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Ultimate Power Duo is a local band that is getting the amazing opportunity to play at the Olympics. Their “Quest for Olympic Gold” concert was held at Lydia’s Pub on February 13th, but the real treat for the band will be performing to masses in Vancouver. Photo submitted
The Neighbourhood Express recently caught up with Scott, from Ultimate Power Duo to ask him about what it means to be representing Saskatchewan at the Olympics.
by Alycia Evans
Neighborhood Express: How would you describe your music? Scott from Ultimate Power Duo: A strange mix of ideas, themes and sounds which come together to form what we call Demolition Rock.” NE: What is Demolition Rock? Scott: Demolition Rock is loud, sweaty in your face fun with a varying mix of punk rock n roll and hard rock. We try to play riffs that inspire us, and the lyrics usually have more depth than people realize. Sometimes our songs are inspired by anything from news headlines to comic books, to fact and fiction robots, space and everything in between. Sprinkle in a few smashed guitars and there you have Demolition Rock.”
NE: Playing at the Olympics is an amazing opportunity, how did this opportunity come about? Scott: It really hasn’t really sunk in yet, I mean on one hand it is just another gig, then we realize where we are playing ... the Olympics - the biggest gig in the world. As with everything we do it is a mix of luck, hard work and putting ourselves out there. To be considered to play there you had to sign up on the Vanoc (Vancouver Olympic Committee) website, I just by chance happened to come across the website and found the application there. The Vanoc people had a couple shows that they wanted a fun punk band for, the person that chose us had seen us perform a couple times at the WCMA’s
(Western Canadian Music Awards) a few years ago, and knew what we were about and that we’re a pretty good time. So that person pushed for us and we ended up getting the gig. I think getting the Vanoc gig helped us get the Sask Pavilion show and it just snow balled from there. The thing I think is the coolest is that we don’t have a manager or agent and that we did this all on our own, being persistent and aggressive has paid off.” NE: What can people expect to happen next for UPD? Scott: Well, we’ve got a few things on the go; Saved by Vinyl from Calgary is putting out a 12-inch vinyl called Maximum UPD. This has a bunch of songs that we haven’t
released before, they are from our earlier EP’s that we put out plus a couple themes songs we did for the Comic Chat and Under the Radar and a couple live tracks that we recorded for CBC sessions. I am pretty excited to have our own vinyl, plus Cate Francis made the most amazing album cover ever. On top of that we are writing songs for our next album. We are also doing a double space concept album which we decided to do years ago and have been slowly putting it together. We received a grant from the SK Arts Board to complete it, but then we got sidetracked by the Olympics. After the Olympics we are going to just focus on finishing it.
Filling the gaps between blues, jazz, rock and soul
Megan Lane gives 100%
hen you think about the soundtrack for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, The Deep Dark Woods are probably not the first band to come to mind. The Saskatoon band’s somber and heartfelt brand of roots folk music is not exactly the kind of ampedup patriotic fanfare usually associated with Olympics. But when choosing the bands to represent Saskatchewan in Vancouver come February 12th, how could organizers resist. The Deep Dark Woods are arguably one of Saskatchewan’s most successful bands of the last couple years. They have become a staple on CBC national radio, have toured North America, and have been instrumental in a folk revival in this country. Their 2009 album Winter Hours was produced by legendary Canadian producer Steve Dawson, and won the WCMA for roots recording of the year. Ryan T. Boldt, the singer and guitarist for the group, says he’s excited that they were selected to play in Vancouver. “I’m pumped,” he said in an over the phone interview from his new home in Mortlach, Saskatchewan. He does admit that he was a little surprised when he heard the news, admitting
The Deep Dark Woods are “kind of weird music to play at the Olympics.” Nonetheless, Boldt says the band is thankful for the opportunity to play in front of such a large national and international audience. “It will be great because we will probably play to a whole other audience than we already do,” he says. “And everyone seems to like it. I think people will enjoy themselves.” Their music is accessible. Many of their tunes could easily be mistaken for rare folk gems from a forgotten decade. And despite it’s sometimes solemn tone, there is a warmth and intimacy to their live show that is undeniable. Boldt’s lyrics are often plainly beautiful, evoking the experience of the everyday minutia of life with songs like, “All the Money I Had Is Gone.” Their music often congers up images of the places they are from—bring to mind the loneliness of the prairies and harsh SK winters. But Boldt is hesitant to claim that their music is somehow emblematic of SK. He believes the unique sound of the Deep Dark Woods will resonate with the rest of Canada as well. “I’m proud to be from Saskatchewan, but I hope it can represent more than just SK,” he says. Boldt splits lead and rhythm guitar duties for the band with Burke Barlow, while the he rhythm section is rounded out by C. S. Mason on bass and Lucas Goetz on drums. Mason and Goetz also provide the gorgeous harmonies that have become one of the band’s defining characteristics. After the Olympics, the band is headed south of the border to tour Portland and Seattle before returning to SK to record their fourth full-length album sometime in the summer.
egan Lane is no stranger to Saskatchewan music fans. She released her first album when she was 16 years old, and since then has gained a reputation as one of the province’s most popular touring acts. Her music is a diverse brand of blues-rock, soul and jazz, but don’t let that fool you, Lane has developed a song-writing style all her own. She has toured across Canada along with her bandmates Kyle Krysa (drums) and Gent Laird (bass), playing festivals and clubs from Vancouver to Toronto. They are currently touring her latest album Bow and Drill the Spark (2009), and along the way, the band is making a stop in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Games to perform at the Saskatchewan Pavilion. Neighborhood Express sat down with Lane to ask her what an opportunity like this means for the experienced musician. Neighborhood Express: What was your first reaction when you heard you were going to perform at the Olympics? Megan Lane: I was jumping up and
itted Photo subm
By Charles Hamilton
By Charles Hamilton
down, repeating the word ‘yes’ over and over again. It’s a huge international event, and it’s such an honor to be invited to represent the Saskatchewan arts. NE: What are you most excited about? Lane: The international mix of people is going to be unlike any other audience we’ve ever performed for. My crowds have always been diverse, and I strive on bringing different groups of people together through my music. This is the most exciting thing for us. NE: How does it feel to representing Saskatchewan to the world? Lane: Being that I frequently tour all throughout Canada, I feel I can say that we have a very strong music scene here [in Saskatchewan]. It’s time that it’s recognized, and we’re going to put on a show that puts Saskatchewan on the musical map. It feels amazing to have the province put such confidence in myself and my band. NE: Why do you think your music is a good fit with the Olympics--what makes you such a good choice? Lane: The different demographics of people, and range of age groups that attend our shows has always been a diverse mix. I think because you can hear the roots music mixed with a very original and contemporary writing style, we’re able to please ear drums that are accustom to many different types of music. We also put on a very high-energy show, that keeps people wanting more. We give it one hundred percent if the audience is 40 people or 40,000. NE: Will this help your exposure? Lane: Absolutely. We’ll be performing for many people who have never heard of us before. NE: Are you going to catch any of the games while you’re there? It’s hard to say if we’ll be able to catch any sporting events considering we will be very busy with music.
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• Saskatoon • Section B
Published on Mar 15, 2010