Twenty-year one-trick-pony

Queen’s alums Arrogant Worms are celebrating their 20th anniversary at Duncan McArthur

With an impressive 12 albums to show for their 20 years together, Trevor Strong, Mike McCormick and Chris Patterson provide “tuneful and silly escapism” for concert attendees.
With an impressive 12 albums to show for their 20 years together, Trevor Strong, Mike McCormick and Chris Patterson provide “tuneful and silly escapism” for concert attendees.

1. Who are you?

Trevor Strong of the Arrogant Worms.

2. What do you do?

I sing funny songs in the Arrogant Worms. I also have a local band called the Line Of Credit—we play around town to get free beer.

3. Describe The Arrogant Worms in three words.

Twisted. Fun. Persistent. Like a demented squirrel.

4. Why the name? Fun contradiction?

It’s a lame story. We had a song sent to CBC, and they asked for our name and we didn’t have one. We went to Clark Hall Pub and just drank all night and wrote adjectives and nouns on a paper, and came up with The Arrogant Worms. I looked back at that sheet of paper, and we had crossed Arrogant Worms off, so I’m a little confused about it.

5. What meaning does Kingston have for you?

I’m living here again now. Kingston’s my favourite city; I’ve been to all of them, so I know. I feel at home here, it’s a perfect-sized city with just enough going on.

6. How did the band form? How did you get your start?

We were all on the Queen’s Players and my friend had a CFRC program from 12 to 2 a.m. He had a lot of time to kill, so we would put together skits and songs and record them to play. It eventually whittled down to some core members.

7. Queen’s: great school or greatest school? Other thoughts?

The school part of it, I’m not so sure about. I saw a lot of the buildings. It’s a great place to be during school. It was really the extra-curriculars I enjoyed.

8. You’ve been together now 20 years, do you guys still get along?

It’s like a marriage: “stay together for the children.” We know how to stay out of each other’s faces. I’ve noticed that the bands that, at the end of every show, they hug, those are the ones that self-destruct.

9. How many albums, and how do you think you’ve progressed or evolved over that time?

I’m kinda sad to say I don’t think we have evolved. I know we’re supposed to, but I don’t think we have. We have different topics, but we never went through an “Indian music phase.” We write songs that are two to three minutes long.

10. If you could kill anyone from history, who would it be?

I’m having a lot of trouble with this, I can’t be sure if I can’t think of one person, or if I want to kill a lot of people … Kenny G? … Mickey Mouse? Martha Stewart? This is the kind of question I think about everyday, but I haven’t got a good answer to.

11. Musical comedy mixes two forms that are often somewhat disparate; how is it difficult trying to balance those two elements?

You have to make sure people get the gag while also being catchy. It’s just making jokes rhyme really. Well they don’t even have to rhyme exactly, just roughly.

12. Making fun of a big dumb world, anything particularly big or dumb?

We write a lot of songs about Canada, which is often big and dumb. One of songs is called “Canada’s really big.”

13. Any awards or official recognition?

No, we are universally ignored. Hopefully we’ll get one after we die, maybe a parking garage named after us. Even just a parking spot at a memorial lot.

14. Your music was played in a space shuttle.

Our song “Dangerous” was played on the space shuttle Endeavor. Which I guess is pretty ironic.

15. Have you done any Philanthropic work?

We worked with Frontier College to help people read … a lot of work with literacy groups. In Kingston we do a lot of work with the music instrument lending library, which lends out instruments to anyone who wants them.

16. Where to from here?

More of the same. It’s a one trick pony, but people are still buying the tricks. We’ll keep coming out until nobody sees us, at which time I think we’ll take the hint.

The Arrogant Worms play on Feb. 5 in Douglas MacArthur Hall. Tickets are $30 and $25 for students.

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