October 30, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 34  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Despistado likes to jam... jam, jam, jam... and jam

By Anthony Lafratta
Gazette Staff

Despistado is Spanish. Well they're Canadian really, a product of Regina, but with Chilean influences. Confused?

To clarify, Despistado is a band out of Regina, Sask.. As for the name, it's Spanish for "confused," explains guitarist Leif Thorseth.

"We chose it as a name because for Dagan [Harding, guitarist/lead singer] and myself, our parents were both in a Chilean band, so my whole life the Chilean community where I grew up was around me," Thorseth says. "Friends of the family used to call Dagan and myself Ôdespistado,' which is really a nice way of saying you don't really know what you're doing."

With a plethora of influences to draw on for their inspiration, the eight-month bitterly cold prairie winters have been an obvious stimulus for the band and the Regina music scene as a whole, according to Thorseth.

"Our winters are from now 'til May and in the coldest months, it kind of can get depressing 'cause it's like minus-40 out and with the wind chill, like minus-50," Thorseth says. "So really, [you need to] have an outlet of an arts or something or it's pretty depressing. Our outlet is pretty much just, ÔOK let's jamÉ jam, jam, jam.' That's all we can do."

Thorseth directs a great deal of praise upon the Regina music scene, of which bandmate Harding once heralded as a place "where people write music for the right reasons."Thorseth pounces on the opportunity to affirm his lead singer's contention.

"People just write music just to write music. There's no ÔI need to get this demo or I need to do this or I need that,'" he concurs. "The Regina music scene is amazing. There's so much talent and so much support and so a lot of people just sort of hang out and jam with other bands - just hang out and love each other."

After a recent west coast swing in which Despistado was showcased among some of Canada's top indie acts, the band has since engaged on an extensive cross-country tour that will land them in London on Oct. 30.

"We've done [Western Canada] once before, but that's about it, so this is our most intense tour, I guess. I'm not really dreading anything about touring - really, I love it. Except maybe for something like the van breaking down," Thorseth says.

This actually proved to be an eerie foreshadowing of what was to come in the week ahead, as mechanical difficulties caused the band to cancel two shows on the Eastern leg of its tour. (Hint: never reveal your fears to The Gazette, no good can come of it).

As soon as the tour wraps up, Thorseth pledges the band will be making its long overdue return to the studio to work on new material.

"Right when we're done our tour, we're going to be recording a full-length," Thorseth assures. "This stuff, [The Emergency Response], is quite old now [recorded in early 2002], and those songs were still another half-a-year old when we recorded them."

Despistado will be joined by the Matadors, the G-Men and the Deportees at Call the Office tonight. Admission will be $5 with a costume or $7 without.


 

 

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