A&E » Arts

Taking a stand

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No hidden meaning there. Just blood, sweat and piss.

Those three nouns become verbs on stage – literally. The band’s fuelled up and slightly over-the-top shows have resulted in several trips to the emergency room, the injuries incurred of course with great sportsmanship. A Halos show really can be a bit of a blood sport and Hopeless persists in always coming out on top. He loves to recall a particular gig in which he and a friend were playing a little tete a tete called "Gonna Fuck You Up." As the name implies, the goal is to take your opponent by surprise using repulsive tactics, trying to induce even more hideous results. There are no rules. The story goes that on this particular night, the beer was flowing in great quantities, and no one is quite sure how or why, but Hopeless proceeded to deliver some of his performance face down on the floor.

"All I really remember is feeling this wetness on me, looking up and seeing my friend with an evil grin on his face, urinating on me. My first thought is ‘OK, I could stand up and spin kick him,’ but then he would win. So instead I just let myself go back into irrational thoughts and just rolled around in it and went up and hugged him."

Is that the end of it? Oh, no. Hopeless had to be unanimously declared the victor.

"The next day he was eating breakfast and we just happened to pull up to get gas next to where he was eating. So I gave him a Dirty Sanchez… I don’t know if I can explain this in print… OK, it’s when you smear feces under someone’s nose and make a little moustache. So I did that, but I rammed my finger right up his nose, which caused him to vomit. I ran out of the restaurant yelling, ‘I won, I won!’"

As simply disgusting as it is, the moral of the story, that sheer determination, is what has also earned Hopeless the title of "principled" by his peers.

"A while ago I was being screwed over by someone in the industry, and when I called them on it, they tried to keep me quiet by promising things in return," recalls Vancouver musician, Siobhan Duvall. "And I thought, ‘What would Billy Hopeless do?’ I put his CD cover beside my computer and wrote a letter that basically said ‘fuck you!’ Billy doesn’t back down or do things he doesn’t believe in."