18121646_1787312808157927_3226895699996837260_o Full disclosure. I met Lynn Poulin from The Pale Lips a long time ago. Back when she was skating under the name “Lyn-Dah Kicks” as a member of Montreal Roller Derby (check out Scott’s piece on her here). Since then however she’s gone on to become the drummer of The Pale Lips!

The Pale Lips are bringing their love of classic old time rock n roll, punk rock and glam to kick things off at ’77 Montreal this Friday, July 28th at Parc Jean Drapeau.

I had the chance to ask a few questions to lead singer Jackie Blenkarn:

Keith: How did The Pale Lips get together? Did you guys always know you were going to be a “old time rock and roll/classic punk” band, or did that style develop after the fact?

Jackie: We really came into the band having an idea of what we wanted to sound like. Classic punk and rock and roll are common ground for all four of us. What makes our sound unique is the other individual influences that pepper their way into songs.

K: Montreal ’77 is a celebration of the explosion of punk that occured around the 1977 date. Several seminal punk bands had formed earlier, but it was 1977 that saw a string of releases from acts like Iggy Pop (his first solo album), The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Ramones (who released both their second and third albums in ’77) that really forced punk into cultural significance. 40 years later, the genre is still going strong. To the Pale Lips, what is it about punk rock that is so important that keeps it around in 2017?

J: Punk has always been a space for outsiders. I think everybody can agree that the first time they went to a punk show there was just a certain amazing feeling of camaraderie – and that will likely never change. It’s not a genre for everybody, but for those of us who get it, it becomes a way of life. The amazing thing about punk is that it has really shape-shifted into so many different types of sub-genres over the years. So whether you’re listening to hardcore or power pop, you just get this feeling that it’s something special and really different from the status quo. It can be snotty or poppy or noisy, but all of it comes from the same place, and there’s tons of different kinds of punk that we all listen to and appreciate.

K: Obviously the punk scenes of London, New York and LA are the things of legend, with countless documentaries and books devoted to the history and current state of those scenes. Montreal might be a little less internationally recognized as a punk city, but still has always had a strong punk rock scene. What makes Montreal’s punk scene unique compared to other cities?

J: I think when you look at how small Montreal is compared to New York or LA (or even Toronto), it’s amazing the quality musical output we have had over the years. But Montreal has long been a haven for artists simply because of how inexpensive it is to live here. It’s nice to be able to work part time and still make enough money to survive (as meagre as that survival might be), and also have time to devote to music or art. Plus, geographically it’s really close to NYC, Toronto and other big American cities like Boston or Detroit, so we tend to be lucky enough to see lots of touring bands come through.20394639_10159018935295366_1810298771_o

K: Normally when you think of a punk venue, you imagine a dark little hole in the wall, with the band on a stage maybe a foot off the ground and a ceiling you could probably touch. The festival is going to be outdoors, with most of the acts playing during the day. You guys are taking bullet and opening the show at 12:30. What’s your plan to bring energy to a crowd on a Friday afternoon?

J: Two beers and a shot of Jager directly before the set should give me all the energy I need.

K: Finally, there are not a LOT of all girl bands in any genre. But there’s always been a bit of a precedent in the rock/punk scene of having all girl bands making their mark (The Runaways immediately come to mind). What advice would you give to girls who want to start an all girl band (punk rock or otherwise)?

J: Just really believe in yourself and believe in your friends. Support and encourage each other because women need to stick together and not tear each other down all the time. Ignore the negative comments about being a female musician (there are ten million shitty all dude bands in the world too). Everybody needs to start somewhere, so just go for it.

Ignore the negativity and go for it. Sounds like pretty good advice to me.

The Pale Lips will be kicking off ’77 Montreal at 12:30 this Friday at Parc Jean Drapeau. Tickets and info HERE.

In the meantime, check out their music video for (You Make Me) Wanna Be Bad:

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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