The next installment of the Fifth Reel live-music-and-movie series at the Plaza Theatre features guileless rockers Napalmpom paired with This Is Spinal Tap, the 1984 rock-mockumentary that sends up everything from Sabbath to Queen. In advance of the show, four of the five members of Napalmpom gathered to talk Tap with Shelley Arnusch, who felt more than a little like Marty DiBergi, the earnest interviewer portrayed by Rob Reiner. On hand were vocalist PJ Lavergne, guitarists Craig Evans and Shawn Petsche and drummer Matthew Bayliff (absent bass player Ian Baker was previously engaged and had not exploded or spontaneously combusted, as Tap members were wont to do).What’s the band’s most Tap-esque blunder to date? Ever gotten lost en route to the stage?
PJ: Shawn likes to kick me off the stage. Does that count?
SP: I almost killed Craig once.
CE: You kicked me in the chest and sent me flying. I landed halfway across the dance floor.
PJ: I fell out the back door of the Bamboo.
CE: He was laying in the gutter.
SP: He was still singing but he couldn’t get up. He was like a turtle on his back.
MB: There was also the time PJ almost burned all his hair off at Vantopia.
SP: He was holding the wrong end of a firecracker.
PJ: Someone came and flipped it just as it was about to ignite. It was a learning experience.
If you were going to have a giant inflatable stage prop à la the Spinal Tap devil, what would it be?
MB: A big piece of pizza?
SP: We once had an idea to make an F14 Tomcat fighter plane to play under—like Top Gun, but really low budget.
CE: A naked mole rat would be good, all pink with little buckteeth. As it’s inflating you’d be like: what is that going to be?
SP: Guarantee one of us would accidentally pop it.
What do you think about the Fifth Reel format?
MB: Those guys do a great job of matching films to bands.
SP: I like that it’s licensed.
CE: It turns every movie into the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
When you started this band did you ever imagine you’d be opening for Spinal Tap?
SP: I thought they might be opening for us.
The Fifth Reel presents This is Spinal Tap featuring Napalmpom: Friday, Nov. 28 at The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W. 10 p.m. $15. spinaltap.eventbrite.ca.