Victoria band No Means No announces retirement

One of the most influential bands in Victoria history called it quits Saturday night, bringing to a close a four-decade career that saw the group shape the face of Canadian punk music during the 1980s.

No Means No announced in a Facebook post Saturday that “a lingering hiatus has become a permanent one” for the group.

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“Countless miles, a couple thousand shows and many more beers, a bunch of tunes and sweaty [hoardes] of great fans, I can’t say thanks enough to everyone,” wrote drummer John Wright, who co-founded the group in 1978 with his bass-playing brother, Rob Wright.

“With a heavy heart I must announce the retirement of No Means No.”

The Wright brothers went high school and university in Victoria, but have lived for decades in and around Vancouver.

The band often recorded for its own label, Wrong Records, and in 1980 released their debut single, Look, Here Come the Wormies. The group’s most prolific period included the albums Sex Mad (1986), Small Parts Isolated and Destroyed (1988), and Wrong (1989), which is considered its masterwork as a band.

Despite their distance from the city that spawned the group, John Wright said during a 2013 interview with the Times Colonist that No Means No would not be the same without Vancouver Island’s influence.

“Growing up as a young band in Victoria was great. The city had such a supportive scene, in that respect,” he said.

“Living on an island, you are somewhat disconnected from everything. That disconnection produces good music, unique music, different music.”

Last year, during the Western Canadian Music Awards ceremony in Victoria, the band — which also featured local musicians Andy Kerr, Tom Holliston and Ken Kempster at various points — was inducted into the Western Canadian Music Awards Hall of Fame.

In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Grohl placed the No Means No song It’s Catching Up in his personal Top 10 of all-time.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

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