Volume 92, Issue 73

Friday, February 5, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Rock 'n' roll ain't dead, just needs a Big Wreck

Local artists tread methodical path to fame

Week's up, end is near

Jen McLaren joins the Nettwerk

Space shuttle and Nimoy land at IMAX theatre

Pakistani, Korean cultures raise awareness

A symbol of greatness

Underground Sound

Celebrity sightings

Local artists tread methodical path to fame

©Gazette file photo

MY COIL, MY PRECIOUS ANTIQUE COIL. Boondoggle will uncoil their musical skills at Call the Office on February 7th.

By Sara Falconer

Gazette Staff

Vocalist Shane Sawyer believes London-based Boondoggle has the formula for success, following the well-trodden path laid by major Canadian groups like The Odds, Sloan and Our Lady Peace.

"It's just radio-friendly, modern alternative pop," he says. "The driving rhythms and really good melodies are bound to be catchy."

However, he insists a combination of diverse influences, including blues, classic rock, heavy metal and funk, makes the band unique. "We've all got these vastly different styles and interests, but they actually work out really well together."

These crucial differences come from lead guitarist Alex Achenbach, rhythm guitarists Jason Gerena and Lars Blum, bassist and keyboardist Ryan Sprong and drummer Greg Carrigan.

Most of the members were friends for years before getting together, which Sawyer says gives the group added strength. He and Achenbach are the only original members, since Gerena left for school in Boston.

"Even though Jason left and Lars took his place, they're still both in the band. We don't want to try to replace either one of them because they're both great guys," he explains, stressing the importance of their relationship.

Sawyer, who took over singing for Gerena after he departed, was only supposed to be the front man temporarily, but it worked out well for him. "Besides, Greg is a phenomenal drummer and really dedicated. I was never that good," he laughs.

Their philosophy as a band is simply an extension of this positive attitude. "We don't put anything political in our songs," Sawyer says. "We want to be considered serious musicians, but if you can't have fun in a band, God! What can you have fun with?"

Boondoggle, which means looking busy when you really aren't, might be a bit of a misnomer. The band has been nothing but busy, recently recording five songs at DB Studios in London to send to promoters. Although they all work day jobs, the members devote their spare time to their music, practicing three or four times a week.

The result is in only three years they have written more than 50 songs. "It's my humble opinion that any of them could be top 10 material. But it's hard to know which one will be the hit," Sawyer divulges. Striving to create the perfect pop song and attain subsequent fame, Boondoggle's main goal for now is to find a manager and get signed. Sawyer dreams of eventually touring with the Canadian giants who inspire them.

So far, Boondoggle have played only London area shows but already consider themselves a live band. "We don't do anything in the studio that we can't do live," Sawyer explains. "It's important to us to have that same energy."

On Sunday, they will be playing a benefit show at GT's for the Salvation Army, an aptly suited cause to their first release, Vicious Mittens.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright © The Gazette 1999