INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WOLOSCHUK
BY DAVID BRADLEY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1997
THE ENDANGERED SPECIES SESSIONS

DB:  Endangered Species.  I know that that's probably the least favourite album for any of the members of the band for many reasons.  But there's still some really good songs on the album.  And Terry has stated that he didn't play on the album at all, just provided vocals.  Dee has stated that most of his contributions were later overdubbed by Christopher Bond.  Do you know if any of your performances, other than vocals, are on the finished album?

JW:  Yeah, now I don't know that let me just think if Dee's got wiped out on there I mean, Terry definitely doesn't play.  Chris Bond was the producer on that album and he was very tyrannical in a way.  I mean, I like Chris, and he's a very talented guy, but we certainly didn't do that album in the way that we did our previous albums.  And he was also under pressure from Capitol Records US, because they wanted the record to sound American and all this other thing.  So, Chris Bond really did do a lot of overdubbing.

We didn't really record as a group.  We did some bed-tracks together but then, when it came time for Dee to do his songs, he would go into the studio with Chris Bond, and then Terry and I would take the rental car and go sightseeing, you know?  And then the same thing was true when it came time to do my stuff.  So, I can't say for sure how much of Dee's stuff didn't get on the final product.  But in my case, most of the whatever I played, like I played bass like there was occasions when I didn't play bass, to start with, because I would play a keyboard.  Like, for example, on "Sell Out, Sell Out," I played the electric piano on that, and we got, I think it was Lee Sklar played the bass on that.  Now, I never actually ended up playing the bass on that.  Whereas on "Howl At The Moon," I ended up overdubbing my own bass after the fact, because I didn't like what we had from the session guys.  So it varies from tune to tune.  I know Terry wasn't given an opportunity to play, and I don't know that Dee got wiped out quite to the extent that he led you to believe, although he knows better than I, I guess.  But in my case, whatever I played stayed.  I mean, like on "Knee Deep In Love" I played acoustic, that stayed.
 
Now see, in the old days, if we would have done that album without Chris Bond, the guitar solo would have been played by Dee.  Like, I would have played the acoustic, and I would have played the bass and things like that, but Dee would have played the electric solo.  But he wasn't able to, because Chris Bond decided that he was gonna do it (laughs).  And then once he decided that, that was it, right?  And Dee's not like, like he wasn't gonna fight, so we just I mean, we knew.  When we were doing that album we knew that we were not in control, and that we had to play along.  So we let a lot of things go that in the old days we wouldn't have.  I mean, in the old days if we wanted   I'll tell you just a brief anecdote just to give you an idea.  When I first came up with the idea of "Calling Occupants," Terry Draper and myself recorded a real crummy demo of it at the studio one day, just the two of us.  And it was rough.  I mean, we're talking rough.  He even had his dog howling in it by accident.  And we played that demo to Terry Brown and Dee about a week later.  Terry Brown didn't like the song.  And I knew it was a great song.  I knew that the demo stunk, but I knew that the potential for that song was like, amazing.  And Terry Brown said "Well, it keeps repeating itself.  "Calling occupants "it sounds like somebody calling a cab.  What is this?"  And Dee said, "No, no, this is a great song.  We're doing this song."  And that was it.  As soon as Dee said that, the fact that Dee and I were both pushing for it, we got to do it.  Because in those days, we had power.  But when we went to do the Endangered Species album, we were no longer in the same situation, because the record company was calling the shots, and their general in the field was Chris Bond.  And Chris was pretty he tried to accommodate us.  But a lot of the playing on that album is session work, but I can't I mean, I'd have to go song by song, but I mean most of the songs, I'm playing like the songs that I wrote, I'm playing usually the main instrument, like on "All Things," "All Good Things," is it?  No.

DB:  Uh-huh.

JW:  "All Good Things?"  I'm playing the one there's two acoustics on there, one of them is me and the other is Chris Bond.  I played the little calliope solo in that.  In "Knee Deep In Love" I played the acoustic guitar in that.  "Sell Out, Sell Out" I played the piano, electric piano.  In "Set The World On Fire" I played an electric guitar.  I mean, whatever I would normally play at rehearsal, I played.  The only difference is, instead of me playing, or Dee, or myself playing like, five or more instruments on a track, which is what we used to do, we only played like maybe one basic one, and then most of the other stuff was overdubbed.  Either overdubbed or played by session players.
 
BOND.  CHRIS BOND.

DB:  Did you think going into the project with an outside producer in L.A. would be a breath of fresh air, or were you really apprehensive right from the start about the integrity of the music?

JW:  Uh, well, we were a little apprehensive at the start, but it wasn't just because of Chris Bond.  In actual fact, what sold me on Chris Bond was that he had done Hall & Oates, and more specifically, he had done "Rich Girl."  Now, to me, "Rich Girl" is like a really, really good pop tune.  I mean, it's got great string arrangements, it's well-paced, I mean it's just one of those memorable it's like "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes," you know?  It's just a great pop tune.  And so, I personally wasn't that apprehensive about Chris Bond because I thought, look, if this guy did "Rich Girl" then he's got something happening, you know.  He obviously understands pop, or "Rich Girl" wouldn't have been what it was.  And I knew that he was largely responsible for how "Rich Girl" was.  He did a lot of the guitar work on there, and he certainly did the string arrangements, which I thought were great, and the vocal arrangement.

So it wasn't him, but the apprehension started even before then.  It started actually at the song selection stage.  In fact, it started before then.  It started on the song writing stage, because we were told up front that they wanted songs that were sort of like American-sounding, you know, rocky type of thing.  And they didn't want another Hope album.  And so that's where you got songs like "Paranoia" (laughs), and "Dog Star" and "Set The World On Fire," I mean stuff that we probably never would have written were it not for the fact we'd been told that they wanted a certain type of material.  So we were apprehensive even then.  And when we were in L.A., we'd already resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren't going to be in control, so But all that said, I think given the circumstances and the fact that Chris Bond producing us was sort of like a square peg in a round hole, I think he did a pretty good job under the circumstances.  In fact, "Knee Deep In Love," I think he did a very good job on, for what it is, and in Canada it was actually a pretty fair-sized hit.  It got a lot of radio play here.  In the States, unfortunately, Capitol pulled it, so it didn't really get a fair shot.  But I think he did a pretty good job under the circumstances.

DB:  What about the arrangements on the songs?  Are they sparse more because of the eventuality of going live with it, or because of Christopher Bond's style?
 
JW:  I think a little bit of both, because the record company had made it known that they might want us to eventually go touring.  I mean, there was always pressure on us to go live but we always resisted it, because our material, with three guys and with the equipment available in those days, you couldn't really reproduce that stuff live without a humongous band, and we didn't have the money for that either.  But Capitol kept pressuring us, and we realized that the day would probably come when they would try and make us go out on the road.  So, yeah, we tried to make it a little more like, off the floor type stuff so that we could reproduce it if we had to.  And then also just by nature of the type of material we were being asked to do.  I mean, we weren't being asked to do "Prelude Two," you know?  We were being asked to do stuff like "Hot Box City," which, there's only one way to do "Hot Box City," and that's the way it was done.  And so I think the material itself lent itself by definition to the sparseness.  In fact, I don't think there's any mammoth productions on it.  I think the most mammoth production on that album is probably "Howl At The Moon," because there's actually strings on there, and there's some percussion that we've thrown on and a few things like that.  But nothing that compares to some of the intricately-produced stuff of the first album.

By the way, there's one other point, too:  Chris Bond was very much into focus.  Like, he believed that there should only be one focus in any given moment in a tune, and he was into sparseness.  And I now that when we first started working for him, he let it be known that he thought that our earlier stuff lacked focus (big laugh).   So I think some of the sparseness may have been from him.

KNEE DEEP IN LOVE

DB:  "Knee Deep In Love."  How would you do it differently if it hadn't been a Christopher Bond production?

JW:  Oh gee, I don't know.  You would have had to ask me that when I

DB:  When you did it?
 
JW:  when I did it, because right now, it's I just wouldn't know.  I mean, I gotta give Chris Bond credit.  And I haven't bad-mouthed him or anything, and I wouldn't, because I do respect him and he is good at what he does, and he was pretty good with us.  'Cause he could have been a lot more harsh with us than he actually ended up being, because you know, we were these young, cocky guys from Toronto who thought they knew everything.  But he helped, actually, that song quite a bit because when the song was first proposed to him, the chorus was a little bit different than it ended up being, and he made some suggestions to it that helped it compositionally.  And he also played some really nice electric guitar work on it, and he did a nice string arrangement and stuff like that, so I don't know that I could have -- I think that that one song that you're singling out probably didn't suffer from Chris Bond being involved, it probably gained.

PARANOIA

DB:  "Paranoia" you said was written more out of the pressures of the recording for the album.  I find that a lot of lines in there that I think are a real gas, a lot of people miss like "Lately when I'm talking, I've been talking to myself, my friends say they don't notice but they do, 'cause I can tell " that floors me.  I love it!  And I play the song for people and it doesn't even click with them.  Do you think that the majority of the lyrics in that song are about the problems with Capitol at that point, or is it more based on four-minute pop song formula that they were trying to get you to write to?

JW:  Actually the lyrics were, again, just a projection into what it's like being paranoid.  'Cause we used to joke in the group about being paranoid.  I mean, none of us were paranoid, but we used to make jokes about it 'cause we were secretive, and we didn't like publicity and all this kinda stuff, so everybody thought we were paranoid.  And some people still think I'm paranoid (laughs)!  But I'm not really paranoid (smiles).  Actually, the lyrics of that song are probably the best part of it, because melodically it's certainly nothing to write home about, and compositionally there's nothing fabulous in it.  But I thought the lyrics, you know, "Lately when I'm talking, I've been talking to myself," I tried to think of all the things people talk about when they talk about someone who's paranoid.  And the fact that the guy says "My friends say they don't notice but they do, 'cause I can tell " now, he's showing the symptoms of being paranoid while he's denying being paranoid!
 
And (laughs) I always like twists like that, you know, but they're subtle.  And I'm not the only guy that's done stuff like that.  I can't think of other examples off the top of my head but believe me, there are many that I've been inspired by, by listening to other people's lyrics like John Lennon and Mick Jagger and people like that who really know how to twist a lyric, you know?  And I've always liked Hitchcock.  Hitchcock always had these endings that were just you have to look, you have to watch Hitchcock films very carefully, because he's going to put something in there that is, looks insignificant, but in actual fact isn't, you know?

DB:  Yeah, it's going to come back later.

JW:  It's going to come back later, and he's got his little cameos in there.  He wants to make sure that you're not, you know, going out for popcorn.  He wants to make sure you're really listening.  And that song was written like that, where the lyrics were meant even thought it's a throwaway song, it's not great compositionally or anything like that -- the lyrics were written to be listened to, and understood.  But you've gotta be thinking while you're listening, and if you're not thinking it's gonna go right by you.  Now maybe it's too subtle.  When you do that kind of music people don't expect subtlety, and maybe it's a little bit too subtle for what I'm trying to say.  Actually, I don't remember most of the other lyrics but, you know, stuff about "rear view mirror" and all that kinda stuff, that's just the ideas that came to mind when I was trying to think "Now if I was paranoid, really paranoid, what would be the kind of things that I'd be thinking?"  So anyway, that's where it is.  But it's certainly not, it's not a distinguished piece of work, that's for sure, but it's, you know, it's not bad.

HOWL AT THE MOON

DB:  "Howl At The Moon."  I hear two songs when I hear "Howl At The Moon," I hear Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman" and I hear al Stewart's "Year Of The Cat."  Is there any influence there?
 
JW:  Actually, that's not quite where I got the influence from.  It was a song by Chilliwack, which is a Canadian band out of western Canada.  Now what was it called?  I can't remember what it was called now.  (Editor's note:  The song was "Crazy Talk.")  But they had a song and "Devil Woman," yeah, there's that one and there's another one by another group in England, either the Zombies or somebody like that and again, it's one of those songs that's written in a minor key but has an upbeat feel.  And sort of a punchy rhythm type deal.  Anyway, this Chilliwack group had a song, and I can't remember what it was called now, but it was sort of like that, where it was a minor feel but it had this sort of a punchy sort of, you know, upbeat type feeling to it.  And that's where that came from.  "Year Of The Cat" I don't think had any influence on it, because I'm not familiar with that song (laughs) even though maybe I should be!

But definitely, it's in that vein.  There's a lot of songs in that vein.  There was one by Bobby Curtola, and don't laugh, what was it called?  Oh God, something about magic.  You know, and again, it was just one of these even "Marvello" is a little bit like that, where it's sort of a minor key but again, pure fantasy.  It's got really nothing to do with anything.  It's more just an exercise in writing, you know?

SET THE WORLD ON FIRE

DB:  "Set The World On Fire."  Very angry song.  Is the anger that's coming through in that from, again, the dealings with Capitol, or is it again just another exercise in the four-minute pop song?

JW:  No, actually, I think in this case I have to admit that we were pretty angry.  I mean, everybody in the group was angry.  It wasn't just Capitol, either.  We had some problems in those days.  We were just entering into a big dispute with our former publisher at that time, and we weren't getting paid and you know, we were pretty angry.  Our first records had had a lot of success and we'd seen very little of the money, and now we're being told what to do, and we're not playing on our own songs all the time, and we're not doing the songs the way we were angry, yeah.  We were being forced to record in L.A., being away from Toronto for like, how long was it?  About two months which, you know, if we had our druthers, we would rather record at home.  I mean, we were more comfortable.
 
So yeah, there was a lot of anger, and "Set The World On Fire" definitely was a vent for that anger, and it was intended to be.  I mean, it wouldn't have happened, that song would not have gotten written, were it not for the anger.  But the incidents that are cited in that song are, for the most part, imaginary, although I must confess that I did have my car break down on me in that period (laughs).  And I know what it's like to be stranded at 4:00 in the morning with the, I can't remember what it was now, the alternator or something like that And as far as standing in the line at the bank, I don't think there's a human on earth in the civilized world that hasn't been through that experience.

DB:  Oh yeah!

JW:  And actually I think it also was inspired by the line in that movie "Network" that Peter Finch says, where oh, what is it?  "We're angry, we're not " --- "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" or something like that?  There's some famous line in some movie, and I think it's that one.  And I remembered that line, and I thought that would be a great idea for a song.  And once I had the idea that I was going to write a song about being angry as hell and not wanting to take anymore, I then had to come up with some situations why I was angry.  And of course, I couldn't say what really was making me angry, because number one, I wouldn't do that anyway, but number two, it wouldn't have been politically too smart, so I just came up with those ideas and It was definitely performed and sung in anger (laughs).  You know, I mean I wasn't that mad, but I was pretending that I was angry when I really was angry.  I tried to, anyway.  I don't know how successful I was, though.

SELL OUT, SELL OUT

DB:  "Sell Out, Sell Out."  I've always thought that this song was basically from the perspective of "This is what we're being made to do guys, sorry about it."  And I've encountered people who thought that lines like "I'm gonna jump on the wagon now, to rest my aching feet," and "Stringing along " were directed more at the fans, sort of like anger that they weren't buying more of the records.  And I really always thought it was more a put-down on Capitol than that.
 
JW:  Yeah.  No, it wasn't a put-down on the fans.  In fact, that song was a sneaky attempt on my part to let the fans know Like, you see, I knew that this album was gonna be a disappointment to our hardcore fans.  Like, before it was recorded, no matter what we did with it, no matter how well we produced it, I knew that people who bought the first and second albums, and even the third album, and who were hardcore fans and really liked our earlier stuff, were going to say "Jeez, what the heck did they do here?"  And I thought well, gee whiz, I'd better come up with something to let them know, but at the same time, I had to do it in such a way that Capitol would allow 'cause Capitol had say on what went on and what didn't.  So if I would have written something overtly anti-Capitol it wouldn't have gotten on the album.  So I had to do something whereby I let the fans know that we were being manipulated, but that we were aware of the fact that we were being manipulated, and just, you know, hang in there, be patient with us, and things will get back to normal.  And so I tried to do something to comfort the fan I tried to make it so that when the fan listened to the album and said "Gee, this isn't Klaatu," that if they listened to the lyrics in that song the might say to themselves, "Oh.  Gee whiz, there's more here than meets the eye.  Let's wait 'til the next album comes out to see what happens here."  Because I also knew that if the fourth album didn't do well that Capitol was gonna drop us like a hot potato, which is what they did.  And of course, once they did that, we'd be free to do what the hell we wanted to do.  And there's no line in that song, not one, I can guarantee you, that was meant as a put down of our fans.  Not one.  Most of the put-down was aimed, I was actually aiming it at Capitol.  And there's lines in there about "Do what Stevie did" and, what was the other one?

DB:  And "peddle yourself?"
 
JW:  "Peddle yourself."  Because that's exactly what I felt we were doing:  we were peddling ourself.  And we even got Rupert Perry to do a voice-over over the phone, without his knowing what he was doing!  We just phoned him up in the studio.  'Cause originally I was sitting there in the studio with Chris Bond, and we had the vocals on the thing, and we were listening back and he said "What's this 'peddle yourself?'" And I explained to him what it was about, and of course, we hadn't told him before then, and he was sort of guessing anyway, I guess.  But we told Chris Bond, and he says "Well, why don't we get Rupert Perry to say that line?"  And I said, "You can't get Rupert Perry to " and he said, "Yeah, we'll phone him up now!"  And so he phoned up Rupert Perry, and of course, Chris Bond gets through when he phones, right?  So he phoned up Rupert Perry and he says "Rupert, we want to record you saying something," and he says "Oh, okay!"  And Rupert, you know, a chance to get on an album, he's thrilled.  So we got him to say "peddle yourself."  We did about five takes onto quarter-inch wild, and then we picked the one that we liked and we wild-bounced it back into the 24 where I had said "peddle yourself" we had him answering (laughs).  And so here you have Rupert Perry actually participating in a put-down of his own thing!

Now, I gotta be very fair, though.  I want to put a coda, still, on this:  Rupert was extremely sympathetic to the band.  He was the A & R guy at Capitol, and he was one of the few people that really empathized with our position.  And I have no I mean, I liked Rupert, he was a gentleman to us, and he's actually a good friend of Frank Davies.  And so, we weren't really putting down Rupert either, but he was the person we had contact with, so he was the one that got to do it.  So yeah, that was meant as a sort of a tongue-in-cheek put-down, and we just wanted to let them know that even though they had us to the mat, we still sorta had a prong in there, in their rear end, you know?  'Cause they were having it all their own way (laughs), and so we just really wanted to let the fans know, and I had to do it in a subtle way.  And I'm a little disappointed that a lot of fans may not have caught that, and to my regret are actually taking it as a put-down of them, because it's not that.  It is not, so, that's one thing that I want you to, if you can, to try and put straight on your web page:  that "Sell Out, Sell Out" is by no means any kind of put-down there.

DB:  Absolutely.

 JW:  If anything, I was trying to let the fans know that we weren't being what I was afraid of is that the fans might think that we were just another pretty face, that are being manipulated by the record company, and are just pawns, don't know what they're doing and it wasn't that.  We knew that we were being manipulated, but we couldn't do anything about it.  So, I wanted the fans to know that even though we were being controlled, we were aware of it and were resisting to the best of our ability (laughs) given the circumstances.  And that's really where that song came from.  And a lot of the lyrics were written in that vein.  And in fact, most of them were written while I was cutting the grass, because the rhythm of the lawnmower was giving me that rhythm of the song.  And then the whole line about, you know, "You don't need a Ph.D. in sociology to be aware "  I just filled it with as many images as I could.  "The ivory tower has fallen down, the nickels and dimes are spent, I've given up castles in the air, I couldn't afford the rent " (laughs)

DB:  I love that line.

JW:  You know, "Every man has his selling price, I'm taking the highest bid, get out of the clouds, Sir Rupert said, and do what Stevie did " (laughs) and then he comes in and says "Peddle yourself", you know (laughs)!  We had a good laugh.  I gotta tell you, that's one of the few times we laughed down there, in L.A.  And then the whole thing about cash, "freshly-minted cash" and everything.

DB:  I've seen a picture of you, pouring the cash into the cash register.

JW:  You have?!

DB:  Yes.

JW:  Oh my gosh, I wonder where that came from?

DB:  Terry had it.

JW:  Oh my God.  Isn't that amazing!  That was actually Chris Bond's idea, to get a cash register a real one and record its sound, and have a whole bunch of silver being poured.  I mean, Chris was on our side.  He was on our side, but at the same time, he had a job to do. ALL GOOD THINGS

DB:  "All Good Things."  I remember when I didn't hear any more about Klaatu after Endangered Species, and thinking that was more of a goodbye to the fans, but was there a real dog in that?  Was there anything real to that?

JW:  Well, that's a real weird story.  Number one, it wasn't originally written about a dog.  It was actually just written about a friend.  And the friend didn't die or anything, it was just written about a friend that I had had a falling-out with, and I was writing this sort of conciliatory song about it.  Now, I wasn't gonna show it to the guy or anything like that, it was just the inspiration.  I thought gee, this would be a good idea for a song, so I sort of vented my disappointment in the breakdown of the relationship in this tune.  So it was originally written about a friend, and then I thought, you know, who's gonna buy a record about a guy who's having an argument with his friend?  I mean, not enough drama there.  And it was written at least a year before the Endangered Species album was even demoed, and when it came time to do the Endangered Species demos I thought I'd really like to do that tune.  But at that time I decided to change the subject matter to a dog, because I thought that had more drama, or more pathos, or whatever the word is.  And so I did, I just adjusted the lyrics and I found that it worked a lot better.

And when I demoed it, it definitely passed what we used to call the "choose test," which meant that everybody liked it, and so I knew that it was gonna be all right.  And even Chris Bond liked it, so it got done on the album.  The reason that it was proposed for the album was that at the time when we were first being told about our doing the fourth album and the conditions under which it would be done, I thought that there was a very distinct possibility that that fourth album may be our last album, because Capitol was already making noises like they weren't going to pick up the option.  So I thought, well gee, it would be a good way to end the album, because even though it's not about us, it's one of those double-meaning songs, you know?  So it could be a goodbye to the fans, if in fact that's what it turned out to be.  And if it didn't turn out to be that, it's got enough of its own subject matter that nobody has to think that it was about the band (laughs), you know, it's about the dog.  So that's now that started.

So we're down in L.A., and I was just about and we hadn't recorded the bed tracks and the I got a call from my wife telling me that my real-life dog had just died in a kennel.  And so I flew back to Toronto, and we suspended I suspended the sessions, for myself for a while, and then when I came back and had to do the vocals, the vocals were done about a song that I had written about a mythical situation that actually became a real situation.
 

And you want to hear a real coincidence?  When I was in L.A., I was just browsing through a shop and there was a card -- you know how they have Hallmark Card displays?  And I was going through the greeting cards I think I was going to send some cards back to Toronto and there was a card there with a picture of a basset hound puppy on it, and at the top, you know what it said?  This is after the song is recorded, okay?  It said "All good things must end."  And I bought the card.  Somewhere, I've still got it.  Don't ask me where.  But when I saw that, I thought jeez, I wonder if there's something spiritual about this, you know?  (Laughs) I mean, I started thinking, you know?

But Chris was very understanding, 'cause he was a dog owner himself, and you know, he was breaking down in tears in the studio when he heard my dog died and stuff like that.  And I said, "Chris, I've got to go back to Toronto.  I just can't " and he said "Go, already!"  He said, "Go.  Take a week."  'Cause this was over the Christmas break.  This was during Christmas and New Year's.  He said "Go home for Christmas, come back at New Year's.  Get your life in order and then come back and we'll finish it."  So I came back in January, and that's when I had to do the vocal, and so when I was singing that tune it was actually about a real situation.  So, yeah, in answer to your question, it started off as a totally mythical idea -- it wasn't originally about a dog, actually -- but it ended up being about a real thing that really happened.

DB:  That's neat.  That's really neat.

JW:  Yeah. That's the truth.  That's how it really worked out.  And I still, to this day, when I listen to that song you know, it I have had to confess to getting a little bit of a you know it's tough to listen to that song.  It has a real meaning for me (laughs) because it's not just a song, you know?  It's not like "Knee Deep In Love" which is, you know, somebody might say "Did you write 'Knee Deep In Love' because your girlfriend left?" or something like that, and the answer's no, it's just one of those love songs like anybody else writes.  But this song here has sort of real significance.  In fact, it's probably the only Klaatu song that's autobiographical, even though it's unintentionally so.
 
DEMOS, RARITIES AND REJECTS

DB:  Now that you've got a little more control over what happens with the Klaatu catalog, have you thought about releasing Endangered Species with bonus tracks showing how the demos were, and how the songs could have been different?

JW:  No I haven't.  I'm not so sure that would even save that album (laughs).  Endangered Species is the weakest of the four albums, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't know that the demos like, the demos are basement demos done on quarter-inch, quarter-track, four-track machines and not great sound quality.  And of course, the tapes are how old now?  They must be 15, 16, 17 years old almost 18 years old, I guess, and I'm not even sure that we could you know, those tapes, they shed the oxide after a certain amount of time.

DB:  Yeah, they've got to be baked.

JW:  And even after baking they're not always -- we're not talking about studio quality tape.  We're talking about Radio Shack quarter-inch, you know?  So, I'm not so sure that that would be worthwhile from a technical standpoint, and from an artistic standpoint, gee whiz, those songs were not that great to begin with, so I'm not so sure that it would warrant the effort.  And not only that, Capitol US still has the rights for the world outside Canada on that album, so we could only release it in Canada anyway.  And I don't know that we would sell that many of that album (laughs).  I mean, it's a nice thought and everything, but I think that a more plausible route to go would be to and I'm not suggesting that we're gonna do this, so don't read anything into this but a more plausible approach might be to do what's been touted as a rarities album, where you take old demos, or unreleased tracks, or whatever it is and you do a little compilation of stuff.  And some of the tracks on a rarities album could include, possibly, some different versions of Endangered Species songs or demo versions of it or whatever.  But don't misunderstand me, I'm not proposing that that's what's gonna happen.  I'm just saying that that would probably be a more efficient use of the material.

DB:  What about other songs written for the album that were rejected?  I had heard in one interview that there were 25 songs written and there are nine on the album, so, are there that many other songs?
 
JW:  I don't know exactly how many there were.  I know that there were more than got picked.  To tell you the truth, I wouldn't even be able to give you titles, because it's been a long time.  There may have been a total of 25 of which nine were selected.  I can't deny that or confirm it.  I don't know.  I can tell you that there was at least 20 anyway, probably, of songs that were demoed in preparation for the fourth album.  And what happened was, we did all these demos in Dee's basement in the summer of 1979, and then Chris Bond came up to Toronto in early fall of '79 and he listened to all the demos, and then he selected the songs that were going to be done from those demos.  And of course, the ones that were selected you know already, because they're the ones that ultimately appeared on the album.

But the ones that weren't selected?  Gee whiz, you know, I don't even know what I I had one called "Tribute To Walt Disney," which is a country and western type thing.  That one I know.  And I know Terry had one or two.  And Dee had some.  Definitely Dee had some, but I don't know how many, or what the titles were.
 



© 1997 Dave Bradley