Great Balancing Act takes Riverview stage

Long-running Moncton pop band The Great Balancing Act are set to be a part of what is being billed as a “multimedia extravaganza” at the Riverview Arts Centre tomorrow night.

Together with fellow New Brunswick acts Isaac & Blewett and Lovestorm, the performers are planning to indulge people’s sense of sight while also delighting their sense of sound, casting various images upon a big screen to accompany their musical performances.

Show time is set for 7:30 p.m.

Comprised of Jeep Morin, Nina Khosla and Sara Parks, The Great Balancing Act has been fixtures on the Moncton music scene since the 1990s. Their newest record Cherry Bomb, released earlier this year, marks the first new music from the band since 2007’s 2 Birds.

“It has been a little tricky to find the time (to) write and record an album of songs,” vocalist-guitarist Jeep Morin admits. “Around the time of 2 Birds, Nina and I were pretty much writing and recording just for the love of doing so and not really pushing to be in a touring band.

“I began composing the songs for Cherry Bomb immediately after 2 Birds was completed. It started as a silly experiment back in 2008; I chose to record a specific drum loop that was 2 minutes and 41 seconds long and then proceeded to record all sorts of different guitar riffs over top of it.

“Some were songs that I had already written that were then tailored to fit the drum loop but the bulk of the songs were specifically written around the loop itself,” he continues.

Ironically, Morin says that he never intended Cherry Bomb to become a full-fledged record but ended up liking the end result of what he had created so much that he enlisted his band mate Khosla to add in bass tracks and backing vocals to complement what he had recorded. At this point, Morin says he felt the record was starting to take the shape of a proper Great Balancing Act and as such, had occasional GBA member Alex Madsen add additional guitar tracks to the record while drummer Sara Parks stepped in to replace the drum loop with an actual drum track.

“Every song on the record is pretty much the same length, has the very same beat and is played at the very same tempo but no one really seems to notice this until I point it out,” Morin says. “That was what I had hoped would be the result anyway so in this respect, Cherry Bomb is a great success and partially why it took so long to make as well.”

Bassist Khosla admits that playing alongside Morin all these years has become a comfortable place for her.

“I find that we have gotten into a comfortable groove playing together,” she says. “I’m always excited by the new material he brings to the band which in turn makes me eager to play and sing on the songs.

“Sara is a super-addition to the Great Balancing Act as well,” Khosla continues. “She definitely brings an enthusiasm and fresh perspective to what we’re about.”

Drummer Sara Parks had occasionally worked with both Jeep and Nina over the course of a number of years and knew first-hand that if the opportunity to make music with them presented itself, she would jump at the chance to do so.

“I had adored the Great Balancing Act from the moment I laid eyes on their wacky costumes and heard their magical lyrics,” Park confesses. “I never would have predicted becoming a member of the band though. They were first on the lookout for a female back-up vocalist after a previous member had left; I believe the idea was to have me play a little tambourine and sing back up vocals.”

Shortly after Parks joined the Great Balancing Act however, the group’s drummer unexpectedly exited the band. She was somewhat surprised that she “had drummer in me as well,” and has continued to hold down the position within the band to this day.

Even with high-profile performances such as the Evolve Festival under their belts, one major highlight of the Act’s past year was the opportunity to play as a part of the Devotional Festival held in Cleveland, Ohio. The festival serves to gather faithful Devo fans from all corners of the world and is actually the largest festival of its kind anywhere.

Morin says the festival is typically very tough to get into as a performer but as luck would have it, a previously scheduled band cancelled, opening the door for the Great Balancing Act to fill the vacated timeslot.

“We were hobnobbing with the Devo inner circle, and this was very exciting to us,” Morin says. “Jerry Casale (Devo’s lead vocalist and bassist) was standing 10 feet away from us grooving, or at least politely pretending to groove, to our performance. For me, it was surreal to have one of the most influential people in my musical life, standing there watching my band play. It was an impossible moment, really.”

Article published in November 19, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript

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