Oprah gives great band names
Go For The Eyes stops in Regina
Article: Liam Fitz-Gerald – Contributor
Last week, the Queen City had double luck. Not only did the Roughriders bring home the Grey Cup, but Regina was privileged to host Go For the Eyes, a rock, post-punk band from Calgary. They played at the German Club Nov. 23 with opening acts The Revival and The Screaming Daisies. The band, consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Elsie Roller, vocalist/guitarist Jeff Turner, bassist Scott Perrin and drummer Nathan Raboud, were thrilled to sit down with the Carillon at the German Club.
The band’s name was the result of an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s show.
“There was a defence special and almost every third sentence [Oprah] said was ‘Go for the Eyes,’” said Turner.
“Oprah Says Go For the Eyes” was the original name, yet Turner commented that it was “too long and too sue-able” and it was shortened to Go For the Eyes.
Musically, other reviewers have characterized Go For the Eyes as possessing a similar sound to Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age. Indeed, the sound of the band can be explained from their different musical backgrounds. Roller was into electronic music and Raboud was involved in a metal band in Slave Lake. Individually, the band members listen to everything from hard rock to comedy music. On the road to Regina from Winnipeg, they listened to a diverse selection of music ranging from Manchester Orchestra to Mute Math. Yet, it’s not just music that drives the band in its creativity.
“A lot of our influence comes from bands that we see on the road. We’re constantly inspired by them. You’re constantly pushing yourself because there is something amazing going on,” Raboud said.
The band also draws influences from friends and family, who’s support they are grateful for, but do miss when they are on the road.
“It is hard in some senses. We have all these great friends but we’re on the road so much. We have to miss a lot of milestones in our friends’ lives,” Roller said.
The band also spoke about their newest EP, which they consider an improvement over previous recordings. After three years together in a band and getting to know one another better, the bandmates decided to push themselves further, especially with pre-production and they tried not to rush the recording process.
“What we realized at the end of the day was that we were trying to sell a crappy product so we could go on tour. We had to spend our time and money on a good product and then go out and sell it,” said Roller, who described the new EP as a learning experience. They did not record just for the sake of recording, but worked on fewer songs and made sure they were of better quality. Indeed, they moved from recording in basements to recording in a studio opened by Kirill Telichev, a musician from the band The Suppliers.
An important highlight for the band was opening for the Calgary Stampeders at the Labour Day Classic back in August. They performed just before kickoff and at halftime. At halftime, the cheerleaders did a choreographed dance to the band’s music.
Turner characterized the feeling as being “legitimately everything you could ever dream of when you start playing in a band.”
“I went to those sports games growing up. I’m a huge sports fan,” said Perrin who said it was “pretty surreal” to live a dream of opening for a sports team.
Roller admitted to being quite nervous for the event while Raboud said, “your heart kind of stops.” Yet, all four band mates were more comfortable by half time.
When asked if they had any advice for prospecting musicians, they continuously emphasized loving what you do and being willing to work at it.
“I think the biggest thing is you have to remind yourself that you’re a nobody. Take advice and ask people to rip you a new asshole. You need to appreciate those people who say ‘that kind of sucked.’ You’re never going to get better by people kissing your ass,” Roller said.
“Build on yourself and constantly learn. If you don’t love it, don’t do it,” emphasized Raboud.
Indeed, their love for their craft is evident by their live show. After great performances from the opening acts, Go For the Eyes performed in the basement of the German Club. With Roller and Turner’s complementary voices and the juxtaposition of musical instruments, the crowd was wowed. Indeed, the band created both a hard rock, head banging environment, but also a pleasant, soothing, ambient atmosphere. It’s this combination that make Go For the Eyes a must listen.