Five Hundred Pound Furnace
My first contact with Five Hundred Pound Furnace to do this interview was via MySpace. What a great tool MySpace is for a band interviewer. I ask if they’d be willing and my response was “Sure, but I should warn you, we’re like a bunch of 5 year olds.” Of course this made me laugh, but then I considered the source; a drummer in a rock band.
So back and forth the messages go and we decide on a time and place to meet. I’m thinking Playland at McDonalds, well he did say they were like 5 year olds, but then I remember the suggestion of a lounge somewhere. Done and done.
Did I mention its playoff time and this is really cutting into my hockey watching? All for the love of music and keeping the world informed.
The guys arrive and the first one I meet is Bobby, the drummer, not really looking the rock and roll type in my opinion. Then Kyle, lead singer, now he fits the part. He impressed me by wearing a Calgary Flames jersey. Then followed closely behind are the other 2, Nick the guitar player who also fits the rocker look and Jesse “the new guy” bass player. Who kind of reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Do.
They are a talkative bunch, well 3 of the 4. Bobby said some days when the other 3 get going his head just starts spinning. It’s also hard to focus when there are a multitude of TV’s around with an important hockey game on.
We sit and chat for a bit and it’s all very casual, like we’d known each other for years. I guess this isn’t letting you get to know them is it? As I steal a line from a Prince song… “Shall we begin?”
Kyle tells me they are going through “bass players like Kleenex”. They found one he tells me who was just bad, another he say’s could only learn 5 of their songs. That’s when Jesse stepped up and offered his services. He learned all their songs and in my opinion fits right in.
BSW: So Jesse you weren’t even a bass player when you offered to play for them is that true?
Jesse: I was a guitar player but I’m a bass player now.
BSW: And I read on the bands MySpace that the Dylan O’Conner’s show was your first time on stage with the band as a bass player. They kind of fed you to the sharks. What were you feeling up there?
Jesse: Yeah it was the first time and I was nervous. It’s very different up there then in practice, the lights the sound.
BSW: Well I think you did a great job. When and how did you become interested in music?
Bobby: At age 6 watching the Muppets on TV, and hearing his Moms Bill Hailey and the Comets Rock around the Clock.
Kyle: Just born to sing
Jesse: Seven years ago while working with Nick
Nick: my whole life.
BSW: What are your musical influences?
Kyle: Zeppelin, 70’s music, guitar based rock, blues.
Nick: Blues and flashy guitar solos
Bobby: Bill Haley, Blues, Jazz
Jesse: Megadeath, Iron Maiden, 80’s metal, 70’s rock and blues
BSW: I’m surprised none of you said Kiss Destroyer.
All: Hate Kiss.
BSW: Where do you see the band 5 years from now?
Bobby: Playing the MTS centre
BSW: If you could go on tour with any band at any venue who and where would it be?
Nick, Kyle & Jesse: Iron Maiden Rockin’ Rio
BSW: What else do you do besides play music?
Kyle: Make eyeglasses
Jesse: Own a lawn care and snow removal company
Bobby: Work for a car dealership as a service manager
Nick: Just music
BSW: Why did you decide to write “I don’t like you”?
Nick: It’s about a girl I used to work with that I really, really disliked. She reminded me of your typical bar bitch. You know the kind? The best line in the song is “You think I wanna fuck you because I looked at you.”
BSW: What is so special about that song?
It’s got a lot of energy
BSW: How did the band come together and how did you come up with your band name?
Nick: Years ago I was working midnights at a gas station and I would bring my guitar to keep away the boredom and this guy, Allen, would come by every night to buy smokes and we started talking and jamming together. We found a jam space and our song Motel 1345B was written about the space. As for the name… That was Allen too. He and a friend were riding the bus one day and his friend ended up next to an overweight guy. Later that day, his friend mentioned it was like sitting next to a 500 pound furnace. Allen right then and there decided that if he ever was in a band again that would be its name. So there you have it the birth of Five Hundred Pound Furnace. Yes it’s long but even if you forget it you’ll recall something about it.
BSW: How do you describe your music to people?
Kyle: Catchy, punky, riff heavy, head banger friendly, rock and roll.
BSW: What is it you love most about your fans?
Kyle: Crazy animals, we were playing a show this one time and there was this girl. She was head banging so hard she hit her head and split it open. She should have gotten stitches but she stayed and watched the show. That’s dedication.
Nick: They’re always ready to mosh with the guitar player. I was playing with a wireless one time and decided to jump into the crowd. Not a good idea, it’s really difficult to play when you’re being bounced around.
BSW: What do you want your fans to get most from your music?
Kyle: That it’s interesting.
Nick: The arrangements are cool, that they don’t follow a typical pattern.
BSW: When can your fans expect the next CD out?
Bobby: We are currently working on a 10 song CD and are hoping for a September release.
BSW: Is there a place to purchase your CD and other merchandise?
Bobby: We have a Facebook its Five Hundred Pound Furnace Fans!!!!!!! There is our MySpace page www.myspace.com/500poundfurnace or you could e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org
BSW: Could you tell me about some of your upcoming shows?
Bobby: April 26 at the Zoo with X Engine X and Word of Mouth, May 23rd at Ozzy’s with Dry Run and Special Opps, June 16th we’re back at the Zoo with Drowning Pool and X Engine X, We have an all ages show at the Park Theater on June 22nd and July 1st at Wild Planets new location in Osborne Village.
BSW: Ok so I seen on your MySpace that you have your music played on many different stations. That must feel good. Can you tell me a couple of them and what it took to get your music on there?
Bobby: It does, and it took lots of e-mails and phone calls. Hundreds of hours of searching online, phoning and e-mailing. You can hear us on:
Freq 107 Winnipeg
Regina 91.3 Scattershock Radio
Calgary 92.9 XFM Radio
London (UK) Dark Compass Radio www.darkcompass.com
Australia Indie Showcase www.awesomeradio.net
Those are just a few.
BSW: Wow, that’s great. So what else is there to know? Four guys, let me rephrase that, four really fun guys, belting out tunes for their fans. So when you catch these guys at a show remember to show your support and purchase some merchandise. Our local artists need your support to continue to perform for you, the fans.
I want to thank Five Hundred Pound Furnace for taking the time to come meet with me. Thanks again guys, I’ll see you at a show very soon. And remember “Without music… Life is silent.”