Four words: I AM AN IDIOT. Don't understand? Read this interview and if you're musically educated, you'll understand...
This Toronto four-piece group, led by bassist-vocalist Rob Higgins peel out 10 tracks of super charged rock that borders on metal, but never falls upon the clichés of the genre.
I love this band. I've always been a fan of Rob's from By Divine Right, to Change of Heart, to Rocket Science. Coincidence brought us together for this interview. My biggest regret is not practicing before :)
Place? Zaphods in the market, band room...
eclectic*: Ok, so where are you originally from? Toronto right?
Rob Higgins: Yeah I was born there actually.
e*: Really? Did you go to school there?
RH: Yeah, well actually I went to Carleton for a year before I went out west to UBC, and I took a music course there. And that was ok I guess, I mean, I wasn't really into it.
e*: So, before Rocket Science you were in By Divine Right. Is that still going on at all?
RH: The band is... Jose sort of has a new line up, reformed the band with new people. He got a record deal with Linus entertainment of Toronto...
(Camera man walks in... stays to film the interview for a Rocket Science documentary...) This is Steve, he's documenting our existence.
e*: Uh oh.
RH: Yeah... he's documenting the documentation. .. So yeah. By Divine Right is still kicking around. They just put out a new album, made a new video. I see Jose time to time....I have a lot of love for Jose. I think he's a really beautiful human being with a wonderful creative spirit. I feel blessed that I had time to work with him.
e*: Now what about Change of Heart?
RH: It was more formative. Ya, because that was like 3 and half years, and we did a lot of really exciting things...I mean, as much as you can do as a band in Canada, apart from becoming wildly successful.
e*: So, I heard the new album..
RH: Oh ya?
e*: It's wicked.
RH: Oh ya? You think so?
e*: Oh ya. I got it really late last night, I stayed up listening to it.
RH: Can I ask you which songs you liked? (I have a feeling he's testing me here...) Do you remember...I mean, cause it's somewhat eclectic, so some songs turn people off of it....
e*: Well, I uhm, I don't remember a lot of the names...but the 3rd song....I love that song. It's like you say though, it's very eclectic... Which happens to be the name of the zine I'm writing.
RH: Oh ya! Really?! Oh yea.....I remember Karen saying something about that. So there you go, we're a good match.
e*: And actually, my little sister, she's 12 years old. Snuck into my room and took my CD player. I woke up the next morning to Rocket Science blasting from her room. Let me tell you- She likes Britney Spears and stuff like that, so that was a little bit crazy.
RH: (Turns to video camera) See! There's hope for us yet. Britney Spears, here- we - come.
e*: Another thing... that actually I didn't know before...something I'm sure every reporter and journalist talks to you about it you're uncle...
RH: Yes, my uncle...
Kristin (Oh god...here it comes....) Lee Geddy.
RH: Lee Geddy ... (smiles) yep...
e*: He produced the album right?
RH: Yeh....yeh...he produced the album. He was like an executive producer in the sense that he sort of over saw the production of the record, while helping us with some dough and some recording time, and some really strong coffee. So he was helpful, in a lot of ways. It was fun, I mean, we've known each other a long time, being family...it's hard to work with family sometimes but I think the cool thing about working with family was that even when it got sort of heated in the recording studio or whatever, when we were butting heads, as bass players, song writers, or producers...we were still able to sort of blow it off and laugh at it the next day and just laugh at the whole thing.
RH: Yeah, so I think that's sort of an important part of that. Especially you know - someone as successful and renowned as HE, as the Mighty Lee Geddy.
(He's making fun of me)
e*: If you were stuck on a desert island what 3 CD's would you take?
RH: Uhm...ok, music cds?
RH: If I had to stick to music CD's I guess I'd say....uhm, I probably couldn't live with out a copy of Sergeant Peppers, Bob Marley...I'd even take one of the shitty box collections that he put out like " Legend " ; or something- it would be good for the morning, and then in the afternoon maybe... The Beastie Boys...ya so my third choice album would be Check Your Head....all good vibe stuff...I mean, if I'm stuck on a desert island man, I don't want any shitty vibes.
e*: What was one of the best moments of your musical life so far?
RH: Playing the House of Blues in New Orleans, that was fucking great...It was an Our Lady Peace show, and it was sold out in the House of Blues, and it was such a good time.
e*: Where do you see yourself in the future?
RH: Well...I'd like to think I'll hopefully be playing music. And maybe spending a little more time at a cottage or something, away from the ugly city.
e*: How old are you now?
RH: Uhm a hundred. Well. We took a page from Treble Charger book and well...we don't reveal our ages after 25...so....I was born in the 70's!!!
e*: ha ha...ok that's cool.
RH: Laughs...I love that 70's show. I was teenage in the 80's...I'm narrowing down, that's enough.
e*: What are some of your frustrations in the music industry?
RH: Oh, Amanda Marshall. Uhm, aside from slagging people like Amanda Marshall, I don't know...I don't really like to spend a lot of time slagging the music industry; it's been pretty good to me. I've been really fortunate in a lot of ways, so I don't have a lot to say that's all that negative. I mean, I WILL say, because I think it's going this way anyways, but I will say that I wish live music was more important. But I honestly in all seriousness believe that the age we're entering into is going to be something of authenticity- and I think people are looking for it in every facet of their life, whether it's music, art, politics...on every level people are looking for something authentic. So I think that's a great thing that's happening in the music industry, I think it's so saturated with manufactured, synthetic garbage, that it's inevitably going to turn around into something authentic and beautiful.
e*: Rock and Roll is coming back
RH: I guess so...but I mean everything, like vocal groups or R & B....I think it will also transcend into live music. People will have more of an appreciation for it, rather than what's put on tape and fed to thousands of kinds. So I guess in a way what I'm saying is that I'm really frustrated with the way things have become so synthetic and I'm trying to turn it into a positive thing by saying we're coming out of it...
This was a long interview that I have to cut short... but all in all Rob is a really well spoken, funny, adorable, ingenious man. The show they put on was incredible, although not many people were there as I had expected...but what do you expect for a Thursday night at Zaphods? The people that showed up were really into it, so I guess that's what counts right? Next time they come to town, I'm going to try and get another interview with Rob, and hopefully redeem myself as a journalist.