Detox is a significant, all too familiar word in the world of rockíníroll. But in the world of Treble Charger, Detox is just a word, extricated from the first verse of a pure adrenaline liftoff song called "Hundred Million" and affixed as the title of the Toronto quartetís latest, highly addictive sonic elixir. Any further questions? No? Good. Because the only thing that needs explaining is how the heck Treble Charger managed to refuel so quickly after the juggernaut of their last album, Wide Awake Bored, and deliver a fresh collection that tops it.
"Weíre a band that always stays current," says guitarist and snarling singer Greig Nori, who spends his spare time keeping the Sum 41 boys in line and just completed producing their next record. "If you look at Treble Chargerís albums, they always grow. And thereís something distinctive about our singles that sucks you in."
No kidding. From their grassroots days of í90s indie-rock ingenuity, Treble Charger has been a veritable vortex of everything cool and cutting-edge in rock music.
The band steadily built their stellar reputation and ever-expanding loyal following by staying true to their creative momentum and energized by camaraderie with like-minded bands, whether on tours, in videos or recordings. Their debut, self=title, released on Sonic Unyon, was a first in Canadian and indie-rock history, including a self-created CD-ROM that featured biographies and artwork of 33 fellow Canadian indie acts. Maybe Itís Me, Treble Chargerís major-label debut, upped the musical ante, delivering memorable tuneage like "Red" and "Friend Of Mine"; the band toured with the likes of Foo Fighters, and the album eventually went gold.
But the effects pedal really hit the metal in the new millennium with Wide Awake Bored. The Juno-nominated, killer first single "American Psycho" was instant karma, and the album went gold in under two months. The band rolled into the star-packed Summersault tour that summer, and the albums next single, the powerpop confection "Brand New Low," helped keep the band on the road until last fall.
Rather than kick back, Treble Charger harnessed that momentum, jumping off the stage and into the writing woodshed. By December the band was in pre-production. This spring the boys emerged from the studio, none the worse for wear, with Detox, their most consistent and kick-ass album to date.
From the restless fury of the first single and album opener "Hundred Million" to the trippy, haunting slide-guitar coda of the final track, "Drive," there are hundred million reasons why Detox rocks.
"I think the only problem with Wide Awake Bored was that it didnít have enough songs that were representative of the two singles," explains Greig. "This time we have a bunch of songs in the same vein -- hard-hitting, really energetic and really fun to play live."
"The bandís sound has definitely evolved," adds singer Bill Priddle, whose soaring, psychedelic guitar leads on Detox are guaranteed to drill a hole in your head. "I knew not to bring any of my slower songs to the band because thatís not what Treble Charger is about anymore."
If there was a mad energy to their Detox method, the inspiration behind some of the songs is even crazier. The pogo-inducing shuffle of "Ideal Waste Of Time" began with Greig whistling a happy tune into his answering machine two years ago; the melancholy post-punk anthem "Hole In Your Head" is the result of Billís triumph over evil power-ballad demons, after being misguided by voices one dark night.
Part of the reason for the speedy discovery of Detox was the return appearance in the control room of L.A. producer Matt Hyde (ex-Porno For Pyros, Wide Awake Bored, Fu Manchuís latest), who loaded two huge cases full of vintage gear and set up shop in the bandís hometown. Enduring the winter chill, Hyde captured the liveliest performances Treble Charger has ever delivered on record.
"He had this lasting effect, where heíd turn something around by coming up with an awesome idea," says Rosie Martin, whose bassline swing has never been more inventive. "Thereís all these little things Matt did, things only the band would know, that I get high on when I listen to the album."
"I think Detox is just a natural progression," adds deadly and dead-on skins-pounder Trevor MacGregor. "the first time I worked with Matt I was hesitant to try some things, but this time I experimented a lot more and he ended up really liking what I did. But itís like anything, the more time you play with people, the more time you spend in the studio, the better you get."
Thanks to Wide Awake Bored, there are more fans than ever who are anxious to abuse their eardrums with Treble Chargerís latest. "With every record weíve done thereís always a group of people who say `Where did these guys come from?í and we think, `Are you kidding?í " Rosie laughs. "But the truth is we never had bigger singles than on the last record, and weíve never connected with more people because those singles were on radio."
Fans old and new will definitely get more than a kick out of the accompanying performance video for the first single, "Hundred Million," continuing Treble Chargerís spirit of camaraderie. "It was such a kicking song, we didnít want to go for the concept-style of video, we knew we had to go live," Greig explains. The band invited Gob, Swollen Members, Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne to show up for the shoot, and award-winning video director Wendy Morgan kept the cameras rolling.
"The whole thing works in the chaotic, very surreal way," says Rosie. "Itís so cool for fans because you can pick out the guys you recognize."
"Itís the first video weíve ever done with no narrative and out first live performance-style one," adds Bill. "We were worried it might end up cheesy, but I think itís the best, most energetic video weíve done."
As Treble Charger fires up the engine to take Detox on the road this fall, another new endeavor, Lucifer Productions, promises to keep the band at the creative centre of a vital scene. "Our band has been around long enough, and been through enough, that we can take all this information to up-and-coming bands in a constructive way," Greig enthuses. "The idea of Lucifer is similar to what happened in the í50s, when artists with some success used that energy to reach out to new artists and have a hand in helping them get their career moving."
With Detox, as in all their creative pursuits, Treble Charger blazes a fast and furious trail directly to the nerve centre of everything that matters in modern rock.