By Sarah Lysecki
Like Col. Tom Parker was to Elvis, Private Lance is to Julian Day.
Private Lance is not your typical band manager-in-training. He holds, pita throwing contests to attract girls at Julian Day’s shows.
Private Lance (his real name is Trent) is really there for moral support and to grab singer Rick Turner a beer from the bar when he’s on stage.
“He’s half mentally unstable,” Turner, a third-year Ryerson business student, says of Trent. “He can’t fully manage a band, he would destroy us.”
Julian Day is at a crossroads. They’re not just a garage band anymore, they’ve moved up to playing local live music venues and finding a manager will move them one step closer to a record deal. Having an uninhibited motivator like Trent is great for a struggling indie band that’s trying to break into the crowded Toronto music scene. But to realize this goal, they might have to leave Trent behind.
A more practical choice for a manager, Turner says, is business student Mike Samrah, currently the manager of Focal Point. With a manager, Turner wouldn’t have to steal other bands’ mailing lists to get people to come to their shows – Samrah could network and make contacts for them.
Samrah already books gigs for the band, but having a manager would allow Julian Day to concentrate on the important things.
“When you got a guy sticking up for you, it lets the band focus on music,” says Turner.
They definately needed someone to stick up for them at the last show they played at the 360 on Sept. 25.
From the mic hitting their teeth because of the bouncy stage, to Turner’s amp cutting out after the first song, to having their set time cut from 45 to 30 minutes, it wasn’t a good night for the guys.
Julian Day does about two shows a month, and will be playing at Samrah’s upcoming show at the El Mocambo on Oct. 30.
There’s few people to manage in Julian Day (which gets its name from what Julius Cesaer called the longest day of summer, June 21.) The band includes two other Ryerson students, guitarist Mike Grasby, a second-year geography student, and drummer Caludio Palleschi, a fourth-year architectural science student. Lead guitarist Erik Neva and bassist Mike “Soup” Campbell make up the fourth and fifth members of Julian Day. The resulting alternative rock sound will be familiar to Pearl Jam fans.
Recently, the band turned down an opportunity to play a gig at York University because, Turner says, the three new guys, Grasby, Neva, and Campbell joined in February and they needed to practice.
Turner and Palleschi have been playing together in Julian Day for two years. Both guys met Grasby in an elevator in Neil Wycik after a practice in a sweltering room in the basement that Turner calls the “steamer.”
Palleschi says they have “graduate to the bomb shelter” – a nickname they gave to the studio off McCaul St. where they pay $50 for a three hour practice session.
While they get one practice session a week, Grasby says that whenever he’s not drinking, smoking, eating, or sleeping, he’s playing guitar.
“I’ve got enough material for 100 CDs,” says Grasby. Julian Day hopes to start recording a CD in January, but the $5,000 to $10,000 price tag is a bit overwhelming.
Fundraising may be the only way to do it, and Turner knows exactly who to turn to.
“I’ll get Trent on the case,” he says.