Volume 92, Issue 24
Friday, October 16, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Finding a new soul in sol
By Aaron Wherry
Any band going from funk, to rhythm and blues, to pop rock over a five year time period would have a difficult time maintaining a constant fan base. But for Toronto's Gypsy Sol, this has not been a problem.
"It's actually been really good," explains lead singer Katey Morley. "It's been really surprising because even in towns like Timmins where it's all rock 'n rollers and they would rather be listening to Lynard Skynard cover bands, we've had really good response and we're selling CDs at the shows."
This new source of fans has led to some new experiences for a band fresh off the release of its second album. Morely recalls a typical reaction.
"When some guy covered in Harley Davidson tattoos comes up to you after the gig and says, 'You know, I don't really like this kind of music, but I really liked you guys,' it's pretty rewarding. And kind of scary too."
The dizzying changes of this chameleon band could be frightening for both band members and fans. At conception, Gypsy Sol, then called Gypsy Soul, was a heavy, funk rock band, until a change in lead singers caused a dramatic shift toward rhythm and blues.
Finally a little less than a year ago, the Soul became Sol when Katey Morley took over lead vocals. Now the band has settled on a more pop rock based sound.
But all this chaos hasn't left the previous fan base behind. "I think there's been a few diehard, sorta hippie funk people who have been like 'Well these guys aren't a funk band anymore,'" Morley says. "And we knew that when we were changing. But it's kind of like there's so much more positive feedback and so many new fans that it doesn't really matter to us. If you're really into the band it's not all that different. It's overtly different but deep down it's not."
After a varied past, both Morley and Gypsy Sol seem to have finally settled on a direction. Both seem optimistic and ready now to move forward wherever that may be.
"Myself and Nat [Roman], the guitar player and the new people, we're really positive," Morley points out. "We haven't been in this band for such a long time, so I think it's been good for the other people in Gypsy Sol too 'cause they're kind of like 'Well hey, these new people are really motivated and into this.'
"It's hard not to be excited about this band because this is the furthest this band has come. The last album did really well but basically we had to start from scratch again and it's been a really great experience."
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