Goofs still punk and proud

Toronto punk veterans bunchofuckingoofs are laying claim to the title of longest-running, loudest-talking, brashest band in Canadian history. You could say that’s just bluster, something they’ve always been pretty good at. But either way, the 18-year-old outfit does have perspective.

“Back then it was about eating, drinking, fucking and fighting,” says smooth-talking BFG frontman Steve Goof as he nurses a late-afternoon beer on a Kensington Market patio.

“Now it’s about eating, drinking, vitamins and exercise.”

When the BFGs first hit the music scene, their volatility and anger garnered them national media attention.

“It was always the same. The labels would approach us, tell us we were great and then ask us to change the name,” recalls Steve. “And that was never going to happen.”

The Goofs are two-thirds of their way into a third full-length album — a welcome piece of news considering that fans waited 12 years between the Goofs’ first and second release, Barrage Of Battery and Brutality (God).

Along with this new focus on the band and the music comes the long-awaited tour to the United States and Europe — they play the Kathedral Saturday (September 1) — and the hope that punk can survive the hyphen.

“Look at what people are calling punk,” Steve complains. “These days a dash is being thrown in with punk, like pop-punk, even love-punk, and that’s pure bullshit. You can’t have punk and a dash. If there’s a dash, it just isn’t punk.”

According to Steve, punk has to be aggressive, angry, lusty and real. Last year, as Steve and the Goofs were set to play New Brunswick, they got wind of a rumour that their gig had been cancelled due to the threat of racial wars.

Undaunted, the BFG crew drove the 886 kilometres and 13 hours from Sherbrooke, Quebec, to Moncton.

“We parked the van with the back doors facing the stage exit,” explains Steve.

“We were going to go in, beat the crap out of those racist skinheads and get the fuck out. We weren’t even going to play. But when we got there, the doors were locked and the parking lot was empty. Too bad.”

Originally published in NOW on August 30-September 6, 2001