Every band has its own trajectory – some are more interesting and fun than others. If you are in for the roller coaster “whee” element where you throw your hands in the air and really feel that you’re alive, you might be the kind of person who would go in for the music of Toronto-NYC indie rock power trio ON – whose invigorating music sounds like it is inspired by Kurt Cobain as much as The Breeders and Sonic Youth. If nothing else, you’ll certainly understand their inspirations and be left with infectious melodies. This infectious 6/8 groove is a hook-laden rock waltz, released via Toronto imprint Indiestructable Records.
After releasing their self-titled album earier this year, the band now presents an audio-visual offering before heading out on tour. Blending the concept of freedom and swampy urban legends, the video for their latest single ‘Gator’ was filmed by legendary producer Martin Bisi at BC Studio Brooklyn and Steve Fall in Toronto and Naples, Florida (and subsequently edited by Michael Gucciardi, who has been with the band for most of their recent videos.
The band has also been spending some time in NYC as of late, recording their next album at BC Studio in Brooklyn, working with Martin Bisi, famed for his groundbreaking work with Sonic Youth, Swans, Brian Eno, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Iggy Pop, Helmet, Africa Bambaataa, Dresden Dolls, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop and many other notable artists.
ON is a power trio led by Lucy Di Santo (vocals, bass) with Dan Cornelius on drums and Steve Fall on guitars. Their latest music output sees the trio carry on the legacy of the band from which they were formed – 90’s Sire Records band Acid Test. its members have also been in other popular Toronto bands Danko Jones and Deliuss.
In the video, Di Santo plays a shady real estate agent, doing her sleazy best to sell the viewer on the idea of buying into a gated community, where you can feel safe. Meanwhile, behind pink homes and walls, alligators roam freely sunning themselves at will on gated golf greens. So who is really free? No stranger to danger, Di Santo invites, “Come on down – live in our oh-so safe Gated Community – you’ll live stronger for longer”, adding “Who is really living free here? I think it’s the gators in the pond.”
Dishing out catchy guitar riffs with a dash of groove, their adrenaline-laden music is a invigorating, the band paying homage to their post-punk, grunge, old-school funk and 90s college rock roots. ‘Gator’ follows up the band’s latest single ‘Make Me’, a song of frustration and wanting to recapture that euphoria.
“We had a cool riff and Lucy had a great melody but we didn’t have an intro to the song. We were working this up demoing it in Drew’s ‘Starsound Studios’ in Cape Coral , Fla. Lucy took a break, went into the truck we rented and hummed a melody. I copied it on my guitar through my cheap Blackstar practice amp w/the delay feature and we put it down as a track. The vibe just worked so we kept that original track in the main verse and as a hook throughout the song. And that original track stayed even as we added more layers and mixed,” says Steve Fall.
Dan Cornelius adds, “The song has a strong guitar hook and melody – and the drums are tailored to support and enhance those elements. So I thought the drums should be a drum pattern that anyone could tap along to ON their steering wheel while waiting for traffic. Simple drum groove. Simple drum fills.”
ON recently completed an extensive US tour in support of their critically-acclaimed ‘ON’ album, co-produced by Darius Szczepaniak (Sum 41, Black Crowes, Big Sugar, Bare Naked Ladies, Jann Arden) at Phase One Studios in Toronto. The album received extensive press and radio attention, not to mention charting in the Radio Indie Alliance charts consecutively for nearly a year.
Written, arranged by ON (Di Santo, Fall, Cornelius)
Lucy Di Santo – vocals, bass
Dan Cornelius – drums
Steve Fall – guitars
Produced by ON and Darius Szczepaniak
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Darius Szczepaniak at Phase One Studios, Toronto
Preproduction & original engineering by Drew Howard, The Star Sound Studios, Cape Coral, FL
Photography by Yuliya Skya
Publicity by Shameless Promotion PR
Video shot by Martin Bisi and Steve Fall. Edited by Michael Gucciardi
Video filmed in Toronto, BC Studio Brooklyn, Naples Florida
Sun 10/15 Toronto @ Bovine Sex Club (with Snailmate, Second Wife)
Tues 10 /17 Ithaca, NY @ Deep Dive (with Snailmate)
Wed 10/18 Buffalo, NY @ The Lounge at Revolution Gallery (with Snailmate & Daisy Chain)
Thurs 10/19 Kingston, ON @ The Toucan (with Snailmate)
Sat 10/21 NYC, NY @ Bar Frida (with Snailmate)