Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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Wild Carnations mature and blossom musically

By Christopher Hodge
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
AN EXTRA HEAD ALWAYS COMES IN HANDY. The Carnations soak up the sun. Left to right: Thom D'Arcy, Stephen Krecklo and Nathan Rekker.

Thom D'Arcy, lead singer of The Carnations, insists that the band has sown all of their wild oats.

Gone are the days when D'Arcy would perform an encore nude, or the band would bet all their money on a single spin of the roulette wheel – well, at least in the past six months, as far as D'Arcy can recall.

"We did a show at Lee's Palace [in Toronto] and I got kicked out. It was all a misunderstanding," explains D'Arcy, who had an unfortunate run-in with one of the venue's bouncers after the show.

"I didn't like his attitude, and he didn't like mine. He was much bigger than me, so I found myself on the sidewalk. It's strange, we packed the place, and I got kicked out for accidentally breaking a bottle. Ironically, he got fired for a similar situation the next week. I guess if you're an asshole one day, you're an asshole for life!"

Having built a solid reputation as one of Ontario's most promising new bands, The Carnations are looking forward to putting aside all of their side projects and devoting themselves solely to the band – as soon as D'Arcy gets back from Europe

"Everyone else has dumped their other projects," says D'Arcy, who is leaving on Sunday with his other band, All Systems Go!, for a quick European tour.

"We're starting in Amsterdam and working our way to Sweden by bus," he says.

Since forming the band, The Carnations have enjoyed a decent amount of success. Their first big single, "Scream and Yell," made a big splash both here and across the pond in Europe. Picked up and released by the United Kingdom label Alphabetty Records, it was named "single of the month" by Record Collector magazine.

Now, as soon as D'Arcy returns from his European road trip, the band is looking forward to getting back into the studio to work on some new material.

In the meantime, D'Arcy has already begun work on a few new demo tracks that he intends to polish upon arrival.

"I'm doing some recording in a deep dark basement," says D'Arcy, who divides his time between the glitz and glamour of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, and the occasional day job to make ends meet. He's held a variety of different jobs, including a gig working behind the counter at a local candy store.

"They made the mistake of giving me a key to the store," says D'Arcy, who confesses that he did actually feel like a kid in a candy store.

Musically, D'Arcy's ambitions are grand. He intends to make the next Carnations album even bigger and better than their past albums. He's even been able to fund the new album with the financial support of the Canadian Government.

"The demo is four years old," says D'Arcy, in regards to many of the songs on the band's self-titled EP released in 2001.

"That was before anyone was giving us money. We couldn't afford to do it, and we didn't want to put out a shitty eight-track recording. Now we have some money through a government grant. It's great – you send them a budget, and a marketing plan, and they give you money back and all you have to give them is 50 cents of every sale. If we sell any records, I think that means we'll only have to give them back like two bucks!" D'Arcy jokes.

The Carnations hit Call the Office tonight with fellow Canadian rockers Starling. Tickets are $5 and doors open at 9 p.m..


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