Volume 91, Issue 27

Thursday, October 16, 1997

Bored of Governors


Out to fulfill their destiny

"ALLRIGHT, WHICH ONE OF YOU DAMN KIDS PUT A HOLE IN THE WALL!!" The very guilty looking members of Save Ferris will try to be better behaved at The Embassy tonight.

By Carey Weinberg
Gazette Staff

So-Cal, ska-punk is experiencing a tremendous amount of attention in the music industry. Bands out of the area such as Green Day and No Doubt paved the way for newcomers like Save Ferris. Ska-Pop-Swing is the sound emanating from the seven-piece band, who are recently off the Real Big Fish tour and are touring with Goldfinger. Save Ferris is at The Embassy tonight promoting the ska flavour with the new album.

Save Ferris members were a part of the third wave ska underground whose ebb and tide brought it above ground. Singer Monique Powell cites the aftermath of the grunge era as part of the reason for ska's recent resurgence "It was time for a change in music. Grunge was huge and the whole mentality that went along with it became very popular." She cites depression as the primary driving force behind the grunge era and feels people needed a change and in reference to ska: "This is just what popped up."

What popped up is a band with a ton of energy with a good kitchy name (which presumably makes '80s pop culture kids happy – not to mention the cover version of "Come on Eileen"). "How can third-wave ska not be popular? Since the music is great and the shows are fun, it encourages you to just let go and have a good time," claims Powell.

This translates into the function of their brand of music – to get everybody into the music so they feel they got their money's worth and leave feeling like that was the best thing they've ever done.

"An effective way of doing that is by keeping it real, keeping it personal and connecting with the audience. People want to be touched, to be moved, they want to feel important."

Providing that connection for people is part of what drives Save Ferris. In a sense, the music is a method by which a relationship is established. "That's every musician's job. If you're playing music just for yourself then you may as well just stay in your bedroom and strum your guitar, because if you want to become a performer your role is to provide." The bedroom stuff sounds like a version of musical masturbation. Powell and her band-mates are not interested in simply pleasuring themselves with their craft.

For Powell, this is her fated position in life, "I love the fact I'm fulfilling my destiny. It's the only thing I can do exceptionally well. I figure if I'm given a gift like this then it would be a curse not to."

Speaking on behalf of the band, Powell outlines how it is driven by the same mythological forces, but in earthly terms. "If we weren't having fun doing it, we wouldn't be. How can you convince the audience to have a good time when you're not having a good time yourself?"

During the telephone interview from Toronto, the conversation took an about face. Triggered by the prospect of being compared to other female-fronted bands, Powell became charged. "I think it's great women are succeeding in this industry, but I'm so sick and tired of gender being an issue," she states emphatically. "It's like it's such a surprise that a woman is capable of fronting a band, or writing music, or being famous, or making it in an industry. It's the fact that we place such emphasis on gender that we have these gender problems.

"We're never going to be blind to gender, but we don't have to make such a big deal when a woman succeeds. She's capable so why is it such a big deal? It's great women are being recognized for their successes, but now – it's enough. Praise us for being professional, or career minded, or knowing our business, or knowing our music, but don't praise us just 'cause we got tits."

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997