Volume 91, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 28, 1998



Saskatoon trio wide-mouthed and fairy-taled

©Gazette File Photo
WHICH ONE IS THE MASON? These wide-mouthed boys will show off their smiles at the NAC tonight as they open for the always nice Matthew Good Band. Doors open at 8 p.m..

By Clare Elias

Gazette Staff

"Sometimes when someone forces you to learn something, it isn't as interesting as when you learn it on your own," says Wide Mouth Mason's lead vocalist Shaun Verreault. On their own, the trio from Saskatchewan has learned they are privileged to be able to do exactly what it is they love – making music.

In a tough and competitive music industry, the band should be counting their blessings, considering their success increases with each gig. "The only thing we can control and focus on are the music side of things and getting along with the other members of the band." The trio formed four years ago, but it has been in the last year the real success has surfaced. After playing cover songs for the first few years, Wide Mouth Mason emerged with their own works and Warner saw fit to add them to the roster.

This new success has not tampered with the broad perspective Wide Mouth Mason holds for their musical sound. Verreault describes the style as "blues-rock and a bit of a jazz thing and a bit of something else." The band's blues influences can be easily detected, especially in the track "This Mourning."

Criticisms have been thrown in the path of Wide Mouth Mason that they need to define their own sound. Singer and guitarist Verreault responds by saying they are glad people recognize the blues influence and are proud to wear them on their sleeve. "Everyone is obviously influenced by something," claims Verreault.

When will their defining sound emerge? "When our personalities have seeped through and then we can figure out different sounds we can make." The vocalist believes "that we will become our own band."

This brooding, yet optimistic band does not want to stick to one sound. "I would know there were some doors that would remain closed that I wanted to open," Verreault foresees. Mixing it up and unlocking new musical vibes is a defining element of WMM. "If I had to play one type of music, I don't know if I could do it," he says. The trio instead draws upon the sounds of B.B. King, Led Zeppelin and John Lee Hooker to aid in the band's definition.

Touring has given WMM a mature perspective. The road trip across Canada and into the States has made the members of WMM realize "the world isn't this fairy-tale place that the experiences of a small town would lead you to believe." The trio responds to these new insights in their performances and writings.

Wide Mouth Mason's lyrics are an emotional response to their experiences. "We go through a lot of emotions in one day, especially if it's a hectic one and our songs are how we react to things we've gone through." For their future endeavours, Verreault seems unsure. "You know when you stare really close at a TV screen and all you can see are the tiny dots and then when you back up you can see the whole picture? Right now we're still looking at the little dots."

Until Wide Mouth Mason has reached their distinctive place, they will continue to play for the sake of playing. "If we starve, we starve – but at least we tried," proclaims the optimistic Verreault.

This Saskatoon trio has drive and ambition. Their image is a refreshing addition to today's music scene. The low-key stance of the band is drawn from the bluesy grooves of their mentors and slowly but surely, Wide Mouth Mason's voice will be louder and wider – beginning at the NAC tonight.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998