Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chris Barry of The 222s - Montreal's Iconic Bad Boy Punk Rocker

I first met Chris Barry at a 222s gig at Station 10 during the hectic blur of the birthing of the Montreal punk rock music scene.  The vortex swirled in Old Montreal at the Hotel Nelson, in a small innocuous store front club located at 364, rue St. Paul ouest and in other clubs in the downtown area.  There was a rush to form a punk band then as everyone wanted to express their f-off in your face attitude, which was the moniker for this new broiling scene.  In 1977, the Sex Pistols and the Clash had come out swinging in the UK and in the US the New York Dolls, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop had already made waves and turned the record industry upside down.   It was just a matter of time before this punk rock wave would eventually crash onto Montreal’s shores in the late 70s.  

Anyone who could get a punk band together jumped on it and soon buildings all over downtown and Old Montreal were transformed into a tapisserie of black and white photocopied posters and leaflets advertising the local bands who would be gigging that weekend.  This was the very beginning of the DIY punk ethic and the Montreal bands took it very seriously.  

Some local bands however were already ahead of the punk rock curve, more notably The 222s.  Their sense of timing was spot on as they had already been gigging in Montreal, Toronto and New York for many years, had made several live television appearances, recorded music videos and were poised to strike with their first 7” single, “I Love Suzan b/w “The First Studio Bomb”.  Lots of local bands were inspired by them, which is something The 222s never took credit for but should have.  Although they raised the bar and were serious competition to the punk acolytes, The 222s paved the punk way for many new bands, who fuelled the scene for over a decade and exist today. 

VAVA:  Those were definitely exciting times, Chris!  So much was going on all of a sudden.  It just exploded.  How can I forget the plethora of live punk shows, the pushing and shoving to pay the $2.00 cover, the annoying coat checks and the suffocating smoke and stink of sweat, the rivers of cheap draft beer served in plastic cups, ear-splitting sound systems spitting out thunderous punk rock and muffled screaming lyrics.  My ears rang for days after those shows.

CHRIS:  Yup, it was something to do.

VAVA:  Who came up with the name The 222s and where was your very first gig with the band?  

CHRIS: I’m not quite sure who came up with the name, possibly our first manager, Pyer Desrochers, who had some pretty cool ideas every now and again. Maybe it was even the first singer, Jean Frisson, who gave the band that handle before venturing off to NYC to hustle in the meat-packing district, I dunno.  The 222s started up in the summer of ’77 and I hooked up with them the following year. If I remember correctly I believe my first gig first gig with the band was at the McGill Concert Hall, this big “punk” show we did with a couple of other bands that ended up in a riot.  It was certainly well attended, I dunno, maybe 800 or 1000 people turned up – although the vast majority of them as I recall were drunk frat boy types and the girls who love them, mostly coming out to jeer the punk rock freaks. The 222s, for better or worse, were certainly the most visual of the bands playing there that night, so we wound up being jeered the most, with big cups full of beer and tons of shit being thrown at us almost immediately upon our arrival onstage. I didn’t know what to do in a situation like that, I was just a kid, you know, so taking my cue from the Stooges "Metallic KO" record, which had just come out, I decided to just encourage them and hurl verbal insults back at the audience.  It wasn’t such a good idea though, that’s when the riot really got underway, once they shut off the power to the PA and turned on the house lights in the middle of our set.

VAVA: What comes to mind about The 222s first single is, was “I Love Suzan” written for a special someone or is that top secret?  

CHRIS: Nah, Louie wrote that song and he deliberately tried to make the lyrics as sweet as possible, almost as an “f-you” to the punks, many of whom were rather inflexible at the time, meaning if you weren’t singing about anarchy or whatever then you weren’t the real thing. Those guys, Louie and Pier Major, were always happy to antagonize the local punks for whatever crazy reasons they shared. Like, I remember at a 364 St-Paul street gig, the 222s opened the set with this cliché, cowboy-type song called “Western”. Pretty imaginative title, huh? This, directly after the Chromosomes set, you know? The audience didn’t quite get it, not that there was much to get other than The 222s making a statement that there was more to music than just what people were calling punk. So that was the idea with "I Love Suzan", although I suspect that somewhere in the back of Louie’s mind he was hoping the song would be a hit somehow, and that a lyric like “I Love Suzan” wouldn’t restrict us from getting on the radio. But of course nobody ever played The 222s on radio, or very few stations, at least.  

VAVA: How many copies of “I Love Suzan” were originally pressed and sold?

CHRIS: I believe they pressed 1000 of them, and sold 1000 of them as well, not counting the promos we gave away. But we were a cheap lot, some of us more than others, so I doubt we ever gave much of anything away for free. We sold them at gigs, Sam the Record Man and a few other local record stores carried it. Bomb Records distributed a few of them and a few of them made it over to England, some to the States. It did quite well under the circumstances. We probably sold 100 of them just to the girls who went to my high school. You see, I was quite “the star” in high school after we’d been on TV a few times. If nothing else, that single made it to the jukebox at Max’s Kansas City in New York and stayed there for a long time, maybe up until the place closed down, I don’t know. We felt that was quite the accomplishment, having our single on the jukebox at such an iconic venue. 

VAVA:  No kidding. Were there any subsequent re-releases?

CHRIS: Only that "La Poupée Qui Fait Non" record that came out in ’81, shortly before the band split up – or rather, determined that so long as I was the singer they were never gonna get anywhere. I think they tried a few band/musician combinations, like, at the beginning I believe Louie was gonna sing and they’d get another drummer. I think they got a second guitarist at one point, I dunno.  I was devastated to be kicked out of my own band, you know, so I wasn’t around to watch their demise, nor did I want to be at that stage of the game. They weren’t sure if they wanted to become a hard rock outfit or an all out pop band. Regardless, as much as I wanted the band to keep soldiering on, there was no way I could’ve been happy with either of those musical directions. Anyway, I don’t think they lasted much more than a month before deciding the band wasn’t gonna go anywhere with somebody else singing either, so they called it a day shortly after kicking me out of the band.

 VAVA:  The 222s were incredibly tight, professional and an excellent example of infectious “band chemistry” which boiled onstage and spilled over into the audience. As the front-man, you were a very focused lad and had tremendous naughty chutzpah, style and charisma.  How did you develop your onstage persona?  Did this come naturally to you or was this the result of your then-musical influences? 

CHRIS: It absolutely came naturally to me. I never thought about it, I just did it. Of course I took my cues from Jagger, Iggy, Alice Cooper, Frankie Venom, probably David Johansen to some extent, but I just let the music carry me away. That was it. I remember the first gig I ever did solely as a lead singer.  I’d been playing guitar and alto saxophone in my high school garage bands and really had no clue how I was going to present myself to the audience as a stand-up singer. But the second I stepped onstage it didn’t matter, it was like some other force just took a hold of me and made me do my thing – although in retrospect, on that particular gig I was probably doing more Iggy’s thing – and poorly at that – than my own. But as soon as I’d joined the 222s I knew I couldn’t get away with doing Iggy again without it being lame, so I’d consciously resist doing his moves if I felt myself going there.  It’s an amazing feeling though, to just kind of get swept away by the music you’re playing and totally letting yourself go! It’s tremendously cathartic, and I had a whole lot of teenage frustration etc to get out of my system back then. A whole lot. That’s why so much of my shtick was sexual, I’d spent most of my teenage years, until around the time I joined the 222s, as something of an outcast in my school. None of the girls wanted to know from me because I had a “bad reputation”, ha, ha, as both a hard-core drug abuser and an extremely horny kid. You’d think the latter part of my rep would’ve served me quite well with the chicks but it did anything but. The girls all stayed away from me because they didn’t want people to know they were associated with me. By the way, so far as my rep as a teenage drug addict is concerned, they were way off the mark. At that time, while of course I took drugs, it’s not like I was constantly high. I just happened to grow up in a very white, Protestant environment where most of the kids were sickeningly straight. So yeah, I had a lot to get out of my system by the time I started singing - 15 or 16 years of pent-up sexual anguish and frustration.

Photo Mark Bouchett
VAVA:  I like the look of the teased up hair, heavy make-up and eccentric outfits in this color pic.  Did you actually gig like that, or was this a publicity photo only? 

CHRIS: No, that’s what we looked like. We wore that shit on the street all the time too, you know. It wasn’t a weekend thing with us, we lived whatever it was we thought we stood for. Our appearance offended a lot of people. But in turn those people offended us as well, so it made us feel good to anger
these straights – even if it often did involve getting in to fights. 

VAVA: The 222s made a lot of fashion statements throughout the years.  When did the band’s public image evolve to the more traditional leather and spandex, shirtless punk look? 

CHRIS: I don’t remember it ever evolving into that, Vava. I remember Pierre getting increasingly outrageous with what he chose to wear on and off-stage – and in my opinion at the time, not in a good way – while the rest of us were toning it down somewhat. Besides, our first manager, Pyer Desrochers, had owned a way cool second hand clothing store with all the latest punk shit from England etc., so we had plenty of cool clothes to pick from when we first got started. But he got bored with us after a year or so and moved on to other things, which left us on our own so far as finding clothes was concerned. And back then you couldn’t just go to Hot Topic or something and score all the latest punk fashions or whatever. You were really on your own, so we found stuff at little stores on the Montreal Main and shit. I remember getting some original Beatle boots at a little shoe-store-cordonnerie place for $2.50 or something. They weren’t considered vintage or anything like that. In fact, I remember the old guy who sold them to me being amused that I was actually buying them. I guess they’d been on the rack since ’64 or something. That’s the way we used to get stuff though – the only way, really. It might be hard to imagine now. You had no choice but to be creative with what you wore, unless you wanted to look like everybody else, and in the late ‘70s the clothes kids wore were pretty lame – in my opinion, at least.

Photo Louie Pepin
VAVA: Who took this picture?  You got a lot of mileage out of this photo as I remember this being your trademark poster pic, right? 

CHRIS: That photo was taken by a guy named Louie Pepin, a good friend of Louie’s who also happened to be a pretty talented photographer. But we rarely used it as a promo shot back then.  Mainly because it didn’t feature the entire band, regardless of how good a shot it was, I think it only appeared once in any newspapers or ‘zines or what have you. It’s really only become an, ahem, “iconic” photograph of The 222s in recent years.

VAVA: Despite claims that The 222s were embarrassed with their version of Michel Polnareff’s “La Poupée qui fait Non”, I thought it was good, especially the way you went back and forth with the French/English lyrics.  No other bands dared to stray from the fold of the original version.  Was this your idea? 

CHRIS: No, it wasn’t my idea, although I liked the song and was happy to do it. I believe Louie brought that idea to the band. I just detested the single we did of it. Still do, actually.

VAVA:  Did you like any of the other covers of Poupée, i.e. The Byrds, Rolling Bidochons, Joli Dragon, Kristina, Hallyday and Dynamics?

CHRIS: Sure. The only version I knew at the time was Les Sultans' take on it, but I’ve since become familiar with Polnareff’s version, Ste-Etienne, and no doubt a few others. It’s a good song, I liked our demo version of it too, it was just the version we did for those guys that made me wanna puke.

VAVA: Who sang the backups?   

CHRIS: I wasn’t there for that. After the guns came out, I sang the song and screwed off out of there. But I’ve been told it was the boss and his sister doing them. Oh yeah, Louie also does some singing just before the guitar solo. 

VAVA: Did you have any trouble obtaining the license rights to cover that song? 

CHRIS: I don’t remember. I paid very little attention to it. I don’t know if I even knew it was being released until I heard it on the radio.  I’ve told this story a million times so I’ll keep it brief here, but essentially, we got into bed with the mob who were planning on using their influence to get us on the radio etc. and turn us into a Quebec teeny-bopper sensation – only a kind of weird one.  They had a recording studio at one of their houses which is where we recorded the thing. But once we got into actually making the record they kept telling us what to do, really stupid ideas too – like having those “female” singers doing the chorus. So we fought them at every turn until they threatened us if we kept being so disagreeable.  After that I just sang my part like they wanted and went home, not really expecting this record to ever be released. 

VAVA: Do you still have any copies of this single or were you glad to see the last one go?

CHRIS: I believe I have one, possibly two, of them somewhere in my apartment. I’ll sell them once the price goes up enough. I’ve seen people asking – and getting – up to $150 for the first single we did. I figure I’ll wait it out a little longer – perhaps another 30 years or whatever it’s been now.

VAVA: After your reunion gig last December at the Cabaret Mile End, are there any plans for future gigs with the original 222s?

CHRIS: We all hope so, or at least I think we do. We’re not exactly out there actively booking shows but we’re occasionally asked to play at festivals and the like, and we’re almost always keen on doing them. Basically, we play if people ask us to and if the terms are decent. I’d love to be able to tour The 222s though – especially throughout Europe. I don’t know if enough people know about The 222s yet for us to be able to do that. But I’d sure love to see it happen someday. That’d be great!

VAVA:  Let's talk about your new band, The Shakin’ Babies.  Who’s in the band line-up and where are they from?

CHRIS: It’s me, my long-time accomplice Roger Dawson on bass, Colin Burnett on drums, and Tim Mackenzie on guitar. Everybody in the band has been around the block a few times, you know? We’re hardly novices by this stage of the game, so I’m not going to go into too much background about all the players in the band or we’ll still be at it next week. But they are all very, very proficient on their
on their respective instruments for sure. It’s a great band. A real pleasure to play with these guys!

VAVA: Is the musical direction of the band in keeping with your punk/alt rock roots? 

CHRIS: Yes, pretty much. Of course I’m open to playing all kinds of musical styles that don’t suck, and with this particular band being as talented as they are, I’d think we could approach pretty well anything and have it be acceptable, but we started out only playing old songs of mine, and while we’re writing a lot of new songs now as a band, the musical direction we’re going in for the time being isn’t that dissimilar to the stuff I’ve done in the past. For the moment, at least.

VAVA: What are your future plans with TSB?  Any upcoming gigs booked?  Any videos in the works?

CHRIS: Nothing too drastic. We’re playing local shows when we’re asked or hear of something that might be fun or good, plus we’re threatening to record an album someday soon. We’ll see. Everybody in the band is pretty busy – with the exception of myself, I guess.

VAVA: Let's go back in time.  At one point, you moved to England and teamed up with Glen Matlock but there was a falling out between the two of you.  What happened?  Was it a difference of musical direction?

CHRIS:  Essentially, once we actually started rehearsing it became quite apparent I wasn’t the right guy for that band. They were doing very popish material with an eye to going Top 40, you know? Which would have been fine, of course, but if I was gonna have a hit song I wanted it to be good, at least.  Glen is a very nice guy, we got along quite well personally, but he told me eventually that they were looking for somebody who sang like Michael Jackson, and, um, that sure wasn’t me. The only guy in the band familiar with the Stooges was Glen, the others didn’t know or care about the music that inspired me personally. It just wasn’t meant to be. Besides, they never went anywhere anyway. They were called The Hot Club, by the way. 

VAVA: Was it really as rough in London as some stories claim, you homeless and sleeping in the tube stations and all?

CHRIS:  Yes, it was tough right from the beginning because I arrived there with very little money and London has always been an expensive place to live. But I was fine until we were evicted from our flat. The big ol’ Scot who owned the place came over one night with a couple of bruisers telling my flatmates and I that we had better have the rent tomorrow or be out of the apartment if we didn’t want our legs broken. And he meant it too. So we left the next morning. I went to stay at my then-manager's apartment but after a couple of weeks was told I had to get out. His pregnant sister-in-law was coming to town and needed a place to stay. My room, essentially. Ha, Ha. I had next to no money by that point. I had been surviving on the few pounds this manager would throw my way every once in awhile, which wasn’t much. So I had nowhere to go. I lived out of Victoria Station for a few weeks, maybe a month, until I accidentally ran into a chick I’d known who hooked me up with a squat. I hadn’t intended to spend so much time on the street. I kept waiting for people I knew in London to return home from the various tours they were on so I could crash with them for awhile. But days turned into weeks without being able to reach anybody – and remember, every few pence I was putting into a call box was precious at that point. I eventually run out of them, so I had to work a few degrading hustles just to feed myself, you know? But eventually I was sent a plane ticket to NYC, allegedly courtesy of Epic records in New York, who apparently were interested in some demos I’d done just before leaving Canada, and my days of homelessness were temporarily behind me. I’d spend a bit of time doing essentially the same thing in NYC a couple months later, but at least then I wasn’t too far from Montreal - and I wasn’t in that situation for very long, praise the Lord, maybe a week or two in Tompkins Square Park with all the other losers. On top of everything, being homeless is incredibly boring. There’s nothing to do when you have no money whatsoever but sit around and watch people go by, wondering how the hell these people are seemingly doing so well when you’re living in a park. No, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. Surprise.

VAVA: I admire your stamina.  Not a lot of people had the guts or drive to pursue their dreams in England in the early 80s.  I know of only a handful.  That was a huge step then. What kept you going?

CHRIS: I had nothing else to do. There was nothing musical for me to do in Montreal. So what else was I going to do? Come back to Canada and work in a warehouse, like I’d done to get enough money to buy a plane ticket to London a year or so earlier? I felt like I had little choice at the time.  The only straight jobs I’d done at that point were pretty dismal and the whole experience just left me profoundly depressed. I really felt like I had no choice but to pursue something that I knew I was good at and truly loved. Ever since I was a child I’d been consumed by rock and roll, I couldn’t imagine putting that aside. And since I couldn’t find any like-minded musicians in Montreal who were any good, or not enough of them to assemble an entire band at least, I felt I had to go someplace where I could find these people. Ultimately, London in 1983/84 was not the place either. Most people were doing Duran Duran or Culture Club or Sex Gang Children or Haircut 100 or Discharge or Oi or whatever. Even that Batcave thing wasn’t quite up my alley. It seemed to be more about striking a pose than music, although it was a little closer to my personal tastes than much of what else was going on there at the time.  Still, it was all a little disappointing. 

VAVA: How did the 39 Steps get the part in “Hannah and Her Sisters” and what was it like working with Woody Allen and playing yourselves in the movie?

CHRIS: It’s a long story, but we got the gig through a friend. Woody was okay, we spoke very briefly while on set, which apparently was quite unusual for him. I dunno, needless to say we were happy to get the gig. We had absolutely zero going on prior to that opportunity. After that various managers and the like started sniffing around our group. We made that Slip into the Crowd record which did quite well and things sort of went where they did from there. The film was probably the true catalyst for the 39 Steps though. Nobody, or very few people, at least, wanted to know from any of us prior to that. The 222s had been completely forgotten by all but a handful of people at that time or that’s what it felt like at the time. I mean, I guess that shouldn’t have been all that surprising to us, but we really felt like last years news prior to that film role and the attention, business and otherwise, that came along with it.

VAVA: In the early 90s, you moved to NYC to join Pillbox and recorded a 7” single entitled “Sinister Urge b/w Holly” as well as the full length CD “Jimbo's Clown Room”.  How long did the band stay together and why did you leave New York to come back to Montreal to study and write for the Mirror?

CHRIS: For the last year or so of 39 Steps' existence we had all moved down to the East Village in a desperate last attempt to resuscitate the band. We were then being managed by Steve Leiber, Kenny Laguna and Steven Ship, who were all in New York, so we figured if we were down there also, right in their faces all the time, it would be harder for them to ignore us. We were only half-right about that though. So while we were down there, I’d come in contact with Ratboy, a wonderful guitarist who had recently come to NYC from Los Angeles where his band Motorcycle Boy were based. He had just left Motorcycle Boy, a band I really dug, and was trying very hard to recruit a new band in New York. He chased me relentlessly, wanting me to sing in this band he was putting together, but I was pretty fed up with the whole music thing by that time. All the guys in the 39 Steps felt like we had been totally burned by the music industry and the idea of kicking around the East Village in another band, playing the style of music I loved but that seemingly had zero commercial potential wasn’t especially appealing. You know, it’s not like I had a trust fund or anything. All those years I was playing music full-time, beginning with The 222s in 1978, were marked by poverty. There were a few years with the 39 Steps when things weren’t so bad but for the most part we all survived on welfare and whatever few bucks we could make as a band after everybody else got their take: managers, agents, roadies, soundmen, etc. So by the early/mid ‘90s I was awfully tired of being a shmuck, one of a million rock and roll hopefuls vying for a little recognition and/or dollars. But Ratboy was tremendously persistent and eventually found me after I’d left New York for Montreal defeated, with the 39 Steps being no longer and myself suicide-ly depressed delivering pizza for a living back in Canada. So when he called me up in Montreal pretty well begging me to come back to New York and do this band with him, it’s not like I had anything better to do.

In the end, I’m glad I did return to NYC to start Pillbox. We were quite popular in New York for awhile and the Jimbo’s Clown Room record we did for Circumstantial/Relativity is probably my favorite record of my musical career. It really is a good record, I’m very proud of it. It got excellent reviews when it came out, we toured with the Ramones for awhile to promote it and I felt very, very good about our band in general. In fact, even the music industry started paying attention to us because just as we were breaking up, Green Day sold a ton of records and the A&R crowd were all looking for other groups like them – which we certainly weren’t, but close enough for most of those buffoons. Unfortunately, just as we were starting to get record company offers, Ratboy got a little crazy and simply impossible to work with. They threw me out of the band at one point for being untogether” or some such nonsense because I’d been couch surfing for several months and didn’t wanna fork over $200 a month for a rehearsal space so we could rehearse 3 nights a week. Hell, I knew the material, I didn’t need to sing it three nights a week in case I forgot it or something stupid like that. Sure, if were working on new material I guess, but Ratboy and I were developing different ideas about the material we should be doing so many rehearsals came to a stalemate between us. I’m sure we could have worked it out but they didn’t see it like that, so while I was in Montreal for a couple of weeks they got themselves a new singer, continuing to call themselves Pillbox - which pissed me off to no end - and eventually recorded a new record that few people ever liked. But whatever. It was a great time when we were together, most of my memories with the band are positive, and again, Jimbo’s Clown Room is/was an excellent record that I’m very proud  – even if it primarily documents a fairly dark period in my life.

VAVA: Can you give us a little history about Acrylic?

CHRIS: I started up Acrylic shortly after returning to Montreal in ’95, after Pillbox and I were through. Even though I was thoroughly fed up with the music industry by that point, I still loved playing music. So while attending university in my spare time, I wrote a bunch of songs, assembled a relatively decent band and we went out trying to make something come of it. We wound up with a neophyte manager in NYC, who at the very least funded our demos and were due to see an album of demos we’d recorded come out on the Handsome Boy label, who my good friends in a band called Rusty were recording for.  Consistent with my luck in the music biz, the label they went bankrupt before they could put out our record. I still have all that material though – much of it is pretty good, in my humble opinion. Perhaps someday I’ll make it available to the handful of people who are interested in my stuff, we’ll see. 

VAVA: In 2000, you started The Throbbing Purple and the band released “Let it Writhe” in 2007.  Can you tell us a little bit about that band?

Photo C.M. Mars

CHRIS: Well, The Throbbing Purple has a similar story to Acrylic. I was missing music something fierce and really wanted to make another record of new material, even if nobody cared or wanted to hear it. So we did. And again, I think it’s a pretty solid offering. Some of the songs on it are among my best – for whatever that’s worth. Ha, ha. But no, it’s a good record. It just got zero promotion and was completely under the radar for most people. Should the Shakin’ Babies ever record an album I suspect we’ll re-do a few of them like "Choose to Lose" if nothing else, just ‘cuz again, in my humble opinion, I think it’s a particularly good song. But there are a lot of good songs on that CD. I know the four or five people outside of the band who heard it all thought it was great. Ha, ha. But it’s true, you know, they did/do. 

VAVA: How are you keeping yourself busy since the Mirror folded?

CHRIS: Ah Vava, it’s been pretty tough for me these past few months. I’ve no clue what I’m going to do now. Not so long ago I had more writing work than I cared to do, I was writing for tons of publications and actually making okay money for the first time in my life. But with print media essentially decimated these days, the only gigs I’ve been getting is for various online publications and even the most established of those don't pay well, so I dunno. I’m 50 years old now, what the hell am I gonna do for the next few years before I die? It’s hard to imagine myself getting a straight gig at this stage of the game, but I guess I’d take one if something decent were actually offered to me. And you know if I choose to take something on, I always do it to the best of my ability. I’m starting to guest DJ now and again for a few bucks, chump change for the most part, because there’s a new generation of kids who dig The 222s and apparently wanna hear what I have on my Ipod I guess, but as we speak I’ve no idea what the future holds for me career-wise. I can’t pretend it’s not a little worrisome. Sigh. So, ha, ha, if anybody out there has any employment offers, suggestions, or better, just wants to send me money because they have more than they know what to do with, I’m easily reached via Ha, ha… sob. 

VAVA: Sometimes we say things are meant to happen.  Do you think this is the case?

CHRIS:  If that’s truly the case, the powers-that-be must be pretty nasty, huh?

VAVA: I took a look at the online alt-weekly Cult Montreal and found it to be quite slick.  It looks like they’re adding print copies to the mix.  What are your thoughts?

CHRIS: I know they’re going down a rough road with this so I can only wish the best for them. All the people involved are my former colleagues, many of them in the same situation as I am right now, all lovely people, I wish ‘em all the luck/success in the world.

VAVA:  Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview, Chris.  I wish you the very best of luck in your future endeavours.

Check out The 222s on MySpace at: 

All photos, videos and other links reproduced herein with the kind permission of Chris Barry.