As mysterious as they are merry, The Myrrhderers have emerged out of what feels like thin air.
A punk supergroup featuring prominent members of the North Pole underground scene, Al Frankincense (Dead Kringles), Elliott Gold (Prancid) and Bill Myrrhey (Sleigher) have joined forces to flavour their Christmas cheer with what they’ve learned from the North Pole punk scene. Like most places where the alternative spirit ferments, it’s not all elves and gifts in the North Pole. We caught up with The Myrrhderers’ Elliott Gold to get the lowdown on what the climate’s like in Santa’s hometown.
How did you become a punk?
I grew up in a town called Yuleborough that didn’t have a lot of punk. I mean, we all knew and liked Green Day and The Offspring, but mostly, I and everyone I knew listened to everything that was coming out of Seattle at the time. I did really like Weezer in high school, but that’s as close as I got to anything that resembles what I’m into now. But in the late 90’s, I left the Pole to go to college in Canada and that’s when I discovered punk culture. I went to Warped Tour in Toronto in ’97 and I saw basically every great 90’s punk band you could see. You could say that that was the day I became punk.
Growing up as a young punk in your hometown, what are some of the places you would hang out?
In Yuleborough, hardly anywhere. But when I came back from Canada I discovered that a different North Pole town, Frostington, had a super-thriving punk scene. The main club everyone played at the time was called Blitzen’s Bop, but most shows were played at youth community centers like the Elf-Scouts. It was all very DIY, but it was amazing. It’s not a huge town, but at the time it seemed like everyone was into punk and underground culture.
How would you describe a typical punk from your hometown?
I’d describe them as old.
How does the general community in your hometown take to punks and punk music?
I think most people here don’t think about us. On the bright side, punk never became co-opted by mainstream culture like it seemed to in other places. But the whole scene started to die down a bit around 2010. It’s starting to come back now though, and the shows are getting bigger again, and we’re starting to see younger kids like in the old days. Apparently Machine Gun Kelly’s punk now, so everyone thinks there’s gonna be some punk resurgence. Let’s see.
What do you think is the biggest threat to the punk community in your city?
Emigration. As you know, our ‘land’ is slowly disappearing, and Amazon has taken a big chunk out of the gift order-fulfillment racket, so most young people move south if they want much of a future.
All over the world, politics and punk go hand in hand. What are some of the political issues that influence punks in your hometown?
For us, politics are a matter of life or death – take climate change for example. It’s an existential threat we live with every single day. So yes, we care deeply about politics, but we think about it literally all the time – and punk, while it’s a great place to take out our political frustrations and get an important message across, it’s also a place to escape, and just laugh about it all. Yeah, I guess that’s the big difference – in other places political punk seems to be very serious. Here it’s almost always done with humor, otherwise it’s just too heavy.
Are there any other locations in the city that are important to its punk community?
Yeah, the airport! No bands ever come here, so if you ever want to see a show that isn’t one of the same few NPHC bands, you’re gonna need to fly.
What are your tips for any punks travelling through your hometown?
Do not wear a NOFX t-shirt. Their so-called Christmas music makes a mockery of our culture, and donning their logo is considered in bad taste.