Volume 92, Issue 77

Friday, February 12, 1999


Bunker flick needs time to take off

Bionic band performs a million dollar tour

Ozzy back in Black - Sabbath rocks T.O.

It's not like tuning a car

Underground sound

Bionic band performs a million dollar tour

©Photo by Helios

SAY HELLO TO MY LEETLE FRIEND! Bionic has big things in store for Call the Office tonight.

By Anthony Turow

Gazette Staff

In the words of The Rolling Stones, "It's only rock 'n' roll." But Bionic likes it.

Consisting of ex-Doughboy Jonathan Cummins, who plays guitar and splits vocal duties with Alex MacSween, bassist Jerome Doudet and Ian Blurton on guitar, the band's philosophy is simple yet refreshing – play for the sheer love of it.

"With Bionic, we had this idea to form a band that we wanted to play in when we were 15 or 16," MacSween says. "I really do feel like I'm 15 with the kind of energy this music is bringing out in me."

After scoring first place in a Montreal radio station band search, Bionic set about recording their self-titled debut and they wasted no time.

"The bed tracks were recorded in a day, then we had four more days in which we did overdubs," MacSween explains.

It's not like they had much of a choice. First prize in the competition was a scant five days recording time in a Montreal studio, with producer Glen Robinson (Tea Party, 13 Engines, Gwar) at the helm. This impediment, however, did not daunt a group who believes in recording their music in the same fashion as they perform it – raw and to the point.

"We write these songs then hammer them out. The idea is to not spend too much time in the studio, as we might lose that energy. When we make an album we want it to have the energy from our live show," MacSween states.

It's difficult to tell the album was recorded at such a frenzied pace. As a tightly structured collection of aggressive rockers, the CD is a far cry from the glum alt-rock albums which have populated the charts in recent years. This was the conscious aim of MacSween and company.

"I didn't want our albums to be in the alternative section of any music store. I wanted them to be in the rock section. But they do put it in alternative, even though I consider it rock," MacSween laughs.

"I don't see anything alternative in there. There's punk rock roots, but it's more about being a band like Cheap Trick than being quirky or weird."

Not that he's worried Bionic's vibe will be misinterpreted. "The energy of the songs and the band itself carry a certain kind of force," he explains, adding it's this force which fuels their relentless live performances. "There are bands for who the recorded song is the ultimate product."

MacSween, however, knows where his heart is. "My personal interest in music is playing live to people."

So what's to expect from a Bionic show? "Nothing explodes, nobody's clothes come off and we don't wear socks on our genitals. It's a good, no nonsense rock show."

If that's the case, long live rock 'n' roll.

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