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Send in the drums

Cedrumatic is making some noise and checking their email.

This interview is taken from the second issue of the old HOTTUB newsletter zine - Wet Stuff (December 1999). Interview by Dave Kuruc.

Hamilton's very own free form ensemble - Cerumatic - slip in and out of various styles and instrumentation as if trying on a new pair of shoes. Noted for their adept improvised playing, memorable song lines, unexpected time changes, and a host of payoff moments - Cedrumatic had broken out their noise making toolboxes to create a new and very klangy orchestra.

When it came time to interview this very "out there" band....i felt doing it via email and asking them all the same questions would make for some interesting answers....

1. Cedrumatic. Who, what, where when and why?

Eric: Cedrumatic is formed with four members. Carl plays keys and sets the tone. Mike and I drum to keep a rhythm. Damian and his guitar play the melody. We are based in Hamilton and Toronto for the time being. We all went to the same high school. Our debut as Cedrumatic was in June of this year. We all enjoy playing and we enjoy this mix and that's why we do what we do.

Mike: cedrumatic is Mike MacGillivray, Carl Didur, Eric Hovius, and Damian Hornich. 4 guys trying to communicate with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and other late musical revolutionaries through improvised sound, tone, and rhythm. When cedrumatic first came together it was Eric and I, two drummers jamming on rhythmic grooves, we asked Carl and Damian to join, to add more electronic, ambient elements. We would play all the Ancaster High school gigs, jam on street blocks(i'm not joking)etc... Play mostly for ourselves because no one appreciated what we were trying to do- work and experiment with the sound quality of various instruments, materials.

Damian: The concept behind the band has been a long ongoing project with no specific beginning, however the present group came out of a desire to create music between mike, carl, eric and myself around may of this year. We got together after a few random jams and decided to make a go with some of the material which we had devised and improvised at a few local outings in Ancaster. It's basically our outlet for music and ideas which we'd like to convey to others.

2. Cadencecandance is your DIY EP. What went into this recording to give it it's overall vibe?

Eric: Mike and I jammed in a studio to create the percussion and the base of the songs. Due to work, Damian came into the studio late. His addition to the recordings was key. The bass added elements to song that didn't exist before. Carl was an excellent component to the project. He knew where we were headed and gave suggestions. His playing was also important to the project. As for Mike and my playing, it was a rare event. We connected - creating some incredible jams.

Mike: Cadencecandance was our first (as a group) recording experience. The main idea involved was to create multiple rhythms with various noise making material. Convention instruments such as the drum kit, bongos..etc.. as well as unconventional items like wine bottles, keys, saw blades, 5 gallon milkjugs.even the studio floor was used to add a particular sound quality. With the addition of Carl's electronic keyboard parts and Damian's guitar effects.. the sound in the end(to us) was beautiful. The idea was new to us, the sound and theory of it all was amazing. For 11 hours Jamie Andrew (recording guy) sat and watch us set up and tear down his basement walls to make room for more drums and effects. Cadencecandance would have never worked if we recorded it somewhere else. Jamie was like another member of the band, he actually plays on a few of the tracks!

Damian: Cadence was basically us at the crest of our organic drum stage. It gave us all an idea of structure which we wanted to focus on in the future as well as allowing me personally to formulate some ideas for incorporating guitar sounds on future pieces. we had to work hard to get the right drum sounds on to tape but Eric and Mike had a good handle on that with help from producer extraordinaire Jamie Andrew. Jamie's studio is a spot where we feel comfortable recording; it definitely played a large part in producing cadence.

3. I want to say cedrumatic is experimental. What would you call Cedrumatic?

Eric: I consider Cedrumatic as innovative, not experimental. People compare us to bands like Can. We know we are original but we are not the first to do this. Cedrumatic is a collection of ideas. We all listen to different music and it shows when we play together.

Mike: I would say cedrumatic is experimental. When we play, we might have some idea in mind, be it structural, rhythmic, whatever, but we always let the mood of the sound force us to play accordingly. We might play our heaviest song really loud one night, and then play the same song almost silently the next. For us, the idea of experimentation and chance is most important. Thanks John Cage, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sun Ra. The real innovators of modern music.

Damian: Cedrumatic began as an experiment so i suppose the music would reflect that but I couldn't really put my finger on it.

4. Describe your live show? pretend you are trying to get someone to come and see you play and they have never heard of you before...

Eric: Picture four guys who have no stage presence, standing nervously swaying side to side. They don't speak much into the microphone. You wait anxiously for the singer to step forward and sing a few notes. After the third tune you get the message, we don't sing. The ear splitting racket hurts even the most deaf and we ask you to sit back, open your mind and relax. We're Cedrumatic, baby. We break the rules.

Mike: Live show...? well, the set always looks nice. Strange instruments. Lots of drums, burlap ha ha, the set looks inviting (I hope). We just try to create a good positive vibe for people to dig, trance out to, dance, smile, laugh, cry, whatever. I'm glad a few always get into it, cause we're doing it for them you know, Give people a bit of change from the usual four piece rock combo. Which is cool, but we add a bit of extra soul and spice to the air.

Damian: Jo Jo Hiroshige and an army of 909 robots singing old Chicago jazz.

5. Kevyn Wright says he knows you....we think he is lying!? Do you really beat this kid up?

Eric: My brother and Kevyn formed a band. It was called the Dung Merchants. They soon lost a guitarist who couldn't play and a wannabe bass player who had a nice amp. They later formed a new band with a kid named Jake and some Irish girl named Jackie. They were called Sara Somebody. I used to play with Kev in an all drummers circle. I beat him up reeel good. Reeel good.

Mike: I've never heard of him before. Kevyn who??

Damian: Kevyn does on occasion bust in and causes a scene - yeah he is our costume manager and also makes us nice finger foods while we are opening for the Stone Roses.

6. They say Hot Tub's lower your sperm count and make you punch drunk with power...are you truly ready for this?

Eric: I am ready, but I'd be worried about Mike. He is now a nervous wreck at all times. He has lost his finger nails and he doesn't even bite them!?!

Mike: Well, seeing as though I haven't been dating STEADY for a while, I think I'll be just fine. You guys don't mind toots in the tub do ya?

Damian: Hot Tub has provided us with a lot of support etc...from the beginning. It will be nice joining their crew and becoming infertile.

17. What is Cedrumatic up to right now? What can we expect to see in the very near future?

Eric: We are in the studio recording a 7" record. We want to release it as soon as possible so we can get a true representation of Cedrumatic. We also plan to start playing more shows and hopefully a tour will be in the future as well.

Mike: Cedrumatic is in the middle of recording our second ep, working title - "to live in paris", and keeping busy with live tricks, Eric and I jam to keep the groove fresh.. Damian and Carl go to U of T, so their quite busy, and busty.. We send tapes of ideas, songs, etc..to them. Working on material for our full length hopefully by May. So, we keep at it.

Damian: Cedrumatic is planning a new 2 song 7" and just a lot of rehearsing etc.... we are just working out the details for a new album and some concerts come Spring time... keep an eye out for Cedrumatic and the new 7"guaranteed to have a fun leaflet inside to share with your grandma and grandpa!

Note: This entire interview was conducted via e-mail. We hope you enjoyed it. By the way....Carl's email broke.

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