It was at a house party on a snowy December night in 1999 that Gross Misconduct made their debut as a band. The wiring in the old Robson Street heritage home was so bad that the singers were shocked when they stepped up to the microphone.
“I think we played a third of the set with vocals and then the rest was simply just our instruments because we kept getting electrocuted time and time again,” drummer John Kurucz said.
The heavy metal band moved to Vancouver in 2003 and have only performed in their hometown a few times since then. But on Nov. 15, Gross Misconduct – Kurucz, guitarists and vocalists David London and Jesse Brint and bassist Julian Kenchenten – are back in the Harbour City to celebrate 20 years of playing together with an anniversary show at the Cambie.
Kurucz said it means a lot to mark the occasion at the Cambie. He described the venue as their “launching pad.” He said the band knew pretty early on that they had potential, and their first few Cambie shows packed the bar and further motivated them.
“I remember those vividly,” Kurucz said of those formative gigs. “There were at least three or four at the Cambie within the first two years that we started where it was hopping. It was total madness. It was fantastic.”
The band has since gone on to play hundreds of shows and released three full-length albums, and aside from one lineup change when Gabriola Island-raised Kenchenten joined in 2015, the group is still composed of its original members. Kurucz said the keys to their longevity have been “co-operation and compromise.”
“We’ve accomplished a lot and I’m proud of that, but the thing that I’m most proud of is that fact that we can walk into a room and look one another in the eye and still be like, ‘I like you, I like the riffs you write, I like being around you,” he said. “That’s by far the thing that comes to mind for me more so than anything is that we’re still friends and we still really enjoy doing it.”
WHAT’S ON … Gross Misconduct and guests play the Cambie, 63 Victoria Cres., on Friday, Nov. 15 starting at 7 p.m.