A&E » Arts

Horseshoe show close to perfect



County keeps falling ‘ass backwards into luck’

WHO: Whole Damn County


WHEN: June 28, 8 p.m.

Local rockers Whole Damn County only decided about a year ago to get serious about their musical careers, and they’re proving what a little determination can do. The quartet has just returned from their first cross country tour – by all accounts a success – and are about to shoot, not one, but two music videos.

The County managed to cover nine shows in just under three weeks with the highlight being their show at Toronto’s famous Horseshoe Tavern. Just to be invited to play at the venue is exciting for any up and coming band, but the response The County received was just a little overwhelming.

"They put us on a bill with two other bands. It was a Monday night show and it went really well. They said they hadn’t had a Monday night crowd like that in a long time," says vocalist/guitarist Chad Oliver. "A couple of us are from Toronto so it helps when you have friends there. But the turn out was great. We sold a lot of CDs, like 30 as soon as we walked off stage."

Not only was the crowd appreciative of their sound, The Horseshoe’s management and technical crew also gave the County a big thumbs up.

"The manager came out during sound check to ask who we were. The engineer told us that never happens," says Oliver. "And at the end of it, we were paid one of the best compliments I’ve heard in a long time, that was by the engineer and the booking manager, they said we were one of the best bands that had been through there in a long, long time."

The booking manager followed up on that by offering to build Whole Damn County into a slot on The Horseshoe’s highly sought after weekend playlist.

"To get in there on a weekend is really reserved for bands they have a lot of confidence in. The last weekend band they had there was Staggered Crossing and that was right before they got signed (to Warner Music)."

The County won’t be making any major commitments to the east just yet, but they are taking another major step with the making of a music video. Videos don’t come cheap, but they seem to come in twos for the County.

"Once again we’ve fallen ass backwards into luck," laughs Oliver. Through a little networking after a show, the band met up with members of a production company. The company had built its business on corporate videos, but had been wanting to branch out into music videos. Recognizing the promise in Whole Damn County, the company has offered to produce two videos, complete with the set, extras and props.

"The first song is going to be Sucks to be Me and the second one may be Another Saturday Night," continues Oliver. "They’ve got two houses available to us in Lions Bay, a Ferrari, a full modelling agency. We’re still working on (the story board) but the lyrics are pretty self-explanatory. We’re thinking about just having a big party. The most important thing when you’re doing a video, I think, is to have something that people want to watch more than once. I think that’s a big mistake a lot of indie bands make the first time around is they let someone go a little too arty in the direction. You look at the videos that get played, bands like The Offspring, with lots of beautiful people."

Oliver promises there will be some eye candy for the ladies and well as the men and says they’re just out to make a video that will get into light rotation.

"If the song can just get played four or five times, I’m confident it’ll get in people’s heads and just go from there."