Buddy Puked goes viral with “aggressively juvenile” song “Ad Hominem”

Punk band formed on campus goes after Jordan Peterson in the single for their new album, “Postmodern Times”

The album cover for “Postmodern Times,” the newest fare from Buddy Puked. Photo provided

He’s the universal soldier and he really is to blame.”

“There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’ / It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls / For the times they are a-changin’.”

“He’s Oprah for the incels / they watch him every day / so call this our Ad Hominem / and go the fuck away.”

Protest songs have a rich and illustrious history,  although the first two of those lines are more recognizable (and more family-friendly) than the third.

The third line comes from local Victoria DIY political punk band Buddy Puked, who recently found their three-and-a-half minutes of fame with their song “Ad Hominem.” The song is about University of Toronto Professor of Psychology Dr. Jordan Peterson, known for his controversial, conservative stances on free speech, political correctness, and masculinity.

It’s just one of many Buddy Puked songs that tackle the Canadian political sphere — they’ve written songs about Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and the Site C Dam. Their writing topics are diverse, flitting between police brutality and artificial intelligence ,  but all their songs contain the same thing: fantastically juvenile and brilliantly inappropriate observations.

“We’re writing the song, the music, in a very comparatively short length of time,” Ryan says. “Sometimes just a couple hours is all we have.”

“And sometimes it shows, too.” 

Made up of a mix of UVic students and alumni, the band is four members strong and several years old. Incubated in marijuana smoke and a house affectionately referred to as the “Frat House for Nerds,” Buddy Puked started as three friends: Walter, Liam, and Ryan. Named for another friend who vomited in a bowl of Kraft Dinner macaroni after drinking too much, subtlety may not be their strong suit.

Humour, however, is found in spades.

They admit they began with the “absolute worst kind of working backwards,” starting by brainstorming funny song titles and later deciding to actually learn instruments and write the songs. They also started right as Ryan, the drummer, finished his UVic degree and moved away from Victoria, so most of the lyrics were written long-distance. Music was added in short spurts of time when Ryan was in town.

“We’re writing the song, the music, in a very comparatively short length of time,” Ryan says. “Sometimes just a couple hours is all we have.”

“And sometimes it shows, too,” jokes Walter, the singer and guitarist.

The band has only played one show in their lifetime, due to Ryan being out of town, but they are gearing up for a second show and a full-length album as well. When it came to releasing a single to drum up interest for the record, the three knew exactly what to do.

“We knew that Jordan Peterson fans were not gonna just ignore something like [this],” Ryan laughs.

“We rewrote it like three times cause he just kept getting worse,” says Ryan.

The song follows the familiar Buddy Puked formula, bassist Liam explains.

“We’ve actually kind of developed this pattern where we’ll do these ad hominem attacks and they always start really juvenile,” he says.

“All our substantive criticisms can’t come in until at least the second verse,” Ryan adds. The silliness is calculated.

“It’s punk, it’s aggressively juvenile,” he says. “Because Jordan Peterson and his band, they insist on this pseudo-intellectual fedora-tipping, ‘these are the rules of debate,’ . . . we wanted to say fuck all that.”

The released version of “Ad Hominem” isn’t the first iteration of the song, though. Initially penned in 2012, the band had to keep writing and rewriting, as Peterson became more and more well-known online.

“It got to the point it’s like we have to rewrite a lot of this song because there’s just so much more things to say about him,” Walter explains.

“We rewrote it like three times cause he just kept getting worse,” says Ryan.

As the band had predicted, the internet noticed the song. Fans and critics of Peterson alike shared the song, cheering it and condemning it. The song has been shared on Twitter hundreds of times, and the lyric video has over a thousand views on YouTube. A beautiful part of the internet, Liam says, is that it doesn’t matter why you share something; if it’s getting shared, it’s getting seen.

It’s an exciting but bittersweet time for Buddy Puked. The band is excited for their next album to come out — they view it as a real step up in production quality — and for their second live show (a house concert — those who want the address can message the band’s Facebook, Liam says).

“Jordan Peterson and his band, they insist on this pseudo-intellectual fedora-tipping, ‘these are the rules of debate,’ . . . we wanted to say fuck all that.”

Unfortunately, that show is potentially going to be their last. As Liam moves to Montreal, Buddy Puked will be disbanding, at least for the time being.

But the three friends’ group chat and camaraderie isn’t going anywhere, they say. There will always be political messages to convey and opinions to argue for.

“The thing is, whether it be the fourth member of the band (Ted) or just our poor friends that we subject to this music, one of the great things about it is it’s really a great way to bring a political message to people who maybe don’t engage with politics as much,” Walter says.

And, of course, there will always be some asshole politician to make fun of.

“Oh yeah, they’re not going away anytime shortly,” Walter laughs. “Our work’s cut out for us.”

You can listen to Postmodern Times via Buddy Puked’s bandcamp page.

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