Afterparty with Rocket Tits Saturday (August 30) at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina). $7. 416-968-2001. Rating: NNNNN
The toilet boys have have lost their fire. Long live the Afterparty. That's the name of the fledgling New York rock outfit fronted by former flame-swallowing Toilet Boys guitarist Sean "Chopper" Pierce. The fire went out on the Toilet Boys while they were on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers after what Chopper calls The Great White Fiasco.
"We had all the hot dates, like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and people came early, so we were playing to like 10,000," says Chopper of the tour. "It was awesome."
Then a tragic fire caused by metal band the Great White's pyrotechnics killed 96 people in a Rhode Island nightclub last February.
"It was such a shame that had to happen, especially with a great band like Great White," laments Chopper.
"All a band has to do is check the club with a lighter before the gig. We always did that. You have to think of safety first. You don't wanna kill your fans.
"But after that accident we just didn't feel we could use the fire. We tried it a couple of times in Spain and it just didn't feel right.
"We didn't want to compromise our show, and the fire was the explosive element of our sound. To us it wasn't a joke. It wasn't a shtick or gimmick. We grew up as children of the fire and rock. That's who we were."
Obviously, there must have been other contributing factors in the band's demise, but Chopper says the members are all still friends and are hard at work on a film called Another Day In The Life, which he says is kind of like Cannonball Run.
"The script is pretty amazing. One fictional day (about the life of the band) ties our whole lives together."
And there'll be all kinds of cameos by the likes of Debbie Harry and Queens of the Stone Age, and the Chili Peppers have agreed to do a scene.
Plus, the new project, Afterparty, features Toilet Boys Dick Rocket on guitars and Sweet James (Jimmy) on drums.
Anyway, the Toilet Boys aren't totally defunct yet; they'll be be releasing a few albums over the next couple of years, including a live record and some previously unreleased material.
Also in Afterparty is Shane "Trimm" Trimble, with whom Chopper was in a band as a teen. They used to sell speed together.
Their three-song sampler comes with a piece of beautiful silk-screened original artwork by Chopper, and sonically is quite a bit of all right. Seriously rock 'n' roll, it takes mere seconds before the insistent guitar solos kick in. Ethereal chick backups complement Chopper's snarl in surprising ways on Sensations, the best track. Sound effects and sirens permeate the guitar chunk and gallop of Children Of The Fire, and it all slows down to a dark, cacophonous noise ballad for Like The Sun.
A full-length has already been recorded and is pending.
"We recorded it in Germantown in Philly at the Church of Graves. It's so ghetto. The cops stopped us once, and after we convinced them we were really recording, they apologized and explained they'd never seen white people in the neighbourhood."
Also in the plan are more works of original art and limited-edition silk- screened one-of-a-kind T-shirts.
"And we're going to have this crew of bikini chicks doing the screening so when you buy a shirt you can also watch a video of these chicks screening your shirt."
The former Toilet Boys pyro guy, Buck Nuts, is now working lights for Afterparty.
"There's no fire, but believe me, the show's gotten a lot more intense," promises Chopper.
"I'm really psyched to get out there and own the stage. We're just having a really good time right now, and I hope that's contagious."
Chopper also moonlights as a doorman at a gay sex club.
"It's a private club, so members can go right in, but if they're not yet members I have to make sure they're not cops. If they say they're not cops, I ask them to take their dicks out and play with them before they can go in. That's my job. It can be kind of weird, cuz I'm a straight guy."