THE OLD SOUL with RUN CHICO RUN and PANURGE at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Saturday (August 12), $8. 416-763-9139. Rating: NNNNN
Luca Maoloni's the type of guy who doesn't think twice about telling you you're fuckin' wrong when he knows what's right.
Lounging on a College strip patio, the warped mastermind behind orch-pop hooligans the Old Soul quickly gets into a pleasant but firm debate with the server who suggests Creemore in response to his order of "some kind of lager."
Creemore, he insists, is ale, not lager. Confused, she trots off to pour him a Hoegaarden.
The flip side of Maoloni's self-assured bullheadedness is that he's happy to be put in his place - he's secretly dying for it, even when it comes to his music, about which he's fiercely protective.
"The only person who's ever told me, 'Luca, that doesn't sound good,' was Andy Magoffin, in London," says a chastised Maoloni, who's just been informed that the Creemore tap has a lager label. "When I write a song, it's in my head instantaneously and I know right away what needs to be done. So when there's an outside person saying I should try something different, I'll tell them to fuck off."
He grins. "It's wrong on my part, but at the same time the music always comes out half-decent."
Though the Old Soul's new album, She's Got Party Davis Eyes (Hand of God), hasn't even had its official release yet (that'll happen Saturday at the Silver Dollar as part of the band's annual rock 'n' roll BBQ), Maoloni can't contain his excitement about his next Soul sessions.
The next disc, he insists, will be "the biggest shit ever." He wants to bring in another person - not necessarily a producer or engineer, but a musical ace who'll take him on. It's gonna be huge, a full-band blowout.
Party Davis was originally conceptualized as just that album, a massive follow-up to the rejigged Universal-licensed re-release of the Old Soul's debut. But "the timing just wasn't right."
Instead, he and Paul Aucoin focused on the songs and reined things in in order to make a tour album for their upcoming cross-Canada jaunt.
Party Davis still sounds like the no-holds-barred kaleidoscopic-pop Old Soul you know and love. The songs are more focused, with less of the flailing mania of the group's debut, though Maoloni's cracked sense of humour dominates.
The addition of trumpet player Jo-Ann Goldsmith, occasionally playing Tammy Wynette to Maoloni's George Jones, is one of the most noticeable shifts in their sound. Maoloni's always seemed a bit like the ringleader of a Little Rascals boys club, playing off his bandmates with total dude-itude.
"It's not like she's the token girl people are fucking around with," Maoloni insists. "Jo-Ann's like a guy in the band, but we're more gentle cuz she's there. You won't hear some guy burpin' in the corner or saying, 'Aw, I had great sex last night.' I mean, we still get naked when we practise...."
Curiously, although they've signed on for a three-album licensing deal with Universal, Maoloni insisted Party Davis not count as one of their major-affiliated discs. Since he's paying for everything out of pocket, part of his strategy is finding alternate funding sources.
That almost included a commercial for (gasp!) Zellers. Currently interrupting shows like Degrassi, the ad featuring Joel Plaskett's Nowhere With You was very nearly set to the sound of the Old Soul's River Of Daughters.
"This might get me in really big shit," Maoloni begins, "but this guy Marco DeFelice, who used to be in SuperGARAGE, called to say Zellers would be using our song. I'm like, 'Fuckin' great! This is money! We need a van! We need tons of shit!'"
Apparently, the top brass hadn't listened to the lascivious lyrics, which make reference to "cleaning clams," before signing off.
"They thought I was a pervert. I tried to write another song, but it was too late. I'm glad it went to Joel Plaskett instead of, like, Billy Talent or Edwin or some bullshit.
"D'you know how many commercials I've tried to write songs for and it hasn't happened?" Maoloni groans. "I'm so stupid. I always add idiotic lyrics. They'll be great songs, and then you'll go, 'What's that he just said about anal?'"