The last time Piledriver released something The Bangles had just released a massive single called Manic Monday, Ferris Bueller was a brand new phenomenon and kids everywhere in the polluting world were nagging their parents for a Sony Walkman. That was 1986. Piledriver had just issued an album called Stay Ugly through Cobra Records as the follow-up to its ostentatious 1985 album, Metal Inquisition. The year is 2008 and, after a return to the scene in 2005 inclusive of a name change, The Exalted Piledriver has just issued its comeback album. Is The Exalted Piledriver legitimate? Is there any validity to the Canadian band? Does the scene need another reunion or is this really a cash grab amidst the sea of reforming bands? Ali “The Metallian” received a telephone call from Gord “Piledriver” Kirchin and the two discussed all these topics. – 09.11.2008
METALLIAN: Gord, thanks for calling into Metallian Towers. Let us begin by discussing the name change from Piledriver to The Exalted Piledriver. Does it have something to do with the lawyers?
PILEDRIVER: Actually no. Many people instantly jump to that logical conclusion. In my absence, all kinds of Piledrivers have popped up all over the planet. There is one in Germany that is a tribute to Status Quo. There is a heavy metal Piledriver in Japan. There is a hardcore Piledriver in L.A.. There is a dance/trance/rave Piledriver somewhere up in Scandinavia and there is another Piledriver down in Australia. So I figured if I was to put out a new album again there is just too many Piledrivers. I thought I would delineate and separate myself from these lesser forms by pulling that line from the lyric to help remind everybody exactly which Piledriver we are talking about here. I just found that anytime I type Piledriver into a search engine it took forever to find anything about me because of all Piledrivers out there, let alone the wrestling move, so I just thought it would help remind people. I thought it would be a little more fun; a little more pile this way.
METALLIAN: Was Piledriver originally a name you chose or was it the choice of the person who created the band?
PILEDRIVER: Here is how the genesis of Piledriver came about. Leslie Howe, I played with him in a bar band at some point back in the ‘80s, it was called Mainstream and was just a cover band doing bar gigs, I eventually left that band to play in Fist with Ron Chenier and then I went on to play with Brian Greenway. I was on the road and I got a phone call from Leslie Howe stating that he was working on a heavy metal recording project that would not have a band, but they needed a really heavy voice and he remembered me from being in the band and having the heavy vocals. I said ‘yes, as soon as I am off this tour I would be glad to do it,’ got home to Ottawa and in two days sang the vocals. It was just to go out there and make a little bit of money for Leslie and this record weasel (editor’s note: Zoran Busic of Cobra and Maze Records). What happened was it got huge! They didn’t expect it to get huge. Here’s how it came about: the idea was that this record weasel had found out that any record that went out that had a half decent art work cover would sell 20,000 copies - no matter what shit was on the vinyl. So they said ‘let’s write a heavy metal album and put it out and we will make a quick 20,000 dollars and we will just have a nice cover.’ When I came into the project and I heard the quality of these songs I really put one-hundred and ten percent into singing it because I was young. I was 23 years old. It was my first shot and my first chance on being on an album. What did I care if it wasn’t actually gonna be a band or anything? My vocals would be out there and I thought it would move me onto a more legitimate project like somebody would pluck me if they liked my vocals. But it went out unheralded and accidentally turned into a huge thing basically because of the quality of the music. There was no band ever until 2005.
METALLIAN: Everyone at the beginning thought there was a band of course.
PILEDRIVER: In interviews and things we were planting the seeds for this mythical beast and building a story so that it would seem plausible. It was kind of an interesting marketing ploy if you think that way.
METALLIAN: When you say “record weasel” you are obviously referring to the record company proprietor of Cobra and Maze Records. Is there a reason you don’t mention his name?
PILEDRIVER: Because I say some things about him that some people call libelous so I refuse to utter his name and to put myself in that position, but he is a lying shit weasel cocksucker. He is the most talented golden tongue I have ever met in the business. He could talk Eskimos into buying ice cubes.
METALLIAN: This record weasel is no longer active in the industry.
PILEDRIVER: No, this is what I hear and I think it’s just desserts. He reaped what he sows. I am not the only person he ever ripped off. Any band that had anything to do with that record weasel has a sour taste after dealing with him.
METALLIAN: He went away in the late ‘80s and came back again in the early ‘90s with Maze Records.
PILEDRIVER: I think he went back to the Maze name. He did it under different spellings of Cobra. He did two different spellings. Then he stole Max Webster‘s album title for his company name. Live Magnetic Air was Max Webster’s live album and this weasel calls his company Magnetic Air, so original!
METALLIAN: It is ironic that a band that never was is back.
PILEDRIVER: This is what I love about it. Pile’s return is his debut, it’s a fucked up time machine.
METALLIAN: So why are you back?
PILEDRIVER: Because of the fans, because there is all those fans who were so into it and there was nothing to hang their emotions on and I felt that I owed it to the fans to make it real because everybody wanted it so badly to be real. Not the least of which is me, for me this is the culmination of twenty years of dreaming to make it happen. When I got online back in ’95 I saw that the record weasel was all bullshit and all lies. He used to tell us that the record was tanking, it wasn’t doing any good, and he would go out of his way to not let us know about magazine articles or chart listings because he didn’t want to put any effort into it. He made his quick money and wanted out. Anyway, when I got online and found out that not only the fans are out there, but also that there are hundreds of thousands of them and it is all over the planet I felt that how can this go on un-shown. I couldn’t let this die without putting it together and bringing it to the fans. Some people are thinking that I am cashing in. Believe me, I am not making any money doing this. I am only hurting my bank account.
METALLIAN: Having gone through it once, you would know that in metal, this kind of metal, there is no money to be made really so why put yourself through it again?
PILEDRIVER: Because of the fans. I owe it to them and I owe it to myself. All these years I could have gone out and been Johnny rock star, I tried it a couple of times and I had a very hard time putting a band together with anybody who would sublimate their egos enough to put on masks, costumes and stage names.
METALLIAN: What have you been doing all these years? There is a Dogs With Jobs CD in the Metallian Towers library.
PILEDRIVER: I was working on my shot at Piledriver. Metal Inquisition was Leslie Howe’s baby. He was awesome and then when Leslie Howe realized that the record weasel was a record weasel he divorced himself of it all and then the album went big so what was one to do? He had gotten Gord to come out and sing on it. When I found out that there was a second Piledriver album in the works and it wasn’t Leslie Howe I asked what are the fans going to think when it’s a completely different sound? ‘Oh don’t worry it is your vocals and they won’t even notice,’ said the record weasel and I am going ‘well I think they will, it is like a completely different band because it is completely different.’ We did it with Dave DeFeis and Eddie Pursino of Virgin Steele. Stay Ugly was the result and it was a completely different sounding record. Third time around I said ‘let me do it, let me try, I think I understand Piledriver. I created this persona, let me put the music behind what I think is Piledriver.’ He said fine, but I am not paying a penny. He said if you want to do this then you are on your own. Ok, fine I wanted to do it because I thought that Piledriver was worth saving and I felt that it had gone the wrong tact with Stay Ugly. I felt that it had gone in a very simplistic way, which I didn’t want it to go. I would rather have a little bit more song craft rather than hanging a lyric on a riff so I was in the studio working on what would have been the third Piledriver album, called Shock, and then finally the record weasel and I had the final argument where he basically told me he wasn’t going to give me a penny and he was going to take my album. I told him to ‘get the fuck out of the studio and that this isn’t Piledriver session anymore, Piledriver is no more and this is a Dogs With Jobs session!’ It was a name I had in my back pocket from various bands and I always wanted to use. So it came out of my mouth. I retooled all the lyrics to take them out of Pile’s mouth and put them in a little bit more of a commercial context and that is how it ended up being a Dogs With Jobs album.
Some people say they hear a lot of the Piledriver in Dogs With Jobs. If they would have heard it with the original lyrics! It was totally the third Piledriver album. It was a step backwards to the precision and song craft of Metal Inquisition versus the blitz of Stay Ugly.
METALLIAN: You mentioned that it was a little bit more commercial. Piledriver itself was censored and I felt that was not really ‘metallic’ in the sense that a metal artist would never allow himself or his band to be censored. How did that come about and who let it happen?
PILEDRIVER: All I know is that when we were doing the sessions for the band Convict the weasel stepped up and said ‘oh yeah Gord here are these two other songs we are gonna do and these are gonna go on the American version of Metal Inquisition.’ I asked him what he means about an “American version?” He said the distributors don’t want to release these three songs as they are. He said the Americans have problems with the songs Human Sacrifice, Sex With Satan and Alien Rape. They changed the title on the American version from Alien Rape to Alien Raid so it wasn’t so violent, and two songs were supplanted from the Convict sessions - again another genius decision by the record weasel, bringing in another completely different sound into it. Anyway, the American distributors were afraid of those three songs.
METALLIAN: Oddly, at the same time Piledriver was coming out Slayer, to cite one example, was singing about raping and ravaging.
PILEDRIVER: It was funny to me that people considered Piledriver to be so extreme, but we were so not extreme.
METALLIAN: What do you mean?
PILEDRIVER: I don’t find Piledriver extreme at all. I find that Piledriver is almost commercial in a way. The music is written around very hooky material. Lyrically, things are on the edge, but they are not over the edge. At the time look at Slayer, look at Venom, that’s where the impetus and the drive for Piledriver came from. I find it odd that people think Piledriver is so extreme. I really don’t think it is. Piledriver has a very commercial base to it, the way the songs are written. When you look at a song like Witch Hunt is that even metal? Seriously.
METALLIAN: Speaking of extreme, there are hints of it in the outfits, but is the monicker a wrestling name, an instrument or innuendo for a sexual position because the song itself Piledriver which makes sexual references?
PILEDRIVER: It is actually the machine Piledriver, the thing that pounds posts into the ground. It was about the rhythm of it and the noise and volume of it. Luckily all that other stuff dovetailed right in.
METALLIAN: You are calling the new album the second coming and the return or the true exalted Piledriver, The Metal Manifesto. The name conveys an almost lofty goal. How do you live up to the name?
PILEDRIVER: Hopefully it is in the lyrics of that song. It is all about what is it to be a metal head and what is it that is at the central core of being a metal head. It is about pounding your fist in the air. It is about thumping your chest with pride. It is about screaming the truth. It is about tearing the roof off the joint. It is a way of life. It is all about the brotherhood in the moshpit. It is about the sheer pounding glory of metal. It is about the standard of living your life to the standards of being a good brother in metal, being a good stand-up and honest person and I find that that is something true to metal heads. It is amazing to me that every festival I have ever been to you can have a room full of 3,000 completely drunken assholes, but they are all together and all focused on one thing, the metal. It is not about egos. It is not about ‘I am better than you;’ it is about the joy and the brotherhood of metal. I am trying to make the perfect metal anthem.
METALLIAN: Don’t you think that people will begin to think that Piledriver thinks that this album of his is the best metal album ever?
PILEDRIVER: No, basically a manifesto is a dictum of an ideal. Setting out of an ideal is what I am proposing.
METALLIAN: How do you see it musically? What were you going for?
PILEDRIVER: I see it as a logical extension. I see it as a distillation of what I think Piledriver sounds like. Luckily guitarist Kinky Pork Cream came to the table with the exact mindset in music that I needed to fulfill this. He is my perfect foil, he writes the riffs right out of my head and when we come together we make the Piledriver sound. It is true destiny that finally I have this partner to help me bring it out. This is what I always thought Piledriver should sound like. You probably hear some elements of this in the Dogs With Jobs material. What I am going for is a loose precision, not sacrificing fun, there is too much serious crap. We need to laugh and enjoy life and why can’t it happen in metal? A lot of people call us a joke band. They lump us in with The Spinal Tap and the Bad News Tour.
METALLIAN: Do you see that?
PILEDRIVER: I don’t see that, but then again maybe it is my perspective, I am too on the inside, but what I see is just an expression of metal in which I can’t help myself and include my sense of humour. Many people think I am making fun of music, but I am not making fun of music I am making fun of humans, the people that make music.
METALLIAN: You just spoke about one of your band-mates. Everyone knows by now that the original names, even on the Convict album, weren’t real people. So how real is this band?
PILEDRIVER: This is real baby, this is it, this is the band that was always supposed to be and this is the only band that it will ever be. Seriously, if this line-up doesn’t work it is over because I have never had this kind of chemistry in a band ever in my life. This line-up has been together two and a half years now and we have a chemistry that none of us have ever experienced in a band before. It is true destiny that brought the four of us together. People throw these words around but I am living it, the minute this line-up was in a room everything just fell into our laps, everything was up and it came to us, right down to Rob at Northern Storm Records.
METALLIAN: How did you guys meet? How did the line-up come together?
PILEDRIVER: We met on the telephone! My former manager had placed an advertisement some time back when I was looking for a guitar player and Mark (Kinky Pork Cream) came across it on some listing online, like a Craigslist kind of thing for musicians. The manager was Ray Wallace that had placed the listing. I get a phone call... ‘hi, this is Mark. I was talking to your manager Ray Wallace and apparently you are looking for guitar player.’ It was funny as at that point I had just disbanded everything. We had done a couple of shows, but the line-up was really not functional. There was a couple of bad alcoholics and maybe three or four shows were done and every one was worse than the one before it because these guys just had no professionalism. It was all about the party. They didn’t work on the material and so ended up sounding like a really bad cover band with a vocalist that sort of sounded like the guy and I couldn’t continue. It broke my heart because I was working so hard on this comeback and these guys wanted to just party and make noise. They didn’t care about re-creating anything. I had a really bad night at this heavy metal association bash and actually had a nervous break down that night and I just couldn’t deal anymore with the ruination of the music and nobody giving a shit except me about quality and I basically dropped myself out of the business that night. This is in 2005. I had come back with this band. We were together maybe less than a year. I couldn’t continue. We were starting to be perceived as a joke band and I said if this is going to be a heart ache I don’t need it. I am going to go back to my life and work my job and be a fan. But weeks later here I was planning my own Craigslist listing with all my studio gear and equipment to be sold and Mark called me up and at the beginning of the conversation I was like, ‘dude you are a couple of weeks too late,’ but by the end of the conversation it was ‘holy fuck where have you been all my life.’ We talked for three hours and we went from being strangers to feeling that we have known each other all our lives.
METALLIAN: Was he a professional musician with bands beforehand?
PILEDRIVER: Yes, he and his drummer who ended up coming along with him had a band called Reckon With One, had a couple of albums and were starting to get some notice. They had their falling out with their bass player/singer so they were a three-piece. They were stranded and I was looking for a guitar player and oddly because my drummer couldn’t tour because of his job commitments I was on the side looking for a drummer and here they were together joined at the hip. They had been playing together for like 12 years and they just came in and became the other half of Piledriver. It was destiny. It truly was. From the second we started making music together I could feel that this is the fucking band.
METALLIAN: Was their band Toronto-based?
METALLIAN: You mentioned Ray Wallace. was he managing you initially?
PILEDRIVER: He was instrumental in convincing me that it could be done, like I always had the dream of doing it but he was the one that convinced me to fuck all the naysayers. He said, ‘man you got do it.’ So he was instrumental in helping me get back on the horse but unfortunately he wasn’t the greatest manager in the world and he screwed up more deals than he set up, but he had the biggest heart in the world and there was no bigger fan of metal than Ray. We were working on a tour of Europe and he mishandled it and we ended up being a year late in going to Europe because of his mishandling. At that point he and I decided that maybe this isn’t working out, best of luck in life and I will see you down at the club next week.
METALLIAN: You fired him?
PILEDRIVER: No we didn’t fire him, we just sort of went our separate ways. We just realized that there wasn’t much that he could do for me that I couldn’t already do so it was ’thanks, Ray.’ I was sort of instrumental in getting him back into the music business because he had been away from it a long time as well so we were sort of scratching each other’s backs. It was Ray and I who started the heavy metal music association of Canada and that’s continuing on and that’s continuing in his memory thanks to A.J. McCready, Jenny DuHaime and others. I don’t have the time to participate in it any more but I really hope that it carries on and really does something for Ray because it is all based on his heart and a love for music and trying to make a strong Canadian music scene for metal.
METALLIAN: Where did you find a record company?
PILEDRIVER: We had done this college radio show out in Oakville and the dude hosting the radio show was Rob. We had such a good time and he invited us back and some months later we ended up going back again. We had a blast. I was really impressed with how much he knew about metal and how untainted his views were. I just really got along really well with him and then six months after knowing him I find out from my guitar player that Rob has a record label with worldwide distribution. I called him and asked ‘how is it that I have known you for all these months and you not once whored yourself to me?’ I told him that I fucking love that about him. I asked if I can put out Piledriver out on his label. After he got up from the floor, the rest was history.
METALLIAN: Did you ever think to approach bigger labels or perhaps you did?
PILEDRIVER: We did. I am too old you know, I am too passé, my fan base is much too small to warrant any kind of venture. I don’t agree of course. Like I told them… that’s funny, just last week I saw Ian Gillan, he didn’t seem very troubled by his age.
METALLIAN: All these bands playing venues like the Air Canada Center like Scorpions and so forth typically sell out the place.
PILEDRIVER: Yes, that’s funny because I am too old. Once the word got out that I am in bed with Northern Storm, this small Canadian label, you wouldn’t believe all the phone calls that Rob got from representatives from these fucking labels saying how is it you have Piledriver? How is it you have what we want? They turned down Piledriver and now they were calling.
METALLIAN: It is like playing hard to get.
PILEDRIVER: Yes, Northern Storm is Piledriver’s wedding ring! Once you have it all the girls come running.
METALLIAN: What is the plan for the band with this album coming out? Is there a long term plan like touring? Is there promotion?
PILEDRIVER: Yes, I am back. I am on the horse and I am back like never before. My throat is stronger than it has ever been in my life. This band is the most fucking killer band I have ever been in or had the luck to be together in and we are going to do nothing short of drop jaws everywhere we go, because we do, that is what we do. We steal shows. That’s our business. Ask anybody that has seen us on the road, that’s all they talk about afterwards, Piledriver.
We are going to be going all over Europe. I think it is in late June of 2009. It is going to be four times the tour we did last time. When we come back from Europe the plans are for us to go to Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile then after that the plan is to run around the USA with The Mentors. We have been talking to them and it might happen. I am keeping my fingers crossed because that will surely be the event in any fucking town.
METALLIAN: You obviously have a day job.
PILEDRIVER: Not anymore.
METALLIAN: What happened? Surely you are not making money from Piledriver.
PILEDRIVER: That is right. I am decimating my RRSP right now.
METALLIAN: Is that really what you are doing? Taking from your savings and putting it into the band?
PILEDRIVER: In the past year and a half I have taken almost $22,000 out of my RRSP.
METALLIAN: You are serious.
PILEDRIVER: Oh yeah, believe me. As serious as my own impending heart attack!
METALLIAN: Can Northern Storm Records pull it off?
PILEDRIVER: Northern Storm is a small label but this is the 21st century. You need not be a Warner or EMI. Distribution is the key and through Indie Pool we have the distribution up the ying yang. Sure it is going to trickle out there in the beginning but it is going to get out there and we are hitting the road as hard as we can. It is hard for us because of this perception of us being a comedy band and the promoters down in the US saying we don’t really need a comedy act.
METALLIAN: Well it hasn’t hurt Kiss.
PILEDRIVER: (Laughingly) touché. But that is just another nut for us to crack and it is just a matter of time.
METALLIAN: Back to Metal Manifesto, the sound and production are surprisingly good. How did that come about?
PILEDRIVER: We produced it ourselves. Like I said, this is the sound I have had in my head. When it came time to find a mixer I needed somebody that was old school. Somebody that came from the ground up in the old school of recording. I didn’t want a whiz kid on pro tools, every studio has that guy but how many studios have a guy that has put out such a range of albums and who has that grounding in old school production? Neil Kernon was the name so we pursued him.
METALLIAN: Let’s change topics. Let me take you to task for one thing which I didn’t appreciate. This whole business about paying tribute to the troops, based on your recent statement, sounds like the typical Canadian cloning the Americans.
PILEDRIVER: It was my father who was in the navy, it was my grandfather on his side who was in the royal air force and my grandfather on my mother’s side who was in the royal air force as well that I am doing that for.
METALLIAN: Right now “troops” equal war and the way I see the war is as American made crime and garbage.
PILEDRIVER: I was a tree hugger who rebelled against my parents and my grandparents and their whole legacy of military bullshit. It was when we were going to Europe on our tour last year at London’s Heathrow, in the smoke room, went in, sat down and this guy comes over and asks me for a light. It was a Canadian military guy. Actually, I started laying into him and then he produced his camera and showed me pictures, before and after, and believe me after 45 minutes of looking at his snapshots and what they were doing in Afghanistan and what they were going through to do it completely it turned me around like mind shattering 180 degree flip in my politics. It had that much of an impact on me to see kids flying kites, to see people walking in the streets, to see school children actually in schools learning things, to see people walking into a hospital that never existed. The infrastructure that we Canadians are laying down on the ground in Afghanistan is what you don’t hear about. All we hear about is the death, the destruction, the IEDs, you don’t hear about the thousands and thousands of kilometers of paved roads they have now. We don’t talk about the hundreds of hospitals that have been built. I saw those pictures and I also saw pictures of the horror that is going on over there. I saw pictures of Taliban chaining little girls to the wall spread eagled so that they could be used as human shields and as a sexual apparatus. For us to be there and making that not happen anymore is so bad?
METALLIAN: I believe you have been exposed to propaganda. It’s a question of democracy, don’t you agree? Ask in Afghanistan or Iraq and you will find that they don’t want us there. The west has never helped the situation so why are we pouring money in there?
PILEDRIVER: That is conundrum of being Canadian. We want to do so good, but we really are an American puppet. We march to their orders and as much as we try to do the good things we are also tied in with the turd.
METALLIAN: It goes back to my original question.
PILEDRIVER: I am saying that we should support the men and women that are in the boots doing the dirty work and believe me I am not deluded to think that every single person over there is a saint, but I have to hope in my heart that we are over there for the right reasons and if it is indeed true that we are not wanted then we shouldn’t be there, but that is not to say ignore the good that we are trying to effect and to support the people that are in the shit trying to effect good. I am not saying support the war, I am saying support the men and the women. I was in a family where dad was away and we never knew if he was coming back so I have a lot of sympathy for military families.
METALLIAN: Is that part of the reason you grew up in Ottawa?
PILEDRIVER: Yes, that was after he finished his service on the ships and he was in a desk job in government.
METALLIAN: In the Department Of Defense?
PILEDRIVER: Actually in a division of CSIS.
METALLIAN: Where do you guys buy your outfits? Is it a bondage shop?
PILEDRIVER: It started off as one but I think the store branched off and has many different products now. It was originally called Leather Craft (on Yonge Street in Toronto) and now, I think, they are called Northbound Leather. George, the owner, has been there since the beginning. We took him a restaurant napkin with a drawing on it and he helped create the Pile costume. It is funny because while I was in there having my pants made and the Pile Wench and I are in there getting a fitting and out of a dressing booth comes a flamboyant fellow saying, ‘oh these chaps are perfect, his ass showing out of these two perfect cut outs of his pants’. I have quite a few gay fans because of this bondage gear.
METALLIAN: Who drew that sketch?
PILEDRIVER: I drew it. We had a definite idea in mind.
METALLIAN: What was it? What were you trying to look like? Bondage gear?
METALLIAN: Gord, what is it we left out to discuss?
PILEDRIVER: I am appreciative and I thank the fans. This is all for them. I am bringing it to them because they never went away and they never gave up hope. There was always that hope and wonder, where is Pile? Will he ever come back? I am doing it all for them. It is my thank-you to the fans because I never got any love from the industry, never got any love from the inside, from so many of my former band members yet there was always the fans. I try to bring to the table the best possible Piledriver that I can be and I hope to bring it until the day I drop.
METALLIAN: What is going on between now and next June when you go to Europe?
PILEDRIVER: We are going to go back to the studio very soon and we are going to be releasing a little song for the Christmas season, a cover song. We are going to leak it out sometime in December and we are going to put it on the net and everybody can download it and enjoy it, love it and fondle it. We have got some video projects in mind, as we all know the standard rock video is history, all the music channels don’t play music anymore so we are working on an actual television show. I don’t want to let too much out of the bag but this is going to be huge if it happens.
METALLIAN: Is it going to be Piledriver reality show?
PILEDRIVER: It is a documentary and it is going to follow the various paths of the members throughout and how we all came together and of course my humour will be throughout. Pile is about the future. I have got a lot of things in mind that I want to bring to reality.
With that Gord “Piledriver” Kirchin is off. The band’s album, Metal Manifesto, is out now despite a short delay. Find it at sleazier record stores everywhere. .
The band’s website is at http://www.sofa-q.com/.
The album can currently be streamed on the band’s page on Northern Storm Records’ website at http://www.northernstormrecords.com/PILEDRIVER/.
A recent Western poll that shows most Iraqis would like Americans to depart: http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-09/2006-09-27-voa73.cfm.
Canadians and Afghans want soldiers to withdraw from Afghanistan: http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-09/2006-09-27-voa73.cfm.