Volume 92, Issue 14
Friday, September 25, 1998
it was sugar
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
One step two step three step
By Neil Malhotra
"I love food," says Sandy Mamane, co-founder and bassist of One Step Beyond. "My dad is a chef and he used to make everything from Chinese to Moroccan, he would mix it up. It's the same thing with music."
One Step Beyond is a Toronto-based band that brings together elements of funk, soul and Latin rhythms with jazz, creating a unique fusion of sounds. After two CDs and five years of hard touring, the band is taking the next 12 months to re-evaluate their lives.
"We are all trying to focus on achieving individual goals, beyond playing," Mamane says. For example, guitarist Andy Scott has decided to return to school. "We are touring around our personal lives now and not trying to maintain our lives around touring."
In the past year, the band has seen saxophonist Corey Manders leave to pursue a family life and keyboardist Jamie Shields depart because of a "difference of opinions" with the remaining band members.
"We're looking forward to new blood in the system," Mamane explains. That new blood will come in the form of Louis Semao, now joining the band after several musicians had a seat at the keys.
The band is also using this period to record a third album, following 1997's Life Out There. "We probably should have rested before going into the studio last time instead of trying to cram it in," Mamane reflects. "This time we want to be focused on a direction and make sure that the album turns out the way we want it to."
The last disc was released independently and the band is ready to continue that way. "We get to do what we want. We are on our path and we will never turn around to make somebody else happy," Mamane states. "Some bands are willing to make a rock record now and an industrial record two years from now so that they can keep their contracts, but that is not what we're about."
London remains a favorite playing ground for One Step Beyond and they return tonight to play the Embassy. "We'll get on stage, look out into the crowd and only see a few people and then [when] we're about to start they appear from out of nowhere. Thirty seconds later we're playing to a full house. It's awesome," Mamane says excitedly. "We love returning to play [London]."
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