A dichotomous adventure in vocals 

Stabilo's dual frontmen make sure the band’s sound is one of a kind

"If they don’t have a guy standing front and centre, they don’t know who to worship." Jesse Dryfhout, Stabilo
  • "If they don’t have a guy standing front and centre, they don’t know who
    to worship." Jesse Dryfhout, Stabilo

Who: Stabilo

When: Monday, April 17, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Whistler Concert Series Mainstage

Where: Skier’s Plaza

Admission: Free

Anyone who has only heard Stabilo’s albums (the latest, Happiness & Disaster, was released on EMI this year), but not seen the Vancouver quartet live may be a little surprised by their Whistler Concert Series mainstage performance Monday at the Skier’s Plaza.

What you may have thought was one voice is actually two: Stabilo is defined by singer/songwriters Jesse Dryfhout and Christopher John, the first more on the pop end of things, the later on the rock ’n’ roll side.

"You don’t really hear it a lot," said Dryfhout of other bands wielding two frontmen. "When it does happen, singers sound similar, like the Goo Goo Dolls. It’s always a surprise when you see live shows…. Some people really like what we do. They get tired of hearing the same voice over and over again, but some get confused and it throws them right off. If they don’t have a guy standing front and centre, they don’t know who to worship."

The more to worship the better, and there is plenty to go around with Stabilo opening for the likes of Matthew Good, Tea Party and Loverboy, which is no small feat with a one-of-a-kind sound that’s often hard to match with other acts.

"If it sounds like something else, we say, ‘It’s too much like that’ so we change it," Dryfhout said of Stabilo’s creative process. "I don’t know if there is any genius in it; just an awareness of what has been done before. It’s pop, folk, rocky, bubble gum: a hybrid. It’s nice in some ways you are freer to do what you want. There is less stress in the studio."

The result of this dichotomous adventure is a truly hybrid sound of vocals and instrumentalization balancing rainy-day angst with hook-filled melodies and riffs, all the while traveling through a mish mash of ’50s pop, ’70s folk and ’90s alternative out front. Subtle jazz, soul and funk proclivities are in behind.

The slow-burning band is starting to spread like wildfire around North America, particularly after Stabilo was the only indie act to be nominated for the 2003 Canadian Radio Music Awards’ Best New Rock Group category.

"It feels like we are now beginning to make headway," said Dryfhout, noting the band is currently pursuing worldwide release of Happiness and Disaster with European and Australian tours.

"I think it was probably a long time before we had the idea when to take this seriously. It was time to start. We needed to rethink how we had done things in the past. At this point, it is more like a business and a team. We put on a show and perform and there is a structure behind it."

Stabilo will share the mainstage with Mobile and Pauder.


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