WHITE STAR LINE with Celestino and A Northern Chorus at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Wednesday (February 13). $5. 416-920-0366.
it's a frigid friday afternoon, and Stephen Dohnberg and Luca Maoloni, the boys in White Star Line, are pissed off.They're pissed off at bars, they're pissed off at the press, and they consider Toronto's major music festivals corporate blow-job fests -- though, yeah, they'd perform at one if asked.
Born in St. Catharines and now T.O.-based, they've got the shaggy hair, the swirly My Bloody Valentine guitars, the staticky vocals and the rainy-day lyrics. It all screams indie band, but don't call them that. That pisses them off, too.
"Playing bars sucks," gripes songwriter Maoloni. "We wanna play bowling alleys, art spaces, all the cool shit. "White Star Line -- bringing the high school prom experience back to indie rock!'
"We want to have massive ice hockey games, like the Rheostatics and DOA used to do! We'll rent a big rink, recruit a bunch of groups and play. We want to see if any of those anti-jocko indie rock bands are actually good at sports. If there are any bands out there who want to play hockey, call us up."
Pissed off, sure, but these guys can be appealing.
Drinking coffee and Heineken at a cozy Queen West bar, the charmers flirtatiously grill the server on her musical preferences (she's a fan of the Sadies and Atomic Seven) and bitch about what they call the indie rock mafia. ("They don't have guns, which is what makes them tolerable.")
Then they get all surly again, claiming they'd beat up Mike Bullard and any Canadian band on the cover of Chart magazine.
Lyricist and songwriter Dohnberg's been a music writer and reviewer on the zine scene for over a decade. Among his stash of rock artifacts are three 90-minute tapes of interviews with a pre-Nevermind Nirvana.
Maoloni's played in bands since he was 12 (he's 25 now) and claims he has enough songs recorded to fill 50 CDs.
For their upcoming full-length album, the band (including drummer John Kremer and keyboardist Rob Sinko) hooked up with star indie producer Andy Magoffin, but insist his role was merely that of co-engineer.
The guys stress a number of times that everyone in the band has a background in recording and that they could have produced the disc themselves. OK, got it.
Not that Dohnberg has any confidence in the press. Mainstream and even the so-called alternative press love the same formula: "Choose one indie darling, smother in hype and drop after a year. Lather, rinse and repeat.
"To get on so many covers concurrently that fast -- it can't help that much. That kind of pressure sucks.
"It's like the My Bloody Valentine syndrome -- definitely promotional premature ejaculation on the part of the press."email@example.com