Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 4: Loose Change “breaks in” new singer Lori Paul



By Steve Newton

(In the fourth of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile of the group Loose Change. Next: Midnight Smoke.)

Loose Change, described by bass player Richard Todd as “an uptempo blues-rock” band, is a Chilliwack group composed of Todd, lead guitarist Scott Matheson, keyboard player Peter Friesen, drummer Clay Thornton and new lead vocalist Lori Paul. The band is currently “breaking-in” new singer Paul, who is taking over the lead vocalist spot from former member Jeff Gordon. “It’s tough when someone quits”, says Todd, referring to Gordon’s departure, because now the band has to “dig up 20 new songs” to accommodate the new recruit.

Paul is not totally new to the members of Loose Change though, as she once played with Todd, Thornton and Friesen in a popular local band called Special Guest. Loose Change was formed in October of last year and, according to Todd, wasted no time in getting “proficient” enough to perform well. “We had to do a lot of rehearsing” he says, “… every night for a while.”

The band does not have an agent, and gets gigs from just performing. “People come and see us and hire us”, says Todd, who reveals that the band does not travel much and is happy to play around Chilliwack, with the Wrangler Inn being its “home base”.

The group plays a lot of dances for different organizations, such as local soccer clubs, as well as private dances and parties. “Local bands draw a good crowd”, says Todd, 22, who has been playing guitar since the age of 16. “You’ve got friends who will come – and bring their own friends”, he says.

Though Loose Change has plenty of bookings for the coming summer, Todd describes the economic side of playing in a band as “not too good”, adding that “about all you make is spare cash.” Though he says his reasons for playing in a band are because “it’s exciting … a good time [and] you meet a lot of people”, Todd points out that practicing is the hardest thing about it. Practicing, for him, includes playing scales, doing finger exercises, learning songs and working on his vocals. “If you miss a day without practicing your hands get stiff”, he states, adding that the band members practice three or four hours a day.

As far as Loose Change’s material is concerned “we basically stick to classic songs . . . and rock and roll from the 60s,” says Todd. “In a bar they want to hear ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven'”, he confides. The band members do not use effects, though Todd admits they do own an echo unit. “The guitarist likes a nice, clean sound”, he says.

Future plans for Loose Change include getting really tight, working on original material slowly, and in the long run thinking of recording, says Todd.

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