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Band's Side Projects (Long 180 lines)
- Subject: Band's Side Projects (Long 180 lines)
- From: Adam S Rodenhiser <ac768\!/cfn.cs.dal.ca>
- Date: Sat, 28 Jan 1995 19:12:58 -0400
THE DAILY NEWS ENTERTAINMENT FEATURE
Brought to you by The Daily News, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Saturday. January 28, 1995
JUST PLAYIN' AROUND
Musicians find a little something extra on the side
by David Rodenhiser
Members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden did it when they teamed up for
the Temple of the Dog album. Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, George
Harrison and the late Roy Orbison did it under the guise of The
Even Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris
Kristofferson do it when they call themselves The Highwaymen.
For love or just the thrill of something new, many musicians keep a
project outside their regular band. Something to fool around with.
For the artists mentioned above, endeavors outside their primary
careers have proven lucrative. For other, lesser-known bands, such as
Eric's Trip, side projects may not make much money, but they're a good
way to have fun and be creative.
"We like to have something on the side to get out other possibilities
that we can't vent through Eric's Trip," explains Mark Gaudet, the
Moncton band's drummer.
Eric's Trip, signed to Seattle's Sub Pop Records, is one of the
Maritimes' most popular alternative bands. They're presently in the
running for this year's East Coast Music Award for best
alternative/rock artist - up against the likes of Thrush Hermit and
All four members of Eric's Trip have side projects, which metro music
fans will get to see tonight at the Oasis Bar & Grill.
Gaudet, 31, and his lifelong chum, Raynald Legere - "another guy that
refused to grow up" - will be performing as Purple Knight, a basement
band they started in 1974.
"Deep Purple was the main inspiration for Purple Knight, back when I
was about eight years old," Gaudet says. "Where I'm an old hack, I get
to play the older music that the rest of Eric's Trip is not used to
playing.... That era, with the heavier, bombastic stuff, is what I get
out with Purple Knight."
Gaudet released a cassette in December for another side project,
called No Explanation, in which he handles all the vocals and
"It's just nice to have a band that's totally your own, in case you
have no friends and you still want to do stuff," Gaudet jokes.
Likewise, Eric's Trip guitarist Rick White has a solo project called
Elevator to Hell, which will release an album in March on Sub Pop.
Meanwhile, bassist Julie Doiron, has a record for her solo act, Broken
Girl, coming out later this year on Halifax's murderecords label.
"For Rick, he has quite a deep-seated soul that can't be fully
conveyed through other people, so he has to do his own stuff. And
Julie has her own personal things that she wants to exercise," Gaudet
In live performances, Doiron is onstage alone with her guitar as
Broken Girl. But for Elevator to Hell, Gaudet often backs up White.
Moonsocket is the side project of the fourth member of Eric's Trip,
guitarist Chris Thompson. Thompson may play solo for the Oasis gig, or
he may have a few friends from Halifax back him up, Gaudet says.
Moonsocket, too, has a single coming out on Sub Pop.
Gaudet says the numerous side projects don't cause tension between the
members of Eric's Trip or threaten to break up the band. The complete
group plans to put out a seven-inch EP this summer, and release a full
album toward the end of the year.
"We just treat it as a break from Eric's Trip to do our own stuff.
Then, in February, we'll get Eric's Trip back together and it'll be
cool," he says.
However, there might be a brief Eric's Trip reunion at the end of
"A lot of people were wondering if we'd do a song at the end. So,
we're going to have to wait and see what happens," Gaudet says coyly.
The Tim Robbins Experience is three-quarters of Halifax's Thrush
Hermit, and gives the Hermit members a chance to switch instruments.
"It's for the fun of playing a different instrument, and to be able to
explore ideas that I wouldn't necessarily explore in Thrush Hermit,"
says Joel Plaskett.
"When you're on a different instrument it just allows you to
manipulate a song in a different way." Plaskett plays guitar in Thrush
Hermit, but beats the drums in the Tim Robbins Experience.
Hermit guitarist Rob Benvie switches to bass and keyboards for Tim
Robbins, and Ian McGettigan puts aside his bass to play lead guitar in
the side project. Hermit drummer Cliff Gibb gets the night off when
Tim Robbins performs.
Named after the Hollywood actor and an old schoolmate by the same
name, Tim Robbins is "more riff-oriented" than Thrush Hermit, which is
"lyrical or song-oriented," says Plaskett. Performing as the Tim
Robbins Experience allows the band members to experiment with music
that would "pervert" Thrush Hermit, he says.
Plaskett, 19, also plays drums in the band Somerdale, with his friend
Matt Kelly, Lana Amey and Kristine Anderson.
Meanwhile, Benvie, on drums, and McGettigan, on bass, helped back up
singer Laura Borealis recently at the Oasis when they performed as
Crappo 2. (Crappo is the name of Borealis's Chicago-based band.)
As well, Plaskett says, Benvie, McGettigan, and Sloan bassist Chris
Murphy are talking about putting together a punk band as a side
Murphy, incidentally, backs up Matt Murphy, of Superfriendz, from time
to time in the country send-up band Li'l Orton Hoggett. And, when
Sloan plays with a member missing, it's billed as Salon Selectives -
named for a shampoo. (Salon is also an anagram of Sloan.)
Murphy and Murphy were among those who backed up Borealis in a band
called Snob Shop for the album, Pick of the Week. (The album cover
depicted Borealis with a finger buried up one nostril.)
Another member of Superfriendz, Charles Austin, has been known to team
up with Alyson MacLeod of jale, Chris Logan of Coyote, and NSCAD
student Marta Swanie to perform as Skreech.
MacLeod says she felt "burnt out," practising for both bands, but
she's nonetheless excited about her new side project with Allison
Outhit, of Rebecca West, and Pat Dooley, of Coyote. They plan to
perform as a yet-to-be-named new wave act, covering tunes by such
bands as the Psychedelic Furs, the Cure, Soft Cell, and Flock of
"We thought Halifax needed a band you could get up and dance to," says
MacLeod. "We all just wanted to do something fun, and not really worry
about where it goes. It will be a real show: there might even be some
If all these crossovers between bands confuse you - and this is by no
means an exhaustive list - don't feel bad. Even those involved in the
local alternative scene look at it with a sense of humor.
"It's kind of incestuous, what's going on," admits Plaskett. "We've
all played with other people or jammed with other people at times."
But Plaskett says it's important to maintain perspective on side
"Thrush Hermit is the first priority," he says. "None of us want to
lose track with what we're trying to do. Because the music that I
really love is what we're doing in Thrush Hermit. That's what I want
to focus on, and I don't want to water that down by spreading myself
too far ...
"Besides, I'm sure people get sick of seeing the same people in just
different incarnations of bands. Like: `Oh no. It's the guys from
Thrush Hermit again!'"
Forwarded by .......
"BuT I doN't wanT to go aMonG Mad peoPle," AliCe | Adam Rodenhiser
remarKeD. "OH, YOU caN't heLp THat," saiD THe CaT. | "Fan From Hell"
"We'Re aLL MaD HeRe. I'm MaD, YoU'Re MaD." "How dO | dWIGHT fRY 6X9=42
You KNow i'M MAD?" saiD AliCe. "YOu Must Be," sAid | ac768\!/cfn.cs.dal.ca
tHE CaT, "oR You wOULdn't Have COme Here." | TAKE OFF!!
- Lewis Carroll, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' | YOU HOSER!!!