give in to temptation!

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Brendan:

Hey everyone, Brendan the Blind Guy here. Now, this one is dropping like a gyroscope from heaven, and will hit you like a fire in the head. So, release any and all preconceptions and come give into temptation and paint it black with me, because I'm talking to the infamous drummer from Canadian rockers, The Tea Party, Mr Jeff Burrows. How are you, Jeff?

Jeff Burrows:

I'm good, man. How's it going? That's a great intro.

Brendan:

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it and glad I didn't disappoint. Yes, I'm very well, thank you. Always very excited when I get to talk to musicians that I am a big fan of so, yeah, I'm winning here.

Jeff Burrows:

Thank you.

Brendan:

Cool. So, our chat is because you guys are coming out soon to Australia to do your first ever intimate run of shows called the Black River Tour, which you'll be showcasing tracks from your catalogue, plus fan favourites, okay. So what are you looking forward to the most on this run of shows?

Jeff Burrows:

Well, this run is primarily to introduce the new music that we have coming out on EP called Black River. So, we have a catalogue and that stuff always that people want to hear. But with the recent tour that we just finished in Canada and America, it was nice to showcase a few of the new tracks and getting the reaction we were hoping that we would get, which has been fantastic. So, it's nice.

Jeff Burrows:

We kind of sneaked them in there. People, unbeknownst to them, hit them over the head with a great new track, and none the wiser was oftentimes brand new track, where they're going to sit back, and that's the cue to go buy your merchandise or get their own beer or something, so this aught to be a ... hopefully, it's a good reaction, as we had received earlier.

Brendan:

Yeah. Oh, that's great. Okay. And I've read that one consistency at a show from you guys is the way you really connect with your fans during your shows, and how the audience really can feel, not just hear, in your performances. So, I want to go into, when you guys go out on the stage, what is the atmosphere and the kind of intent that you want to give fans that are lucky enough to be at your shows?

Jeff Burrows:

That's a good question. It's kind of interesting. I don't know if we go out intentionally to have that sort of community involvement or to mediate between band members and audience participants. It happens, it's wonderful to be a part of and to feel that emotion. You really do get to connect, and you don't get to see between the lights and whatnot. You don't see everybody all the time, but anything that happens in the first two rows, there's a reaction, and Jeff, being the front man, has really learned how to play to that crowd and get right in their face.

Brendan:

Yeah.

Jeff Burrows:

And everyone loves it. The intention, I can say is just to consider the passion that the song was written for, whether it's more light-hearted or whether it's a serious track. So you're supposed to be able to share those emotions and have that reciprocated.


Brendan:

Yeah, oh, fantastic. Yeah, so I really hope I can come along to your Sydney show coming up soon at the end of the month. So, fingers crossed there. Okay, I also read that you guys have toured Canada a whopping 21 times-

Jeff Burrows:

Yes.

Brendan:

... plus 12 times in Australia. So it seems like you guys have got a pretty special bond with Australia. So is that the case?

Jeff Burrows:

Oh, absolutely. I love going. It's a bit of a haul, but I think that's what separates the boys from the men, as they say. A lot of bands find success, and they'll just end up being in that particular country, especially if you're an American band. There's a lot of cities, and a lot of places to play in. They don't have to bother, they don't want to bother to go anywhere else. Whereas we've always ... when we were young, we developed this working relationship, and we've just kept it going. I think it was a nice mutual respect between the band, and those who want to come out to see the shows. It's always been that way so, yeah, we love it.

Brendan:

Yeah, well, that's fantastic. Okay, so apparently, the media have dubbed your sound as Moroccan-Roll, which is a funky, funky little tag there. Which apparently, your sound is influenced by genres like industrial rock, rock, blues, a bit of Middle-Eastern, progressive, progressive-rock, et cetera. Okay.

Brendan:

So, how do you guys ... like, I know Jeff Martin, being the front man, but how do you guys all sit down and kind of work out the music and lyrics in perfect harmony with each other, and what goes on in that creative space?


Jeff Burrows:

Well, it's pretty simple. It's like any other band, we were quite literally in the garage at Jeff's place jamming and when you play lyrics and so on, bass with the lyrics, and Jeff can do that even on his own , or with us sometimes. And sometimes, good melodies come up over top of that bass portion that you have, but, you know. With all the songs, it's like building a house. You can't build a solid structure without a good foundation and so, like most bands concentrate on that foundation-


Brendan:

Yeah. Oh, wow.

Jeff Burrows:

... and keep that part as simple as we can, and then if you want to go the route of creating, and you have the time to create, we did this. All of that instrumentation for colour, it's great, but you have to let it talk to the music. Whereas as more recently, we've just been tying ourselves to almost avoid ways in the very beginning, when we would only ... you know, "Let's just write a really good song, and let's see what happens, and let's not worry about all the extra bits.” So we kind of reverted back to 1990, 91, where punk rock is ... Sometimes, you'll have that sort of influence with some different instrumentation.

Brendan:

Ah, okay. Thanks for that info. Yeah. That's great. Okay, so I want to talk now about the name The Tea Party, which apparently, let's see if I can get this quote right. This one was inspired by famous Beat Gen Poets. Okay, so what's the story of where the name The Tea Party came from? Were you guys actually sitting down having a tea party?

Jeff Burrows:

Yeah, no. So that's one of the stories. So, we've got many incarnations of where the name came from, but essentially, Jeff Martin, big fan of Led Zeppelin and The Cure , the thing that was what they would have, they would sit and convene and smoke pot and come up with great ideas and so on. That was the thing, and we thought, we're used to the minds coming together trying to create something new, something different, than what's out there. So there was that angle on it, but all of the infamous Boston Tea Party shows, so back in the day, especially Led Zeppelin of Seattle, so that plays a part in it, is what I say. That there is probably two of the examples of the perhaps five that are around as how we got the name.


Brendan:

Ah, there you go. Ah, well that clears that one up. Thank you. Okay. So, you guys actually broke up in 2005 unfortunately, due to creative differences apparently. So, now that you guys are back together, what's different? Are you guys all on the same page now?

Jeff Burrows:

Yeah, creative differences is a nice way to say that. No one was getting along.

Brendan:

Yeah, fair enough.

Jeff Burrows:

That was basically the fact that our communication skills sucked and suffered over the years. As I mentioned earlier, it's hard enough being in a band with your best friends, because ... and that's the only thing, especially, if one of the only things that holds you together is you're a fan of different music. But when the music has to and does become part of a business, now you're in business with your best friends.


Jeff Burrows:

Business brings lots of bullshit that you don't want to ever have to deal with friends or family and things like that, and after a while, if you don't have that ability to communicate properly and openly and honestly, something's going to suffer. Things begin to suck soon, and over a while, it's not like we were angry and over, it was just like you just kind of faded, and it was like, "Okay. We never asked for this. Things aren't working." And that was that. That was it. And now we've learned about communication skills and everything is hunky-dory.

Brendan:

Oh, well, that's good. I'm glad you've got it all sorted out and you're all on the same page, it sounds like.

Jeff Burrows:

Yeah, man.

Brendan:

Oh, that's great. Well, yeah, it would be a little bit hard to do all of these tours and your upcoming tour if you guys weren't on the same page and didn't get along. Yeah, I can imagine that would be a little bit difficult, yeah.


Jeff Burrows:

100%, yep.

Brendan:

Cool. Well, now I reckon it's time we get exclusive, Jeff, just me and you. And, you know, all of the listeners of course.

Jeff Burrows:

Great.

Brendan:

So what would you say an exclusive fun fact is about yourself?


Jeff Burrows:

Okay, I've got one. For three years in a row, when I was a child, I was one of the ... what do you call it? Paper boys. So, you deliver newspapers. I was one of the paper boys of the year in our city, so I got to go to this gala. Three years in a row, and I took great pride in delivering my newspapers with speed, so there you go.

Brendan:

Oh, wow. Very nice. Now, now a little bit like how he delivered those papers to you in that fun fact, people, well, I'm going to deliver my favourite question of all, that's right, people. It's WTF time. So, Jeff, you must have some priceless moments throughout your illustrious music career. So what takes the cake as being the most hilarious priceless WTF of them all?


Jeff Burrows:

So we're going back to Australia, and it was a show at a venue like an RSL or something like that, on the east coast somewhere. And it was quite hot, it was your summertime and we were playing, and we were young, so our crowd was quite young. It was just taking off and it was over packed and oversold, and we're playing. And you know, it's not dark in the room or anything like that, so we're playing away and playing away, and about 20 feet above the stage, about 20 feet out into the audience, a human body came crashing through the ceiling and landed on everyone, which was a punk kid who was too young to be at the show, but wanted to be at the show.

Jeff Burrows:

He fell down, fell through the ceiling, landed on everybody. No one was hurt. The kid was trying to hide, and they couldn't find the kid. And he ended being up front of the stage, covered in dust and plastic, but no one found him so it was great. That was one of the funniest things I've ever seen happen.


Brendan:

Wow. That definitely comes under the WTF category. Oh, well, thank you so much for having a chat to me this evening, which, I'm sure is actually this morning over there, where you are.

Jeff Burrows:

Yeah, early. Nice and early.

Brendan:

But, here it's past big top dog and my bedtime. So, we'll leave it with, what would you say your message to fans, both old and new, are?


Jeff Burrows:

Old guys coming with new music and new tours in the next two years, so come and enjoy us!

Brendan:

Oh, short and sweet. Awesome. Well, again, it has been an absolute pleasure, Jeff. Thank you so much and I hope I can see you in Sydney.

Jeff Burrows:

Thanks so much, buddy. I'll pass that on.


Brendan:

Awesome, cheers. Bye.

Jeff Burrows:

Okay, bye bye.

For the full ‘Black River’ Australian Tour info head to http://www.destroyalllines.com/tour/the-tea-party/