York were another cool one - they used to shoot heroin onstage.   


The Posers reunion in 2002 at the Gino A. Marcus

Windsor Scene: So where were your favourite places to play?

 

Rayny: It doesn't matter. Some place with a small stage – or a house even. The Windsor shows were the nuttiest, but nothing beats travelling and playing to new places and faces every day. Sometimes I feel like my only home is playing in a punk band on a stage somewhere! And even then I feel like a fuckin’ alien!

 

Windsor Scene: Did you ever dread playing anywhere?

 

Rayny: 19+ shows. Though they can still be fun, we really like playing to an all-ages crowd, even if it means we gotta be slick with our beer and keep it concealed.

 

Windsor Scene: Where was your favourite place to play in Windsor?

 

Rayny: My favourite shows in Windsor were at my old house on Highland Street.  Nothing beat 100 or so people crammed into a house full of sweaty and beer soaked bodies.  Lots of mayhem went on and that was really a peak time for our band before we moved to Montreal.

 

Jay: My favourite place to play in Windsor when I was in the band was either the Spotted Dog or the Coach. 

 

Andy: I always enjoyed playing at the Acapulco Delight. Even though the owners were fucking losers and should probably be drop-kicked, you always knew ahead of time that a show there was going to be fun. It was just reckless madness there. I remember countless good shows from there…there was probably something in the beer.

 

Brian: The Coach. It's small, but it's got a good feel. And it has Guinness on tap.

 

Sean: Besides the house shows, I’d definitely say the Spotted Dog (R.I.P.). It was always a pleasure to play there, especially the summer shows with the door open and tons of younger kids watching from the sidewalk. Margaret always believed in us and helped our asses out more times than I can count. Hopefully she gets her cash soon and opens a new place, cuz that would just fucking rule!

 

Windsor Scene: How did you feel personally about the personnel changes in the Posers?

 

Sean: I kind of liked the fact that there were so many different line-ups of the same group of friends. It think it kept things fresh for people going to the shows too…"Hey, I wonder who is gonna be in the Posers tonight?”

 

Jay: There have been so many line-ups that I haven't even been a part of that I can't really answer that.  The only major change I saw that affected style was when John joined the band on guitar…which was amazing in my opinion. 

 

Andy: It always seems to get better! I hope they give it another shot.

 

Rayny: Although we have had about 10 members, we've had about 16 variations of that.  So and so couldn't make a show, so I'd just fill in or we'd get someone else.  When John joined the band, he showed up to practice having never met most of us before already knowing how to play our entire catalogue, which was pretty rad.  So despite the changes, it really hasn't felt that different.  We've had members move away, or members move away, come back and rejoin the band.  I think the key was that we were having a good time doing what we were doing.


Windsor Scene: Looking back, what do you think you guys did right and what do you think you may have done wrong during the whole run?

 

Rayny: Even though we really were some bottom of the barrel punk asses doing what we could from nothing, I think we managed to do some pretty cool things in that time.  We put out records in about five different countries, bought a van with no license and toured around Canada and the US networking with other bands and meeting a lot of cool people.  I think we were incredible lucky to just be a bunch of fuckups and get signed onto a big label like Cargo amongst bands like Blink 182.  That’s just insanity.  One thing that really had a downfall was the fact that we were really tired and basically unable to put our own money into it just to get to the next show. It’s unfortunate, but bands do cost money and we've always been the types to have trouble surviving, let alone sinking money into the band for 8 years.  I think we were all relatively inexperienced but we've all learned a lot since then about what it takes to be in a band and life in general.  I feel like if we ever reformed whatsoever there wouldn’t be much seriousness in it (aside from kicking ass live) because we'd only be doing it for fun locally I would imagine.

 

Sean: We were very inexperienced and probably did a lot of things we shouldn’t have, but no matter what we did, we cared about having fun more than anything and "kept it real". The best times I’ve had in my life were times spent with the band. I’ve met some of my best friends through touring and playing out of town shows. I’ve also had the opportunity to play with some of my favourite bands.

 

Andy: I think the music we all made was rockin’. We had fun and got ourselves into a lot of cool projects and situations. We did what we wanted to do and what we set out to do. I don't think anything wrong happened when the Posers broke up, that shit happens. Sometimes you have to let it go, even if it's temporary. I'm sure they'll be back in one way or another.

 

Jay: Looking at the band as a whole – the time I was in it and not – the music was always real.  Never swaying to what the "radio" might play or what Corporate America wants to hear. It was just real music written from feeling and played with feeling.  I don't know what went wrong....probably nothing. All things have an end.


Thrashin' at Milk, 1999

Windsor Scene: So why did the Posers dissolve?

 

Rayny: Originally we broke up when we were living in Montreal.  Sean had a son around that time and was planning to move to Buffalo to be with him, so we carried on without him for short while then after some problems half of us moved back to Windsor and half stayed in Montreal

 

Sean: I found out that I was becoming a daddy at the time we were getting ready to move to Montreal, so I had to make the obvious - although difficult - decision to quit.

 

Jay: Well, I left the band in ‘98 when I was playing guitar for the band. I moved to the States and got married....we'll just leave it at that. 

 

Andy: I left because I moved to Winnipeg. It sucked leaving the band but I felt I gave it a good run and that it was time.

 

Rayny: Sometime after that when Sean came back, we reformed with our old bassist Jay and a new member Brian. (Brian) was pretty wild and reminiscent of John on guitar so he fit right in.  We played a few local shows and even played a show with both John and Brian on guitar but then all of the sudden it felt really stale. 

 

Jay: When I re-joined a few years later, this time on bass, things went good for awhile but I think there was just a lack of motivation anymore...from everyone. 

 

Brian: …none of us had a real drive to do anything huge with the band. We'd all been doing music for so long…I think we were all just so tired. Not to mention the band had been going for 8 years at the time. Also, there was a lack of new material. You have to keep things fresh to stay excited.

 

Rayny: Maybe we weren't writing enough new songs or maybe we were just getting burnt, but it just didn't seem right at that time. I told those other guys if they wanted to keep it going without me they could but I guess they didn’t want to.

 

Jay: Rayny wanted to leave and personally I couldn't see keeping the project going without him.

 

Windsor Scene: What are you each currently doing musically?

 

Rayny: Since the Posers split we've all been in various other bands together and seperately.  I had a solo project called the Paranoid for awhile in which I played a half a dozen shows. Making people go "what the fuck?" is usually what happened. Most recently, John and I just got back from Wisconsin where we were playing in the Crust band Hulluus.  We had a lot of fun in the States but it was time to come back so here we are.  Since I've been back I've been doing demo recordings and working on my hip-hop skills with my project Cosmetic Plague and I'm hoping to do some recording and maybe even get out there and play live once in awhile.  I'm not trying so much to appeal to the Rap crowd, but more the Punk crowd.  Because no matter what I do it’s always gonna have a punk feel or attitude in it.  I'm also jamming in a pissed off hardcore band with members of God in a Headlock and Facedown.  We don't have a name yet though so stay tuned for that.  Anyone wanting to keep in touch on any of this news can visit my website...

 

Sean: I’m not really doing anything. I occasionally scream for a band called Anti-Cement Brigade. I definitely want to get something going again though.

 

Andy: Beware, ha-ha! Blender-core melt down!

 

Jay: Currently I'm working on a solo project called Deadite, kind of a grindcore type thing if you really wanted to pin it down. Just fast and screamy.  If anyone's interested my website or MySpace page have some mp3s up.

 

Brian: Mostly I am doing my solo project called boxpunch - a neat cross-over band that spans so many genres. Very fun and it keeps me interested and busy. A doom metal project I was a part of called Il Sangue just had our LP released by Parasitic Records. We're on an indefinite hiatus at the moment. I am also writing music for another doom metal project called The Son Of Man. This will mostly be a recording band. I am sick of things like band practise and playing shows, so I don't see that in a live setting. And I've been playing with the St. Andrew's Bagpipe Band of Detroit for about 8 years. Aside from that I've basically ended all links I have with bands.

 

Windsor Scene: Anything coming up Posers related?

 

Rayny: We had a few unreleased songs that were supposed to go out on a split 7” with Urbn Dk but I don’t think that’s gonna be happening.  Basically I just decided to at least put up a MySpace account so we can see what kind of feedback we would get or if anyone even remembers us anymore.  So far the feedback has been really rad, people asking us to play more shows and what not.  We had planned on doing a 10 year anniversary show this year but John and I moved to the states for a bit to play in a crust band there called Hulluus.  But since we’re back now who knows?

 

Jay: I'd like to see that damn Posers/Urbn DK split FINALLY come out.  Maybe some more shows in the future, feel out the waters and see what people think of it.  Would definitely be fun to play again!


The Posers at the Gino, 2002

Windsor Scene: Would you ever consider reuniting with the Posers for another run or a one-off show?

 

Rayny: Yeah, I'd love to do it if we ever got down to it.  Shit, I'd write another album if those guys wanted to do it.  Although I highly doubt we would do any touring. You never know if we might do a local show or two.

 

Jay: For sure.  I loved playing in the Posers.  Depends on if the other guys feel like it and there's any want for it, but I'd love to play a few more local shows.  Possibly write some new stuff. Touring might be hard since some of us have other commitments...but playing around here again would be great.

 

Brian: I don't think I want to get into a band situation again, but I wouldn't mind doing a one-off or just playing a song or two at a reunion show.

 

Sean: Sure! We still all hang out and I’m itchin’ to jam, since I’m not really doing anything right now. I have a 4-year old son, so touring would be pretty much out of the question. But I’d definitely be down for local shit.

 

Andy: Sure, but not till I'm 40.

 

Windsor Scene: How do you feel about the local Windsor scene?

 

Rayny: I think the local scene has its ups and downs like any.  It is so enormously huge these days so there is a lot going on.  I would like to see people stick together more and less fighting amongst each other.  But we’ve all got our opinions and I am no spokesperson on the subject.

 

Brian: I don't really pay much attention to it, really. I've grown tired of concerts, playing shows, and what-have-you. I've got so many other responsibilities right now that going to shows isn't on my mind often. It's hard for me to keep up on local bands.

 

Andy: I've been in Winnipeg for the last 5 years, (but) what I've heard has been awesome. ADHD, Fact of Death, Face Down....all great shit! Windsor will continue to be a hub for great music, I'm sure of that. People just have to be kept interested, but there are always new bands and projects popping up so that shouldn't be a problem.

 

Jay: It's big...but I miss the unity that the scene once had. I could be wrong there though.  I haven't gone to many shows and tend to keep to myself a lot lately so maybe it's all still there and I just haven't been around to see it. I'm no spokesmodel for the scene either.  I've been out of it for too long to really say much about it at all.

 

Sean: There are a lot of great bands and awesome people here doing cool shit. It’s crazy that the punk/hardcore scene has grown so much since the early days of the Spotted Dog and Acapulco Delight. I do get a little discouraged sometimes when I see people trying to take advantage of this and turn it into a "business". It’s also a lot more fragmented and segregated than it was "back in the day", but that’s bound to happen when you’re talking about such a large amount of kids as opposed to 20 or 30 people going to the only shows going on at the time. All in all I’d say it’s good.


Self-titled release on Oink! Records

Windsor Scene: Do you remember who you liked to see gigging around town on the local front back when you guys were playing live?

 

Sean: Luxury Christ, Dirty Harry, Hateburger, Toast, Contradict, Thee Outcasts, Recension, Carcinogen, Evil Mind, City-Wide Vaecuum, Spleen, old Lesser Known, Mayhem United, The Clusterfux....I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch…

 

Andy: The Lager Lads, Lesser Known, Contradict, Facedown, Hardtime. Being so close to Detroit, we were watching a lot of their locals too: The Smoke Bombs, The Scurvys, Catfish, ALD, Bumpin’ Uglies...

 

Rayny: This question takes me back...The Implants, God in a Headlock, Countefeit, Facedown, The Lager Lads, Tension, Searchingforchin, Hardtime, The Nymphos, Septic, The Hermaphrodites, Shun, ADHD, Sawbill, Spitfunnel, The Hard Liquors, Athiestic Martyr, Dumpster Drunx, Repeat Until False, The Creeps, The Tallywackers. My favourite bands ever from Windsor include God in a Headlock, The Enfilade, the Implants, old Facedown, Counterfeit, the Lager Lads, Carcinogen, Dumpster Drunx and Woods of Ypres

 

Windsor Scene: What local bands do you like to catch now?

 

Rayny: Some of the ones that stand out the best right to me right now are fiftywatthead, Elk, Measured in Angles, Apparatus, Closed Casket Funeral, The Tallywackers, The Cutthroats, Blurt, Inhaled, Grantzig, Bloodshoteye and Mister Bones. In all honesty there are a whole breed of bands coming out that I haven’t seen yet.  So ask me that question in a month or two and we'll see…

 

Brian: Closed Casket Funeral. They put on a good show, and their music keeps me excited.

 

Sean: fiftywatthead, Dead Heat, what seas,what shores, Elk, Bangkok Palace, Closed Casket Funeral, The Tallywhackers, Jet Trio, Over The Falls, Mister Bones, Lunacy, Apparatus, Street Tension, The Spurs...there are a lot of good, young bands in Windsor at the moment, quite a few I haven’t gotten a chance to check out yet…sorry if I forgot anyone!

 

Windsor Scene: What would you tell young aspiring musicians about starting a band in the Windsor scene?

 

Brian: Don't!! ha-ha. I keed, I keed. Do something original. Do something true to you. Don't suck.

 

Jay: Don't do what you think people want. Do what you want to do. That's where the fun lies.  You're probably not going to make a living off of making music so at least make it fun for yourself.  Be original. Or a carbon copy of whatever band you want to. It's not about anything but what you want to make. And how you want to make it.

 

Sean: Do your own thing, keep it DIY, and don’t book shows every week with the same bands. Respect the venues and people that are good enough to let your band be heard.

 

Andy: Have fun and do whatever the hell you want. Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Be careful of fuckers and venue owners that will take advantage of you, they're not doing you any "favours" by letting you play.

 

Rayny: Just do your own thing, don’t try to be cool or give a shit what anyone else thinks.  Above all, be humble and appreciative.  Don’t get caught up in thinking you’re going to be the best band in the world, just accept things for what they are and be happy with what you’ve got.


Al Petrovich

Windsor Scene: So who were The Posers?

 

Alex "The Yeti Bones" Petrovich (lead vocals/guitarist, Mister Bones, The Mighty Nimbus): I knew all the guys in the Posers pretty well...well, specifically Boone and Rayny. I always thought they were hardcore or something, because they had this attitude about them, like they were the biggest scumbags on the planet. And you know you are a True Pioneer of Punk when you can make being a scumbag seem cool. The Posers are, were, and always will be the heart of what Punk Rock is. Rayny used to live in his van in his parents driveway. I think that sums it up best.

 

Brendan Byrne (fan): I remember buying the Posers tape at Dr. Disc in Windsor. This to me was my first taste of the “do-it-yourself” attitude. The tape wasn't a manufactured tape, it was dubbed off a home stereo and the insert was photocopied. The punk ethic was in full effect and I loved the commitment to themselves and appreciated their commitment despite their complete lack of money!


Christien Gagnier

Christien Gagnier (The Harmonic Distortions, ex-The Movies, ex-Merseysipi Collectif, Station Manager CJAM 91.5 FM): The majority of my experiences with the Posers was in relation to there participation on Kevin Kostecki's show, Phencycladine. Every Saturday afternoon they and their entourage would show up and hang in the lobby with Kevin while the Sub-Genius Hour of Slack played. Of course, they would be stoned and bored and getting ready to rip into anti-Christian and anti-cop rants between hardcore songs while sipping codeine cough syrup or pure dextromorphin. They were always sneaking beers and whiskey too. The dextro was really crazy stuff; Kevin would cook it up with lighter-fluid and lemon juice until it turned into acid angel dust madness in a bottle. Man, two sips and you were riding a rocket through Neverland. Sometimes the Posers would set up and play live in the lobby. James Tiller would set up mics and run it through a mixer to the tape deck in the on-air studio and onwards to the unsuspecting airwaves. They would rip through a few tunes until Sean's drums would fall apart or somebody fell down. Then they'd put the pieces back together and play a few more songs. It was real underground punk rock radio. However, bands can be described as organisms that have a life-cycle from birth to death and the Posers had passed middle-age and started to slow down: there were less rehearsals, abortive and cancelled gigs, line-up changes and personal problems. When Andy Poser decided to move with his wife to Winnipeg in search of greener pastures, it was pretty much the end of the Posers as a Windsor punk band. But it was fun while it lasted and certainly added spice to the CJAM sauce for a time.


Jim Meloche

Jim Meloche (lead vocals, ex-searchingforchin): The Posers were probably the first local punk band that had a really solid and lasting effect on me. Along with the Lager Lads, they were essentially the bands (and people) that the scene was based around at the time, long before there even was a distinct hardcore scene that eventually grew out of what they were doing. I remember seeing them numerous times at Acapulco Delight. I was young enough that my parents had to drive me to the shows (being a county boy at the time). I was fucking awestruck and intimidated by what seemed like a hundred skins and punk dudes. It’s the scene we identified with, wanted to be a part of, and emulated. We would sit in my friend’s room in Amherstburg and listen to the 7 inches over and over when they came out. Short, fast, and pissed songs that seemed to be disgusted with all the same things we were. Eventually, my first pre-searchingforchin band played our first show ever with them at a Scout hall. Almost ten years later, Ill never forget the first live show I ever played, and more importantly, who it was with.


Johnny Ten-Inch

Johnny Ten-Inch (lead vocals, ex-Toast, ex-Trailer Park Sex Cowboys): The Posers were this street vibe that you just knew represented what the angst of the street youth were really on about. In Toast, we were mostly “old school” Windsor punk veterans – we had guys from The Spy’s, Ronald Reagan Story, Pummel – although I was the “baby” in the band at 23. So I had a lot of respect for the Posers because they were injecting a lot of youth into a scene that was starting to be perceived as being on its deathbed. It was like the Punk scene was a MILF that thrash metal had a new baby with – a lot younger than its siblings, but man, was that little fucker LOUD.

Windsor Scene: So who are The Posers?

 

Brian: Great people. I mean, from the first day I'd met them it's like they were my friends already. Easy to get along with, fun to drink with, very down to earth.

 

Jay: We're all like brothers...seriously. Through all the love and the hate and the ups and downs, we still remain close friends. Hanging out whenever we can together and just having a good time when we do.  All of us are completely different, but at the same time exactly the same. 

 

Andy: Still my best friends and brothers. Can't think of anyone who I enjoy fucking shit up with more. Being in the Posers was a great time in my life and I hold each of them responsible. Cheers!

 

Rayny: We’re all “characters”, so I’ve been told, but let me just say that we’re all still best friends/brothers who hang out when we can and have a good time.

 

Sean: Motherfuckers…as in, the best bunch of motherfuckers I know.

 

Windsor Scene: If you could assemble an All-Star Poser line-up out off all the past members, who would it be?

 

Rayny: Just put us all up on the stage together…1-2-3-4, let’s fuckin’ go!!


The live chaos that is the Posers, 2002

By all accounts the Posers shouldn’t have become what they’ve become. They weren’t the prettiest band on the scene, they weren’t the strongest musicians, they weren’t the most entertaining live show (although they may have been dangerously close) and they weren’t the best song-writers. But they knew exactly what their limitations were and they based their entire Posers run on simply one thing – not giving a flying fuck that anyone thought less or more of them. They stem from an era when Punk was a credo not a genre, when it simply meant being yourself ahead of trying to fit any MTV prescribed mold. Yes, they were loud, they were scruffy, they were foul mouthed, they were miscreants – but that’s simply because that’s who they were. They were street punks armed with instruments rather than switchblades and they caused havoc with their music not their destruction. But if you ever caught one of their shows, you were more likely to become a convert rather than a critic, won over by the sheer intensity and integrity they held, not only for their music, but for their chosen path of creating it. At a time when Punk was infiltrating the mainstream with bands like Green Day and Blink 182 and becoming household names and faces in suburban homes and shopping malls, The Posers were the front line soldiers reminding us that the whole purpose of Punk was never about trying to fit into the society’s mainstream. It had always been about fighting to stay outside of it, decrying the mainstream media’s need for sugar-coated mediocrity and keeping its children sedated on containable and – worse – marketable rebellions. It was about showing that in order to create great social change came the need for great social outcries. No one is saying that the Posers were out to change the world per say, but no one’s outcry was louder, or lasted with such longevity, than our very own Posers.

 

Long live the Posers. May their battle cries ring in our streets forever.

 

Jamie Greer, The Windsor Scene, September 11, 2005

 


Newly added Posers MySpace Site



Listen to Windsor sounds here!


This interview is (c) 2005 The Windsor Scene. It cannot be reproduced, in whole or in part, without permission from The Windsor Scene or WITHOUT proper credit. That means, if you want to use part of it, at least have the courtesy to give credit to The Windsor Scene. Thank you.
 
All Posers photos are (c) 2005 The Posers, from their websites.
 
Alex Petrovich photo (c) 2005 Alex Petrovich, from the Mister Bones MySpace site.
 
Christien Gagnier's photo (c) 2005 Christien Gagnier, from CJAM's webpage.
 
Jim Meloche's photo (c) 2005 searchingforchin
 
Johnny Ten-Inch's photo (c) 2005 Jamie Greer

The Windsor Scene (c) 2000 - 2006, Jamie Greer