The drinking, smoking, crime-ing fellows known as the Trailer Park Boys are no strangers to the music world. After all, the likes of The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, Rita MacNeil and Rush’s Alex Lifeson have all appeared on their titular not-quite-reality show. This has also bled over into real-real life, where main characters Bubbles (Mike Smith), Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (J.P. Tremblay) have had the opportunity to do things like perform signature tune “Liquor And Whores” accompanied by Guns N’ Roses.
With the eighth season of Trailer Park Boys set to launch throughout the world via Netflix on Sept. 5 and a cuss-fest of a film called Swearnet currently in theatres, Smith, Wells and Tremblay have evolved from mobile home mafioso into something stranger and more intriguing—cultural ambassadors.
Hoping to tap into this newfound hash ‘n’ liquor-fuelled authority, AUX decided to dig deeper into the Boys’ musical history. The results are something we’re calling The Trailer Park Boys’ guide to music.
Rush: All The World’s A Stage
Rush has featured prominently in TPB storylines, and the fellas have also appeared on stage with the band in real life. So are Rush the best band in the world? “Hands down,” said Smith. “I don’t think anyone’s beating them.”
“I agree,” added Wells.
Triumph: Rock And Roll Machine
Rush weren’t the only Canadian trio from the late-’70s/early-’80s who impacted the trio, though. Triumph, the light show ‘n’ pyro posi-metallers from Mississauga, ON, were the first rock band Smith and Wells ever saw in concert.
“I was a big Triumph fan when I was a kid,” said Smith. “I guess because it was easier to play. I’m a guitar player also, so when I was 10, 11, 12 it was easier to play along with Triumph than Rush. Triumph was my first show. Thunder Seven tour in 1984.”
“The light show was unbelievable,” added Wells.
“I played in a band in the ’90s called Sandbox,” continued Smith. “And we recorded at Metalworks Studios in Toronto, which was owned by Gil Moore, the drummer of Triumph. So I walked into the big live room to record and they had all their stage props from Thunder Seven in the warehouse, so it was a bit of a moment for me. I kinda teared up when I saw the massive backdrop and everything from the Thunder Seven tour.”
Hip Club Groove: Trailer Park Life
One of Trailer Park Boys’ best secondary characters is Jonathan Torrens’ wildly entertaining rapper, J-Roc. There’s a real-life equivalency to his character: Cory Bowles, who played the stooge-y, accurate-named character Cory on TPB for a number of seasons, used to be in Murderecords-signed band Hip Club Groove. Hip Club Groove put out an album in ’94 called Trailer Park Hip Hop. So are the Trailer Park Boys responsible for the trailer park hip-hop genre?
“Oh I think so,” said Smith. “And I think it was created by Cory Bowles.
“Cory Bowles grew up in a trailer park and he was, and still is a badass hip-hop artist. so if he does hip-hop and he lives in a trailer park, and he calls it ‘Trailer Park Hip-Hop’… then it’s legit.”
Loverboy: The Kid Is Hot Tonite
People sometimes take inappropriate fashion cues from rock stars. For the trio, this meant Loverboy-style headbands.
“I don’t know why I remember this,” started Smith. “I had a school teacher who gave me a tennis headband from a company called Sergio Tacchini. It had a logo on it. I used to wear it, and at that time I had one of the first big portable cassette players that you could carry around. I remember walking around rocking Loverboy.”
“You thought you were badass, didn’t you?” asked Wells.
“I totally did,” Smith said. “And I remember I had two cassette tapes—I had Loverboy and I had the first Iron Maiden record. I used to walk around the schoolyard blasting [Maiden’s] ‘Running Free’ with my head held high.
“For some reason I wore this tennis headband because I thought it was cool. But it wasn’t.”
Shania Twain: Whatcha Do To My Body
Some debates transcend the trailer park and one of those is, “Shania Twain or Lee Aaron?”
“I’d had have to take Shania,” said Smith.
“For what purpose?” asked Wells.
“Y’know, hanging out ‘n’ tickling. If we were going to a concert, Lee Aaron, if we were just hangin’ out having tickle fights and gettin’ out the tickle sticks, Shania Twain for sure.”
Sam Roberts: With A Bullet (and with a beard)
Another timeless Canadian music related debate is whether or not Sam Roberts looks better with or without a beard. “With!” yelped Wells. “Did I say that too fast?”
“Yes,” said Smith. “I’ve hung out with him in both instances and I have to say he’s a handsome, handsome fella without the beard.”
Bubbles and the Shit Rockers: Liquor And… More
The Trailer Park Boys‘ success has afforded Smith opportunities to do things like record the songs “Liquor And Whores” and “Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself” as the band Bubbles And The Shit Rockers. The Shit Rockers, also featuring Lifeson and Lee Harvey Osmond/Junkhouse’s Tom Wilson, may make more music in the future.
“I would love to do some more,” said Smith. “To actually record with the real Shit Rockers is a bit of runaround because you’ve got to organize a lot of busy people’s schedules, but I’m hoping to record some more with Alex. There’s a couple new songs that I’ve been noodling around with. One’s called ‘Liquor, Liquor, Liquor.’ I’ve yet to record that one. And there’s another one called ‘Who Shit In My Saddlebags?’ It’s a country song.”