By Rhia Perkins
After touring extensively in the U.S. and North America, the Arrogant Worms are back to spread their particular brand of dirt across Canada.
Chris Patterson, bassist and singer of this classic Canadian comedy band, leads the overseas phenomenon for converting the band into "the worldwide sensations we think we are."
The highlight of the year however, took place in Kansas where The Worms were the victims of their first-ever protest on behalf of the reverend Fred Phelps, the well-known anti-gay activist.
"We couldn’t have been happier about that," Patterson exclaimed. "It was great. When we got into town, we’d sort of heard of this yahoo, Fred Phelps, like seen him in the paper and stuff here and we just kind of jokingly said to the organizers, ‘That Fred Phelps guy lives near here!’ and he’s like ‘Oh, you don’t know, he’s coming tonight?’"
The Worms admit to being confused, amused and enraged about the protest–aimed generically at all Canadians due to Canada’s policies on homosexual relationships–but can’t knock the fact that it got them national press.
"We’re gonna have to send them a thank-you note," he joked. "It was strange. I guess it was a slow weekend for actual things to protest there."
On the whole, the Kansas crowd was appreciative and a few pointed comments defused what could have been a troubling situation.
The Worms’ love of live performance makes even the weirdest situations bearable, and, overall, touring the US was a good experience.
"We like doing shows and, for us, if the shows are here, or if the shows are even in Kansas, it’s equally good," said Patterson. "It’s nice to go to new places, and the US is a big place and has lots of people."
The Worms still love to play at home, though.
"We can come back to a place every year and there are people waiting to hear us play," Patterson mused. "We’d never not play Canada. We don’t consider ourselves part of the entertainment drain south, we’re just as happy to play here."
Dirt, the band’s sixth album, has a bigger musical sound than earlier ones. The trio spent a significant amount of time in the studio creating songs that were musically interesting as well as funny.
"With a comedy album, you can’t rely on people listening to it over and over," said Patterson. "So we try to make the music on the albums as interesting as we possibly can."
The Arrogant Worms are playing the Grad Lounge Oct. 12.