Truck - Ottawa Canada
By Pat Ferris
What ever happened to the
"fun" in rock-n-roll? This Ottawa band has not only answered that question, but
has broken new ground in the music biz by getting themselves featured on The Comedy
Network's The Kevin Spencer
I was introduced to Big Jeezus Truck last May while I was searching through our pile of
emails by a fan that suggested I check them out. After spending 2 minutes on their
website, I knew immediatly that I wanted to review them, and
probably wanted to featured them in a future issue. The reason was simple: I
had a good time listening to thier music and their offiical website was a truely entertaining experience (although
a bit on the busy side).
Trying to track them down for an interview was an interesting experience in and of
itself! After two months of emails going back and forth, I was still unsuccessful in
my attempt to get them on ICQ (typical technologically challenged musician's), but
got an 11th hour phone call from the vocalist and co-founder of the band, Slim
Reaper. Since we both talk faster than I can type, the interview is paraphrased, but
the general gist of the ideas discussed are there!
<HotBands> - Hi Slim! I was just on your site listening
to/checking out your website. You look like quite a character! How did
Big Jeezus Truck form, and where did you get the name Slim Reaper?
<BJT> - Ted and I came out of another group called The Bleeding Hearts four
years ago (1996). It was kind of a blues based band, and not nearly as manic as the
band we have now. One by one the members have solidifed. Spaghetti (the bassist) joined 2
years ago. As far as my name goes, I used to be a grave-digger for my day-job
(I'd hate to do that at night!). I'm kind of a tall guy and one day at work
one of my co-workers said "Here comes Slim Reaper" and the name stuck.
<HotBands> First your website was a visual experience, and your lyrics are hilarious
and lots of fun.
<BJT> It is fun...we rock hard when we play and people
take it for what it is. Our first goal is to be entertainers...not to enlighten
people...that's what Seattle bands are for! We put on as much of a show as possible,
setting off pyro when can. We even have smoke stacks we set off from an
18 wheeler...it's all about a show. It's like Spinal Tap meets the Dukes of Hazard.
<HotBands> How would you classify your music?
<BJT> The broad term would be hard-rock, but in a more specific genre we would be
country-punk. Influenced by everything from The Stooges (Iggy Pop)
to Hank Williams. Not a lot
of bands doing what we do.
<HotBands> Do you currently tour?
<BJT> We're from Ontario Canada, so we mostly tour Eastern Canada. We'd love
to get into the US but it's pretty hard to get into the market. It's hard to get
known, but our website seems to be a good way to get our name out there, and people can
get a feel for what we're about from the site.
<HotBands> How did you get selected for the cartoon (The Kevin Spencer Show)?
Is it still on the air, or was it just a pilot?
<BJT> It's in it's 3rd year....a very demented cartoon that is 1-step past South Park, and it airs
on the Comedy Network.
Producers of the show saw us doing the show at a club in Ottawa and they liked the song
"Welfare Alcoholic". We got some conversation going back and forth, and
when they brought out animators out to meet us, they ended up not only using the song, but
wrote our band into the script for the show. The show has opened a lot of doors for us. We
have only done one show so far, but we get the feeling that we may be coming back again
because some of the characters on the show have been seen in later episodes wearing our
<HotBands> Did you fly to the US to do the voice-overs for the show?
<BJT> It was all created post-production in Canada.
<HotBands> Who are the members of your band?
<BJT> Well, I'm (Slim) pretty much the vocalist/lyricist, Tom E. Hawk on
Guitar and some vocals, Ted "Fireball" Cain on drums and Spaghetti on bass.
We're really all about the live show. I can' think of too many acts that do what we do.
<HotBands> So what is it exactly that you do?
<BJT> It's full energy from the second we get on to the second we get off. We don't
come across hard-core...it's all about fun. We're here to take the audience away for 90
min to 2 hours. So far, I don't think we've let a single person down that came
to one of our performances that was looking for a fun time.
<HotBands> How many CD's do you have out at this time? Are you focusing on
playing live, or studio at this time?
<BJT> We have 2 releases out now (Size Matters and The Big HooHaw) and a new CD
that should be released in the Spring. We're currently focused on getting that
finished, and we're not doing a lot of playing live over the winter...winters can be
pretty tough in Canada.
<HotBands> We'd love to have you in the US
<BJT> We'd love to have an audience anywhere. All we've been looking for is a
break in the right place. We have a number of cassettes on video we can forward on
to you. If you can help us get our name in the US, we'd love to tour if we can
support it. It's always the bottom line we have to look at...if it's feasible, we're
up for it.
<HotBands> Where do you see yourself going next year?
<BJT> We'd like to get our next record out. Our big thing now is to get down to
Toronto for showcasing. There are some good bands in Ottawa, but there isn't a lot of live
clubs because people up here just don't go out that much...maybe it's too cold up here!
We're wanting to have professional management and be touring Canada and the US if
we can swing it.
<HotBands> If you had anything to say to the younger musicians, what would it be?
<BJT> Be true to yourself...it's the only way you're going to be happy. If your
doing it to please someone else, you're only an employee, and that's not why most people
get into it (music). If you can remember why you got into it, you'll be able to hang
on a little longer. If you follow trends, you'll always be a follower. We're
not looking to be God, but just have a good time doing what we do. Our audience is anybody
that wants to hear us that doesn't mind working up a sweat and having a great time!
<HotBands> Thanks for taking the time to do the interview for our readers!
<BJT> Thank YOU Pat for your interest in our band! We look forward to
touring and having you see one our shows next year!
To find out more about Big Jeezus Truck, visit their official website at http://www.bigjeezustruck.com