Entertainment Local

Tuns to play fundraiser for Orillia Youth Centre

By Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

Tuns will be playing the barn at Burl's Creek Event Grounds Sept. 23 as a fundraiser for the Orillia Youth Centre. Submitted

Tuns will be playing the barn at Burl's Creek Event Grounds Sept. 23 as a fundraiser for the Orillia Youth Centre. Submitted

For many people, Tuns is just another independent band playing small rooms across the country.

Then there are others who see the three names that make up the band – Chris Murphy from Sloan, Matt Murphy from the Super Friends and Flashing Lights and Mike O'Neil from the Inbreds – and lose their collective minds that three of their 1990s indie-pop heroes are playing together in one band.

“There are some people for whom this will be like 'holy crap, I can't believe Captain Kirk and Captain Picard are on the same show,'” Chris Murphy said in an interview from Toronto, recently. “And then everybody else are like 'who are these people?'”

Folks in this area will get a chance to find out who Tuns are Sept. 23 when they headline a show inside the barn at Burl's Creek Event Grounds. Hosted by Roots North Music Festival, the evening features Skye Wallace and Aurora Blue in support. All proceeds from the show will go to support the Orillia Youth Centre.

The relationship between the three band members stretches back three decades when the two Murphys first met, and even played together for a time in the Super Friends. But the three joining together as any sort of collective is a new development.

About four years ago, the Murphys joined O'Neil on stage for the first time, backing him up as he played tunes at a party to celebrate a book on the history of Murderrecord. That was the label Sloan created in the mid-90s as a way to maintain control of the band's master recordings, and, in the process, release records of like-minded musicians, primarily from the east coast.

While Chris Murphy has been a constant of the Canadian music scene with Sloan, Matt Murphy and O'Neil had found other creative avenues in recent years, with Matt Murphy first working at the CBC and now at Vice, while O'Neil transitioned into television projects, including one in development with Mike Clattenburg, creator of the Trailer Park Boys.

Chris Murphy calls himself the driver behind getting the three to play together on a regular basis, to put out a record – 2016's self-titled debut – and play about 50 gigs in the last two years. But this is a different band than Sloan, operating in a much different fashion. It's also certainly not a solo project.

“I've always shied away from solo projects, because I've always been afraid it would take the best material for the band,” he said. “Eric's Trip were just the greatest. We were their contemporaries, we were there when they started and we loved them so much. They were so special and crazy. But they all had solo projects and that was my lesson. The Elevator to Hell record is better than the new Eric's Trip record. Why are they doing this?”

That made Murphy a bit sheepish about the Tuns side project, but what has eased him is how different the writing process is between the two bands. The three members of Tuns will get together in a room and start to jam, formulating song ideas as they go. The jams are recorded onto a phone voice memo app and the best ideas are turned into proper tunes. Murphy says about 50 songs have been created this way, and a new Tuns record is eventually in the offing.

“It doesn't affect my backlog of material, my cache of song ideas,” he said.

Doors for the Sept. 23 show at Burl's Creek are at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and available at Alleycats Music & Art downtown and online at thebigevent.ca.



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