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Spotlight on local music: Animal Nation


Names: Steige "Tall Man" Turner (a.k.a. Garnet Clare); Mike "Armadillo Slim" Armitage

Hometown: Whistler, and Bellingham, WA. Mike has dual citizenship, so he was able to move up to Canada for his last year of high school.

Pique: Is music a full-time gig for you, or do you also have day jobs? If so, what are they?

Garnet Clare: I work at a photo shop in town, and Mike's a bartender at the Bearfoot Bistro. I make the memories, and he erases them.

Pique: When did you first get to the Sea to Sky region, and what brought you here?

G.C.: I was born and raised in Whistler. Mike's lived here for nine or ten years now. We still don't ask for a local's discount.

Pique: How were you introduced to hip hop?

G.C.: The first CD I ever bought was Ace of Base. I think my third CD was BIG - Ready to Die. After that I was pretty into hip hop, but it wasn't until I heard Eminem that I thought it was actually something I could do. I remember the first time I heard him, and thinking, "I can relate to giving a girl too many mushrooms way more than I can relate to slanging crack in the ghetto." Eminem definitely changed the way I heard music. After that I was into anything with good lyrics. From hip-hop to folk, if you're saying something worth listening to, I'm in. That being said, Wu-Tang and Biggie are still a couple of my favorite artists because of their amazing story telling skills. They make you relate by taking you into their world.

Pique: A (brief) history on Animal Nation, please:

G.C.: Back in '83 both our parents probably got a little too drunk one night, and... Eventually we met somehow - probably over drinks - and then we drank a bunch of beers and wrote a couple raps. Then we played our first show when someone told us they'd give us some free drinks to come sing a couple songs. In short, booze. Booze is how Animal Nation happened.

Pique: I understand you two are currently on a West Coast tour to promote your new album. Where have you been, and how have the gigs been going so far?

G.C.: I'm writing this on the way to our first show tonight in Regina! After that we'll be playing Saskatoon, Canmore, Golden... err... a bunch of other places, then, most importantly, Whistler on May 20th! Then Vancouver on the 21st, Kamloops, and finally Nelson. We did a similar tour loop last year with the same band we're touring with, Jiminy. They're all amazing musicians, and more importantly, they're all really cool guys. They're easy to get along with, and they all like to indulge in the occasional beverage, which definitely makes for a very good time.

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