PROJECT WYZE performing as part of EDGEFEST II at Molson Amphitheatre (955 Lakeshore West), Saturday (August 25), $27.50-$39.50. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
you'd think that any band onthe mainstage at Edgefest is there because sponsoring radio station Edge 102.1 is playing their music frequently, right? Or at least regularly. Well, maybe not. If you can't recall hearing the pounding thrash of London, Ontario, rap-rockers Project Wyze on the station, you're not alone. The group's frontman, MC Yas, can't remember having one of their songs aired on the Edge either.
But, then again, Yas admits he rarely listens to the radio, and when he does, it's usually the FAN 590.
"As far as I know," says Yas cautiously from the Vancouver launch point of the cross-Canada Edgefest II tour, "I don't think we're getting any play on the Edge. Who knows? They might've thrown something on sometime, but I'm about 95 per cent sure that we haven't gotten any play -- yet."
Admittedly, the mosh-pit-ready jams that Project Wyze kick out with bounding aggression on their new misfits.strangers.liars.friends (Columbia/Sony) disc are probably a bit too shouty for the Edge. It's not the sort of stuff that mixes well with Sarah McLachlan and Coldplay.
So how did Project Wyze score such a coveted slot on Edgefest II? The same way they got onto the Warped Tour -- through hard work, some luck and a few key connections.
"We played this showcase for these people we didn't know -- Sony must've invited them -- and we just blew their fuckin' wigs. This guy Vinny came up to us afterwards saying, "You're too sick. I'm gonna break you fuckin' guys!'
"He turned out to be the head of the Feldman booking agency. He's the one who got us onto the mainstage of the last Edgefest with Tool, the current Edgefest II tour, the Warped Tour dates and the upcoming Snow Jam in Halifax."
With a powerful player like S.L. Feldman and Associates president Vinny Cinquemani in their corner, Project Wyze are poised for a big-time breakthrough.
And although they may have the appearance of a manufactured band, they've apparently been around for a while. Yas and his Sudbury pal Bobby initially came together as a hiphop duo 13 years ago, and eventually moved to London, Ontario, where they snuck onto bills with Public Enemy and Maestro.
Then, in 94, they hit on the rap-rock concept.
"We didn't like the direction the hiphop scene was heading in," explains Yas, "so we tried something different. One of my buddies had a punk band, and we got up onstage and started freestyling. It's called rap-rock now, but in 94, before KoRn, Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock came along, there was no genre for two MCs rhyming with a punk band.
"We've been doing this for six years, building our own sound along the way. We toured the States in a beatdown van, playing 57 dates in three months on a burger a day, so, yeah, you could say we've paid our dues. Now we're ready to take it to the next level."