Montreal Venue Staff Association

Turbo Haüs

Turbo Haüs III turns one

We spoke to Sergio Da Silva about the Montreal music venue’s eventual world domination.

Turbo Haüs, the little venue that could, and did, and did again, is celebrating its one-year anniversary tonight. Kind of.

Tonight is the first anniversary of the current incarnation of Turbo Haüs at 2040 St-Denis, a location that has put more than a few grey hairs in owner Sergio Da Silva’s pubes. Looks like it’s going to be a good party, too, with the likes of Jesus Horse, Shards, and Tunic hitting the stage and Johnson Cummins spinning disco and whatever else makes sense after the fact.

I interrupted Da Silva while he was rewatching The First Wives Club to ask him a bunch of questions about things that did not include tonight’s party. He was not happy about it, but what else is new?

Dave Jaffer: Tonight is your first anniversary at the newest location of Turbo Haüs. Do you think there will be another Turbo Haüs after it? And another, and another?

Sergio Da Silva: I mean, the hope is yes. I want to have another one that will be able to accommodate 300-400 at a gig, but that’s probably 10 years down the line. It’s always the goal, but the reality is we’re stuck in a city where they’re not really friendly to music venues.

DJ: Do you think that on a long enough timeline all buildings everywhere will be Turbo Haüses?

SDS: Yes, I feel like that’s 100 per cent the way things are going to go. No doubt in my mind.

DJ: Do you think that on a long enough timeline all people will be Sergios? 

SDS: I hope for myself that it’s a no, because I could not imagine a place where the only person I could hang out with is me.

DJ: Are you too grouchy or not grouchy enough?

SDS: I don’t think I’m grouchy enough. I feel like there are a lot of dumb people and I’m doing my part to help them be less dumb. I don’t even see me as grouchy. I’m doing a public service.

DJ: Is there anyone on earth that could beat you at Dr. Mario?

SDS: Absolutely not. Unequivocally no. There’s no way. I’m literally the best Dr. Mario player on the planet.

DJ: If your co-owners Dan Matheson and Michelle Ayoub fought to the death, who would win?

SDS: Dan is a nerd and would probably use weird tech, but Michelle is so big I think she would murder him almost immediately. So Michelle. I wouldn’t put money against Michelle in any circumstances. 

DJ: Do people still get confused by your bar’s gender neutral washrooms? 

SDS: Yes, all the time. People are confused by the bar in general when they walk in. They see a bunch of grody-looking punks outside and they come inside and it’s quite nice, and then they see the washrooms and they’re like “I don’t know where to pee!” and they pee on the floor because they’re dumb.

DJ: What’s the dumbest thing someone has said about them?

SDS: It’s not so much what they’ve said as it is what they’ve done. And it’s always, always, always dudes. They go in and they pretend the [free] tampons are cigars and they give them to their friends and say “this is going to go in someone’s butthole” because they don’t know where they go, and then people need them and there aren’t enough because dudes are talking about putting them in their buttholes.

DJ: Back before you opened, you told me you wanted Turbo Haüs to be a place for everyone, not just the punks and the other people into loud music. Do you think that’s been achieved? 

SDS: No, absolutely not. St-Denis has a large 5à7 crowd, the entire street is packed, but people don’t want to listen to Pissed Jeans after work, they want to listen to the awful garbage some of these places play. But what are you gonna do?

DJ: Last weekend’s show by the Armed was the best show I’ve seen at this iteration of Turbo Haüs. What shows stick out to you as the best ones from the past year, and what are you excited about that’s coming up?

SDS: The Armed was fuckng fantastic, that was definitely one. Barn Burner, that was one. Low Dose, that was one. The shows we did for Heavy Montreal were really good. Tunic was also really good and they’re coming through today. There’s a lot of stuff coming up, too. There’s Priors next week and Chron Goblin is coming with Black Mastiff and that’s gonna be heavy as fuck. ■

The Turbo Haüs anniversary party is happening on Friday, Sept. 27, 7–11 p.m., $10/$15