“Dogma provide tuneful upbeat punk with occasional power chords and sing along choruses” – Louder than War
Dogma is a band that is well known in the peace punk scene from Ottawa, Ontario. They are one of my favorite anarcho punk bands, and I wanted to share some of their story with you.
In the fall of 2017, band members Jeff (former bassist) and Justin (guitarist) were hanging out together talking about their future in music. This led to them exploring their interest in starting an 80’s anarcho punk inspired band, even if it was just to perform once at an event. This idea was brought forward to Steph (vocalist) and then to James (drummer). The band became a reality, calling themselves “Dogma.” Dogma ended up becoming a solid and consistent band, and has had long-term success as they have continued to perform over the last 5 years. Changes happened in the band overtime, including Jeff leaving the band, and Ricky now playing as their bassist.
As an anarcho punk band, their message has a wide range of conscientious topics. Topics including gentrification, colonialism, animal rights, consumerism in capitalism, war and disarmament, austerity, unity and solidarity, and resistance against the system can be found in their lyrics. Their influence and inspiration come from the 80’s anarcho punk bands; including The Mob, Dirt, Alternative, and more. They also take inspiration from their friends and band “Outcry” that are local to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
They released an LP in 2020 that is self-titled, released on Grow Your Own Records. This late spring/ early summer they will be releasing a new album on the same label entitled “Disarm or Die”. Written in 2022, their new album was inspired by their observation that more and more people are striving to get by with soaring rent costs and high grocery prices, the large scale violence, and the threat of world wars (i.e., the conflicts in Ukraine and around Taiwan), and people around them struggling to get back to a fulfilling life after the instability and shock of the pandemic.
Dogma has also performed in several fests, and have toured before. They were on a West Coast tour in 2019 after playing the “Have a Good Laugh Fest” in Vancouver. They played in Victoria at another festival called “Crustoria,” then went to the states and played in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia. Other gigs that are memorable to them are “A Varning from Montreal Festival” in 2022, and when they performed with the band Oi Polloi in 2018, at a local gig. They also performed in the “Not Your Babe Festival,” and then the “Yell Out Festival” in Montreal, which were both anarcho-feminist festivals. The first gig they played since the pandemic was in their hometown in Ottawa with their friends in the band Alien Boys from Vancouver, and UZU from Montreal, that was special to them after such a long time not playing.
When asked about the scene in their area, they explained that Ottawa is a small city, but there’s a flourishing tight knit community there. The closest city to them is Montreal, which is 2 hours away. In Montreal the scene is big, and touring bands go to Montreal often. As such, Dogma often visits. Dogma identifies that there is a special connection between the Ottawa and Montreal punk scene, and Ottawa bands often play there, and vice versa. They suggest the scene is alive and well.
In regards to future plans, Steph and Justin are moving to Europe. Although, Dogma has a plan to continue as a band. They will continue to work on new material remotely, and once Steph and Justin are settled in, their goal is to do a Europe and or UK tour. Dogma also plans to release an album, “Disarm or Die,” again on Grow Your Own records, that will be available in late spring or early summer of 2023.
You can listen to their music on https://dogmapeacepunk.bandcamp.com/
where you can find songs from their demo tape and other albums.
By Vegan Peace Punk