I love The Cheap Speakers. And they probably love me too -- though as they are the real thing when it comes to rock 'n' roll, I doubt they would admit it in so many words publicly. Paint has had a long-standing allegiance with one of Toronto's sweetest and scrappiest indie rock bands. From having one as a roommate; to having another fill in on guitar with Paint numerous times at home and on the road; to spending time as their guest roadie; to hanging out at shows and each others' parties; I can confidently say you'd be hard pressed to find a group of gents and lady more class than Nat, Tim, and David. Their undying support of the Toronto music community is unmatched: they once came to four of our shows in a row when we played every week at C'est What? in February 2011 when we hadn't even met prior to the first show, and they still made it out to multiple other bands' gigs at the same time. Sometimes all in one night. On any given evening in Toronto, you can find at least one of The Cheap Speakers out at one of our beautiful city's many live music venues, front and centre, enjoying the show -- and of course, they pretty much know everyone at the bar. The Cheap Speakers are a genuinely kind-hearted bunch who are always legit, generous, and stand-up in a personal and business sense.
Yet at the same time, I would never mess with them. Because they're the closest thing I've seen to The Who in Toronto: four unique individuals, one no less charismatic than the next, who just absolutely rock on stage. Any of them could keep your attention both on stage with their sonic antics, and off stage with their bright personalities, unpredictable humour, insights, and striking good looks. There's no ambiguity about them: The Cheap Speakers are just straight up, a rock 'n' roll band (a sub-title we in Paint have always used for ourselves but may have to secede to The Cheap Speakers' prowess one of these days). Love The Cheap Speakers off stage and fear them on stage -- unless you're me of course, and you can get away with bear-hugging Tim between songs when he spontaneously hops on stage to sing backup with us.* But we're bromancers like that.
On March 2, 2013, The Cheap Speakers will release their new record Switches & Levers, at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. And in the spirit of community, they have invited us to join the bill. All the more fitting since when we had our Toronto release party for our latest record, Where We Are Today, The Cheap Speakers were our first choice to join the festivities. And they did with gusto.
It's going to be one hell of a night. We're all extremely proud of our dear friends. And we're not afraid to admit it!
* Thanks to our friend Joe Mac for always capturing the action on stage.