Joey Cape talks about being robbed ahead of Banff show

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Stitch the doll is one of Joey Cape’s most prized possessions.

When the front man of punk rock band Lagwagon turned soloist visits Banff to perform at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon on Sunday (March 11), along with Canmore’s Seth Anderson, Brian Wahlstrom and Ben Sir as part of a mini Alberta tour, the doll that Cape’s daughter made won’t make the trip, though.

In fact, Cape never takes the invaluable man-shaped trinket on tour with him. After all, Stitch helped inspired Cape’s third solo album, Stitch Puppy, which previously was described by Cape as his first true solo album.

“Every once in a while I hear these quotes I said, and I think, ‘Was I drunk?’” Cape joked while at the studio on a rainy L.A. day.

“I guess probably why I said I was being comfortable with the solo thing is I was in bands for so many years in my life, it was a hard next thing to get past … If I’m making solo records, I make them any way I want to.”

When piecing together the right sound for Stitch Puppy, Cape found “purity, strength and maybe a numbness that comes from loss and grieving” from personal tragedy, notably the death of a close friend.

He has a new album in the works, which Cape hopes to release later this year, but Stitch Puppy still resonates with the frontman, and so does the little doll.

If Cape’s home ever caught on fire, he’d first save his family and pets, and then the little Victorian doll.

Stitch is kept safe on a nightstand in Cape’s home in San Francisco, which started because Cape couldn’t trust himself from not ruining the doll after accidently spilling coffee on it while touring. Then being robbed twice of his other trinket possessions in San Fran sort of put a stamp on things.

“I very stupidly, and knowing better, got a tiny bit lazy,” he said. “My van was broken into and they got a lot of money, a couple of laptops, but the only thing that mattered was the little trinkets that my daughter gave me for good luck.”

Cape and a friend tried to recover the stolen goods they thought might be in an underground garage, but quickly realized it was better to walk away.

“Venues are a lot of the time a little shadier on this part of town,” he said. “There were people running in the shadows, and it was like, ‘OK, this not smart, let’s just give up on the bags.’”

The mean streets of San Fran, though, and its seedy characters are a bit different than the furry, four-legged trouble one might encounter in downtown Banff in the early hours.

Nonetheless, it’s been years since Cape has been to Banff, where he performed at a snowboard festival or something, he said, and the punk rocker is welcoming the idea of escaping California for a bit.

“I always have the best time in Alberta, but winter sucks for Cali kids like me,” he said.

“I prefer to go to places in summer or springtime, but I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a long time.”

Just don’t expect to catch a glimpse of Stitch at the punk rock show.

“It’s amazing to me, that doll,” he said. “I thought the doll kind of represents a dark side and vulnerable side. I feel like as a person, I’ve seen so much in my life and been through so much.”

The doors open to Cape’s show at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be found at www.ticketfly.com and at Bill’s.

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