Volume 95, Issue 17

Friday, September 28, 2001
Search the Archives:
Tips for searching

Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


Women share A Room of One's Own

Typhoid Mary better than the disease

Shits and Giggles

Gazette Comix

Typhoid Mary better than the disease

By Christina McKenzie
Gazette Writer

They're loud, they're obnoxious and they're aggressive.

A few thoughts must come to mind with this description, but to spare you one – no, they aren't a bunch of frat boys on Viagra. Instead, these are the terms guitarist Philip Fernandes uses to describe his hybrid hard rock/new metal band, Typhoid Mary.

Gazette File Photo

Besides Fernandes, the local band includes drummer Pete Fernandes, vocalist Grant Thomas and newcomer Randie Van Gorp on bass.

Drawing from a myriad of influences – from classic metal to classic rock – Fernandes suggests three-year-old Typhoid Mary is continually evolving in sound and image. "We're a band that doesn't believe in trying to fit into a mold, we want the mold to fit around us. We go out and do our own thing."

The band invites listeners to experience their music both audibly and visually. The addition of special effects during their concerts is combined with an energetic atmosphere. "[We're] always energetic, from the time the set starts to the very last song, we don't sit still," Fernandes explains.

Typhoid Mary's somewhat hyperactive presence is tied to the band's strong belief in performance capacity. Fernandes stresses, "if we just stood up there and played with our shoes stapled to the ground, you might as well save your money and listen to the disc at home."

Although the band's former motto called for bleeding ears as a result of the infectious sounds, Fernandes suggests Typhoid Mary alter their sound depending on the age group of their listeners. The intent is to not scare their audience, but to appeal to them with bass and sound distortion.

The notion of sound being infectious or contagious is closely tied to the band's philosophy and moniker. Typhoid Mary derived their name from Mary Mallon, a figure from 19th century United States' history. Her contraction of typhus led to the infection and eventual death of many family members, as well as her banishment from the U.S.. The idea of a contagious disease struck a chord with band members.

"Hopefully we don't get anyone sick. We just want people to come out, feel and hear the music, then go home and want it again," Fernandes says.

The original description of the band as loud and obnoxious is meant to convey their image, but it is no reflection of their purpose. Fernandes says it's important people listen and understand where he and his bandmates are coming from.

"If we were to try writing an album that would get us signed [to a major label] immediately and have people loving us, we would sound like all those other bands out there," he says.

The group's self-titled album released this past June features the track "Sorry No?" which expresses their dislike for trends. "We never like to follow what's out there and that's what it's about. The whole idea that just because it's on FM96 or the Top 40 doesn't mean it's a good song."

The album is a good indicator of the band's sound and skill. However, Fernandes admits there's still more room for growth and development. "Our album has brought us some attention – a couple record labels and management people have been in contact with us – but I don't think we are 100 per cent ready to do it."

Instead, Typhoid Mary continue to focus on producing new material and enhancing their stage presence during concerts, while maintaining that the human body is a perfect receptacle for their persistent sound.

Typhoid Mary play The Embassy tonight. Doors at 9 p.m..

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2001