Interviews no image

Published on November 14th, 1999 | by Gerry Galipault


Boomtang Boys Shake Some Booty

Every so often, one of those gratingly contagious songs comes out of nowhere and becomes nearly everyone’s guilty pleasure. A few years ago, it was Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” In 1999, a good candidate is “Squeeze Toy” by the Boomtang Boys.

Tony Grace, one-third of the Toronto-based dance trio, is fully aware that “Squeeze Toy,” with perky vocals by guest Kim Esty, isn’t for everyone. But it definitely has its place in the pop sun.

“It’s the kind of song that you either love it or you hate it,” Grace said recently. “And, the same with Canada, once it got past the listening boards on every Tuesday afternoon with the programmers, whenever they let it go and said ‘Okay, let’s run with this thing,’ then it would do well. If you play it on the radio, I think people are going to get the double entendre and the fun aspect of the song. It is what it is: an unabashedly pop song.

“I think it’ll do well (in the United States). Americans like comedy; they like a little fun in their music. In a world, especially with alternative and rock where everything’s so bloody serious, why not a light, fluffy pop song? There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Squeeze Toy” was a bona-fide smash in Canada, where in May the trio became the first Canadian group ever to debut at No. 1. It stayed there for four weeks and sold more than 20,000 copies. A subsequent album, the tongue-in-cheek titled “Greatest Hits: Volume One” (Virgin), recently went gold, topping the 50,000-sales mark.

Grace hopes he, brother Paul and Rob DeBoer can lighten things up in the United States, where the album was released Oct. 12.

“We wanted to do a nice pop record that celebrates the pop song,” Grace said. “It’s not trying to say anything deep or anything; it’s about having a good time, getting up there and dancing, which is the reason I got into this business in the first place. I love dance music for that very reason, you know the ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ theory, people getting together and having a good time.”

“Greatest Hits” is chock-full of ’80s-inspired dance-pop. The trio isn’t afraid to tackle covers of Yaz’s “Only You,” Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” They go back even farther, with reworkings of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” and the Popcorn instrumental “Hot Butter.”

“A lot of our album is covers of songs from the ’80s, which I thought was a great period for music,” Grace said. “In making this music, we revisited a lot of eras in music. Right off the top of my head, some of the dance artists in the ’80s that influenced us were Erasure, Thomas Dolby and Simple Minds. You have to love what you do and get inspiration from different sources, and a lot of that came from the dance bands in the ’80s.”

The Grace brothers have collaborated since the late 1980s when they turned their apartment into a makeshift studio, remixed some songs and created demos. They hooked up with DeBoer in 1991 and together they churned out remixes for such artists as Corey Hart, Econoline Crush, France Joli, Amanda Marshall, Bif Naked and Ashley MacIsaac.

Then “Squeeze Toy” changed it all, landing them a worldwide deal with Virgin.

“Everybody seemed to accept the song for what it was,” Grace said. “I can remember reading the Billboard review and it said ‘Nothing deep here to report, but it’s a nice little pop song.’ The guy said in a market where a lot of people are taking themselves too seriously, it’s refreshing to see a song like this. I couldn’t agree more.”

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “I think it was a Elton John 45. I don’t remember what the A-side was, but I bought it because I liked the B-side, ‘I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford).’ “

THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “Yes … in 1976. I had to fight tooth and nail with my folks to see it. It was the beginning of laser technology at concerts, and it was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It was a long show, about four hours.”

BWF (before we forget): Catch up with the Boomtang Boys on the Web @

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 9, 2021 » Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Peggy Seeger, Nick Waterhouse, Sweet Oblivion Feat. Geoff Tate, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Coryell, Chris Cain, Frances, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jetty Bones, etc.

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.

    More New Releases » May 7 and Beyond: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter