Sheezer Headed For N.B. With Unique Weezer Tribute

Sheezer may be the simplest band in Canada to describe. They do one thing. They play Weezer songs. And not any Weezer songs, just the ones off the first two albums (the great ones). And, they are all friends from other bands. And they are all women. Shee-zer. That's it, that's all you need to know. Except that they are very, very fun to go see.

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"We're definitely a tribute band and not a cover band," says bassist Laura Barrett, better known from her gig in The Hidden Cameras. "We're playing them as carefullly as we can to the originals. We don't switch the genders around in the songs. The only rule is to do our best to capture the original."

Umm, why? "I see what we're doing as theatre," explains Barrett. "We're putting on a theatrical party. We're trying to do these songs justice and to enjoy ourselves." So there, it all comes down to friends having fun, and inviting the rest of us to join in.

Sheezer are not a known quantity here in the Great Wild East, as the band hasn't toured down here in their 2-plus years of existance before. And it's not like you can go buy their albums. This ain't for posterity, this, again, is purely for fun at the shows. "We just think that would be beside the point.," says Barrett. "If you want to hear the songs really well, get the first two Weezer albums. If they want to have fun, come see the live experience. Re-recording these songs just doesn't seem necessary."

The rest of Sheezer is Dana Snell (Gentleman Reg) on drums, Alysha Haugen (By Divine Right) on lead guitar, Magali Meagher (Hidden Cameras, The Phonemes) playing rhythm, and Robin Hatch(touring with Our Lady Peace) covering keys and other stuff, with everybody singing at times. They play when they can, almost exclusively in southern Ontario, but after two years, playing the pretty much the same set, they haven't lost interest. "Sometimes it's been challenging," reflects Barrett. "Robin is touring with Our Lady Peace, and that's obviously her priority. We have to work with Google calenders a lot and muddle through something that will work. Sometimes weeks will go by when we can't practise. This isn't our bread and butter, we've got other jobs, I've been in grad school all year."

Still,the longetivity of this simple concept does surprise her some: "A little, but I just think we tapped into something. Some people really enjoy that classic Weezer. This band really makes it easy to go out with no pretension or posturing, it's really fun music for us to go out to play. It stands to reason that people like it, we're still building our audience, we haven't played east of Quebec City yet, so it's been a pleasant surprise."

And, the audiences are there. "It really comes down to us being a party band. It's a unique experience for all of us. We're playing covers, it's an oddity that it has the staying power that it has. We're trying our best not to burn out, play too many gigs, we want it to be special for us and the audience. I think we fill a specific need."

Sheezer is playing the following East Coast dates:

April 13th - Seahorse, Halifax
April 14th - Georges, Sackville
April 15th - Baba's, Charlottetown
April 16th - Plan B, Moncton
April 18th - Pepper's Pub
April 19th - Capital, Fredericton
April 21st - Lawnya Vawnya, St. John's

more »

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About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

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