If you wanted to create the perfect indie/pop-rock group – in your evil rock & roll laboratory – you would need to find some highly talented musicians with vision and drive. Musicians that could create a sound that was unforgettable – the kind that would draw the listener in and completely embrace them with burnished, creamy, rich sounds. You would also need to add a strong work ethic, close friendships within the band – maybe even so close that they live, work and play together. You would need a frontman that had a voice that was melodic, smooth, emotive and utterly unforgettable. But he would also have to be intelligent, educated and very charming with devastating good looks.
Can you imagine such a band? Well I can not only imagine them- I have spoken with that talented, devastatingly good looking, educated, charming frontman in the form John Dauer of this week’s Band of the Week The Ruse.
I had reviewed The Ruse’s most recent CD, Light In Motion a few months before starting the Band of the Week feature. So when it was time to find bands, they were one of the first bands I asked.
Jason (drummer for The Ruse) replied quickly with a kind word about the review I had written and told me “you can call John (our singer) at one or two a.m. LA time, sometime in the next few days. Just let me know what day you want to do it and I'll give you the number.”
This guy must really be into that rock star life style if he could be reached at that time in the morning. I expected the stereotype: arrogant, narcissistic, shallow. What I found was an intelligent, articulate, deeply thoughtful man, with a charming sense of humour.
The four of you live together, is that right?
John: Yeah we share a two bedroom apartment… We are about as close as you could get. I don’t think I could be in a band with people I didn’t know. When you come home at night everyone you work with is there and then you all watch TV together, and sometimes you go out, (laughing) and sometimes you have people over and you go to bed. It’s really taking your work home with you.
What happens if one of you have a girl come home with you?
John: That’s when you pop in your iPod and throw the sheets over your head. (laughs)
Who writes the lyrics? Is it you?
John: Yeah I do. Well, I’ll tell you I’ll write the lyrics and go into the rehearsal studio and we will all work on it together.
What are you currently listening to?
John: There are a lot of different influences for us. U2 is one.
The Ruse sound a lot like U2, when U2 were good, of course.
John: (laughing) I don’t want to get into an argument with you about that one. I like them. There are few bands, Rock Kills Kid, Bloc Party and a band called Luna Halo. You should look them up on MySpace.
How often do you rehearse?
John: Five to six times a week. We have a lockup space downtown.
Your second CD, Light In Motion, came out in May, and you have just completed a tour of the Midwest. So, what now? Are you working on new material?
John: We are always writing. I would put our work ethic up against any other band out there. We work so hard.
What do you want for The Ruse?
John: We want to be a success. That doesn’t necessarily mean having a top ten hit, but that would be nice. (laughs)
You can also hear more about my talk with John Dauer on the next BCRadio Podcast.