Volume 90, Issue 90

Friday, March 14, 1997



Toronto band keeps the rust off

Gazette file photo
THEY GOTTA BE COOL. THE LEAD SINGER WEARS A TOQUE. Rusty brings its cool look and sophomoric feel to Call The Office tomorrow night.

By Jamie Lynn
Gazette Staff

Who doesn't love a splash of irony with their rock n' roll? After all, it adds some zesty flavour to the music, giving people either a laugh or something to ponder.

Toronto-based band Rusty appropriately named its debut album Fluke, perhaps trying to poke fun at bands that make stellar first records but then never again manage to match the excellence.

Now Rusty has released its much anticipated second record and has decided to once again throw people off its scent by naming it Sophomoric.

"Our guitar player, Scotty, comes up with the names for the records," explains bassist, Jim Moore. "It turns out Sophomoric means someone who thinks he knows more than he actually does, which somehow seems appropriate."

Sophomoric, however, has certainly proven the band's first record was no Fluke. The album is a surprisingly restrained effort, with plenty of great melodic pop songs. One can even hear a bit of country on the new single "Empty Cell." While Rusty may have turned down the guitars this time out, the album still has that refreshing off the floor feeling that helped make Fluke such an honest recording.

"When we set out to find a producer, they all wanted to spend too much time in pre-production – none of them wanted to do an album fast," Moore says. "We don't really need help with our songs. We just wanted someone who could capture the sound we were going after."

Moore adds the band decided to work with producer Garth Richardson because he was an old friend and because of the great work he has done over the years with other bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Jesus Lizard. With Richardson, the band worked at a faster pace which was exactly the way Rusty wanted it.

"I cornered the producer of our last record at a Canadian Music Week function the other day and asked him if he liked the new record," Moore says. "He said, 'It's too poppy for me.' That's fair, I appreciate his honesty."

Despite the fact various band members have been in the music business for over a decade and that Rusty is probably one of the hardest touring bands in the business, some people have dismissed the band as of late. This backlash has been due mostly to the band receiving so much radio and video play for songs like "Wake Me" and "Misogyny."

"I think it's an old Canadian thing. Some people just don't want anyone to do well," Moore claims. "I'm always really happy when other bands are doing well, even if I don't like the music. It's like, 'Why wouldn't you want someone to win the lottery?'"

Still, almost 50,000 people bought Rusty's first album and Sophomoric is already getting a lot of positive attention. Moore however, claims there not any pressure on the band to sell records. "Nothing's really conscious. We're always just writing [and] playing," he says.

With no pressure to sell, Rusty is managing to do just that simply by concentrating on the music. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997