Volume 93, Issue 85

Friday, March 10, 2000


ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Weekend Pass

Fool much smarter than it sounds

Play has Everything and a whole lot more

Singer's success a definite Maybe

Comic loves pizza, girls

Elephant Band winning all the big battles

Comix

Elephant Band winning all the big battles



By Jeff Warren
Gazette Staff

If you happened to attend the Festival of the Arts' Battle of the Bands at the Wave last month, there is no doubt you would have been impressed by the pop/rock sound of the eventual winners, Elephant Band.

While emerging with top honours was an extreme privilege, it was more about the experience for the Sudbury, Ontario natives who are now permanent residents of London, says band member Vincent Therrien. "It was nice to play with other bands from London. Since we're not familiar with all of them, it gave us an opportunity to check them out."

Relocating to London was just the next step for Elephant Band, who are striving to further their promising musical careers. The dynamic trio consists of Therrien and his brother P. Rheal, who together have been writing and performing music since the early '90s. While both brothers play a variety of instruments, it was the addition of the multi-talented Eric Soini which helped define the band's sound on their 1998 debut album, Autobus.

"Just having three members definitely makes it a lot more fun," Therrien remarks. "[Eric] added another side and bringing him in was very easy, very smooth."

Establishing an interesting mix of popular music with classical overtones, Elephant Band have created a sound which draws comparisons to the early work of The Police, The Beatles and Elvis Costello. For Therrien, this is not something the band consciously set out to achieve. "We don't think about it and it doesn't necessarily represent what we listen to. [The influences] just come out."

Although they have a unique classic sound, Therrien is wary about defining Elephant Band as different, as their songs draw on elements of pop. For Therrien, this classification is both a positive and a negative. "It works against you because you don't sound like what is on the radio," he muses. "It can also work for you because when people like you, it's because they really like you, not because you sound like everything else."

So far, Elephant Band has enjoyed tremendous prosperity. In addition to their recent appearance at Northern Ontario's largest musical event, The Northern Lights Festival Boreal, the band have opened for such prominent Canadian artists as The Pursuit of Happiness, Junkhouse, I Mother Earth, The Wild Strawberries, Sloan and treble charger. The trio have taken time out of this hectic touring schedule to record their much anticipated second album.

"It is always nice to get a product out," Therrien says. "The songs [on Autobus] feel old to us. We have put together 14 songs for the new album and most of them are in their final phase."

With the release of their new album, Elephant Band will have achieved what they originally set out to accomplish in terms of success, Therrien says. "To be fortunate enough to put a new record out every couple of years – that would be success to us."

Elephant Band appear at the Embassy tonight.


Gazette file photo





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Copyright The Gazette 2000