Volume 94, Issue 42

Tuesday, November 14, 2000


Zuckerbaby's lessons for survival

Men of honour shows you the money

Disc of the Week

Script weakens cabin drama, North

Analysis well worth the laughs

Zuckerbaby's lessons for survival

Photo by Margaret Malandruccolo
WE DON'T HAVE A SASSY TOUR BUS, JUST A GREAT STYLIST. Rockers Zuckerbaby bring their good looks and charm to Call the Office tonight for a show with a special guests, Raised by Swans.

By Christopher Hodge
Gazette Staff

Anything that could have gone wrong for the band Zuckerbaby, after the release of their debut album, did.

First there was the internal strife to deal with, in which only lead gutarist Reed Shimozawa and vocalist Andrew Eichhorn survived. Joined by bassist Ed Tiegs, they also had to face the uncertainty that occurs when your record company is taken over by a huge conglomerate like Universal Music. Only then do you begin to understand why Zuckerbaby was not sure there would even be a follow up album to their first self-titled release.

"We're talking about a corrupt merger of the highest magnitude – like two huge companies coming together," Shimozawa explains. "We really felt pretty insignificant in the face of it."

Through all of that, Zuckerbaby has survived and after a great deal of uncertainty, the band is certainly alive and well, touring in support of their second album, Platinum Again.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Zuckerbaby created a presence in the live indie scene and built a local following before being signed by Mercury Records. Songs like "Andromeda," "Heavy" and "Shampoo" established the band as one of Canada's brightest new bands. Now, three years later, the band has endured and has a new album, Platinum Again, to show for it.

"On the last album, we were primarily interested in making a record that sounded pretty much like we do live," Shimozawa says. "On this record, we wanted to take it just one step further." To do that, keyboardist Dave Genn from the Matthew Good Band and ex-Age of Electric member Todd Kerns and Limblifter's Ryan Dahle all make guest appearances, adding to the album's sound.

Recorded in Vancouver with producer John Maclean, Platnum Again is a loud, confident album comprised of songs that are the products of three difficult years and are darker, louder and more confident than their earlier work.

"The earliest song on the album was 'Always Anonyomous,' which we did track for the first record. At that time we felt we hadn't given it enough time to mature."

Shimozawa explains the band also worked on songs like "Overexposure" and "Fireproof" while they were actually recording the new album, giving the record diversity, varying from radio friendly pop songs like "Sleepwalking Sister" to more experimental rock songs like "Blindside."

"We wrote a lot more material than is on this record," Shimozawa says. "The only criteria for going on this record, as far as we were concerned, is we wanted it to be what we felt was the strongest material."

Touring has also also tested the band's patience. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that it wasn't trying at times," Shimozawa admits. "We just finished a tour with Collective Soul and it was a different world for them than it was for us."

Different indeed, as he explains Collective Soul wasn't exactly "roughing it" on their tour across Canada. "They were travelling in two buses, staying in the finest hotels – they even had their own catering and massage therapist!"

Still, Shimozawa doesn't sound too upset. "It is a joy to play these songs every night. You have to do it because you love it and you have to be willing to suffer for it. In our eyes, that's what success is," he admits.

Zuckerbaby has indeed survived; they've matured and, in conversation, it becomes apparent they are very proud of their band and their new album. As, Shimozawa declares, "Franky, I think it's a fucking good album."

Zuckerbaby will play Call the Office tonight with special guests, Raised By Swans. Tickets are $6 at the door.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000