Volume 92, Issue 36
Friday, November 6, 1998
bigger than the post
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Modesty keeps Rusty smooth
Gazette File Photo
By Michael Murphy
Rusty's bassist Jim Moore seems affable, unassuming and genuine. A far cry from the aloof and arrogant rock star stereotype, Moore, one quarter of the punkish, Toronto-based foursome doesn't seem too dazzled by his band's successes.
Rusty's first two albums, Fluke and Sophomoric, fared well commercially, selling slightly under the gold record standard of 50,000 copies. Their label, Handsome Boy, has high hopes for the crew's recently released Out of Their Heads. Add the sizable chunks of air time Rusty videos command on MuchMusic and it's easy to see why these guys could be patting themselves on the back. Nonetheless, Moore seems humble, not haughty. "Not a week goes by that I don't think how lucky we are," he asserts.
When it comes to characterizing the Rusty style, Moore gets straight to the point of the group's sound. "It's based on the music that began in 1955. It's rock n' roll with different permutations." He describes Out of Their Heads as heavily influenced by '60s garage rock. Moore provides a useful short list of its classic ambassadors, mentioning such bands as the Saints, the Stooges and the Liars.
"We all like the Rolling Stones, we all like the Replacements but other than that it's pretty varied," he says of their personal musical tastes.
Rusty has also won fans with their original and distinctive music videos. In choosing their artistic collaborators, Moore explains the group likes to scout out the art house movie crowd.
"We'll pick the director that we like. Normally these directors are independent or little filmmakers, so they're not normal video makers. It's funny, normally after these people work with us they end up churning out videos for other bands."
According to Moore, Rusty has been very fortunate in finding talented filmmakers to work with and has no reservations about handing complete creative control over to a director.
"It's their vision," he says. "We're just like puppets. We go in and do what they want us to do."
Casting his gaze towards the future, Moore reveals Rusty's next album may take the group in a different musical direction. "I don't know what we'll do for the next one," he says. "We were talking yesterday, thinking maybe it can be a real heavy one. You never know."
Heavy or not, Rusty is anxiously looking forward to building on the success they're enjoying now and expanding their fan base.
"It would be really nice to sell more records," Moore says. "We're always getting closer to 50,000. It would be nice to have a gold record on the wall. It doesn't really mean anything but it kinda does."
A hard-rocking foursome with few pretensions, Rusty seems to be handling success quite capably. Perhaps this is because while intensely devoted to their music, these guys know not to take themselves too seriously.
"When I was a little kid I wanted to be either Batman or one of the Monkees," as the self-deprecating Moore puts it.
He may not have a cape or a tambourine, but Moore and Rusty certainly seem to be living out a dream.
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