Music feature: Exploders flipping wigs

Loco garage punks’ hairy recording caper

Local punked-out garage band the Exploders are just a taste of things to cum.From their new album title — New Variations — and the pimp leather vests they wear, to songs like Put On Your Wig, Fifteen Dollars and Teethclencher, this is a walk down Porn Boulevard with four raunchy tour guides.

“I hope all my old girlfriends realize how much time, effort and money I’ve spent in telling their stories,” says smirking guitarist Craig Daniels as he munches a honey-yogurt-granola fruit cup at Queen West’s La Hacienda.

“The album is a sexual chronicle of some of the things we’ve all experienced,” he declares. “Even the name of the album was taken from an old porn mag called Variations.”

But when pushed to disclose the intimate details that inspired such sexually charged songs, Daniels just smiles.

“Put On Your Wig is just one more song to be added to an entire wig micro-genre in music,” he says. “From Bo Diddley’s Take It Off to the original version of (Lou Donaldson’s) Wig Blues, the wig is out there — and I just want to be on ground level when it takes off.”

Ironically, the wig has also become the band’s best metaphor.

“If you think about it, a wig is a feeble disguise but a playful distraction,” said Daniels. “And for us it’s the perfect tool and toy.”

According to Daniels, Canada needs more anthem rock. Not the kind of sappy pop songs put out by Bryan Adams, but the kind of foot-stomping, hip-grinding, lung-busting tunes that remind us all of why we started our love affair with rock and roll.

“Rock and roll should be an assault on our past,” explains Daniels. “It should trigger the most primitive instincts like aggression, anger and sexual impulses — not just inspire hours and days of retro-punk male bonding.

“We come out onstage and blast the audience with a minute-long sonic boom that could only be compared to the ginger you use to cleanse your mouth after eating sushi. Only after this sonic ginger slice do we launch into our audio assault.”

Originally published in NOW on September 6-13, 2001