Back in the fold
Econoline Crush returns to St. Albert
Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 06:00 am
Friday, June 25 at 9 p.m.
9020 McKenney Ave
Tickets: $13, Call 780-451-8000 or buy online at www.tickemaster.ca
On Friday, June 25, Econoline Crush performs at St. Albert’s Taphouse. Ironically, it was exactly one year ago to the day, that an unexpected international event in the entertainment industry forced the award-winning Canadian rock band to change course.
Econoline Crush had signed with Akon’s Hitlab, an online lab where musicians can test songs through a special computer program to see if it has hit potential. The band was also to be involved and filmed in Hitlab’s reality TV show on MTV.
“It was supposed to be a reality show about what do you do with a band that made it big and how they reinvigorate themselves,” says Econoline vocalist Trevor Hurst.
However, Hurst was never quite comfortable with the artificial-intelligence pattern-recognition software that compared music to the Top 100 Billboard songs and predicted the probability of hits.
“It was weird. How can a soulless computer program decide what is a great song? Look at artists like Bob Dylan that emphasize certain phrasing, certain syllables, certain words. How does a computer factor in the uniqueness of a song?”
Unfortunately for Econoline, Michael Jackson died on Thursday, June 25. Akon had just signed a deal as a producer of Jackson’s new album. “His deal went haywire and everything was put on hold because his world was in a turmoil. As a band we decided to step back and make our own record, independently.”
At the beginning of their career, this kind of move would have put them in a tailspin. “But we’ve really matured. We’ve grown up. We have better art and can roll with the punches.”
The band hopes to put out a retrospective of their greatest hits in the fall and they continue to write new songs as a follow-up to their last album Ignite, released in 2008.
“We will keep writing songs whether there is a lab or not. As artists we do it because we have to. This is who we are. This is what we are.
When Econoline pushed their way into Vancouver’s music scene in 1992, their industrial sound was provocative and pushed the boundaries. Their 1996 release of The Devil You Know was both a critical and commercial success.
But by 2002, bickering had set in. “It became clunky. It became cumbersome,” Hurst says. Members just decided to dedicate time to other projects.
“In 2003-2004 we started communicating and we were saying, ‘It was fun when it was good.’ So we wrote a few songs together.”
On July 10 they fly to Los Angeles to record six to eight songs with Rhys Fulber who produced Affliction, their first full-length album. “It brings everything full circle. It’s nice in terms of the healing process.”
The band’s core is Hurst, Ziggy and Rob Morfitt, and they often use a rotating rhythm section. At the Taphouse gig, Steve Vincent and Greg Williamson of Tupelo Honey step up as fill.