Music Interview: My Greeley Estates space

Calgary doesn’t suck. Sure, it gets cold enough to freeze your tongue to a metal pole in the winter–as most Calgary natives can attest–and our redneck image is as aggravating as Stampede tourists. Still, despite being considered a cultural wasteland by many bands, some actually like our fair city and enjoy being here. Greeley Estates, who are currently headlining Myspace’s fall tour, are among those rare few. They’ll even admit to it without getting white Stetsons from the mayor.

“The Calgary Warped Tour date was probably the best show we’ve had outside of our hometown, Phoenix, Arizona,” praises guitarist Dallas Smith. “We love Calgary. We’re stoked to be heading back there.”

Having been together for only three years, Greeley Estates have garnered a strong fan base here in Canada. Citing Warped Tour as a baptism by fire, the boys are no stranger to life on the road. Four nation-wide US tours and two throughout Canada have secured them fans across the continent.

“[It is] surprising to be in a different country and to have people [at the shows] who actually know the words to our songs,” says Smith.

In addition to touring, Greeley also utilizes the internet community to network on a more personal level with their following. Teeming with androgynous scenesters as the online incarnate of a typical all-ages show, Myspace also allows fans to converse more intimately with the band. However, the website has recently come under scrutiny due to its acquisition by Rupert Murdoch’s news corporation. While fears abound within the community, Smith chooses to ignore the potential political repercussions, viewing it merely as a business transaction.

“It’s a business, just like any other business,” he explains. “You want to build it up to a point where it’s reputable and then somebody comes and snags it up. A lot of people are angry, just because of the politics involved, but we’re not too fazed by it. There are purists out there who are upset, but if you don’t like it, nobody is going to force you to have a Myspace profile.”

The band’s Myspace profile also serves as an outlet for their often silly sense of humour. Having previously cited pop-culture icons Mr.Belding of Saved by the Bell and Wilford Brimley as band members, their roster presently includes Al Borland of Home Improvement fame.

“Right now we’ve got Al Borland-core going on,” jokes Smith. “He begged us to join the band, and we were just like, ‘I guess you can write our songs and do the background screams,’ and he said ‘okay.’ Then when he tried to duck out of it we duct taped him and threw him in the back of our trailer. Now we just pull him out for shows.”

Greeley’s sarcastic humour has also lead to many misconceptions regarding the origin of their name. On one occasion, an interviewer was told they were involved in a brutal fistfight in Greeley, Colorado and had gotten the idea after having their faces bashed against a sign reading “Buy estates in Greeley.”

“We tell people all sorts of different stories,” explains Smith. “Another one is that we followed a star in the sky to Greeley, Colorado and there was a big rodeo there, so we all became rodeo people for a while, and then we decided that we didn’t like rodeo, so we started playing music.”

The truth, however, is a less intriguing tale.

“The real story is that it was a road sign in Greeley, Colorado,” admits Smith. “We weren’t very original and we had wanted to change it eventually but we kinda couldn’t after people started tattooing it to their bodies.”

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