The Dudes: Calgary’s Most Authentic and Underrated Band

  • Mathew Silver

The Dudes have been patrolling the Calgary indie rock scene since the release of their first album, Brain Heart Guitar in 2006, yet remain one of Canada’s most underrated bands; a strangely undiscovered treasure in a market saturated by R&B and teen pop stars.  But what The Dudes have to offer is something entirely different, honest and heartfelt lyrics buried underneath hard rock riffs.  It’s the type of tension reminiscent of the young adult experience, constantly trying to reconcile human emotion with the unmistakable urge to drink our f*cking faces off.

Photo by Brent Tyler

The band is comprised of lead vocalist Danny Vacon, guitarist Bob Quaschnick, bassist Brock Geiger and newest member Matt Doherty on drums.  They’ve been on the verge of stardom for so long that it has almost hit the point of parody, as surely someone with their talent and track record are due for a BIG break.  They’re hilarious, they’re original, and they bleed the type of care-free authenticity that could very well make you want to quit your day job – they’re The Dudes.

Tell us about your ongoing feud with Air Canada?

HA! I didn’t know anyone was paying attention to that feud. I was crazy late for an early flight and I left my brand new Phillip K. Dick book on the check-in counter with my vacation drinking money in an envelope inside. Like a party book mark. I’m paraphrasing, but they pretty much told me to go eff myself. They’re the absolute worst, dirty thieving pricks in the air biz. I love tearing a strip off them any chance I get. Like now!

What can fans expect from your upcoming album?

The new album is FUN. 13 tracks of sing along rock & roll. We recorded it at an alpaca farm in the woods. I got to drive a lil’ golf cart to the studio every morning. I stole a few lines from Jay-Z. He can spare them. I wrote a love song about a girl who is good at hiding my contraband from the cops when they find you at a DQ parking lot.

Which bands are you guys listening to these days?

That last 3 records I played are Run the Jewels (the dark one), Waylon Jennings (I need to go to Luckenbach Texas whenever I’m feeling down) and a $1 copy of Edith Piaf’s greatest hits. I want to do a heavy cover of No Regrets.

Who is the most underappreciated band in Calgary?

We’re probably the most under appreciated band in Calgary. We’ve been filling rooms and selling albums with NO HELP for years. No label, no distro. It’s hilarious. And awesome. But seriously. I should have a way nicer van and cleaner pants for how much work we’ve done. There are a metric tonne of local bands I think you and the world should know. Napalmpom, Mariel Buckley, 36?, Windigo, Cowpuncher. SO MANY MORE. But that’s enough for now.

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How has the Calgary music scene evolved since you guys got started?

Everyone dresses different from when we started. Pant’s got a lot tighter. Venues went down, new ones went up. All the while, the indomitable spirit of Calgary’s citizenry remained unblemished, unsullied and RAD. Y’know?

What is the best bar in Calgary right now?

I drink at many bars. Can’t have a favourite. Like a polygamist trying to pick his favourite wife. They’re all special to me! Different bars are the best on different days. Same with wives. Probably.936602_10153354872430776_5766180708717679117_n.jpg

Tell us about the song writing process?

Song writing starts with living. I like to live an intense life, wake up with regret or jubilation or whatever. Feel things deeply if I can. Then get the boys in the basement to see what happens. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s awful. Worst case scenario, your new song sucks but at least Bob brought beer and Brock made no less than three great jokes.

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What is on your list of top three favourite movies?

Tough to pick just 3. Dr. Strangelove, Bottle Rocket, Wrath of Khan?

Name your Toronto Blue Jays dream team at all positions.  You can pick any player, dead or alive.

Pitching: Roy Halladay                           Catching: Russell Martin

1st: John Olerud                                                   2nd: Robby Alomar

3rd: Josh Donaldson                                           SS: Tony Fernandez

LF: George Bell                                                          CF: Devon White

RF: Jose Bautista                                                       DH: Paul Molitor CL: Tom Henke

Where will we see you guys playing next?

Our next show is in Edmonton for porkapalooza, June 17th. We’re also playing grilledcheeseapalooza this summer. No joke. We’re suckers for the various apaloozas. Next Calgary show is FolkFest!

–  The Dudes will release a new album in late 2016/early 2017, make sure to check it out.  Protect the good bands!!!

  • You can purchase tickets to the Calgary Folk Music Festival here.
  •  And you can see more of The Dudes on Twitter and Instagram.

More from Dash: Depression, a Couch, and My New Friend Dave




The Dudes: @wearethedudesyyc

Danny Vacon: @hughjeego

Brock Geiger: @_bgee_

Matt Doherty: @mattdohertydrums


One thought on “The Dudes: Calgary’s Most Authentic and Underrated Band

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  1. Reblogged this on Light Meets Shade: Your Guide to Surviving the Rockstar Lifestyle and commented:
    If you’re a band, musician, singer/songwriter, artist etc… and looking for ways to short cut the scene and “get there” – take it from these guys… You just need to grind it all out. Great article about a truly underrated act in the local Calgary scene, one of my all time favourites: The Dudes.

    I still remember the first listen I had of these guys. Hearing “They’re a Comin'” for the first time ever on a burned cd (yeah that happened) from my best friend who told me to check these dudes out cause he thought I’d think they’re super rad…. Danny’s completely unique vocals paired up with laser rock guitar and solid, driving rhythms almost made me put my car in the ditch. I had to see these guys live!
    I was first year university in 2006, and Brain. Heart. Guitar. (The album my buddy burned for me) was just out, but no one, only the super fans of broken city (later known as “hipsters”) seemed to know who the eff I was talking about. It was almost exclusively a university student thing. Finally I had an opportunity to catch my first Dudes show at Mac Hall around Christmas time that year. Never looked back. The live show was unreal. Scotty, handle bar moustache and all on drums slamming away with one stick while the other fist pumped the air above his head like a wildman, Danny, and Bob just laying down the simple, yet rockin’ guitars and just making banter like I had never seen before. This was it, I thought. This is what I wanted to do. I saw how such a simple melody, catchy AF, could move a whole room.

    After the show I totally fan-boyed out and had them all sign my undershirt I had. (EASY! I wasn’t going to NOT have them sign something for me…) I still think I have that undershirt somewhere, and I will wear it on the day my band gets to share the stage with them…
    Basically, I played drums to that album day and night for about a year. I still will play to it. Such simplistic, heartfelt rock and roll. True legends in the Calgary music scene. Thank you, boys. You’re not underrated in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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