I came, I saw, my leg was humped.
And when I left, I had many reasons for making The Salads my new favourite Canadian band – here's just three of them.
The Salads put on a rockin' live show.
I was sold on The Salads just about 2 seconds after they came on stage; when the lights were finally bright enough for everyone to see the giant grin on singer Mista D's face before he began catapulting himself across the stage. Yes, this man loves his job. As do bassist Chuck Dailey, guitarist Dave Ziemba, drummer Grant Taylor and B-boy Libydo. All of them in a state of perpetual motion throughout the entire set, enjoying each note of every song.
And why shouldn't they? Punk, ska, reggae, hip-hop and metal all roll into one and the result is an absolute party. They may listen to melancholic ballads during their down time, but you'll never catch that kind of act on stage.
"We still listen to that stuff, but I just don't want to play it. I don't want to be in a pit of despair every night of the week when I'm playing shows, I want to be smiling and jumping around," says Dailey.
"And B-Boys can't get down to that stuff, you know," adds Libydo.
A point well made.
The Salads are extremely talented musicians.
From the Sex Pistols to Blink 182, punk music has been known for its attitude, safety pins, vibrant hair colour, and three-chord songs. Musicianship never really figures into the equation which can be frustrating when you happen to kick ass on whatever instrument you play.
"We've been playing since we were eleven or twelve years old," says bassist Chuck Dailey, who is often frustrated with concert reviewers who just don't seem to listen.
"They write some sort of review that's completely inaccurate and that's what drives me crazy. I like the good ones that actually talk about your playing. We're all players, and we all work at our instruments so hard."
And what skills they've acquired, they share with others. When not busy touring or recording, both Dailey and guitarist Dave Ziemba teach music. They are more than happy to teach their students how to play a song by The Salads, just as long as they've got the chops to do it.
"We have students come in who want to play (an album song) and we tell them 'you can't play this yet, you're going to have to wait.' We dumbed it down but it's still too hard, it's weird," says Dailey.
So let the record show that yes, "Get Loose," "The Roth Kung Fu," or any other song by The Salads' that you've heard consist of only three or four chords. Let the record also show that this in no way means that the specific permutations of these chords are suitable for novice musicians.
The Salads are genuinely passionate about music.
Whether it's opening for Quiet Riot, Fishbone or David Usher, The Salads are just happy to be playing.
"If the crowd's there and the crowd's having fun, then we're having fun," says Dumas. "We like so many different styles of music, and listen to all kinds of styles…so we tend to work with a lot of different types of musicians."
In fact, The Salads have probably one of the most diverse lists of acts that they've performed with.
To illustrate, Dumas lists off just a few;
"We've done successful shows with hip-hop acts and R 'n' B groups and metal groups, reggae bands…"
…not to mention punk bands, rock bands, singer/songwriters…
"One of the greatest shows we did a long time ago was with just a drum ensemble, it was amazing," adds Dailey.
"We were beating the skins" says Ziemba panting, laughing and, um …gesticulating.
Oh trust me, these aren't the only reasons to love The Salads. There's their wicked live rendition of "Ghostbusters," the infectious laughter and having Dave Ziemba hump your leg (I feel the love!).
Not to mention more mainstream reasons like their new album, Fold A to B with the accompanying top 10 songs ("Get Loose" & "The Roth Kung Fu"), the videos in rotation on Much Music, winning a CASBY and of course, the fact that The Salads are 100% pure Canadian.
"And we all know that Canada is one of the coolest countries in the whole world, right?" says Dailey.
Now tell me, what's not to love?
Writer: Erica Basnicki