Daring to bypass strict genre ‘lines’, Edmonton’s Taking Medication hits the stage at Wild Bill’s Aug. 20-21. There’s indeed a smattering of varying sounds from plucky pop/rock to country and rap to bold injections of electronica.
Looking back to the band’s beginnings, it was essentially a basement experiment involving two founding members Bassie D and Dan ‘Uncle Zygote’ Mabee.
It marked a creatively rich time. Ideas grew into songs and soon it was apparent the guys needed to share their tunes with audiences. Drummer Mike ‘All torso’ Sine and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nathaniel ‘the Octopus’ Sutton were added to the roster.
These days, the guys are working on cultivating a growing following via a steady concert schedule. They’ve got a roster of quirky, engaging tunes from their self-titled debut a few years ago, plus they are on the verge of releasing a follow-up disc in September.
Ultimately, it’s largely a collaborative process, explains Mabee, whose own introduction to music came rather unexpectedly as he comes from a “100 per cent unmusical family. Even singing happy birthday over the years was tough because it was like who do you sing along with? Everyone was singing something different,” he jokes. He was inspired to explore music thanks to a cousin, and he’s never really looked back since.
Besides performing, he’s also produced a number of projects for other artists as well.
“I just like it so much – I like listening to music as much as I like playing it.”
As for the new record, entitled Prescribed Nonsense, the guys are excited to unveil a whole new set of sonic explorations. Mabee says the vision at the core of i+t all remains the same – stay unencumbered by genre structures and free to allow the creativity to unfold as it will.
He does point out that Sutton sings more on this CD than on the debut. There’s also more of an emphasis on keyboards and not a country tune in site.
“We all sit down and mix it when it’s recorded,” he said of how the band members each have their say. So far, crafting the finished product hasn’t led to any rattled nerves or battles as the songs take shape.
“We also get along pretty well – we have similar tastes,” he adds with a laugh.
As they’ve introduced their tunes to more and more people, comparisons are of course inevitable. Mabee said listeners have pointed out similarities to the Talking Heads and Frank Zappa. Whatever the case, fans are increasingly tuning in to what Taking Medication has to offer. CDs are consistently sold at every show and listeners are struck by the band’s bold, fresh and unique sound. They’re certainly paying attention, adds the good-natured Mabee.
“People seem to stare at us when we play, as opposed to just sitting there talking amongst themselves.”
For more information, check out www.myspace.com/takingmedication.