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The Damn Truth

"Everybody loves the fucking soap opera."

Tom lays it out under his breath. Lee-la just giggles. Because it's true - most people just don't care. Not about the lyrics, the song or exactly how you recorded it. What they really want is the gossip. "Not saying it's wrong. It's just the way we are."

Says the under-spoken guitarist to his balls-to-the-wall front lady. Mother to all that misguided attention. Best to learn this shit quick, baby boy. Enjoy it while it lasts.

So cue the love story and let 'em have it. Northern Israel, 2001. Tom Shemer and Lee-la Baum meet at some local Rainbow-gathering named after some river that was more of a stream anyhow. Buck naked, she falls for the guy carrying only a melodica - Tom's best friend. So there you go. They all end up in the same band. Wailing for peace through a thickening fog of war. And what of the stage chemistry? Think Fleetwood Mac with even more sexual tension. Except she once drove homemade tanks under the gun while he charmed his way out of conscription.

The duo bail for Montreal two years later. Not for love, but for the music. Playing covers to make ends meet because that's how the Stones or Neil Young would have done it. Sneaking in an original here and there. Doing it for an Indie rock scene that is anything but. And doing it three hundred times a year. Which is probably way more than any of you do it. That's how music becomes life. No choice but to suck in any and every crowd. Play to stay happy. Live to fight another day. Together.

In 2010, they hook up with David Massé and Dave Train; Massé a French Beatles-loving closet Brit, Dave T a rebel Sicilian who dared choose music over the family business. Dear in the Headlights is written, recorded and performed in local obscurity. But quietly, a new chemistry is fermenting. Sometimes, attitude can change the whole direction of a song.

And nobody seemed to care until everyone did. Now ain't that The Damn Truth.

The band name is born from one of Tom's radio rants. The same radio that ultimately took in the four as their own. That made Dear in the Headlights matter. That made The Damn Truth so much more than just another old hippie couple giving peace a chance. The first truly independent band to chart on Montreal commercial radio. The first to rock the Metropolis with a wailing eight-plus month belly and then tour with the In-laws.

Which brings us to Devilish Folk – an album that is meant to be moreworldly, yet more personal. To be recorded this June, 2014 at Freq Shop by the band and Jean Massicotte (Pat Watson, Lhasa de Sela, Pierre Lapointe), mixed deep in the Welsh countryside by Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Tom Waits) and mastered by Bob Ludwig (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jack White) at Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine. For Leela, it's the tip of a very deep iceberg. For Tom, just another step on a long journey.

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