Published on July 10th, 1997 | by Gerry Galipault0
In the Great Pop North, eyes are on Treble Charger
Short or tall, skinny or weighty, black, white or of Asian descent. It doesn’t matter, Canadians are Canadians.
They’re a proud people. From Vancouver to Goose Bay, they love their country, their hockey, their Moosehead and their diversity. And they love their music.
Like Treble Charger.
On the Canada side of Sault Ste. Marie, this power-pop quartet entered their expanive, edgy track “Red” in a new-music talent search in 1993. The winner was to take home a whooping $100,000.
“But it went completely unnoticed,” bassist Rosie Martin said recently. “We thought, ‘Wow, what’s going on?’ The next year, we didn’t know what to do, what song to submit. We talked to a DJ there who was a judge, and we said, ‘What do we do?’ He said, ‘Enter ‘Red.’ It was a mistake last year. It was overlooked and got in the wrong pile. I’ll make sure it goes to the right pile.’ “
Sure enough, he got it right. Treble Charger finished second, but it came with a $25,000 check. That’s all they needed to finish their 1994 album, “nc-17,” and from there, it snowballed: “Red” became a modern-rock hit in Canada and the video saw heavy rotation on the MuchMusic channel. They opened for the Posies, Redd Kross, Sebadoh and Radiohead, and their ’95 follow-up, “self=titled,” whipped up a major-label frenzy. RCA signed them, and now their third album, “Maybe It’s Me,” featuring a rerecording of “Red,” is closing in on a July 29 release.
“The record company wanted us to redo ‘Red,’ and we wanted to redo it too simply because we weren’t happy with the low-budget recording the first time around,” Martin said. “It’s the song that won’t go away.”
On “Maybe It’s Me,” Martin and band mates Trevor MacGregor (drums) and co-singer-guitarists Greig Nori and Bill Priddle display an obvious affinity for vintage rock while deftly avoiding sounding overly derivative. Martin gives some of the credit to producer Lou Giordano (Crash Test Dummies, Goo Goo Dolls, Paul Westerberg).
“We made the record we always wanted to make,” Martin said. “When we were making our own records, we didn’t have the money or the budget or the equipment. When we played back the track ‘Mercury Smile,’ which is one of my favorite songs on the album, it was like ‘Holy cow, this really works.’ We didn’t realize till then how good it was.”
BWF (before we forget): Get juiced with Treble Charger on the Web @ www.treblecharger.com.