As Electric (cover band) AOE were showing signs that they weren’t like the rest of the usual bands hitting the cover scene circuit. They were getting away with playing originals and gaining fans. They quickly became one of the hottest bands – a guaranteed crowd on the weekends.
As Electric they released a cassette and even made a video (Back then having a video and a recording meant something – most bands didn’t have a recording, let alone a video). Aphrodisiac Smile became their signature song. It was even played on Muchmusic (Canada’s version of MTV) which was next to impossible unless you were signed. The band put out their releases on their own label, God’s Teeth Ethyl (named after a saying one of their Grandfather’s had).
Age of Electric : Aphrodisiac Smile
The band had to make a move to pull them away from being known as a cover band and become a band that were known for their own music. Bands in Canada don’t realise how important this is – I also believe that they were one act that helped open that door for all artists. All the other acts were cover bands and from this point bars started to allow bands to play originals.
They took a break and worked on new material which ended up as a new EP called UGLY.
The song UGLY came along with a video…. the difference is that this video charted on Much music!! It is shot in a hotel in Saskatchewan and looks like continuous shot as band members travel throughout the hotel encountering a rag tag bunch of characters, some played by other musicians on the circuit (Skully) as well as their soundman (Mike).
Soon after they had a slight name change to AGE OF ELECTRIC…. ‘Electric’ was named after a CD released by THE CULT. By adding the “Age of…” gave them their own name but also didn’t alienate any fans they already acquired.
Age of Electric : Ugly
Now with a charting video, sold out / packed bars everywhere they went, the band could seem to do no wrong. They travelled back and forth along the Trans Canada hitting up every main city and I’m sure everything inbetween.
Then a few snags happened.
They seemed to disappear for some time. Word was they were recording at a home studio of a fairly well known Canadian producer. I’ll leave names out of it…
Anyway when they finally played a show at The People’s Pub on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, I got a chance to talk to one of the band members.
He said he wasn’t able to say much but there was some legal stuff going on around the recordings that they did at the producers home studio. So they were being stalled in releasing anything. Typical. A band doing great things and then hit a road bump to throw them off a bit…. if only things just ran smoothly.
Anyway once they were able to get that behind them, they signed to a management company out of New York… I think the name of the company was Invasion…. but can;t be 100% on that one. Then they got a record deal. My best friend from high school, Ray, was working for them as merch/light guy at this point. He would call me form the road from time to time and give updates.
It was at this point that things changed a bit. I know my relationship with the band members changed as they seemed to be more distant and well, maybe a bit rock starish…. we pretty much stopped hanging out. All good I had gone on the road as well and had my own things going on.
I had moved out to Toronto and was working on my own music career.
The band released a couple more cd’s and had some radio success in Canada with the song Remote Control. A number of well done videos as well. They had become a classic Canadian rock band that had carved their own path.
I received a call from Ray one day and he mentioned that something was up – the Dahl brothers had a side band called Limblifter coming out. Ray thought there wasn’t many more days left for AOE and that Limblifter had some great songs. He was right. LL came out with a CD and AOE didn’t last much longer than that.
Limblifter : Tinfoil
When the band broke up, many…and I mean many, girls across Canada were heartbroken. I was a little sad that a band that I held close to some of the best times in my life was now gone…. kind of like the whole bar scene of my youth. Limblifter had some success but Kurt went on to play for The New Pornographers, Ryan carried on with the name Limblifter and has had many incarnations over the years. John and Todd had a band called Static in Stereo for a bit but nothing much came out of it. Todd eventually ended up playing for Guns n Roses Guitarist, Slash. John hangs out in Toronto – we actually did a one off show together in a random band put together by my boss which included John, myself, YTV Phil, Dean from Monster Voodoo Machine, a bouncer of the bar we were playing at and a couple others. It was quite the show and let’s just say, I remember getting to the bar…
Fast forward to now and this Saturday the band plays it’s first show in years. The show is in Calgary, practically their home for many years while on the circuit, and it is of course, SOLD OUT!
A part of my wishes I would have bought a plane ticket to be there but I am sure I’ll get a chance to see them and relive some of the memories. Their social media suggests there might be a chance of some new material in the works, but we shall see. I just might try to dig up some of the old board tapes I have.
In closing a lyric comes to mind from my favorite AOE song, ‘Untitled’.
“Destroy.Rebuild. Destroy. Rebuild. Destroy…”