Volume 95, Issue 13

Friday, September 21, 2001
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Smooth ride to Oklahoma!

Contantines feed on Indie success

Michel's sad and beautiful word


Contantines feed on Indie success

By Christopher Hodge
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo

While Hollywood and the media may make the lifestyle of a musician look glamorous and appealing, the truth is much grimier. It's a rough, dirty, poorly-fed pursuit of one's own passion, often never rewarded or well-paid.

Case in point – the local Indie success story, The Constantines.

Since their conception two years ago, they have established themselves as one of Canada's premier live acts.

Their self-titled debut topped the charts on Western's CHRW 94.7FM and received great reviews from Chart Magazine's online zine, chartattack.com. They were also featured at this year's annual North By Northeast music conference in Toronto.

Despite the success, rock 'n roll's a dirty job, devoid of many perks the non-musical population take for granted, including a balanced meal. "[Maintaining a healthy diet is] actually something that's really hard to do," lead guitarist/vocalist Steve Lambke explains. "You just end up eating at whatever is by the highway."

Finding adequate meals is even tougher when you're a vegetarian. "In New York City, you can find anything you want, but in smaller cities, it can be a bit more difficult," he says.

Despite the dietary dilemmas, Lambke is not discouraged by a lack of luxury. He and the rest of the band are clearly in it for the music and not the glamour. "You meet lots of fantastic people when you're in a band," Lambke admits. "It's something we love doing, so we don't really think of it as a sacrifice."

Fortunately for The Constantines, there is no sense of regret in Lambke's voice when he recounts many of the things left behind in the pursuit of musical fame. "School marks – they get sacrificed, but that's just boring anyway," he says jokingly.

In concert The Constantines are all business. The band shys away from a prescribed style or tired rock star clichés. For them, it's just bare bones rock 'n roll without all the glitter.

When asked if the band ever makes any conscientious decisions while choosing their on-stage wardrobes, Lambke says, "honestly, I haven't thought about it enough to tell you if image is that important. You get rather sweaty and gross when you play, so you don't want to ruin your nice shirt."

Unfortunately, getting all four members of the band together to play and rehearse is not always the easiest of tasks.

While Lambke and Bryan Webb both live in London, Dallas Wehrle and Doug MacGregor live about two hours away in opposite directions. While the commute has made it difficult for the band to rehearse or concentrate on new material, it hasn't effected the members' commitment to the band or their impressive live show.

As an aside, Lambke's parents have never actually seen the band live. "I think they're frightened," he jokes. "They're worried they're going to hate it and they're worried I'm going to be embarrassed."

On the upside however, Lambke says "they cut out the articles in the paper and show them to their friends."

The Constantines lighten up Call the Office tonight. Tickets are $7 in advance or $8 at the door.

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Copyright © The Gazette 2001