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Volume 90, Issue 94

Friday, March 21, 1997



Deserving of our front page

©Andria Kury/Gazette
HE LOOKS PRETTY DOWN TO EARTH FOR A GUY FROM PLUTO. Ian Jones will continue his leaning style of guitar technique at The Embassy tomorrow night, with Made opening.

By Jennifer Leonard
Gazette Staff

"You mean the front page?" gasps Ian Jones, vocalist/guitarist of Pluto. Of The Gazette, yes. Of The Georgia Strait? Sorry, no.

Jones relates to me how the head honchos at The Georgia Strait – a 'what's happening in the entertainment world' paper out of Vancouver – thought Pluto had "a lot of nerve for a band that's only been around for a couple of years," in hopes of gracing its front cover. Upon its issue, Jones discovered the cover to showcase "an old Eskimo woman, holding a whale." The land of the midnight sun versus the furthest planet from the sun.

The west coast foursome met by fluke. Bassist John Ounpuu was wearing a vintage '70s Beatles T-shirt, walking down the flourishing downtown streets of Vancouver. Jones, a Beatles fan approaching from the distance, couldn't help but want to befriend the stranger opposite him.

It didn't take long before Ounpuu and Jones started bowling together. The bowling dates were good, but it was that one fateful night at the local alley when it became out of this world.

A marble ball, with a plan of its own, travelled not towards the intended pins, but across the gutter and over to a neighbouring lane. That lane was guitarist Rolf Hetherington's and drummer Justin Leigh's.

Pluto exploded onto the music industry very quickly because Jones worked at a recording studio, which enabled them to record a seven-inch right away on their own. The first time the guys practiced together, they wrote a couple of songs and thought, "Wow that was good. Let's play again." Pluto continued to write songs, started to play live, put out a second seven-inch and a first album on the Mint Records label.

Virgin Music licensed Pluto's first record from Vancouver's Mint, allowing the musicians to "take all of the original tracks, record six new songs and mix all of them together" with The Butcher Brothers (Urge Overkill, Anthrax), states Jones.

Without any over-dubs on the older tracks, Jones says, "I like the mix on this album. It's kinda' cool."

Touring stories include many of note, such as Pluto's recent stint with Britain's Fluffy, where Jones had to quickly learn the songs and replace their guitarist, because she was ill. Jones lets me in on his makeup ritual pre-Fluffy show, in contrast to his standard "glass of Crown Royal and cigarette" for Pluto gigs.

Pluto will be touring with Japan's female trio Shonen Knife until May 18. Then it's back to Vancouver to recuperate, before recording a full-length set for a January, 1998 release.

The next album will feature the recording effects akin to Pluto's debut independent record, creating a more "spontaneous sort of thing in the studio," says Jones – out of choice this time, not necessity.

Live shows are "sweat-soaked sex fests" and the album is "35 minutes of pure joy," claims Jones.

Whether this will all become apparent tomorrow night is unsure, but sex and joy could never be seen as a bad thing, can they?

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1997