Vol. 1, Issue #25 Jan. 5th - Jan. 18th, 2007

Tugnut: The Unconventional Northern Sound
By: Ryk Weston

The general practice of marketing in the music industry is often to discern what kind of audience said band is subjectable to. So what do you do when a band who strives for originality fails to appeal to major label moguls? Just ask Canada’s own Tugnut, a three piece act out of Southern Ontario who have been making some very interesting noise with their Elliot Street Records release, Ode To Pete. You probably won’t find quite another like them, which is why Tugnut is turning heads with their experimental blend of metal and hardcore.

Tugnut began as a cover band around 5 years ago when they began cutting their teeth in the music circuit. “Just your normal blue collar metal, like System of a Down, Slayer, Pantera”, says frontman Marc Bourgon. Soon the band began to evolve and take a life of it’s own. “They decided they wanted to progess it more and advance the band, so they moved to the Toronto area down where I was from. There was a bunch of lineup changes and I ended up starting to play bass for the band about 3 years ago”.

To describe Tugnut’s music would be like being asked to describe what the color green feels like. Bordering somewhere between a mix of Secret Chiefs 3 and Slayer, Tugnut holds no compromise in their signature sound. “Not that many people would make that reference, man. Holy crap. Respect for knowing the Secret Chiefs 3! Most of the time, we all have pretty varied musical taste. For me, it just comes down to if something sounds genuine. Just basically sincerity. That’s kind of what we go for, and that’s what I like in music, be it hardcore, jazz, or classical”, says Marc.

The band is currently emabarking on a 14 day tour run throughout the East Coast and Midwest to promote Ode To Pete, which is being released through their own label, Elliot Street Records. Marketing Ode To Pete has been no easy task which is why the band started their label to begin with. Says Marc, “Yeah, it’s definitely difficult to market. It’s not something you can just give to anyone and have them be like, “Oh, this is awesome!”. It’s an acquired taste. I think that’s why we decided to do our own label, because no one’s going to believe in our music as much as we do, and no one’s going to work as hard for our music as we do. We’d rather have 5 bands who really enjoy it than 100 people who are kind of half into it. We’re more playing for those 5 people, as economically unstable as that is.”

With many bands these days using Myspace as a tool to promote their music and shows, one wonders if the largest growing website in the world has helped spread th word of Tugnut? “I don’t know if it has”, says Marc. “As far as a fanbase is concerned, you never really know. Myspace has really helped with booking dates, getting in contact with people who can help out with shows. But as far as like advertising to people, that’s not something we really do. We’d rather people hear about us through word of mouth. That’s more really what we’re about.”

And what of the difference between crowds in the United States and Canada? Has the band seen much of a difference? “Yeah, I have actually. There’s usually more people in the U.S. and more people will come out”, Marc replies. “A lot of the times we’ll be in this venue out in the middle of nowhere and then all of a sudden there will be like 50 kids. As far as the crowd themselves, there’s no difference that I can find.”

Oklahoma will have their chance to witness Tugnut on January 13 when they play Mooch and Burn, 222 N. Main Street in Tulsa.


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