"I LUUV IT!"
By; The Enemy Staff
The king is dead; long live the king. As far as bars go, Union Sound Hall was a shining star of the unpredictable landscape that is Winnipeg nightlife (it's even weird to talk about Union in the past tense). It was an undeniably popping club/bar that held a host of shows and events that people attended in droves until the bitter end. As much as there was controversy surrounding Union, we're sad to see it go, at the very least because of the wild variety of artists brought in to perform there. There aren't many other venues in Winnipeg where you'd conceive of Flatbush ZOMBiES, Keith Ape, Com Truise, Future, and Propagandhi all playing for reasonable prices. In an act of requiem for this wild, unpredictable, controversial venue, it seemed fitting to talk about it's unfortunate demise with the crown prince of the scene, the Union Superstar.
How have you been dealing with the closure of Union?
Dealing with the closure of Union…let’s be honest, it’s a new chapter. It’s a new chapter for everybody that’s frequented the club scene. Union was a long lasting club. After all these ones…you’ve got places like Area [is now] Reign, Whiskey Dix, they’re all changing up. But Union was holdin’ it down for a long ass time. It used to be a venue, right, you saw Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, Flatbush…where are people gonna play shows at now? It’s not even about the club, like where are people gonna play shows at? Now it’s gone, and I’m confused, everybody’s confused about where they’re gonna play shows at.
They’re relocating apparently, down Portage.
I dunno, I’m trying to figure it out myself.
That smoker’s joint…that area is like memories.
That’s the best smoking section in Winnipeg. The amount of friendships…I made so many friends there. The last time I was there I made friends with this Australian chick…I would’ve never met her had it not been for that smoker’s section.
"And that’s when I realized, you know what, I love this place. And then I realized, I’m the superstar."
Let’s back it up a bit. How did you come across the moniker ‘Union Superstar’? What puts you at the top?
Here’s the main thing, and Imma drop it realistically. We’re doing an interview, I’m gonna be straight up with you. I went to Union with a couple friends, we would go, and blah blah blah…but then I realized, you know what, some people don’t wanna go, I’ll just go by myself. I’ll literally go to Union, by myself, and make myself have a good time. And every single time I go by myself, it’s always a good night. And that’s when I realized, you know what, I love this place. And then I realized, I’m the superstar. I was meant to be a superstar, and Union was my forum. I fucking love that place man.
Were you frequenting any clubs before Union?
I was frequenting other clubs but I would always compare them to Union. I’d check out all the clubs in Winnipeg; Area, Whiskey Dix, even Cowboy’s…I’ve literally been to every club in Winnipeg. Even that Underground Revival shit. But I was still coming back to Union. If you want I could put a tier-list.
1. Cowboy’s. Just kidding, Union, obviously.
2. Second was Green Room before it closed down. It was on Osborne, and Osborne is always poppin’. Green Room, Osborne, if you weren’t there you missed out, there were a couple of things holding it back from number one, but Green Room was good.
3. This will come as a surprise, but Cowboy’s. It’s a controversial pick, but it’s different. Like I would never go to a country ‘club’, but if I had to pick a country club it would be Cowboy’s. The thing is you have to change it up, if you go to the same shit it’s all gonna be the same.
That’s the top 3. I think the worst club I’ve ever been to is District Stop.
Really? Worse than Whiskey Dix?
Whiskey Dix was like funny, because you could go to it ironically, and be like, “Okay, this is shit”. I got kicked out one time because I tried hopping the fence [to leave]. I was hopping it, and I got stopped by the bodyguards, and they were like “Why are you tryin’ to leave?” THEY KICKED ME OUT FOR LEAVING! I was like, what do you think I’m doing? I’m trying to leave! And I had to leave normally…but yeah, District Stop, that’s a no-go. That’s a hell no from me. Like I don’t even wanna touch that place.
What’s your favourite Union event?
Favourite event…K. This is controversial, ‘cuz I’ve got a heavy opinion on Grippin’ Grain. I love Grippin’ Grain…think about if you had a child, and you love the child but the child just changed on you. But it’s still always your child. That’s Grippin’ Grain. I luuv it. I’m still always gonna love it, however, towards the end, like last year, Friday nights [Together] were always good. It was consistently good, but Grippin’ Grain was always hit or miss. The thing that takes Grippin’ Grain down is that it’s always the same.
I’ve got no comment besides a head shake. It was cool because they gave out free food, like donuts, but it wasn’t poppin’. I think that’s why they gave out free stuff. They try to make an incentive for people to go, and it was still like… ehhh.
Danny Brown, easy. Obviously. That shit was fuckin’….wow. I don’t know if you guys know Trust, the band…
I was the most fucked up I’ve ever gotten…I woke up on a bar stool at Union, and one of the guys was like “Yo, show’s over”. It was the first time and last time I ever passed out at Union. I learned my lesson, you do not do that.
Were you drinking hard alcohol?
I drank 4 Faxes, it was heavy. 8 percent. 4 Faxes is enough for an average person to get drunk. Don’t underestimate a Faxe. That’s the first flaw, if you underestimate it that’s no good. I remember being in the crowd swaying, eyes closing, and when I woke up I was on the bar stool.
I heard there’s a rumour going around that the reason Union closed down is because people were there selling molly. Do you care to comment on that?
I can’t say it was the reason why it closed, but [there were] definitely people coming around selling sketchy pills. The story with my homie █████ was that we were hanging out one time at Union, and some guy came up to us and was like “Yo, you guys need [mdma]?” He was like yeah, "I'll take one." He took one and it wasn’t what it was, it was like some roofie shit and he woke up an hour after it closed. He passed out somewhere so I left trying to find him. I don’t know where he went. Apparently he passed out in a bathroom stall. He woke up an hour after close and one of the guys there was like, “Why are you still here? We closed an hour ago.” He was like, “Man, I don’t remember what happened.” That’s scary. I wouldn’t be surprised [if] that was the reason why but definitely people selling bad stuff there, just not good. Just dumb.
On a lighter subject, I know another testament to your Union superstar status is the good vibes you get from the Union chicks. Can you describe the quality of a Union chick and what makes someone a Union chick?
Alternative, different, knows how to have a good time, and they’re there for a good time. They’re just down. You get all different kinds of people there, right? Whereas you go to like Cowboys or Whiskey Dix, just like, you already know the crowd—
Just country girls, or like 18 year old girls and shit?
You wanna talk about 18 year olds? District Stop. I’m going to go back to the other question, the reason why I don’t like District Stop is 'cuz I went in there a couple times and I’m always the only person with facial hair. These people just got their Manitoba ID and they’re coming in there. I’m not one to judge, do whatever you want, however, man I felt old. I’m only 21 and I felt old. But going back to the question, I love Union chicks because they’re just alternative.
How would you describe alternative?
Physically or personality-wise?
"100 bucks for black chunky DC shoes? No comment."
Probably tatted up a lil bit.. a lil bit of septum ring in the equation –- put it all in the blender. They’ll wear like a black dress but change it up a bit. They’re going dressed to impress but they’re going a little more urban/punk sometimes. I don’t know. It’s all kinds of different people. Whereas like I said, you go to Cowboys and they’re just wearing a fucking DC shirt. Even the guys there are just like…Globe shoes. Man, like what the fuck, I felt like I went back into a time portal. I went back to middle school. I remember in middle school I bought these chunky black DC shoes. And I was so hyped, for a week! I was like “Dude I’m rockin’ these shoes”. People would be like, “Are those new shoes?” And I’d be like, “YEAH they’re new shoes, you better fucking know these are new shoes.” And they were like 100 bucks. 100 bucks for black chunky DC shoes? No comment.
Are there similar qualities for a Union guy?
The Union guy is a little different. A Union guy is dressed to impress. They’re cool people. I think though for guys, wherever you go in a club, guys dress to impress. Whereas girls, they just dress how they want—
I don’t know about that…I feel like some people would say the opposite.
I think a guy when they come to a place like that wear a black v-neck and like dress kind of okay…guys are very clean cut, v-neck with a flannel in the winter...
You got those guys rockin’ Supreme the odd time…
Yeah, like Grippin Grain there’s definitely a lot of Hypebeasts. I mean do your thing though, right?
What’s your opinion on Hal the Horse?
Man! Have you guys seen the picture of me and Hal the Horse?! It was New Year’s Eve—first, I have Hal the Horse on Snapchat. I fuck with Hal the Horse. New Year’s Eve, they had a photo shoot with Hal the Horse. I got a poppin’ photo. Respect to Hal the Horse. You wouldn’t see that a club… who has a mascot? Just like the small stuff.
What are some Union Superstar club hacks?
This is a common thing in clubs right. People see the line and think, “I gotta wait this long.” First off, you go to the VIP line and you say you know somebody. I’ve done this in Green Room, etc. You literally just say, “I know Aldrin.” Every single time at Union, I would always say, “I’m with Aldrin” or “Aldrin told me to come here.” If you say Aldrin told me to come here, that’s it. You’re in. no questions asked. In context, he’s one of the bodyguard’s there. Me and him see each other so much, it’s was at the point he would like guard the smoke section and I would just talk to him for so long. And he would be like, “Come down I’ll give you some drink tickets.” But if you go to Greenroom you could just say, “I know Aldrin.” They don’t know who Aldrin is, but they’re not going to ask you, “Who’s that?” I’ve done that one time pretty drunk, and they just let me in. In hindsight, don’t fuck with normal lines, just fuck with VIP. Shouts out to Aldrin.
"Start at the smoke section. That’s the main thing."
Any other good clubbing tips?
One of the best tips, I mean it’s probably obvious to other people—the best way to talk to anybody is the smoke section. You start at the smoke section. People start at the dance floor, and go up to random people and be like, “Hey, what’s up?” That’s not going to get you anywhere. People are dancing. They’re not there to meet people. They’re probably with other people. You go to the smoke section, that’s where you actually talk and meet people, and then you go up with them to dance. You meet with them first, and then you go dance with them! I’ve seen so many people go up to random chicks at the club and do this *does a dance*, what do you think they’re going to say to you? They’re obviously going to be like, “What do you want?!” I don’t know what they’re trying to do when they do stuff like that. If someone did that to me, I’d be like, “Who are you and what do you want?!” Start at the smoke section. That’s the main thing. And that’s why that smoke section is so good. You don’t have to smoke to be in there.
Do you have a favourite story from the Union smoke section? I guess meeting that Australian chick ;)?
I mean there’s just so much, I can’t even start. The Australian chick is just one of the many cool people I’ve met and still talk to this day. On a side note, I’m obviously going to bring up Tinder, if you match up on Tindr and be like, “Oh what do you want to do tonight?” You just say come to Union. It’s so easy. Automatically you have a reason to go there; you’re dancing, you’re drinking, it’s the best spot to meet up with someone new. I mean obviously you can take them out to dinner, but you wanna like move and stuff. If you’re sitting down it’s not the same. I’ve definitely been on a lot of dates with chicks to go to Union. Let’s have a date at Union. Why not, right? You got the dance floor.
...and it works out?
It fucking works out. It gets escalated very fast. It is what it is.
Do you have any final shout outs/anything else left to say about Union?
Shout outs to Union staff, shout outs to the DJs, shout out to Tim Hoover aka co-op, shoutouts to Hal, shoutouts to everybody that makes it happen. I got love for everybody. I LUUUV IT!!!