Volume 93, Issue 92

Thursday, March 23, 2000


Indie Gurus happily advise Shoegazing

Dalai Lamas bring peace of P-funk

Pumpkin's Machina sadly pandera to public

Indie Gurus happily advise Shoegazing

Gazette file photo
EVERYONE ELSE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE LACK OF SEATS IN THE COFFEE SHOP, BUT THE GURUS ENJOYED THE CHANCE TO GET CLOSER AS A BAND. Saskatoon rockers The Touchtone Gurus will exhibit their cohesiveness at Call the Office tonight.

By Aaron St. John
Gazette Staff

The Saskatoon-based four piece Touchtone Gurus must not be well.

At least, that's what drummer Kyle Kildaw says when asked how the band manages to keep up their collective energy – they endure countless nights of performing (about 300 shows a year) across Canada.

"Everybody in this band is sick that way," Kildaw states. "As soon as we get to the outskirts of town and we know we're going to get to play, we get pumped up and we all get big smiles on our faces. It's just so much fun."

Currently wrapping up a 65 day, 52 show tour with fellow Saskatooners The Dalai Lamas, the Touchtone Gurus are travelling in support of their second album, Shoegazing.

It's a fantastic album, full of straightforward, solid rock 'n' roll. Tracks such as "Right As Rain" and "Tell Me About Your Day" are well-crafted, strong songs which are indicative of the band's talent. They may not be revolutionary, but that doesn't bother the band one bit.

"It's pop. We're not out to break any really new ground. We're just a rock band out there with lots of energy and having lots of fun," Kildaw asserts.

Although the band has existed for years and even released a self-titled debut album in '96, their fortunes have crystallized since the current lineup formed three years ago.

Since then, the Gurus have garnered critical notice and received raves for their tight live show, which they've showcased at such notable venues as Canadian Music Week and New Music West.

They also parlayed their success into an opening slot for the recent Northern Pikes reunion tour, an opportunity which gave them even more exposure to the country as a whole.

Their current tour, which has taken The Gurus across Canada and back, has left little to be desired. "We started on Vancouver Island and [went] all the way to Halifax. It's been amazing. The whole tour has been really good. We'd never been east of Ottawa before, so it's been great to get out there – the response has been phenomenal," he says.

Kildaw is equally fervent about the developing music scene in The Gurus' hometown, which also spawned Wide Mouth Mason. "There are a lot of really good bands coming out of Saskatoon and there's a lot of support," he reveals. "I think people want to go out and hear different, original music, not what they hear on the radio over and over again. You're going to be seeing a lot of bands coming out of there soon."

One question plaguing the band continues to be the origins of their unusual moniker. The answer is a story which Kildaw gladly relates, despite being The Gurus' newest member. "After rehearsing one night, the guys were unwinding, watching TV. The only thing on was those infommercials for psychic hotlines," he explains.

"There was some mention of one psychic being a 'touchtone guru' and [vocalist] Paul [Dasiuk] really liked the sound of that. We've had mixed reviews about it. A lot of people are like, 'What's that all about?'"

Kildaw says the band is content with their current indie label status. Shoegazing was released independently, but the group managed to secure nationwide distribution. "I kind of like things this way," he intimates. "I'm really proud to be a part of the independent scene. I think it's really important."

The band is planning to begin recording their third album this summer and is considering shopping around major labels. "We've done shows with some major label acts and we've seen [how] they travel," Kildaw says. "It would be cool to have the same kind of backing, but if it doesn't work out, that's cool too. Like I said, we're having fun."

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