Members: Joe, John, Derek, Mike, Jeff
If you had only one wish, what would it be?
"Infinite wishes" is the thinking-man's answer, but if you've never heard of Dead Celebrity, you should probably wish that you had. Alternatively, if you have already heard of them, you should probably just go ahead and wish for either a flying motorcycle or a pet robot from the future, since those are the only things that kick a similar level of ass as Dead Celebrity. Of course, things like flying motorcycles, pet robots, and wishes don't actually exist (yet); luckily for you, however, Dead Celebrity doesâthis is a scientific fact.
Based out of Southwestern Ontario, Dead Celebrity is Canada's best-kept secret musical secret. With an aggressive and multi-faceted sound which refuses confinement within a single subcategory of rock, the band has been together since 1996. Originally conceived as a power trio by Joe Manchisi (Vocals; Guitar), Travis Burke (Bass), and Jeff Brouwer (Drums), the group has since matured into the complex, polyrhythmic, layered sound of a five piece, having added John Brouwer (Guitar) shortly after forming, and more recently, hooking-up with the talented and sought-after session guitarist Derek McGowan (formerly of Hexus). Following the departure of Travis in late 2007, the group enlisted the help of Mike Vanderzand (formerly of Low Level Flight) on bass, and with this final change the band now feels ready to take the next step toward stardom.
Having become semi-regular performers at such legendary Toronto rock havens as Lee's Palace, The Horseshoe Tavern, and the El Macambo, and having independently-released two full-length CDs and a music video which is scheduled to move into regular rotation at MuchMusic, the band is now looking to capitalize on the groundswell of good press and publicity they have generated through recent performances at a number of sold-out shows and prominent music festivals around the GTA.
And when the band does finally manage to capitalize on what they have been building for the past 11 years, be forewarned: they will not be held responsible for the endless trail of kicked asses, melted faces, and pregnant groupies they will leave in their wake. To put it simply, if Dead Celebrity were a movie, the most boring scene would show a Jedi Knight leaping from the back of a winged unicorn to roundhouse kick a space warlock in the throat, who is riding a laser dragon inside of an ice volcano, and the theatre would have to include squeegees in the popcorn bags to scrape all of the brains of the audience members off the headrests when the movie was finally over. Oh, and also the whole scene would be in slow motion.
To continue the movie analogy, the Dead Celebrity movie would also probably be a character piece, in the sense that elements like direction, production, special effects, and marketing would necessarily come as an afterthought to the casting. With five unique and likeable individuals making up the band's collective persona, fans find themselves drawn not only to Dead Celebrity's eclectic and ever-evolving sound, but fundamentally to the people behind it.
Take Joe for instance: While a lot of senior citizens feel that his tattoos make him look like a godless brute, he is not. He is Italian, and despite his massive collection of rare and exotic European pornography, the ladies say he is a tender lover who likes nothing more than brushing ponies and rescuing orphans from tenement house fires in his spare time â¦ and also looking at ultra-hardcore European water sport porn.
Although Joe has many tattoos, Derek has none. A consummate professional and a master of his instrument, the only thing Derek is more passionate about than his music is boxed wineâparticularly those bearing a vintage of one to two weeks old. Derek also lists avoiding haircuts, making jean shorts, and making guitar-related pacts with the devil among his favorite pastimes.
While most people would describe Derekâlike Shaftâas complicated, John is a simple man. Although always impeccably dressed, impressively haired, and exquisitely cologned, John's tastes are rather undemanding: His favorite color? Blue. His favorite food? Pizza. His favorite element? That of surprise. Take note: John Brouwer is also a clever man.
Buff, on the other hand, leans slightly more toward the opulent, preferring to partake in the finer things life has to offer. He lists his hobbies as gourmet cooking, collecting fine cigars, and masturbating to the bra section of high-end department store catalogues. Buff also enjoys getting his car washed, living in his fancy condo, and using the washroom for extended periods of time.
Mike, the band's newest member, is a practitioner and collector of medieval-themed Van art. He describes his collection as "a series of heavily-airbrushed poems," and cites goblins, warrior maidens, and untamed stallions as his favorite artistic subjects. Somewhat ironically, Mike lists "having good taste" as his greatest achievement, and "shame" as his favorite emotion.
Fine lads indeed.
So if you like things such as wishes come true, scientific facts, and music that doesn't suck, check out Dead Celebrity. If you don't die of an awesomeness-related stroke, you'll definitely be thankful that you did.