The Specials Page

Specials Index | DPRP main

Interview with Ian Graham of Canadian Eye Rhyme

René : Ian, because Eye Rhyme is maybe a little bit unknown to most of our reader's, please tell us a something about the history of the band?

IanIan : "Eye Rhyme is a Toronto area-based rock trio. The band is composed of educated, experienced musicians who put a strong emphasis on professionalism in their playing, writing, recording, and live performances. Our original material is intelligent and challenging, yet very listenable and current. Though it is classified as rock, the band's material carries influence from music of many genres and eras.

Having opened for groups such as Big Sugar, King's X and Rusty, Eye Rhyme has had much acclaim for their accomplishments. These include being the FIRST and ONLY independent band in Canada to promote and organize their own 'Live-to-Internet' concerts. The last 'Live-to-Internet' concert boasted an online viewing audience of over 400 people.

JayEye Rhyme has played many shows and was part of the Canada Rocks festival in Mexico. They were the top selling group for this tour and had medium rotation on RadioActivo in Mexico City. As a result, Eye Rhyme was able to reach many new fans.

Two albums ('Life Control', 'Soul') and a video for "Stab 'Em All" are currently in the Eye Rhyme catalog. 'Life Control' is a concept album based on a street youth mindfully controlled by a drug lord. The album features guest performances by Ian Chrichton of Saga and Steve Shelski of Coney Hatch. 'Soul' , boasts a multimedia track which presents the video for "Stab 'Em All" and samples from 'Life Control.'

DanEye Rhyme takes a great deal of pride in their work. All three members (read more info about the individual members on our homepage) are well-educated musicians and graduates of major music institutions. With a wide variety of influences, a strong songwriting partnership, a high-energy live show, and a shared love for music, Eye Rhyme is a talented recording act, ready for today's music industry and audience."



René : As you already said Eye Rhyme have released 2 albums so far, 'Life Control' and 'Soul'. What are the reactions on these albums so far?

Ian : "... Excellent to average...different tastes of course, but we are happy with the response. We recently got described as a band who's sound can only be described as Eyerhymish. Another article will say that the sound of EYE RHYME is hard to pigeon hole. I find that diversity for a band is great. It also makes for a great live show. If an album has only one good song on it than they didn't work on the album to appeal to the listener. Just a quick buck.  Nothing worse than hearing all the songs run in to each other because they all sound alike."

René : At the moment you are writing new material for the upcoming 3rd album, can you tell us already a little bit of what we can expect?

Ian : "We're getting away from the keyboards being used too much.  I wanna have more fun with just bass and guitar and explore the textures of the bass abit more. Using a six string bass there's lots to choose from. Although because it's fretless and I'm singing I have to be careful as well. We are also developing the album with more radio potential tunes. Not to say that we're gonna forget about the techincal stuff but we would like to see an accesible album with cool riffs and tricky parts that lots of people can listen to. I think prog rock sometimes gets too technical and forgot about the song!"

Life ControlRené : Will this album again be released on your own label Small Dog Records, or are you looking for a more known record label to release the album?

Ian : "In the works. Small Dog Records has helped develop a professional image for the band. We are looking but not holding our breath on anything. We have come along way on our own and would hate to lose control and see the group get messed up because of false promises by another label. In come the lawyers!"

René : At the moment you are not a well known name in Europe, do you guys have some plans to chance that in future? And do you have plans to explore the market even further, for example Japan?

Ian : "Definitly. Internet promotion, magazine ads, etc. But I think the biggest promotion we could do would be to tour Europe, Japan etc. That word of mouth travels very fast. We need to get the contacts. I think that is the biggest setback of any group. Again, word of mouth helps alot."

René : You guys are touring a lot lately especially in Canada , can you guys make your living with the music or do you all, or some of the bandmembers have a regular job besides EyeRhyme?

Ian : "Of course! But you gotta compromise abit. Original gigs pay next to nothing except the door and are one night. But if you're willing to do some covers, you get paid well, fed, and usually play from 2-6 nights. Some bands have this attitude about never 'lowering' themselves to playing covers.  But covers make you a better musician. Different songwriting styles, playing feels...and I would much rather play cover tunes to pay the bills than any factory job. We also teach. I run a recording studio, record piano or karoke accompiament tracks  for singers, and play for a church on Sunday. Gotta repent for my sins on the weekend! HA!"

SoulRené : You are from Canada, just like bands such as Saga and Rush. What do you think of the progscene in Canada, is it really that good as a lot of people think? And can you see any difference with the scene in the USA?

Ian : "Prog scene...what prog scene? It's terrible. I sometimes question if there is any scene of music at all. Pop Media frenzies is what the scene is and are just that. Frenzies. It's hard enough to get people to listen to an unknown band at all. People who know us come out and are spreading the word. But there is so much dance and rap. I never should put down another style of all has it's place...but how people can listen to the same beat over and over and some rapper 'rhyme' about nothing is beyond me. The media makes them big and people eat it up. I sometimes think people don't know how to make wise decisions. All peer pressure...what's in and cool...not smart! I know that Ricky Martin is a big sensation and alot of people love and hate him. I'm not a big fan but at least he uses real musicians. Pop music from any time period is fluff... but at least it had real musicians! You would think with all of todays technology that we would doing some really cool stuff. The media definitly does not help but it's the sheep...I mean people...who support it. As for the US, I'm not sure. Probably abit better."

René : Well, we are at the end of the interview, at last i want to know what you think of the internet. A lot of bands tell us that internet is a great promotion media, do you agree? And what do you think of websites like DPRP?

Ian : "DPRP is an amazing vehicle for bands everywhere. You're an exposure machine. As you said in one question, people in Europe may not know of EYE RHYME but through you more people are hearing of us. They can now go to our website <>, read about us, download audio clips, see the video etc...and if they want they can now order the CD or t-shirts online with out having to worry that it isn't in their favorite record store. It's great! And we can keep in touch with them over email through our newsletters."

René : Ian, thanks for your time, it was a pleasent conversation. Is there anything I haven't asked you, but you will tell all our readers?

Ian : "We are currently working on the third album and might be having the possibility of using a big name engineer who's done some huge bands. We'll be doing our best to get to Europe to tour and get known!"

René : Thanks and good luck in future, hope to see you live once in Europe.

Small Dog Records
P.O. Box 40099
75 King St. South
Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 4V1 Canada

Friday 17 September 1999



© 1999 - Dutch Progressive Rock Page