ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 2000
By Steve Newton
Kids these days. They rarely seem able to deliver the kind of energizing tunes needed to get this jaded guitar-rock junkie’s blood apumpin’. But Winnipeggers Trevor Tuminski and Dave Swiecicki, aka Jet Set Satellite, are another story. Their three-minute blast of high-octane riff rock, “Best Way to Die”, is the best thing I’ve heard on CFOX in years.
When the 24-year-old Tuminski calls from Toronto, he notes that I’m not the first person to find instant gratification in the vitalizing number.
“It was a fairly reactionary single,” he points out. “The local radio station in Winnipeg, Power 97, said the first couple of times they played it the call display just sorta lit up.”
Tuminski says that, as soon as “Best Way to Die” was written, he knew he had come up with “a pretty good rock hook”, but it wasn’t until the track was remixed by American Nick DiDia (Rage Against the Machine) that it really came to life.
“The Nick DiDia mix is more compressed,” explains Tuminski. “There’s some background vocals and some keyboards that aren’t in the original mix, and the drum sound is actually quite a bit heavier.”
While Jet Set Satellite displays hard-rock handiness beyond its years on Blueprint, its debut CD, with the jarring “Best Way to Die”, it also waxes cinematic and dreamy on “Tinfoil Star”, which is reminiscent of early-’70s Pink Floyd. (Think Dark Side of the Moon’s “Eclipse”.)
That versatility bodes well for the duo, which performs as part of NewMusicWest’s Rumble at the Plaza on Saturday (May 13), then plays Champagne’s in Surrey the next night. Bolstered by the addition of fellow Winnipeggers Mike Keller on guitar, Josh Eskin on bass, and Jeff Tetrault on drums, the group is operating as a quintet on tour, but Tuminski and Swiecicki are still the core driving force. At least for now.
“I’ve played in bands with four or five guys,” says Tuminski, “and it’s extremely hard to progress. So if we stay with mainly just Dave and myself it gives us the freedom to collaborate with whomever we want. But there’s a real great chemistry on the road here, and we certainly are looking forward to collaborating with these guys, because everybody brings something new to the party.”