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Rockers conspire to produce new EP

MarketForces tap conspiracy theories with new songs

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Saturday, May 03, 2014 06:00 am

FULL FORCES – MarketForces are (left to right): Don Horak (drums), Jeff Schmidt (bass), Andrew White (vocals), John Tidswell (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals) and Dionne Danyk (guitar, backing vocals).
FULL FORCES – MarketForces are (left to right): Don Horak (drums), Jeff Schmidt (bass), Andrew White (vocals), John Tidswell (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals) and Dionne Danyk (guitar, backing vocals).
JEFF SCHMIDT/Supplied photo

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CD Release and Live Performance
Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The Brixx Bar and Grill
10030 – 102 St.
Tickets: $10 at door

MarketForces isn’t exactly reaching for superstardom. It would be nice – the big house, the five cars – but the indie rockers would simply prefer you listen to their new EP release Love and Other Conspiracy Theories.

A CD release and live performance is planned for Saturday at Edmonton’s Brixx Bar and Grill.

“We’re trying to make songs that are fun to dance to and also have an eye on the condition of the world we live in,” says Sturgeon County vocalist Andrew White, formerly of the band Café Gurus.

Rounding off the band is bassist Jeff Schmidt, also from Sturgeon County, singer-songwriter Jon Tidswell (of Edmonton’s ’80s fave rockers Neo A4), drummer Don Horak and singer-guitarist Dionne Danyk.

The fivesome carries nearly a century of experience between them. They are keenly aware that as you get older, there is more to life than a romantic heartbreak. These guys follow politics and the economy and spend time discussing global events.

Ergo an EP title that brings to mind alien landings.

“You’d be amazed by the massive conspiracy theories and fantastical theories that are out there. They all have a little ring of truth,” White says.

“We’re amazed at how you can pick up a mark in a theory and because that’s true everything else becomes true and you follow it to a crazy end. It’s interesting to watch how it gets structured in the media. You really have to have your filter on.”

The genesis of MarketForces goes back to the early ’90s when both Tidswell and White were part of rock band The Right Way. They struck up a lifelong friendship through numerous projects, sometimes working together and other times apart.

In 2006, they joined forces once again to start MarketForces. Finding the right people and developing the right concept took time. By 2011 they’d refined a pop-rock sound and recorded Now, their first album of original songs.

The recent six-track EP is no sad sack of anthems. It’s completely original and practically begs a second listen. It’s not straight up and down. Instead, it delivers more depth and the band is clearly a tight unit.

“We want to create music, not replicate it,” says bass player Jeff Schmidt, who was invited to join MarketForces about 18 months ago.

“My friends called me up and said, ‘Hey do you want to come out and make some noise?’”

Among the songs is one entitled Big Picture. Laid over a tight drum pattern, the aggressive tune comments on the importance of being aware of what happens around you.

Shining is a slow, dark and moody piece about middle age angst, and Men in Black is a matter-of-fact number about a potential alien confrontation.

“It’s sung from the point of view of the first responder if we make contact,” White said.

Tidswell is the primary lyricist and works closely with his bandmates to create meaty stories with equally catchy hooks.

White is a sound engineer by trade. He’s the head of audio for Edmonton Rock Fest, Beaumont Blues and K-Days. He also recorded and mixed the EP in Semiotic Sound, his private studio.

Schmidt has high praise for White and attributes the clean sound to White’s experience.

“It was all very hands on. We had lots of committee meetings. But poor Andrew had to sift through all the ideas and pick the best ones and make everybody happy. And he did.”

Both White and Schmidt optimistically voice their enthusiasm for yet another release in January 2015. But for now, they are just out to win over fans by tapping into the malaise of 21st century urban life.


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