SongVault Artist Profile
Over the course of the last ten years, Toronto band The Salads, have become Canada's leading ambassadors of fun times. Songs like "Get Loose" and "Today Is Your Lucky Day" (respectively from 2003's FOLD A TO B and 2005's BAND GONE WILD DVD - both on Maui Wowie Records/ Kindling Music / Warner Music Canada) have been heard around the world in big films*, big TV shows** and big commercials***.
Their ferocious performances that leave smiling faces and sweaty bodies behind are legendary. The inspired musicianship and rock prowess of Dave Ziemba (guitar), Chuck Dailey (bass) and Grant Taylor (drums) is boundless on stage. It should be - they've been playing together in the same band since grade 7! With singer Darren Dumas added in 1999, they had the frontman and voice that would turn this band into powerhouse that it is today.
The commercial success of FOLD A TO B meant they were in demand to tour a lot and they did; headlining clubs and colleges, and playing on bills such as: WARPED, EDGEFEST, LABATT BLUE MOTEL, CITY-TV'S NEW YEARS EVE BASH, THE ICE HOTEL. They toured Australia for the first time in 2005 supporting some Presidents of The United States of America shows to rave responses. Things had definitely improved over years of slogging out in the hit-and-miss Ontario club circuit. And in the process, they learned a lot... about themselves and about the world around them. They weren't kids anymore. And the new record was going to reflect that.ck".
"The Big Picture": these words can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. In every day life, armchair executives and compromising politicians throw these words about like rice at a Hindu wedding. So, for it to have any meaning at all, it's really only as powerful as the person that utters them, and the audience that hears them. And it is with this sense of irony and perspective that THE SALADS have chosen to call their new album THE BIG PICTURE (Maui Wowie / Kindling / Warner).
As Ziemba, Dailey, Taylor and Dumas began the long process of songwriting and practice sessions in early 2005 in preparation of recording this record, they couldn't have imagined how much they would need to know what "The Big Picture" would mean to them.
They began writing together at their jam space in the Portlands of downtown Toronto; working on riffs and arrangements. But making decent sounding recordings there, where they could take the day's work home and listen with fresh ears, proved very difficult. So the band moved their pre-production process and gear up to a spare room at the Ziemba family's farmhouse just north of Newmarket. And that worked out great: being away from the city and its inherent distractions meant they were able to work more efficiently. The fruits of their labour up north yielded most of what appears on the record. But one afternoon that summer of '05, while the band wasn't working - and while Dave's father was out doing his weekly errands - someone broke into the house and stole everything of any value. The computer that stored all those songs, the THE SALADS software, all that work, guitars, amps, mics, accessories, electronics, his mom's jewelry: all gone in under two hours. This was devastating. The insurance company didn't pay out replacement value, and some things could never be replaced anyway. They were already months behind from when they had originally wanted the new record to come out, and this set them back again. As anyone who's been through this knows, you feel violated. Strangers were walking around your home, the place where you feel safe. But the band resolved to get back to work, stay focused and keep in mind the big picture. They started tracking the songs again and because they had reference copies, it took them no time at all to get back to where they were once the gear had been replaced about a month later.
It was time to bring producer Dan Brodbeck (Dolores O'Riordan/Cranberries, Headstrong) into the process of choosing what song ideas they should concentrate on and what songs to leave on the table. Pre-production with the band and Dan back at their rehearsal room in Toronto went well. They decided to focus on 6 songs to get ready for EMAC studios in London. They worked fast. Dan and the band knew they had some great songs here, all moving in onedirection, unlike FOLD A TO B which was well varied in style, sound and subject matter. This was turning out to be a more focused Salads record, lyrically and musically, the writing becoming more mature; and getting heavier too.
After those first sessions, the band got back to writing more songs, getting ready for the next round of recording, and playing more shows. They spent two weeks playing Australia in October '06. They played to over 4000 people on the Gold Coast during their Indy Car Race Weekend, and garnered many new fans and support in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Their energetic shows even had some new fans driving 8 hours to see them again in the next city. Large.
On their return, pre-production with Dan was to start the very next day. They were excited about their first Aussie run, and about getting back to work on their new record. That excitement soon turned to more frustration. As Grant stepped out of the cab at his home, he saw that his car had been stolen. Grant couldn't make his way to rehearsals; a two hour drive each day. A week later with his settlement worked out, and a loaner car, he was able to carry on - all the while, the whole band trying to stay focused and keep in mind the big picture.
In January 06, a new record of 10 songs was finally completed. Its tone more personal and yet universal as it touches more meaningful topics than the band had dared explore before. "Growing Up" deals with life's changes as you get older, and coming to terms with that reality. Memories of 80's thrash metal surround the concept of being happy in the skin you're in with "Individual". "Circles" is about watching the most intelligent person you know battle Alzheimer's. Trying to affect real, positive social change is dealt with in "A Better Way".
This album displays The Salads at their best: as songwriters, as a band, and as men. But don't ever think that The Salads live isn't still the bestest and funnest show around! They love to whoop it up on stage and online with their fans as much as they can. The Salads have turned the corner and jumped some serious hurdles to get their music out to their fans. They connect with their audience on so many levels. Even a bus crashing into their rehearsal studios can't hold them back. The Salads are on a mission. They're focused on THE BIG PICTURE!
*Eurotrip (DreamWorks Pictures) **Queer As Folk, Hockey Night In Canada, Olympics ***Labatt Blue National TV Campaign, GM Canada National TV Campaign