Volume 93, Issue 93

Fridday, March 24, 2000


Weekend Pass

Creative tension helps Blue Rodeo go the Distance

Strange Bargain a real deal

Exploders pack diverse sounds in one punch

Sammie offers solid vocals, pinchable cheeks

Blood and guts a Merry old time


Exploders pack diverse sounds in one punch

Gazette file photo
ODDLY ENOUGH, CARROT TOP'S AVANT GARDE FUNK METAL BAND FAILED TO WIN FANS OVER. The Exploders bring their dynamic brand of ska-punk to The Whippet Lounge tonight.

By Anthea Rowe
Gazette Staff

Toronto punk band Exploders are on a mission to pack as many of their influences as possible into one form – lead guitarist Craig Daniels believes they're accomplishing this goal.

The creation of the group was a result of perfect timing. Just as Daniels' contract with another band was ending, vocalist Simon Pius moved in across the street from him. The two started jamming together and the rest, as they say, is history.

Drummer Johnny LaRue and bassist Erik Doole joined the duo shortly afterwards and by 1998, the four musicians had formed a new entity.

Because of their diverse musical backgrounds, each band member contributes a unique perspective to the music, resulting in an eclectic combination of '50s rock 'n' roll, '60s surf, '70s punk and heavy '90s rock. "Each member brings a different component [to the sound] – it's continually gelling more and more into its own thing," Daniels says, describing the Exploders' sound as power rock.

Despite their reluctance to be associated with punk, the Exploders admit that a lot of their inspiration has come from both '70s and contemporary punk groups such as Rancid and NOFX.

"We take it in a different direction," Daniels states. "Whereas those bands fuse punk with a sound that's a little more melodic and poppy, we add an explosive blues element."

Explosive is the definitive word for both this group's sound and their performance style. They attack their music with intense energy, continually striving to create a unique and exciting sound.

Creating a web site is another step the Exploders are taking towards firmly establishing themselves in the industry. They made an impression on the Toronto music scene last year with a showcase gig at the 1999 Canadian Music Week Festival and shows in Detroit, Rochester and London are in the near future.

"We've found it exceptionally easy to get out of town because people like the tape and are starting to get excited about the band," Daniels boasts.

Although securing shows has posed no difficulty for the band, they struggled to arrive at a name.

Because of legal issues concerning copyright, the Exploders were known as Exploder 01 until recently. The name, however, was misread by a lot of fans as Exploder Oi and their shows were being attended by hard-core, bomber jacket-clad, punk fans. The four members are happy with the new name and its connotation, so the title will remain.

Aside from this issue, it seems nothing will bar the Exploders from blasting their way to chart success. San Francisco-based Rip Off Records will be releasing their seven inch album in the near future and their list of upcoming shows is seemingly endless. More and more music fans are taking an interest in the Exploders' powerful, heavy sound.

Daniels has no reservations about the band entering the mainstream. "I have no problem having a song played on a mainstream radio station," he admits. "I think it would be great. We're not obsessed with it, but if something like that happened, we'd be more than happy to go along with it."

The Exploders play tonight at The Whippet Lounge.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000