Volume 95, Issue 67

Friday, February 1, 2002

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Tricky Woo hammers away at status quo

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Tricky Woo hammers away at status quo

By Maggie Wrobel
Gazette Staff

Andrew Dickson is getting angry.

The lead vocalist/guitarist for Montreal-based rockers Tricky Woo is fed up with the current state of the music industry. For several moments, his initially soft-spoken persona is overshadowed and nearly forgotten as disdain becomes evident in his voice.

"People today seem to think there is a prototype for rock 'n roll," he says. "The industry and record labels almost push and demand that idea. The status quo of today seems to be finding one thing and hammering away at it. I think that's kind of sad and that's just not what I'm interested in doing."

Tricky Woo have never been interested in following the crowd.

Their debut release Rock and Roll Music Part One was critically ignored, but it helped the band develop a loyal fan base that seems willing to accept the band's ever-changing sound.

"People assume they know what you are. I mean, it seems like all music today is just so defined in cliques and little boxes," he says. "I think we're a rock 'n roll band, but rock 'n roll has different definitions for different people."

True to Dickson's words, Tricky Woo's latest album, Les Sables Magiques, is a rock record in the old-fashioned sense of the word. By incorporating elements of blues and country and using a variety of instruments (including flute and clarinet), the Woo have arguably created their best work yet.

Despite being able and willing to satisfy his creative urges in the studio, Dickson states that touring is equally important to him. "The approach [onstage] is definitely a lot different," he explains.

"We've played together a lot and we've gotten to a point now where we've actually gotten so comfortable with each other that we can start morphing songs in an improvised sense sometimes," he says.

Gazette File Photo

"I think that's even more interesting for an audience than getting a band who want [the live show] to sound the same as the album."

Having a fierce live show and creating great rock records aren't the only achievements Tricky Woo can claim to their credit. Last year their songs were used on three decidedly unrockin' TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grosse Pointe and Dawson's Creek.

When asked about the experience, Dickson responds with a hearty laugh. "I know they picked us because we're an independent band," he insists. "It's cheaper to pay us than to get Bush X or something like that. I mean, Tricky Woo what kind of demands are Tricky Woo gonna make?"

The band's fans are demanding a new album and Tricky Woo seem intent on recording a follow-up to 2001's Les Sables Magiques. "I'd like to release another record by the end of the year," he says.

"I'm hoping to do some recording at the beginning of the summer. I've pretty much got the music together."

Being in a hardworking Canadian rock 'n roll band like Tricky Woo has its ups and downs, Dickson says. "We're perpetually broke," he laughs "We've always been broke. I think I've actually gotten used to it."

Yet the Woo keep going, hoping someday to make their break.

"I like the idea of leaving some kind mark with music. I don't think we totally suck, so I think we can do something good, leave some kind of impression."

Tricky Woo plays Saturday at Call The Office. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets $6 at the door.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001