Your personal road dog practitioner is
in the house with a cure for your winter blahs! For those of you
who live for the sunshine of summer and feel a little cranky when the days
get short and the nights are cold, help is on the way. What
would you say if I told you that a musical medicine show has just pulled
into your town with an amazing elixir that can cure your colds, un-chap
your lips, make your hair thick and shiny again and get rid of that annoying
itch in your wool underclothes? Why, for the price of (insert your
currency here) you too could own a bottle of this amazing potion.
What is this miracle drug, you ask? Its known as "an invigorating,
restorative or refreshing agent." A little thing we DRs (Doctors
of Rockology) like to call a "TONIC."
was fortunate to have sampled this music therapy recently, and I have to
say, Im feeling much better. Want "in" on this action? Well,
you came to the right place, because Ive got the scoop, Ive got the pix,
and best of all I have the backstage pass! So, Im going to
let you in on the latest hot vibe out of Los Angeles and then we are going
behind the scenes to talk to the bands bass man, Dan Lavery to
find out more about TONIC and what makes this dynamic band tick
. . .
While on safari at the MP3 Technology Tour
in October and November of this year I had my first dose of live performance
from TONIC. Preceded by a series of rising artists on the
concert bill, there was a decided shift in the energy field when TONIC
took the stage for their set. A little change of mood, prompted by
the incense that was burning on the corners of the drum platform and stage.
It signaled the audience that they were about to
experience something as satisfying as those exotic curls of scented smoke,
and just as encompassing. The best way to describe this band is the way
they describe themselves as a guitar band whos primary focus is old-school
song writing, energetic melodies and the blending of tones that some say
create the largest rock sound you could ever hope to hear in a live performance.
TONICs appearance on stage at this
particular concert was made all the more dramatic by the choice of their
first song, their number one smash hit from the platinum CD Lemon Parade,
"Open Up Your Eyes." This tune could more aptly
be named "Open Up the Skies," since thats what seemed to
happen when the chorus exploded in waves of guitar euphoria. In many
cases, a band can reach platinum status in CD sales but cannot duplicate
the trademark sound in a live performance, leaving their fans unfulfilled.
This is not the case with TONIC, whos musicianship surpassed my
expectations (actually, during sound check) of their live performance chops.
All the elements are there: the music, the lyrics, and lets face
it boys & girls - looking at them is not exactly like getting a poke
in the eye with a sharp stick.
is the proverbial good and bad news about all this. After you check
the band out, the first thing you will want to know is "where can I see
this for myself?" The bad news is that they just finished the MP3
Technology Tour at the end of November and are not currently on tour.
The good news is that they have every intention of getting back out on
the trail after the first of the year, and I dont just mean stomping around
the old USA. If the band has its way, they plan on some serious globe
trotting in support of their new CD, which could land them in places like
Oz or the far east. In the Rock N World, all things are possible
. . .
At this point, lets back track a bit and
look at TONICs biography. So who are these guys? Let
me give you a couple of hints, and I guarantee that even if you dont think
you know them, you will change your mind. Emerson Hart (lead
singer and song writer, rhythm guitar) joined forces with
(lead guitar and backing vocals) in 1994. They started jamming at
the famous Kibbitz Room of Canters Deli a Los Angeles hot spot that
has also played host to the Wallflowers, Slash and the Freewheelers and
met up with their original bassist, Dan Rothchild and drummer,
Shepard. With all the players assembled, they created the platinum
project Lemon Parade in 1996. Right after the CD hits
the streets, the first change takes place in the band, with bassist Dan
Rothchild leaving and being replaced by an old friend of Emerson &
Jeffs, Dan Lavery. (Dont let all the Dans confuse
you, just stick with me on this).
band toured in support of the Lemon Parade CD for two and a half
years while it paid dividends of two #1 hits "If
You Could Only See" and "Open
Up Your Eyes." Billboard Magazine named "If You Could
Only See" the most played rock song of 1997 and "A
Casual Affair" was a top ten rock track. At the end of
1998 drummer Kevin Shepard leaves the band and the trio decide to
enlist the help of Pete Maloney, a former band mate of bassist
Lavery. with the history between Dan and Pete, the bands rhythm section
is now as fluid as mercury, and just as unstoppable.
Emerson, Jeff and Dan began their collaboration
on the new CD Sugar, which appeared in stores on November 9th of
this year. North America received a sneak preview of the new music
when the rock anthem "You Wanted More" was included
in the sound track for the summer movie smash "American Pie." This
song was hanging out in the Top 10 months before the Sugar CD saw
the light of day.
showcases the fact that this is a band whos style is a fusion of multiple
influences. At times it is easy to pick them out, (Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin,
Pixies, Clash) and at others you really have to listen for hints of Irish
folk melodies dating back centuries. The rhythms frame the melodies
of the songs in a way that makes you want to wade through them. "We
tried really hard not to overreach on the new stuff," says Hart.
"We realized that were a guitar band, plain and simple. Thats how
we started and we wanted to stay true to that." Adding even more
of a creative stamp to their project, the band produced the CD themselves
and experimented with many different tones and viewpoints to come up with
the openness in the tunes that allowed them to proceed in many different
The project is a mixture of tight rockers
like "Top Falls Down," "Queen" or "Knock
Down Walls," anthems like "You Wanted More" and "Mean
To Me" and the tender,romantic ballads "Waltz With Me"
and "Love A Diamond." Add to that mix the sensual yet light
hearted southern rocking "Sugar" and the British pop influenced
"Sunflower" and you have something for every mood and any
occasion. *, **
In this humble music servants opinion,
has looked the sophomore curse in the eye and smashed it over the head
with a platinum Les Paul.
*<Reader Recommendations: Serve this main course with a
light, unassuming white wine, a full bodied merlot, a series of tequila
shooters or your favorite Irish beer.> **<Consumer Advisory for Dudes: Warning:
use of this product could find you having breakfast in the morning with
someone wearing your pajama top.>
Well, are you all ready to
meet Dan Lavery? Then walk this
way . . .
you check out the band, let us know what you think!
Long time fan? Share
your band experiences:
Posted by Joe:
you know a band is good when you get goosebumps EVERYTIME you hear a song from them, Tonic = greatest band, and most under appreciated
Posted by Bryan Bunyard:
If you guys like this band you should check out this site: http://opposites--attract.tripod.com/
Posted by Robin Dillow:
Tonic is the bomb! Lemon Parade is my favorite. They're even better live. Saw them Thanksgiving day in Orlando (AWESOME) and hope to see them in April in Johnson City, Tennessee
Posted by David Blakeman:
Best Albums I have heard for a long time, with a good old rock feel
I've been listening to Tonic since Lemon
parade came out but I was never able to see them live. I finally saw them
in providence and in Boston and I was just blown away. These guys are so
incredible! I haven't been fortunate enough to meet them but everyone I
talk to says that they are the nicest guys. What more can you ask for?
Incredible music, honesty in the lyrics, a nice group of guys and they
are all handsome! I wish Tonic the best of luck and I am really looking
forward to them coming back to New England. Long Live TONIC!!!
You know why I love this site so much?
It's stuff like this. I never listened to Tonic then I saw this article.
The writter made them sound interesting so I bought Sugar and LOVED IT!
thnks rocknworld dudes
A devoted fan of Tonic since they were
first introduced to Australia in 1997 and a fervent admirer of Jeff Russo
they are cool
It was June 1998-I had harboured a crush
for Emerson Hart for a good five months and constantly daydreamed about
him. Finally, I wen to their concert at the Palace, Melbourne, Australia.
Gazing up at the stage, I thought sadly that I could never get clode to
someone like that. However, i was invited to the after concert party and
once he sat at my table, he doted on me all night. he kept getting me glasses
of water, talked to me for a good five hours and basically made me feel
like the most beautiful woman on earth. At the end of the night, well actually
the morning, I got up to go home. He helped me on with my jacket, turned
me around and kissed me!!!!!!!!!!! for the rest of the night he was a complete
and utter gentleman, never expecting anything other than some really good
pashing!!! Anyway, it was the most memorable moment of my 22 years so far...
and i doubt anything will ever surpass it. Emerson is a God!
I love this band! I first saw them with
the Goo Goo Dolls last year and fell in love with their music. Sugar is
one of all time favs.
finally a music journalist who gets it
I guess I'm the oldest fan(43). I played
my daughters Lemon parade CD six months ago and I"ve been totally hooked.
DAMN they were so good!! When Ibought their Sugar CD, well, they did it
again. I"m a true blue fan forever. It's sad , though, that as good as
this band is, they don't get the recognition they so truely deserve. Keep
up the good work guys!!
Thank YOU and a job very well done 1)
by writing a wonderfully detailed and revealing article re: Dan Lavery.
You did a remarkable job of asking the right questions which not only sought
info but delivered info as well. Plus, you allowed a very musical , bright
and articulate young man to shine. You also provided a very different kind
of vibe on your description of their live sound. I am a fan since 1997,
having purchased multiple copies of both CDs, the enhanced CD, tee-shirt
for the girlfriend who is responsible for my glorious addiction to an almost
daily dose of TONIC. Again, Very well done, the most unique writing style
I remember seeing recently, and we will save you a seat any time !!! THANK-YOU
I became a fan of Tonic after seen them
on the MP3 tour; I think they are very talented guys. Their new CD is well
put together (there aren't only a "few" songs that are good; the whole
album is good!) They are also very appreciative of their fans and take
the time to meet and communicate with them. I look forward to more music
from them in the future!
.....and Now.....Live from Budokan, TONIC!
Bring It On! Absolultely! Debbie, thanks for putting together a fabulously
supportive article. They are outstanding musicians and are wonderful to
their ever exploding fan base. It is an honor to support their efforts.
As far as live, if anyone reading this hasn't seen them - GO SEE THEM when
they come to your town, definately entertaining. I recently had the pleasure
of catching them in on the MP3 tour - They've got their stuff together
and are the tightest I've seen them play in 2+ years. ROCK ON YA'LL....
To be honest I never heard this band until
earlier this month. I read teh review here for it and said what the hell
I'll give it a shot. All I can say is thanks, I Love it! Then I came here
today and find this great article. I've always liked the peices done by
this writer and this is no exception. I know alot more now than when I
began. Thanks Rock N World for another great article! Happy Holidays Rick
great articles... especially the one with
dan... but fyi... jeremy vogt was not a former band mate of dan lavery's...
yes he is currently their drummer, but he was not the drummer on the album...
pete maloney was the drummer from dan's band, and the drummer on the SUGAR
According to Tonic's
publicist at Universal Records, Remy Vogt was indeed the band's drum technician
and he auditioned for the band when Pete Maloney left. The correction
has been made, thank you. - Debbie