|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Once in a blue Suzuki moon
By Greg Hubert
What is wrong with the modern rock scene? How about the generic sugar-coated crap that Top 40 radio plays? Or the cookie cutter images that many groups have, where a look is more important than talent. Flying in the face of this are Mooney Suzuki.
MC Sammy B speaks, after a grueling promotional photo shoot in Toronto, about Mooney Suzuki's sound and style. "We stick to the original vocabulary of rock and roll. A lot of times it will get us pegged as doing a retro thing [but we are just] sticking with a certain set of self-imposed limitations as far as blues rock on the guitar. We do listen and draw inspiration from a lot of '60s music."
The band started in 1996, "but we've been through so many different band members, it feels like we've only been a band since the line-up congealed about nine months ago," MC Sammy B says. With the new line-up came a new sound and MC Sammy B, being the primary songwriter, was at the forefront in composition.
"I just bring in lyrics and parts and it really becomes a song when the band gets together and does the arranging and everybody puts their spin on it in rehearsal."
With the new members in the band, their five-song demo tape, recorded in December 1996, has become quite outdated. "We've had another single since then with four new tracks on it and then we just recorded nine new tracks that is really where we're at now. The tape is kind of musically confused. We've always been straddled between this poppy sound and this more energetic kind of pummeling guitar sound. And now we're trying to resolve the two," MC Sammy B explains.
Mooney Suzuki transposes their intermingling vibes into a live show that shouldn't be missed. They play with wild abandonment and see this as an experience in itself.
"We definitely want to be high energy but not aggressive," the singer/songwriter declares. "Mooney Suzuki is a band that knows what they like and what they don't. A goal of ours is to be as energetic out there and over the top as possible. We can't stand any modern heavy band that is a musical constipation, gritting their teeth and pushing as hard as they can. That reads to me as aggressive guitar music. [We like] other modern bands like the Jon Spenser Blues Explosion, that are guitar oriented but not aggressive."
What can an audience expect from the show? According to Sammy, more of a sonic slam then they could ever imagine. With this in mind, what are your choices as a rock fan? You can either stay with what mainstream radio promotes or you can be an individual and see music which goes against the grain.