Ian Blurton says a major label wouldn’t have let Change of Heart make the sprawling Smile

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1992 By Steve Newton You’ve got to give Change of Heart a lot of credit for hanging in despite adversity. While piles of former college-radio faves from Seattle are lining up to sign lucrative major-label deals, the independent Toronto quartet is satisfied doing things its own way—and … Continue reading Ian Blurton says a major label wouldn’t have let Change of Heart make the sprawling Smile

Shock-rocker Dukey Flyswatter invites horror fans to park in the Haunted Garage

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 20, 1992 By Steve Newton Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was probably the first artist to bring together elements of horror and rock ’n’ roll. Back in the late ’50s and early ’60s, he would open his concerts by rising from a coffin and letting loose with a blood-curdling scream. … Continue reading Shock-rocker Dukey Flyswatter invites horror fans to park in the Haunted Garage

Vancouver blues vets Incognito keep the music rough and tough

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton You don’t have to prowl Vancouver’s smoky blues hang-outs to hear local blues-rockers Incognito—all you need is a radio and chances are you’ll come across the rockin’ jingle the quartet recorded for Grower’s Cider. The catchy ad might even be followed by Incognito’s … Continue reading Vancouver blues vets Incognito keep the music rough and tough

Mark Meaux just wants Bluerunners to be thought of as a butt-rockin’ Louisiana band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton Zydebilly, cajun metal, garage zydeco—critics have been falling over themselves trying to find words to describe the music of Lafayette, Louisiana’s Bluerunners. But singer/guitarist Mark Meaux has his own idea. “Individually, all those terms—cajun, zydeco, punk—describe really great genres of music. But jumbling … Continue reading Mark Meaux just wants Bluerunners to be thought of as a butt-rockin’ Louisiana band

Wayne Toups says Zydecajun’s foot-stompin’ music is universal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1991 By Steve Newton People initially pick up musical instruments for all kinds of reasons. For singer/accordionist Wayne Toups, it was jealousy of an older brother’s musical abilities that caused him to pick up the multi-buttoned squeeze-box in the first place. But he laughs about that inspiration … Continue reading Wayne Toups says Zydecajun’s foot-stompin’ music is universal

The seriously rockin’ Last Wild Sons can’t compete with the Beat Farmers’ comical escapades

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 14, 1991 By Steve Newton The scene is the roughly furnished, graffiti-blasted band room in the basement of the Town Pump. The characters are several members of local blues-rockers the Last Wild Sons and sundry friends and relatives who saunter in and out, taking care not to bump … Continue reading The seriously rockin’ Last Wild Sons can’t compete with the Beat Farmers’ comical escapades

Tim McConnell takes a down-to-earth approach to making music on the Havalinas’ debut album

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1990 By Steve Newton When I interviewed the Havalinas I lucked out by procuring a ten-page promo package that gave me the facts on the members’ early days in bands like the Rockats, the Plugz, and the Cruzados, and explained the origin of the group’s name (they’re … Continue reading Tim McConnell takes a down-to-earth approach to making music on the Havalinas’ debut album

Bootsauce wants to bring it back down to the street level with Bull

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 9, 1992 By Steve Newton Those practical jokers in Bootsauce really got me good. There I was, sitting quietly in my bedroom 10 minutes after a not-so-quiet run-through of the band’s new CD, Bull, when out of the silence flies this freaky phone message from … Continue reading Bootsauce wants to bring it back down to the street level with Bull

Saskatoon rocker Glen Stace got a boost from k.d. lang’s manager to book his Buddha Hotel

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 1991 By Steve Newton What makes a young Canadian prairie kid want to rock? Well, in Glen Stace’s case, being the son of a country preacher helped. “I guess it was part of my rebellious phase,” says the 29-year-old Saskatoon native. “I had an older sister who … Continue reading Saskatoon rocker Glen Stace got a boost from k.d. lang’s manager to book his Buddha Hotel

Michael Penn talks lyrical inspiration, four-track recording, and his debut album March

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 5, 1990 By Steve Newton As long as you keep the channel-changer handy for the first frightening sign of Michael Williams, Kim Clarke Champniss, or Rap City, flicking on MuchMusic is sometimes worth the trouble. Once in a while you come across a heavily rotated video that catches … Continue reading Michael Penn talks lyrical inspiration, four-track recording, and his debut album March

The Crash Test Dummies’ Brad Roberts sees his baritone voice as an avenue, not a barrier

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 15, 1991 By Steve Newton A while back, the chances of hearing a booming baritone voice on pop radio would have been about as good as finding a cache of lipstick in Metallica’s dressing-room. But these days you can hardly flick through the airwaves without hearing the hit … Continue reading The Crash Test Dummies’ Brad Roberts sees his baritone voice as an avenue, not a barrier

Dave Gonzalez says the Paladins are at their best when pared down

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 17, 1991 By Steve Newton When Paladins guitarist Dave Gonzales called snowbound Vancouver last week, yours truly wasn’t in a cheery mood—and it had nothing to do with the frosty mounds of white stuff entombing his car. The TV news was broadcasting live press conferences with Iraq’s foreign … Continue reading Dave Gonzalez says the Paladins are at their best when pared down

Happy Man’s Jay Homenchuk and Graham Brown were Born to Entertain

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton Happy Man singer/guitarist Jay Homenchuk has been involved with Vancouver’s independent rock scene for a number of years—either as a guitar roadie for Brilliant Orange or as a member of Green House and his current group. Born and raised in Lotusland, he’s seen … Continue reading Happy Man’s Jay Homenchuk and Graham Brown were Born to Entertain

The Church and Blue Aeroplanes bring a night of jangly guitars to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 12, 1990 By Steve Newton It was a real toss-up to decide which band—Australia's Church or Britain's Blue Aeroplanes—was the more entertaining at the Commodore last Thursday (July 5). The B.A.'s set was short and sweet; the Church took quite a while to get going. One thing's for … Continue reading The Church and Blue Aeroplanes bring a night of jangly guitars to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom

Kenny Neal recalls getting a harmonica from swamp-blues legend Slim Harpo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 28, 2002 By Steve Newton A lot of today’s practicing blues artists have stories to tell about influential run-ins with pioneering bluesmen, and Kenny Neal is no exception. When he was a little kid he was handed a harmonica by swamp-blues legend Slim (“I’m a King Bee”) Harpo, … Continue reading Kenny Neal recalls getting a harmonica from swamp-blues legend Slim Harpo

The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The way today’s product-oriented music industry functions, it’s hard for most bands to have their cake and eat it too. But Toronto’s Phantoms are one band that’s licking the icing from its fingers these days. They managed to ink a deal with A&M … Continue reading The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1985 I interviewed Alain Caron, the phenomenal bassist for Quebec jazz-fusion band UZEB. His group was touring behind its second studio album, You, Be Easy, and headed to Vancouver for a two-night stand at the Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked Caron about … Continue reading That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind

By Steve Newton Over the last 40 years I've been fortunate enough to have done one-on-one interviews with four members of Iron Maiden: Clive Burr, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, and Bruce Dickinson. I interviewed Dickinson back in June of 1983, when Maiden was touring behind its fourth studio album, Piece of Mind, which had been … Continue reading That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind