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Man, look at that guitar. That thing is weird.
Gauntlet file photo

Dude! Where's my pay cheque?

The Dudes get play on MTV, and sponsorship from a corporation

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"I puked about four or five times all over the QEW," says Dan Vacons, proudly. "No one in Toronto would look at me. They were all too embarrassed."

Local indie darlings the Dudes have spent the summer shooting their first videos in Toronto and Calgary and are now reminiscing about getting sick out of a moving van window and filming their first video in Toronto for the upbeat single, "Dropkick Queen of the Weekend."

Sponsored by the Rogers phone company, critics argue the Dudes' latest opus is less indie than their stigma may suggest. Following "Dropkick," the Dudes returned to their native Calgary to film the video for the song "Do the Right Thing," filmed in a decidedly indie fashion--low production values, low budget and full creative control. Created at the Webster Academy private school, the video involved lots of bullying and y'know, minors.

"We've been told for so long that you have to have money and the video has to be top line production, but what we've learned is that it's the idea, the idea is the money." explains Vacons.

"They're still important; we just don't have to rely on Much Music to give them to us," adds Bob Quashick, the guitar player that exhibits his amazing belly-flopping talent in the new video. "That was Jon [Hopkins, the bass player]'s idea."

With two videos on the way, the Dudes are now preparing for a Canadian tour. The dates and venues are not yet finalized, but they hope to make it all the way from Vancouver to Halifax, where they have developed a large fan base on university campuses. But with their newfound success, the Dudes' indie label has been called into question.

"I don't think we ever stood for not selling out--the subject of our songs was never 'stick it to the man,'" says Quashick, "We just talk about stuff maybe everyone can relate to."

"How the fuck am I going to make a good album if I don't have some time?" adds Vacons. "We can't be concerned about that."

The Dudes have never been too concerned with taking themselves seriously, either. Since starting out in 1997 as a party band that filled in for other bands whenever they cancelled, they've come a long way. Their starting point, 'Rock Central' has since been torn to the ground, but the memories of times they spent there keep them grounded.

"Actually, I wish I could erase a lot of those memories," admits Quashick. "But regrets are like a badge," adds Vacons. "You'll love your regrets later."

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