The Crash Palace Cowboys first formed around 1992, but for bass player/lead singer Bill Fisher, “It’s always been Crash Palace for me.”
Years ago when Fisher lived in Langley he played in a band called Crash Palace, and when he moved to the North Island, “I met some cowboys and we went ‘Crash Palace Cowboys it is’.”
Fast forward to present day, and the band still plays “More or less the same stuff we played then — we were all into David Bowie and Alice Cooper… We’re all different ages, so we all have different tastes, but we know all the same songs,” laughed Fisher.
The original Crash Palace Cowboys lineup was Fisher, Bob Nicholson, and George Bates. Carlos Duarte joined the band as the drummer four years ago, and the band has “added a couple new members since then,” said Fisher. “It was just the three of us for awhile, but then we added Frank MacLean about two years ago.”
Fisher stated the group was having so much fun playing, they decided to add another singer, Jen Pavao-Hunchuk, to finalize their line up.
All told, the Cowboys play “Probably around 35-40 gigs a year, some of them are free fundraisers shows, but most of them are paid,” said Fisher, who added they’ve played for Cops for Cancer events a number of times, the Walk for the Cure, “and I also branched off with a very popular side band called Broken Wind, where we also played a lot of fundraisers.”
The Crash Palace Cowboys recently played a fundraiser show Sept. 16 at the Kwa’lilas Hotel, in support of North Island Tour de Rock rider Sandra Boyd.
Fisher said it personally meant a lot to him to give back to the cause. “I had some Crash Palace Cowboys stickers made, and I saw Sandra Boyd had a few stickers on her truck, so I offered her some of our stickers, and she said if she put them on her truck we would have to do a favour for Cops for Cancer, and I said ‘absolutely’ — once we found out what the gig was we were thrilled.”
“I’ve had family that has passed away from cancer,” added Duarte.
“To give back and support that kind of cause is a good feeling. Cancer is a terrible disease, and it feels really good to be able to do something like that for the community.”
Fisher agreed. “I know we are doing good stuff, and we give back like that because the community gives so much to us — We wouldn’t be as popular as we are if it wasn’t for the community. We all work here, it’s a beautiful community, and we will always support those that love us and the one’s we love.”
The Cowboys will be taking their first new years eve off in four years, but should be playing their next show “around Valentines Day in the new year,” said Fisher, who added he truly appreciates “the love and support we get, and I want to point out John Tidbury — he does a lot, not just for us, but for the entire community, period.” When asked what exactly drives them to keep playing music after all these years, Fisher laughed and said “It’s a passion, we can’t do without this.”