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GrimSkunk (2009)
GrimSkunk (2009)
Background information
OriginMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active1988–present
LabelsIndica • Cargo Records
Joe Evil
Ben Shatskoff
Vincent Peake
Peter Edwards
Past membersMarc Saint-Maurice (1988-1999)
Tod Wirschem(1999 - 2004)
Alain Vadboncoeur (1988-2009)

GrimSkunk is a rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with punk, rock, progressive and world music influences. Its style is self-described as "world punk"[1] It is regarded as being part of the foundation of the Quebec alternative scene, having influenced many young musicians and bands.

The band integrates many languages into its songs, such as French, English, Spanish, Greek and Persian. It has also integrated many styles of music, including punk rock, hardcore, reggae, progressive and psychedelic rock, ska, rap and world music.

Over the years, the band shared the stage with many prominent acts such as System Of A Down, Meshuggah, Manu Chao and Suicidal Tendencies, as well as peers Anonymus, Vulgaires Machins, Deadly Apples and The Sainte Catherines. They have toured extensively, including concerts on four continents.[2]


GrimSkunk was formed in November 1988 from a previous hardcore group known as Fatal Illness.[3][4] GrimSkunk played its first show in May 1989 in St. Hyacinthe.[4] The band's first demo album, Autumn Flowers, was released two years later, in April 1991. Along with Groovy Aardvark, the band was among the first "alternative" bands to tour Quebec, thus creating a market for this genre.

In the first years of GrimSkunk's career, cannabis was always very present in the band's image. Hemp leaves were on their CD covers, and references to cannabis could be found in the albums' names (Autumn Flowers, Exotic Blend), in their songs' titles (Zig-Zag), and in their lyrics ("Pourquoi, pourquoi ne pas fumer? / C'est ben légal de boire", Why, why can't we smoke / Isn't it legal to drink?). The band's name itself is an allusion to skunk cannabis.

The band's second album, Meltdown, was released in 1996.[3]

GrimSkunk in 2006

In 1997, the band's longtime manager and friend, Simon Gallipeault, was killed in a "hit-and-run" longboard accident involving a car.[1][3] The band became self-managed with Franz Schuller as the main "mouthpiece". The 1998 album, Field Trip, is dedicated to Gallipeault and his voice is sampled before the track "Live For Today".

The bass guitarist, Marc-Boris St-Maurice, left in 1999 to become an activist in the marijuana legalization movement, founding the Bloc Pot[3] and the Marijuana Party of Canada. Tod Wirschem replaced Saint-Maurice for a few years. He has since been replaced by Vince Peake, the former Groovy Aardvark singer and bass guitarist.[5]

The band took a break in 2000 after the keyboardist, Joe Evil, suffered serious burns from a fire in his apartment.[6]

In 2002, the band released its seventh album, Seventh Wave, which was not well received by certain critics and fans who did not like the musical change in direction.[5][7][8]

In 2002, GrimSkunk performed its first and only unplugged show in Saint-Roch Church in Quebec City.

In 2006, the band released Fires Under the Road, which marked a return to the sound of the earlier albums.[8] They recorded Set Fire! in 2012 in Sydney, Australia.[9] The album was produced by Gus Van Go and Werner F.[9] In 2018, they released their ninth album Unreason in the Age of Madness which includes songs about the NRA, Donald Trump, the impact of technology.[4][2]

Indica Records[edit]

In 1997, GrimSkunk members founded an independent Montreal-based record label Indica Records following the bankruptcy of the band's former label Cargo Records.[10][11][3][12] From then on, all of the band's albums were released on that label, which also helped to promote local alternative an independent Canadian record label based in Montreal, Quebec.[13]

The label initially supported only GrimSkunk's music but later expanded to support and release music for other band including punk, rock, metal, alternative, world music, indie and pop rock, electronic and hip-hop from Quebec and elsewhere.[10][11][14] There is an office in Australia named Indica Australia.[14] Artists have included Les Trois Accords,[10][15] Priestess,[10] The Franklin Electric,[16] Vulgaires Machins,[11][10] Hey Major, La Voix runner up Colin Moore,[17][18] Caracol,[19] Half Moon Run,[13] Misteur Valaire,[13] Australian acts The Cat Empire,[10][20] John Butler, Kim Churchill[21][20] and French acts such Anaïs and La Ruda Salska.[11]


  • Franz Schuller - rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Joe Evil - keyboard, vocals
  • Alain Vadeboncoeur - drums (1988–2009; 2021-now)
  • Vincent Peake - bass guitar
  • Peter Edwards - lead guitar
  • Marc-Boris St-Maurice - bass guitar (1988–1999)
  • Tod Wirschem - bass guitar (1999–2004)
  • Ben Shatskoff- drums (2009-2021)



  1. ^ a b Gabriel Allard (15 October 1999). "Un grand groupe" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  2. ^ a b "GrimSkunk, trente ans passés contre l'ordre établi". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rupert Bottenberg (October 20–26, 2005). "The grass is always greener: no short-term memory loss for GrimSkunk". Montreal Mirror. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "GrimSkunk: souvenirs alternatifs". La Presse (in French). 2018-04-30. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  5. ^ a b Marc-André Boivin (6 July 2007). "Grimskunk au Festival d'été". Canoe. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  6. ^ Rupert Bottenberg (November 30, 2000). "S.O.S. (save our skunk)". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b Olivier Robillard Laveaux. "Fires Under the Road" (in French). Voir. Archived from the original on 2011-06-14.
  9. ^ a b "Grimskunk: bien vivant après 25 ans". La Presse (in French). 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Carman, Keith (17 September 2007). "Indica Records". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Juan, Rodriguez (18 November 2006). "With Indica, GrimSkunk's in business because that's where the music led". Montreal Gazette.
  12. ^ Ricard, Karen (29 January 1998). "Cargo et les groupes?". Ici.
  13. ^ a b c Émilie, Côté (8 February 2015). "Elliot Maginot: émotion spontanée". La Presse. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  14. ^ a b "M pour Montréal: le plus petit des grands". La Presse (in French). 2015-11-18. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  15. ^ Boisvert-Magnen, Olivier (4 April 2019). "Il y a 15 ans : Les Trois Accords – Gros Mammouth Album Turbo". Voir (in Canadian French). Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  16. ^ Hudson, Alex (16 April 2014). "The Franklin Electric Overhaul Debut Album for Indica Records Debut". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  17. ^ Kelly, Brendan (2019-05-03). "An anglo rocker from Pointe Claire is in the final four of La Voix". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  18. ^ Lebeuf, Frédéric (23 February 2019). "Colin Moore, un exemple parfait de persévérance - #ARP". ARP.média (in Canadian French). Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  19. ^ Tittley, Nicolas | (3 December 2015). "Exporting Yourself: Making a dream come true". Words and Music; SOCAN Magazine.
  20. ^ a b Dwyer, Michael (2011-04-20). "And the bands play on". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  21. ^ "Voyage émotionnel avec Kim Churchill". Le Droit (in French). 2019-11-23. Retrieved 2020-02-08.

External links[edit]