Volume 95, Issue 23

Friday, October 12, 2001
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Grayline puts the fun back into rock

Disc of the Week

Chancey Smith's: Great food with attitude

Tori and Live break the silence

Gazette Comics

Grayline puts the fun back into rock

By Stephen Pizzale
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
THEY MAY LOOK LIKE GROUPIES BUT THEY ARE INDEED A BAND. Clockwise from left are members of Grayline - Darren McClintock, Pete Ellery, Randy Benjamin and Nick Petropolous. They play Call the Office tonight.

As Ingersoll, Ontario-based punk band Grayline explains, being in an Indie band sometimes means having to make some difficult choices.

"We've been through more guitarists and bass players than most people go through toilet paper. It's just that when a band has a lineup change, that sets them back and we've been set back about two thousand times. This is the most stable and probably long lasting lineup we've had so far," explains drummer, Pete Ellery.

"It used to work kinda like this: we'd get the band going and be really tight and ready to play, but there would be creative differences or personality differences," guitarist Randy Benjamin adds.

Ellery sums up the general attitude of the band and reiterates their focus. "Basically, as people get older - jobs and girlfriends get in the way. This is a little bit more than a hobby, so if you're gonna put some time into it, then you have to put some time into it."

Grayline has a wide variety of influences, from bands like KISS and AC/DC to Gwar. Like these bands, Grayline are often noted for their high intensity shows. "With Grayline, I think we have broken the mould of traditional independent rock [or] punk rock - whatever you want to call it - in terms of putting on a decent show," guitarist Nick Petropoulos points out.

Ellery can't agree more.

"We're not a flavour of the week band, [so] you can't peg us as Blink-182 or Sum 41 clones. We have our own individual mish-mash of styles, which come from listening to more extreme forms of music and lots of more mellow types of things.

"Like, I love Tori Amos, but we're not gonna sound like her. But that influence and melody is bound to be brought in."

This eclecticism isn't limited to Grayline's musical influences. The band members have worn everything from bondage lingerie to their sexy birthday suits on stage.

"Sometimes at the last minute, we've rooted through a tickle trunk that we've collected a bunch of shit in over the years and go, 'fuck, I'm gonna wear this tonight,'" Benjamin notes.

The band's motive is to play the type of music they love and to have fun - nothing more, nothing less. Their music is self-described as "fast-paced, melodic, punk rock with a catchy vocal melodies, razor sharp guitar playing and pummeling drumming."

"It's as much about playing a live show as it is with three of your buddies, playing loud music - you get a certain rush from playing a show."

While Grayline's music is anything but boring, many of their songs are about the ordinary things in life. "I usually bring anywhere from half to three quarters of a song to practice and we just go from there. They [are] about simple things in life that actually pissed you off," Benjamin explains.

"I can relate it back to not only our shows, but even our practices. Some people go see a therapist, some people go punch a punching bag and we play really intense music. We're passionate about the music and you can see that on stage." Petropoulos says.

Although Grayline take themselves and their music seriously, they make no pretenses about their motives.

"When we go to places we haven't played before, it takes two or three songs for the people to realize that we're there to have fun and they're supposed to have fun and not take everything at face value. This is rock 'n roll, this isn't a life altering statement," Ellery explains. "We definitely don't preach at all."

Grayline play tonight at Call the Office. Tickets are $5.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001