False Starts: The Besnard Lakes' Olga Goreas on Her Early Bands | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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False Starts: The Besnard Lakes’ Olga Goreas on Her Early Bands

A Coliseum Complex Museum Out Now via Jagjaguwar

Jul 06, 2016 The Besnard Lakes
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False Starts is our continuing series where an artist writes about the bands they were in before their current band, the unknown early bands they got their start in before forming the current one. Olga Goreas of Canada’s The Besnard Lakes wrote this installment. The Montreal band formed in 2003 and is centered around Goreas and her husband Jace Lasek. The band released a brand new album, A Coliseum Complex Museum, back in January via Jagjaguwar and the current lineup also features long-term drummer Kevin Laing. For this album they were joined by Sheenah Ko (keys/vocals) and Robbie Macarthur (guitar). Previous guitarist Richard White still collaborates in the studio but no longer tours with the band. Read on as Goreas writes about the three bands she cut her teeth on before The Besnard Lakes.

I started playing in a band in 1989 at the sweet and unjaded age of 19 when I first moved to Vancouver, B.C. with a bunch of friends. There were enough of us to form a band but we needed a bass player and so I volunteered myself. It was probably the easiest decision I’d made in my life as I’d wanted to take up bass in my high school band but someone else had beaten me to it. Alas, here was my second chance!

The first band I played in was called Buckmaster Circle. We played a bunch of original songs thrown in with some covers and we played a few shows in and around Vancouver. I remember rehearsing at a space with these guys one night and it was right when Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” came out. We were screwing around with it and were playing it by the end of practice. The walls were so thin in that place that I think every band that was “practicing” that night ended up playing “Enter Sandman.” It is a deadly riff I have to say!

I don’t think it was too long after that I started playing in a band with two brothers (and dear old friends of mine), Dave and Cary Dykhuizen, called Fungus Morley. Our sound was like The Stooges meets Pink Floyd, and I remember us doing a mind-melting cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine.” I also remember playing an outdoor show on an island nearby where it was a bit of a stoner festival, so I took it upon myself to get right baked before getting on stage. It took maybe half a song for me to go completely into another galaxy and when I finally looked at my bandmates, who were giving me stink-eye quadrupled, I realized that it probably would be good to go back into the verse of the song.

Somewhere in the time of these two bands I started playing with a band called Speedbuggy. We were a three-piece who eventually became a four-piece. This was my first major band, as in it was somewhat serious and we toured across Canada and released two CDs (vinyl of course was not much in its heyday in the ‘90s). We played a battle of the bands competition called Shindig which played annually at The Railway Club. Some of Vancouver’s clubs are amongst my favorites of all-time, The Railway being one of them. Anyway, we played and won this Shindig competition and ended up getting some free recording time and an opening slot for a Shonen Knife gig. Things were going well! We lasted over 5 years but it eventually petered out as Vancouver became a bit of a ghost-town in the mid-‘90s for local bands to play. Many of its great venues were being shut down due to insane real estate and rental prices and increasing gentrification. Once it became too difficult to afford a rehearsal space, if you were so lucky to even find one, we could hear the bells tolling that it was time to call it a day.


Also read our 2013 interview with The Besnard Lakes.


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