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Out of the stone age

Toronto-based five-piece Dinosaur Bones is ready to rock

Dino Bones. Photo by Brittany Lucas
Dino Bones. Photo by Brittany Lucas

To say that Toronto-based indie-rock quintet Dinosaur Bones is dedicated would be an understatement. Since releasing their entirely self-funded debut album, My Divider in March, the guys have been touring incessantly, sharing the stage with bands ranging from Tokyo Police Club to Ra Ra Riot to Library Voices. Add in their upcoming slew of performances in support of Vancouver rock gods, Yukon Blonde, and it’s a wonder the band finds time to think.

But despite their busy schedules, vocalist/guitarist Ben Fox says he isn’t fazed by all their time on the road.

“This is exactly what we want to be doing, and what you need to be doing when you put out a record,” he says. “It’s still fun for us.”

Friends since high school, the guys from Dinosaur Bones – Fox, Branko Scekic on bass, Dave Wickland on keyboards, Lucas Fredette on drums and Josh Byrne on guitar – have been making music independently for years.

It wasn’t until Fox moved to Montreal for university that he realized the significance of the group’s dynamic.

“I was losing my mind knowing that the guys in bands that I wanted to be involved with were all back in Toronto,” he says. “When I had enough songs, I couldn’t handle not having an outlet for them anymore, so I just packed up shop and moved back to Toronto and assembled the guys and started going from there.”

It wasn’t long before audiences began to take notice. In 2009 – nearly two years before they released their debut full-length album – Ottawa Xpress named them “Toronto’s most promising band.”

With no intention of slowing down, the band soon joined forces with producer Jon Drew (Fucked Up, Arkells), to begin work on My Divider – a remarkable undertaking considering the band had yet to sign with a label, and therefore had no outside funding.

According to Fox, the decision to work with Drew was a no-brainer:

“Everything we’ve done previously ended up sounding really dinky,” he jokes, “so we wanted to make sure we went to a producer who knows how to make a rippin’ rock record.”

Fox credits Drew for the strong drum sounds and complex tones on their album, two characteristics that initially attracted them to his work.

“He has a great way of running with your ideas and helping you push them as far as you can,” adds Fox. “It was a really fun and relaxed experience.”

In October 2010, Dinosaur Bones signed with Canadian indie label, Dine Alone Records. Fox says the contract has helped raise awareness of their band, explaining that many people are fans of the label itself, and not just the bands it represents.

“I think we really benefited from that,” he says. “I think for people who had heard of us, but weren’t really paying attention, I think Dine Alone lent us some credibility.”

Their upcoming show at the Seahorse Tavern will be Dinosaur Bones’ first east coast performance since releasing My Divider. Of the show, Fox says audiences can expect “just madness,” joking that they will be equipped with confetti cannons and pyrotechnics.

“But really,” he admits, “we just hope that people will be familiar with a few of the songs, and will come out and have a good time.”

Dinosaur Bones will be opening for Yukon Blonde on Oct. 26 at the Seahorse Tavern.

Erica Eades
Erica Eades
Erica was the Gazette's Copy Editor and Arts Editor for Volume 144. She was an Assistant Arts Editor for Volume 143.

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