Saskatoon-based Bombargo is all about the good time guarantee and spreading the love.
While the seven-piece band, and its pair of Thoen brothers from Prince Albert, are very real, the group is a big fan of a fictional rock duo, Bill and Ted of the fictional Wyld Stallyns.
Bill and Ted first appeared on the big screen in the 1989 science fiction comedy film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
The movie follows high schoolers Bill, played by Alex Winter and Ted, played by Keanu Reeves, as they struggle to pass history. In 2688 humanity exists as a utopian society due to the inspiration of the music and philosophy of Bill and Ted. One of the future’s citizens is tasked with travelling back in time and ensuring the titular duo pass so Ted isn’t shipped off to a military academy, which would halt his music career and change the course of history.
The film was a hit and spawned a 1991 sequel. A third film, Bill & Ted Face the Music, was released this year.
Prior to the movie’s release, producers asked fans to submit clips online jamming to the music of the fictional hero’s band, with select clips to be included in the finished film.
To Bombargo’s surprise, their submission was included in the final product.
“We were absolutely stoked when we found out about it,” said Anthony Thoen, who hails from Prince Albert and appeared in the video alongside Spencer Chilliak.
“We started getting a bunch of messages to our band and personal social media accounts saying ‘ we just say you on Bill and Ted Three’” and we were like, ‘Woah.’”
Chilliak said they didn’t believe they would be included until they started seeing the messages pop up.
“We thought we made a video that would identify well with the universe of Bill and Ted, of having a good time and being a little different,” Chilliak said.
“It seemed like a long shot.”
The third Bill and Ted movie has been well received. It’s being screened in Saskatoon and on video streaming services.
“We have always been fans of Bill and Ted. They’re kind of like yus,” Thoen said.
“They’re on a mission to try to be a successful band. They also align with hath Bombargo is all about .”
He compared Bill and Ted’s signature quotes “Be excellent to each other” and “party on dude,” with the band’s mantra of “Be great to one another and have a good time.”
The video itself saw Chilliak and Thoen skateboarding down a hill in Victoria Park, Saskatoon while jamming on guitars.
It was no easy task.
“Whenever you see someone jamming, you have to move a lot to make it look like you’re actually doing something, but that’s even more challenging on a skateboard because as you move you start to turn,” Chilliak said.
“You’ve got to keep it going straight down the hill. I don’t think I’ve ripped down a hill playing electric guitar before.”
“What if we like, rip down a hill on a skateboard while playing guitar to the song they had sent in. We thought that would stand out,” Anthony said of their submission.
The pair wasn’t the only one who had a challenging task. The video was filmed by the third Thoen brother, Quinten, riding a skateboard backwards to capture the footage.
“It was a three skateboard mission. It was quite an adventure,” Anthony said.
“An excellent one, in fact,” Chilliak quipped.
“It was one of the most bodacious adventures that me and Spencer have bombarged on,” Anthony added.
When asked if he had any final thoughts, Anthony channeled his inner Bill and Ted.
“Be excellent to each other,” he said, “And party on, dude.”