The Arrogant Worms celebrate two decades of making the funny
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may very well be the slogan for the Arrogant Worms. When the three young lads formed the musical-comedy group while studying at Queens University 20 years ago, they made a conscious decision to stick with writing silly songs about cooky Canadiana, the cruelty of vegetarianism and everything in between.
“We decided early on that we kind of do what we do … we’re not the Beatles. We’re not going to all of a sudden come out with a whole different direction and expect people to follow along with us,” says the Worms’ Trevor Strong. “It’s hard enough to get people following you and then if all of a sudden you’re doing something they didn’t pay money to see, you can lose what fan base you have.”
And, two decades later, it seems to be a winning formula. The trio has a loyal fan following and has sold over 150,000 copies of its 13 albums, all released independently — not that the Worms wouldn’t have signed to a label if given the chance.
“It’s not like we wouldn’t have sold out, it’s just that no one was buying,” says Strong. “We had a manager for about two years earlier on, but he kind of came to his senses. Besides that, we’ve been self-managed as well. It’s good, because you have more control.”
The latest record in their discography is Hindsight 20/20, a best-of collection of audience favourites from other the years, including tunes like “Jesus’ Bob,” “Me Like Hockey” and “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate,” which actually appears on the record twice: once in its original format, and a second time as a dance remix.
“When you get the best-of compilation, most acts put on a new song and it usually is terrible. So we decided, ‘Let’s not do that.’ … Instead, we’d do the other option that groups often do, which is to put a remix on, because we thought that would be much funnier,” says Strong. “’Follow your vision and make it as obnoxious as possible,’ was the only guidance we gave [our producer]. And it’s pretty obnoxious.”
Catch the Arrogant Worms 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at the Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora. Tickets are $27.50; visit hightideconcerts.net for details.