A&E » Music

The Combat Dolphins are all about fun

Catch the Whistler-based rock act at the Hear and Now Festival



The Combat Dolphins kicked off their summer the right way.

For the fourth year, the Whistler rock band has hosted a concert-house party with a wide range of local acts that carries on until the noise attracts attention.

"Being the fourth year, every single musician (we invited) showed up and rocked the house," says Travis Smith, drummer for the band. "(Before the party) I go around and talk to every single neighbour in hearing distance."

Still, the police eventually showed up. "We had a bit of an issue this year where there were too many bands," Smith adds. "The lovely Emily Molloy couldn't play because the cops were here."

However, it mostly worked out in the end; The Combat Dolphins were playing a set when the police arrived and—reading the situation—they announced their last song.

"We were pushing it with time and everyone was rowdy and loud," says Murray Hunt, guitarist and vocalist, with a laugh.

That focus on fun has been the band's driving force since first forming four years ago. (Rounding out their sound is Arthur Barrientos on bass and vocals.)

Need further evidence of that? Well, to start there's the band's name (based on real military dolphins... Google it) then there are their posters, created by Barrientos. Perhaps the crowning jewel in that series is an image of a dolphin in a military helmet leaping purposefully over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"Our sole purpose in life is to have a lot of fun and take people with us," Hunt says.

To that end, you can find the band regularly on stage at Black's and The Crystal Lounge playing a range covers—largely "fun '80s stuff." Think "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Kung Fu Fighting."

"We always change the covers somewhat," Smith says. "We sprinkle it with our 'special sauce.' I don't think we play a single cover like the original. We rock it up a bit and funk it up a bit."

The trio, however, also likes to sneak a few originals into the mix as well. They're preparing a set of largely original songs to perform at the upcoming Hear and Now—Whistler's Local Music Festival, which is running in the village at various venues from Sept. 22 and 23. Creating the set list for that show has them thinking about preparing to record their debut album as well.

"I think this gig at the Hear and Now festival has reignited our passion for creating music," Hunt says. "I'm very driven to getting us in to do recording ... (And offer) something people can enjoy without leaving their homes."

For more visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/combatdolphins. To see the schedule for the Hear and Now festival, keep an eye on artswhistler.com/hearandnow.


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