Rock is finally rolling 

Toronto, L.A.-based Last Picture Show connects on western Canada tour

Who: Last Picture Show

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Wednesday, Feb. 8

The name of Last Picture Show’s debut release, Quitting Time , in no way reflects the direction of the band. Quite the contrary. The band, made of members living in two countries, is just getting started.

After just seven months together the boys – some from Los Angeles, the others from Toronto – are meeting on middle ground in Calgary, setting off on the Last Picture Show’s first western Canada tour, which touches down in Whistler Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Garfinkel’s.

"We are a self-sufficient unit at this point," said frontman Joe Roncetti from his home in L.A. "The distance kind of keeps things exciting. When we see each other, it’s kind of like a love affair. We want to impress each other. They will be like, ‘I’ve got some cool shit for you and cool ideas, but we are not going to tell you what they are until we are on stage.’"

The band last congregated in November, finishing off an eastern Canada and California tour.

Even though the band is only seven months young, the group has been together since high school. The Last Picture Show was the result of two bands, Modern Day Braves and Benjamin, morphing into one. Roncetti has always been at the helm. He wrote and recorded the new album. However, a different band lineup was used.

Working in the music business for more than 15 years now, Roncetti has a deep pool of talented friends to draw from to get the album recorded, including Bernard Fowler, a back up singer for the Rolling Stones, Ivan Neville, the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and incidentally related to the infamous Neville Brothers.

The album runs from moody, atmospheric rock to garage soul. The album was picked up by the Curve Music label, which distributes through Universal. The re-release of the album will occur sometime in the spring. March will bring an eastern Canada tour.

"It’s an overnight success story that took 15 years," Roncetti laughed.

"Brian from Curve loved the record and had (his) company put out the record as it is. I sonically approached the songs with the idea that this would be record one and be put out as it is and move forward from that point. It’s a combination of U2 meets Coldplay meets Rolling Stones."

So on the road it is Jay Ray on drums, Benjamin Huband on bass, James MacGregor and Eric Grosvenor on guitar. Collectively they are a group of semi-retired musicians who Roncetti convinced to give the music business one last go.

So Quitting Time? These guys are just getting read to go.

"Quitting Time – it’s just tongue and cheek. Anyone who has been in the (music industry) game gets it," Roncetti said.


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