Volume 93, Issue 34

Friday, October 29, 1999


Public Enemy's Chuck D still fighting the power

Supersuckers heading up club rock revival

Boneyard Man digs up radio noir

Woo married to music

OLP confuse Happy with crappy

Changing face of film

Woo married to music

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

With the '70s guitar rock sounds of Humble Pie echoing in the background, Andrew Dickson of Montreal-based Tricky Woo muses about the music from the era, which he claims has a hold on his soul.

The conversation floats from topic to topic until the devotion shown by Tricky Woo's fans towards Dickson and company is mentioned. Passionate testimonials such as "you changed my life" fill the band's web site with almost religious fervour.

"It is a bit [overwhelming]," Dickson remarks. "But when you put it in perspective it's not, because I realize what they're trying to say. They're saying, 'I get it and I'm with you on this.' I think it's less of 'You've changed my life – I'm gonna grow my hair long and start smoking dope.'"

In the end, Dickson is modest about the band's impact on the fans. "I think it's more like, 'I understand where you guys are coming from' but that's hard to say so instead they say, 'You rock my world.' I think it's a wonderful thing, but I think we're just messengers."

Whatever message Tricky Woo is delivering, fans aren't the only ones on the receiving end. Their latest album, Sometimes I Cry, has received glowing reviews from noted music rags like the Canadian Music Journal, who have loudly proclaimed the album's merits. Chart magazine was even enamoured enough to nominate it for Canadian Album of the Year.

Despite the acclaim, Dickson acknowledges the world isn't completely coming up roses for the mighty Woo. After all the talk of religious devotion from fans and shameless affection from music critics, he does take the opportunity to mention the negatives.

"I wouldn't say we've had that much success yet. I think some people dig us and things are going well. We're connecting with ourselves to do something good. But if we didn't love doing it I think it would suck," he explains.

"I just got over bronchitis and I get sick everytime we go on tour because I have a weak immune system. We have very little money in our pockets. If those are important things to you, then I would advise anyone who wanted to get into rock music to pick up a turntable and become a DJ instead."

Obviously his love for the roller-coaster world of rock 'n' roll far surpasses the hard knock life. And it's this love which seems sure to live on long after the accolades have faded away.

"In some capacity I have to have a guitar in my hands," Dickson agrees. "Even if I'm playing blues covers in some bar, God forbid, or being a bald guitar teacher in the suburbs. It's something that's a part of me somehow and would be very heavily missed if I couldn't do it."

And it's bands such as Humble Pie which first introduced him to his love, the sensual Miss Rock 'n' Roll. She may not offer immediate financial gains, but if you want her to be kind, you've got to show her some sweet lovin.'

Dickson acknowledges this relationship and seems prepared to wear through the thick and the thin. "There isn't a big rock revival going on," he says. "Maybe Lenny Kravitz is doing okay, but you're not going to be like Len and get a song on a movie soundtrack that everyone's going to hear. I really think you have to have some love affair or obsession with it."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999