Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Despistado, hailing from Saskatchewan, Canada, have their first Jade Tree album in this 6-song EP titled ‘The Emergency Response’. Their sound has the raw energy of a vintage rock n’ roll band and the quirky stylings similiar to a band like Modest Mouse. The guitar playing is melodic at times, and more ‘static’ sounding at others. The drumming is very note-worthy, as the rhythms drive several songs. The vocals are a bit raspy at times, and almost always at a lower-tone than the music. The lyrics pull the songs together, with some references to economies and constitutions and such.

"A Stirsticks Prediction" opens up the EP. This song is your basic Despistado song with odd time changes and an overall fast-paced feel. It has a driving guitar riff that can inspire some head-bopping, as well as several catchy lines like ‘that’s very anti-patriarchal of you…to accuse that man of rape’. The band displays a very good instrumental side in the song "Bubbles". This has become my favorite track on the album, mostly because of the opening drum rhythm. It’s totally different than the usual drum-intros. It almost has a tobano-drum feel to it, which is used all the way through, to drive the song. The quirky, melodic guitar riff also adds some catchiness, and the few bass pluckings top it off. The next song, "Hi/Fi Stereo", was recorded live in one session in the studio, and brings much of the same musical style. This song is driven by the drums yet again, and they throw in a lot of cool guitar sound effects in as well. The final track, "Lipstick", is probably the most catchy song on the album. Here they use another quirky guitar riff that is complemented by a nice bass rhythm. The vocals are sung a bit faster than normal, and the pattern of ‘that’s just an observation’ and the backing yells of ‘lipstick’ give the song a fun feel.

Although these guys are from a somewhat secluded area of Canada, they still get the job done. Exposure may be an issue, but their music deserves some attention. Their mix of basic rock influences and indie quirkyness make for a really catchy and enjoyable sound that doesn’t let down in terms of musical talent. In short, these guys really surprised me. They have a great sound going and with a full-length due out later in 2004, show a lot of promise to become a staple in the scene.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

I do believe this is Canada’s first break into the indie-anomaly that is Jade Tree Records, and what a break it is! Despistado hails from the chilly Saskatchewan ice plains, yet their music is the hottest thing since sliced bread. So much energy spills forth, creating beautifully dissonant melodies, laden with trebly guitars and tight drum assaults.

Spastic song structures allow for the attitude of the music on The Emergency Response to feel like a slap in the face. Some light screaming isn’t overdone, but appears more to be an emotional thing, only breaking when the song is hitting its peak. Jangly guitars scream through each song, creating the perfect mix of dance and rock, blending the head bobbing with the moshpit.

The ep begins with A Stirstick’s Prediction, notably the most dancey track on the album, which kicks off the rest of The Emergency Response. Each track seems to blend into each other creating a seamless album from start to finish even when each track stops and ends just like a normal track would. Hi/Fi Stereo appears similar to other Jade Tree releases, most notably These Arms Are Snakes, but cuts out leaving the space-core of TAAS behind, ending as more music to dance violently to.

Quarky and unique is the debut release from Canada’s break into the American dominated dancey post-punk scene, perhaps perfectly representing Canada into the market of imposters. The Emergency Response is different, and its place on Jade Tree is going to get it the attention this wonderful Canadian band needs.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Canadian prairie-rockers and Jade Tree’s most recent signing, Despistado, are as much a mix of WIRE’S artful passion as MODEST MOUSE’S steadfast quirk. With "The Emergency Response," they finally make their spastic and raging debut worldwide. Squelching guitars, yelping hooks, and a stabbing rhythm section unfurl with the subtlety of a steamroller. Angular, driving, and thoroughly commanding, Despistado are just out the gate and ALREADY are the band to watch in 2004.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Canada isn’t known as a powerhouse of anything, let alone music. I doubt very many of us can name a handful of great Canadian bands in less than a minute. I know that I can’t. So when I heard that Jade Tree has signed their first Canadian band I was very skeptical and also very intrigued. I know the standards that Jade Tree has for bands that they sign. They very rarely put out anything that wouldn’t get a three to four star rating in my book.

Despistado is one of the newest bands to join the Jade Tree family and they live up to the Jade Tree standards. Despistado carries a flavor of folksy poppy punk and old school emo.They have a mixture of Against Me!, The Promise Ring and Embraced. There isn’t a drop of monotony in this record and there is nothing but rock and roll ruling the sound waves. I regularly don’t like EP’s but I think this is a great step for an up and coming band like Despistado. This is a great debut album and another solid statement by Jade Tree.

Meet… Despistado

WHO ARE THEY?

The hottest thing from Saskatchewan since, well… ever. Inspired by Fugazi, Wire and plain ol’ Prairie boredom, childhood friends Dagan Harding (guitar/vocals) and Leif Thorseth (guitar) teamed up in 2001 with high school pals Joel Passmore (bass) and Brenan Schwartz to stir up spiky, spidery post-punk agit-pop that all but guarantees we never snigger at the word "Regina" again (unless you’re still in Grade 2, of course). "It’s not like we’re totally isolated here," a groggy Harding says over the phone from his home, minutes after my wake-up call. "People like to take that angle, because they’re retards."

WHAT’S THEIR DEAL?

The band’s recent signing to Delaware label Jade Tree Records — who recently re-released the band’s debut, The Emergency Response EP — may set off your internal Emo Alert, but it’s a false alarm. If anything, Despistado are closer in spirit to another US indie institution with whom they came into recent contact — the Pixies. Despistado were tipped to open the Boston noise-pop legends’ recent reunion-tour stop in Regina, and though the artistic debt isn’t immediately apparent, like the Pixies, Despistado can assume seemingly contradictory forms — intense yet playful, spastic yet danceable, cryptic yet melodic — without ever being defined by one.

"I love rock ‘n’ roll," Harding says. "Everybody’s doing that dance-beat thing nowadays — which isn’t a bad thing; I like Gang of Four and New Order — but it’s going to end eventually. I think rock ‘n’ roll is the solid state, and everything else is peripheral."

ARE THEY ANGRY YOUNG MEN?

No, just a little worried. Harding does admit to being an early Rage Against the Machine fan, and the band’s website, www.despistadomusic.com includes a link to the John Graham Defense Committee, an activist organization seeking a fair trial for a Yukon native charged in the US last year (under dubious circumstances) for committing a murder in 1976.

But the six songs on The Emergency Response take a more abstract political tack, employing lyrics and imagery whose meanings have been cut up like letters on a ransom note, and it’s up to you to paste together their unifying logic. The disc proffers an impassioned yet detached perspective befitting concerned citizens living in the relative serenity of Central Canada, while the world burns in chaos thousands of miles away.

"We were actually just talking about that last night at the pub," Harding says. "About the how the world appears to be in shambles, at least in the big urban cities — people there are constantly being confronted with stuff — and at some point, in the smaller urban centres or even rural centres, it’s going to trickle down.

"We’re not a preachy band, but lyrically I try to create imagery that is interesting, and expose people to ideas and images and contradictions and policies, creating dialogue or thoughts around things that haven’t really been discussed. That’s important in any scenario, not just music.

SO IS REGINA THE NEW SEATTLE?

No — because , as Harding points out, everywhere is the new Seattle. "There’s always been a lot of great bands here," Harding says. "We’re trying to push the idea that, circumstantially, there are bands all over the planet and just because a certain number of them get exposure doesn’t necessarily mean they’re proportionally that much greater bands. There are great musicians everywhere."

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

It often seems like most of Regina’s musical talent has moved to somewhere bigger to take advantage of a less isolated scene. Depistado haven’t come to their senses in that regard, but in signing with hot U.S. indie label Jade Tree their election to stay in the Prairies has worked out anyway. Saskatchewan, Schmakatchewan – this foursome’s sound could easily be confused for the manic, danceable punk coming out of Brooklyn, and it’s a sound they pull off effortlessly. The opening track, A Stirstick’s Prediction, is a standout, sounding live and fast and dirty, and with a tightness that feels like it could come undone at any second.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

With a full length debut coming later this year, fans of eccentric hot blooded punk maybe somewhat excited by young Jade Tree foursome, Despistado. The foursome has only been together a mere four years but already they have been signed to one of the major ‘indie’ punk labels and you can tell the Canadians love it. Their music comes across as a kind of sombre Blood Brothers mixed with the aggression of ATDI and although it may not be to everyone’s tastes, they have a good stab at something different and with that sort of drive, it is hard to find faults.

‘The Emergency Response EP’ is opened strongly with arguably the best track of the six in the shape of ‘A Stirsticks Prediction’ as it begins with cracking melody laden guitars and samples before throwing you into the heady world of the band. What follows is a variation of this biting formula and although some tracks can become grating, you still admire what the band try to do. While the tongue twisting ‘Can I please have an order of girl with a side of confused?’ is out of the pop-emo name pot it darkens the feel but strong harmonies and vocals save it, along with ‘Taste this Picture’ which also suffers the same fate. ‘Bubbles’ ups it a notch in a sweeping song that builds the snare drum and chinking guitars into a frenzy, while it ends on a relative high with ‘Lipstick’ which is more than familiar to the opener on the EP.

Despistado prove that sending demo’s to a record label does work (Jade Tree co-owner Darren Walters owner went to see them in Canada after hearing their CD) and it is testament they have crafted something different but with a familiar sound in the six songs. Whether they burst out of the blocks with the up coming album is yet to be seen, but this will serve them well for the time being.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

The town of Regina, Saskatchewan is perhaps better known for mounties, bison hunting and some of the coldest winters on Earth than for any sort of rock ‘n’ roll activity. As Jade Tree’s first international signing, Despistado acknowledge the desolate, frozen waste-scapes of these surroundings by way of a sweltering, dynamic strain of sweaty, high-octane basement-punk. As a result, The Emergency Response has a sweaty, brattishly discordant sound that’s more redolent of El Paso, Texas (in the late ’90s) than the Vermillion Hills.

Reassuringly, Despistado make a wholly convincing go of it. Originally released last year on the Bedfordshire, UK punk label Boss Tuneage, their debut EP marries fervent punk-rock energy to leftfield pop hooks in a triumphantly breezy manner. Case in point — the hyper-caffeinated opening salvo of "The Stirstick’s Prediction", which whips up such a mighty sonic bluster that it often seems as though it’s kicking and screaming its way through the speakers. The subsequent song’s title might seem suggestive of truly ominous things, but the brisk, bruising "Can I Please Have An Order Of Girl With A Side Order Of Confused?" recalls the frenzied gush of hormone-addled youth and twentysomething angst. In addition to its punishing, hyperactive restlessness and jagged, arms-wide-open scream of a chorus, "Can I Please…" flexes the dual-vocal muscle of bassist Joel Passmore and guitarist Dargan Harding, who trade staccato yelps and yearning melodic howls with an infectious, moshpit-ready zeal. Then there’s "Bubbles", which works a melancholy guitar refrain over a galloping clatter of drums, veering between clipped, jagged alertness and a soaringly cathartic wail. It’s the kind of structural shift that so often falls flat in the hands of lesser bands, but here it seems effortless, natural and, frankly, downright exciting.

Emerging with a twenty-minute slab of artful punk rock that is emotionally resonant without ever seeming mawkish, Despistado display an artfulness that doesn’t rely squarely upon discord or dissonance. Instead, the band exude punk rock as a unifyingly potent, terrifically impassioned life force, as well as a party to which we’re all invited.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Like the Deftones, Yes, and Jimmy Eat World, At the Drive-In made wonderful music and inspired legions of listeners to make terrible music. Relationship of Command can’t be beat at its own game, but plenty of 20 year old guys seem to think it can be. It made me wince a bit, then, to see that Despistado cite ATDI as a main influence, and indeed, once I put this EP in, it was difficult to get around the vocalist’s Cedric Bixler-isms and the all-too-familiar labyrinthine guitar leads. Despistado manage to succeed where countless others have failed, though, but taking most of their ATDI crib notes from the band’s earlier, janglier period. All of the songs on The Emergency Response have a gloriously unfettered feel that doesn’t just recall that one band who I keep mentioning, but also a number of other spastic, bewilderingly catchy ’90s emo bands. There’s not a single weak moment during the entire 20 minutes — in fact, some of the stunts Despistado pull are downright riveting, especially on the first and last tracks. This is dynamic, unstoppable music that’s scrappy enough to fit in at a house show but far too competent to stumble about in obscurity.

Despistado is the Band to Watch for in 2004.

Despistado is the band to watch for in 2004. Though The Emergency Response, its Jade Tree debut, is only 20 minutes long, the six songs are bursting to the seams with dance-rock energy. The EP opens with the single, “A Stirstick’s Prediction.” The guitars and drums here are hyper, and the vocals are delirious. After one listen, the infectious tune will be cemented in your brain. Thankfully, the rest of the songs are just as contagious. “Taste This Picture” is a jumble of mathy guitars. “Bubbles” is a hypnotic mix of pounding drums and ominous riffage. “Lipstick,” the closer, is a melodic song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Fugazi record. Despistado plans to follow up with a full-length in October. For now, this nearly flawless EP should keep its quickly growing legion of fans salivating for more. —J.L.
Sounds like: Isaac Brock fronting Fugazi, with a dash of At the Drive-In—yeah, it’s that good
Fascinating fact: Despistado is Spanish for “confusion”
Artist anagram: Toad Piss Ed

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

There’s a very good reason this EP is titled The Emergency Response. If you’re ever at a dull office party, and everyone is bored to tears, just slap this EP in the stereo system. The masses of formerly non-moving schmucks at the party will be shakin some booty and bustin’ a move on the dance floor, and that emergency will be solved! Despistado’s debut EP is also brings a jubilant ray of hope to rainy days, bad moods, bad grades, breakups, and/or just about everything else that makes you sad or angry. A band that captures punk’s intrinsic upbeatness and the Rapture’s unavoidable danceability definitely has the power to cheer up the depressed emo kids of today; thus, given the right opportunities, Despistado could rid the world of ‘emo-kid’ syndrome.

Despistado’s erratic, chant-along vocals paired with jumpy, jittery guitars contribute to the punk feel, but it gains its groove from drummer Brenan Schwartz’s unique drumming style and bassist Joel Passmore’s extremely adept and powerful command of the bass. Passmore’s thumping, pulsating lines bring a character to Despistado’s sound whose absence would render Despistado hopeless; Songs like “HiFi Stereo” and “A Stirstick’s Prediction” would be absolutely nowhere without the fabulous, funky bass work. Schwartz’s drumming is also essential to the sound, as the hopelessly endearing groove on “Bubbles” comes straight out of the nearly tribal drumbeat he delivers. He also pushes Despistado along at a brisk clip, keeping everything together nicely.

That’s not to say that the guitars or the vocals suck – those two elements do deliver the meat of these songs – but the bass and drums are much more important than in most bands. The guitars here are choppy and dissonant, delivering just enough rhythm and melody to catch your ear, but not enough to keep you rapt in listening. The two guitars add a hectic, frenzied feel to the music more than they actually add melodic value, and that’s perfectly ok. To continue with the hectic feel of this six-song montage, we have the vocals. These are virtually all yelled/sung, reminding me heavily of the Rapture, as well as a higher pitched Jack White. They explode with aggression and punk mentality, while still remaining playful and dangerously catchy.

The best explanation of Despistado’s sound would be in the opener “A Stirstick’s Prediction,” where the bassist delivers a bouncy moving line, the guitars clang away, the drums act punchy, and the call-and-response vocals demand that you sing along. I’m pretty sure that the graveyards of the world would be exciting places if Despistado were played for the deceased, as all the dead would get up and dance along with these punked-out dance grooves. I just can’t get enough of Despistado’s music….it’s happiness in a can, and who doesn’t like to be happy?

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

It is amusing to think that the majority of quality music produced has been the result of some sort of hardship that in one way or another has befallen said musicians. Poverty, social segregation, supposed “lack of current relevance,” geographical isolation – all can play a part in a musician’s crafting of quality song. Perhaps it is because their situation presents them with greater experience, or that maybe their circumstances provide the necessary drive to provoke change in their surroundings (because lets face it, when you throw a million bucks at someone with a guitar, what follows is more than likely to be a piece of shit). It has been the foundation of all great music revolutions, and while Despistado are far from sparking a neo-uprising, they once again prove that reaching a destination going uphill is far more rewarding that plopping on to the summit from the industry’s silver highway.

If a group of musicians were to write a great song in the remote locale of Regina, Saskatchewan (where apparently there are more hand-planted trees than people), would anybody hear it? Indeed, if geographical isolation were a tough hill to climb, try being musicians in a far-off part of Canada. Thankfully, Regina has been blessed with modern discoveries like the mailbox and with the blessing of such advancement, their music wound up in the hands of longtime purveyors of quality-above-profitable music Jade Tree, who promptly snatched them up from the wintery freeze of creative seclusion.

So what does less than 3000 hours of sunshine a year do to able songwriters? Well for starters Despistado demonstrates a high level of energy not usually reserved for hibernating weather. The Emergency Response is very much built on spastic high-octane treble guitar strums and machinegun snare strikes that is very much up-and-go from the onset. And while the release is unapologetically lo-fi, the snazzy pitch does add plenty to the appeal.

“A Stirstick’s Prediction” very much paves the way for the rest of the tunes. Highly flamboyant (that opening bass line is killer), frenetic, and unabashed about just how damn catchy it is; it could easily parade itself on the dance floor before skipping over to any scummy back alley. Before you scream “Dance?!” put away any notion that they may pogo-along to The Rapture or Gang of Four; they’re more likely to garner comparisons to Wire’s spindly build or early At The Drive-In (both are inescapable references). Nonetheless the songs do envelope certain body-shaking vibes, but they’re more disorganized flailing and less routine steps.

There is hesitance to shove them in to the post-punk caste; but if the need to do so should arise, it would perhaps be the most accurate labeling. “HiFi Stereo” is another fine example of how they tend to skirt around these more accessible means with passionate disobedience. The band’s inventive instrumentation is extremely solid, shown here to breed rhythmic structures with chaotic dissonance; all before longtime neighbors Dargan Harding and Joel Passmore wail in with their beautifully obnoxious vocals.

While the EP isn’t complete by any stretch, it demonstrates a set of songs worth exploring. If anything, it provides a daring thirst for more. And with a full length sure to follow, one can hope that Despistado will take what The Emergency Response has so proficiently shown, douse it with kerosene, and then light the son-of-a-bitch. Pay heed world! Regina, Saskatchewan is about to put itself on the map.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Borne out of the harsh climes of Saskatchewan, it’s no wonder Despistado’s music oozes intensity. Borrowing a little from the Fugazi camp, their EP The Emergency Response is equal parts social and political in the lyrics, and the rhythm of guitars and drums takes you to the frenzied edge before easing slightly to twist you back in. Impressive for a more seasoned band let alone this foursome who have only been together for a couple of years.

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Borne out of the harsh climes of Saskatchewan, it’s no wonder Despistado’s music oozes intensity. Borrowing a little from the Fugazi camp, their EP The Emergency Response is equal parts social and political in the lyrics, and the rhythm of guitars and drums takes you to the frenzied edge before easing slightly to twist you back in. Impressive for a more seasoned band let alone this foursome who have only been together for a couple of years.

Despistado

Despite the fact that it took me 2 days to correctly pronounce the their name (and the first day doesn’t count because I was drunk), Despistado definitely left an impression on me. Having heard and seen them for the first time at Canadian Music Week, I was pleasantly shocked at the way they impacted me.

There have been a lot of impressive comparisons thrown around this band. International Noise Conspiracy, At the Drive In and Interpol have all been sited in trying to decipher a description of the band. I’ll throw another wrench into the mix and let you know they are opening for the PIXIES?!!? Their sound can be described as…well…let’s ask the band. “I’m REALLY bad at that,” admits Leif Thorseth, guitarist for Despistado. “Post punk with…I don’t know…” Yes even they can’t do it. Nor would they necessarily want to.

It may have something to do with where Despistado’s from. An apparent hot bed of music, coming from Regina has it’s own influences on the band and it’s music. “Regina has it’s own sound, not always this straight up pop punk sound. Not at all,” Thorseth says. With all the interest in playing music, the community is a tight one. “It’s not a challenging place to be a band, there are tones of bands in Regina,” Thorseth acknowledges. “We’re all really close friends and we are all very supportive. And I actually think Regina has a thriving scene. It’s a great place to be a band.”

But Despistado’s story is an unusual one for a Regina band in the fact that they are recently signed to Jade Tree records, who will re-release the Emergency Response EP in June and will be releasing a full length to follow in the fall. Thorseth continues, “One of the challenges [in Regina] is getting out there, getting your music heard elsewhere. There are no labels. It is pretty much a DIY kind of place.”

Having had the opportunity to play around town, tour most of the country, and most recently SXSW, Despistado have electricity to their live show (though the tour archives are just hilarious, even if you weren’t there: www.despistadomusic.com). They are able to incorporate their interesting harmonies and timing with basic danceable rhythms. It’s quite interesting to see people confused as to why they are dancing yet they cannot help themselves. “Our lyrics can be serious and I hope people can hear them. I also hope people at our shows do hear the seriousness but can let go of whatever and enjoy and have fun. It really moves us,” says Thorseth. “Even if it’s like two people, oh I love it. I’ll just look at them and it’s like these two people are gonna like it … or not. Just have a good time.”

Despistado produces some of the most interesting music I’ve heard in a while. And after speaking with them, I’m reassured that they deserve all the success that comes their way. I highly encourage anyone interested in being challenged by music to check out Despistado; live if possible, on record when available. Keep your eyes and ears open because you don’t want to be THAT person who missed the band playing a small club before they explode…

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Saskatchewan is often known for it’s flat land filled with wheat and grain. Now, the province shall also be known as the home of a new indie rock sensation, Despistado. Hailing from Regina, the band has come a fair distance in a short period of time. Their live performance made an impression on me at a Canadian Music Week show, and I knew then, their EP had to be mine.

The band derives their influences from such musical geniuses as At The Drive In, and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Imagine smashing those two bands together, and you have Despistado. The first track catches you with fast repeating guitar riffs and quick paced singing. The song gets you tapping your foot and wanting more. Near the end of the first track, the drums and one of the guitars and bass, fade off just leaving one guitar and the repeating of "what a stirstick can predict is more than we dissect," then kicks back in. Following the introductory track is a song with a title that will surely make you laugh.

"Can I please have an order of girl with a side of confused," follows a similar pattern as the first, with the fast singing and guitars, and even the fade off of instruments at the end of the track. This fade technique is tough to comprehend at first, but after a few listens, you will begin to love it. The fourth track takes a turn and changes the band’s song formula. "Bubbles" makes more use of slower, more harmonic guitars and a repeating verse that you can sing along too. For some reason, the fifth track, "Hi/Fi stereo" was recorded right from "the floor in one session," which it sounds very much like. The recording is much different from the other five tracks, and takes a little away from the overall record. It is not a favorite track either because it lacks a bit in the catchy verse or chorus category. One of the best songs on the album is the closing track "Lipstick." The opening riff is unique and is used throughout most of the song in various sections. The clapping at the beginning of the song, adds to its uniqueness.

The guitar riffs are often repeated in each song, but the picking sections can be technical at times along with the bass lines. The drumming parts are always kept at a faster pace, but the overall sound is quick as well. The vocals flow well, and like I said, are somewhat quick. The use of backing vocals is very effective, and adds more to each song.

This band has a bright future ahead and this EP, which soon is to be re-released on Jade Tree Records, is one that can be loved by any fan of indie rock. The only real downfall to this EP would have to be the fifth track. Recorded properly, it could be a good track. Other than that little blip, the record is definitely enjoyable.

Track Listings:
1: A Stirstick Prediction.
2: Can I Please Have An Order Of Girl With A Side Of Confused.
3: Taste This Picture
4: Bubbles
5: Hi/Fi Stereo
6: Lipstick

Favorite Track: A Stirstick Prediction.

Leif, Dagan and Joel Gets to grips with the Mighty Subba-Cultcha Questions of Justice

1. At what moment did music actually affect your life, becoming more than a mere background?

leif: i was 6 years old and was listening to rafi (baby beluga) and i thought "this shit is gold"… for real.

dagan: i was 8 listening to dire straits playing pool and air guitaring with a pool cue, and i realized the future wasn’t pool it was air guitar.

joel: i’m not sure.  i think music has affected me since i can remember.  if i had to pick a moment i’d say, when i went to the regina folk festival when i was like 8  and made a craft guitar at a craft station and pretended to jam with all the bands i saw.

2. What bands influenced you the most with a) musical style, b) your dress sense?

leif: a) mike olfield – tubular belles (b) 34 waist pants, 36 length, 42 long jacket.

dagan: a) mc hammer (b) hammer pants

joel: a) all the friends i’ve played music with (b) i don’t wear dresses

3. A moment in your life and a song that seem so perfectly intertwined in your memory?

leif: sade, that song off the newer album, umm… lovers rock in a european cafe

dagan: elderly woman behind a counter in a small town by pearl jam as a girl kissed my neck and freaked me out.

joel:  sigur ros (first song on blue album) at my wedding as my wife Riva walked down the aisle.  she was so beautiful and song is also beautiful…

4.The best show you ever saw, and the reasons why it was so amazing?

leif: At the Drive In in Barcelona because it was good and fun.

dagan: Constantines in austin texas at the sub pop showcase because it was empowering and honest.

joel: Fugazi.  i never thought i’d get the chance to see them.

5. The best show you ever played yourself and why?

leif:  all of them were good but saskatoon at the 306 fest was the best. People streaked and stormed the stage.

dagan:  um…

joel: 306 fest in saskatoon, same as leif.

6.Why did you chose to pick up and start playing the instrument you primarily play?

leif:  it just happened that way.

dagan: it looked super cool…

joel: i don’t know….

7. we all have favourite songs for different moments/emotion. What are your;
A) top three love songs

leif:
1) i don’;t want to wait in vain – bob marley
2) beds too big without you – police
3) bobby mcferrin off of the circle song album

dagan:
1) Maps – yeah yeah yeahs
2) nothing compares – shinade o’connors
3) moondance – van morrison

B) top three sad songs

1) hurt – Johnny cash
2) hurt – NIN
3) bed are burning – midnight oil

C) top three party songs

1)  i feel good – james brown
2) the big payback – james brown
3) what you do to my body – lee arron

D) top three get obliterated to songs

1) leif doesn’t drink – the dumb question band
2) the piano’s been drinking – tom waits
3) and justice for all – mettalica   

We know a lot forgotten good polish sound but names of artists and titles will tell you nothing

8. Favourite Joke?

so far, this interview…

9.Party trick?

leif: weird back trick.

joel: leaving early

dagan: doing the worm across the floor.

10.The person you connect with most?

leif: my mom

dagan: my best friend jay/ the crowd man…totally vibing dude

joel: my wife riva

11.Name three people you could quite happily see disappear?

1. George w. bush
2. Houdini
3. Tony blair

12.Are you happy?

leif: more happy that you know.

dagan: yes

joel: yes

Despistado Does It

Got down to the 360 super-early Saturday because word was that lineups would be huge for Jade Tree-signed Regina emo kids Despistado . The club wasn’t packed, but there was a healthy showing of underage kids with Billy Talent patches on their shoulder bags itching to catch one of the few all-ages CMW shows. The strictly enforced no-smoking rule was a relief after too many sweaty, blue-hazed events. Despistado started early – definitely a first for any festival showcase we can remember – and killed with a super-tight set of intricate emo-tinged songs that were (mercifully) more like early Sleater-Kinney than Jets to Brazil. Their boyish, shouty harmonies were endearing.

Fuck Billy Talent and Sum 41 – these are the Canuck punks who deserve bigtime success.

Despistado Hook Up With Jade Tree

There have been rumours circulating about it for weeks and now it’s finally been confirmed. Regina, Saskatchewan’s Despistado have inked a deal with Jade Tree Records and in the process, have become the label’s first "international" signing.

Jade Tree rose to prominence in the mid- to late-‘90s as they helped expose the world to music from the likes of The Promise Ring, Joan Of Arc, Cap’n Jazz and Jets To Brazil. They’ll attempt to do the same for Despistado when they re-release the quartet’s The Emergency Response EP on June 25. The EP will pave the way for the group’s debut full-length, which is expected to surface in the fall. The band will be heading to Vancouver to record the album in April with Phil Ek, whose impressive resume includes work with Pretty Girls Makes Graves, The Shins, Modest Mouse and Built To Spill.

Since forming in late 2001, Despistado have been garnering praise for their intense post-punk sounds and exhilarating live shows. The four friends toured relentlessly, gaining new fans after every live appearance. They hooked up with Does Everyone Stare Records and released The Emergency Response in October 2003, quickly selling out the first pressing of the disc. They then toured Canada some more and sent a demo to Jade Tree. The indie label flew down to Regina, was completely blown away after catching two of the group’s concerts and the rest, as they say, is history.

Despistado will get to meet some of their new labelmates when they play Jade Tree’s South By Southwest showcase in Austin, Texas later this month. Prior to playing the highly acclaimed conference, the band will be playing a string of shows in Southern Ontario, including a Toronto date during Canadian Music Week.

Despistado Tour Dates:

March 1 Hamilton, ON @ The Underground
March 2 London, ON @ Call The Office
March 4 Ottawa, ON @ Bumpers
March 5 Brantford, ON @ The Ford Plant
March 6 Toronto, ON @ The 360
March 18 Austin, TX @ The Parish
March 20 Austin, TX @ MoMo’s

Despistado [I]The Emergency Response[/I] Review

Greeting us from the icy land of back bacon and toques are Canada’s own Despistado, a group of jangly-guitared indie-rock ass-kickers. Their six-song EP, The Emergency Response, is an energy-packed powerhouse of terrific tunes.

Despistado has a great sound that is fresh to my ears. The closest I can come to a description is a less angry At The Drive-In, but a couple of the tunes make me think of some of the great modern rock musicians. "Can I Please Have An Order Of Girl With A Side Of Confused" reminds me of a young, punk Boys Don’t Cry-era Cure jamming with Daniel Ash. And the last track, "Lipstick", has a great droning melody line that may make you think of Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth.

Lyrically, Despistado is nothing short of amazing. Expressionistic slices of life, politics, and self-examination will challenge and impress you. Despistado is a fresh breeze from up north, and The Emergency Response is a great preview of what this band has to offer. If you are one of those people that complains about the lack of talented bands out there, you need to pick up The Emergency Response.