March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Salads beat Gob and Sum 41

By Nicole Abreu
Gazette Writer

Gazette file photo
WE PROMISE, NO MORE JOKES ABOUT THE SALADS “TOSSING THINGS UP.” The Salads prepare to satisfy the hunger of London fans tonight at The Drink.

The Gazette recently had a chat with Darren Dumas (Mista D), the frontman for The Salads. As the highly energized lead singer, Dumas talks about how the fusion of ska, metal, reggae and punk makes The Salads unique. They will be performing for the P.A.C.E. Benefit at The Drink tonight.

Tell us a little bit about the formation of The Salads.
I’ve been a part of the band since 1999, but Dave Ziemba (guitar), Grant Taylor (drums) and Chuck Dailey (bassist) have been jamming since Grade 7. Those guys have been friends for many years and have collectively made music a part of their lives. I was previously part of another band before joining The Salads, and had seen Dave, Grant and Chuck play at the same venues. I was immediately drawn to their sound and energy. Coincidentally, The Salads lost their bass player around the time that I left my band, and the guys approached me with an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Congratulations on your Canadian Music Week Award for Favourite New Rock Artist. How did it feel to be acknowledged for your music?
I know it is considered cliché when people say that it is “just nice to be nominated,” but it truly is. Being up against artists such as Gob and Sum 41, we were alarmed when we heard our names get called as the winners. I was actually backstage changing when the award was presented, and needless to say, I was in complete shock.

The Salads have opened for a slew of bands like Our Lady Peace, Blink-182 and Not By Choice. What have you learned from sharing the stage with these other talents?
The bands that you mentioned are all great musicians doing their thing and working hard. I know that our greatest role models have been the members of Fishbone. Those guys have been around for a long time and continue to rock hard and play amazing shows. It is because of Fishbone that artists like No Doubt have succeeded in bringing the ska generation to life. We have learned a great deal from Fishbone as fans and musicians, as ska continues to be a big part of our sound.

What can fans expect to hear on your latest CD?
Each record that we’ve put out has been better than the last. We have really grown as a band, and fans will notice a difference in our lyrical content and musical sound. We haven’t steered too far away from our signature sound, but the new record has more of a rock edge to it.

How do you feel about the current state of Canadian rock music?
We have seen a huge wave of Nickelback and Nickelback-wannabes top the charts in Canada, and I think that regardless of people’s preferences, Canadian music is headed in a positive direction. There are only two styles of music in my opinion: good music and bad music. Once barriers are broken, music will flourish. I think that bands like us have grown up in an excellent musical generation, and hopefully Canadian artists will continue to gain recognition.

Are there any artists The Salads would like to jam with in the future?
There are so many great bands out there that we would love to play with. Just off the top of my head, I know that we would all really enjoy playing with No Doubt or 311.

What are some of your musical influences?
I’ve mentioned before our admiration for Fishbone. We each enjoy a variety of music from classical to hard metal. As a band, we all have tremendous respect for bands like Van Halen, The Police and The Mars Volta.

What is it like being on the road?
Being on the road has its ups and downs. There are times when we naturally miss our family, but then we get on stage and remember why we have travelled on a bus for days at a time. Playing live and having direct contact with our fans is one of the most rewarding parts of our job. Being on the road also gives us the opportunity to make new contacts and gain exposure.

Do you have any favourite moments of 2003?
It was our best year so far. We attended the MuchMusic Awards which were awesome, and our night at The Casby Awards was absolutely crazy. I still remember reading an article in the Toronto Star the day after our appearance at The Casbys and being blown away by the caption: “It was The Salads’ performance that stole the show.”

Your music has reached many people, and your smash hit “Get Loose” has been added to the DreamWorks’ film Eurotrip. As the success continues, where do you see yourselves a decade from now?
I see The Salads playing huge stadiums around the world, with a bigger fan base and chart-topping albums. Music is what we know and what we will continue to do. It is our life.



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