A&E » Arts

Ahead of schedule



WHO: Slow Nerve Action

WHERE: The Boot

WHEN: Monday, May 7

Working and living under the same roof? Not everyone can say they’d like to share space with co-workers, but the local boys of Slow Nerve Action just don’t seem to get on each others’ nerves. Four of the five members co-habitat a house in Emerald and judging by their laid back reponses, they genuinely like each other.

"Do we want to kill each other?" laughs vocal/guitarist Josh Gontier. "No! No! We get on really well!"

"As far as the creative aspect goes, we’ve got our own rooms so we can be alone if we want to be alone," adds pianist Ian Lamont. "And it’s never been a problem coming together to sit down."

Slow Nerve Action – with Chris Berry on vocals, Mike Lunt on drums and Benson on bass – has been together for less than a year and already shows tremendous career focus. Perhaps it’s that common goal that allows the guys to carry on so harmoniously.

"It’s been my dream since I was a little kid. I think the same goes for everyone," says Lamont. "The first time musicians play together, you can usually tell if there’s a connection, and there was with us."

The porn funk band has been aggressively pursuing the Vancouver market, even though they admit the money is much better in Whistler.

"The bucks are up here, but we’re going for exposure in the city," says Gontier.

Where most twenty-somethings in the resort would be happy to play on the mountains during the day and earn their rent playing in the Whistler clubs at night, Slow Nerve Action spends a lot of time travelling up and down Highway 99. For now the quintet is putting in time in smaller restaurant-style venues in the city, sometimes performing to just a crowd of friends.

"But now and again we get someone who comes up to talk to us after the show and that’s always encouraging. If we please one person that’s definitely better than nobody," says Lamont.

"We’re getting good feedback," says Gontier. "The crowds are starting out small but it looks like it should build nicely."

And their persistence is beginning to pay off. The venues may be small, but Slow Nerve Action consistently averages one gig a week in Whistler and one in the Lower Mainland. They were a last minute addition to Choclair’s show at last month’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival – definitely the biggest name they’ve opened for, and one of the most enthusiastic crowds.

"And we were treated like royalty," laughs Lamont.

They’ll also be headlining a funk festival in July at Vancouver’s Purple Onion. It’ll be their first show in the city in a room that size. Slow Nerve Action nabbed the top spot in the main room, which holds about 350 people, with potential for more listeners to drift in and out from the Onion’s other stages.

SNA has recorded a 10-song demo in Rob DeMarco’s Black Tusk studio and is circulating it to management companies. Still no nibbles in that department, but the band does hope to record a few more songs for a full length CD to be released at the end of the month. That will be a big accomplishment in the band’s book.

"I think we’re ahead of schedule," Gontier says. "For a year’s work, we have 30 solid songs. We don’t play any covers. We’re pretty tight for a year-old band. We practise four times a week. We’re pushing it hard and going for the gusto."