When was The Tea Party formed
The band first started playing together in
1990. Back then, Jeff Martin (JM) and Stuart Chatwood (SC) were living
in Toronto. They called their friend Jeff Burrows (JB) in Windsor to
ask him for help because a friend of theirs needed a band to play in
his bar. Originally they planned to play just the one show, but the
chemistry between the three was overpowering and The Tea Party was formed
Did any of them play in other bands before
JM and JB started playing together in the
young age of 12 in a band called The Suspects. SC and JM played in
the band The Stickmen at the age of 18. Today, the most active one
outside of the band seems to be JM. His vocals can be found on Rhys
Fulber’s record “Conjure One” on the bonus track
“Premonition” and he added his unmistakable guitar playing
to even more songs, as well as other stringed instruments on the album.
In the past, JM has played guitar on British singer Roy Harper’s
records "The Green Man" and "Poem" and even accompanied
him on a small tour across Britain. Jeff Martin also plays guitar
on a track called “Nizil Il Matar Fag’a” on Ritesh
Das and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble’s latest album, “Weaving”.
Besides playing guitar, JM works as a producer for various Canadian
bands such as Static In Stereo (2001), David Usher’s song, "Black
Black Heart" (he played guitar on that track too). His latest
production effort is collaboration with Kitchener band, Hundred Mile
House on a song called “War”. JB supported Hundred Mile
House behind the drums during their first two shows presenting their
new record, “Choke Chain Therapy”.
Have other musicians ever played with The Tea
JB’s brother, Brad Burrows, used
to play harmonica at shows during the Indie era.
Roy Harper performed the spoken word on “The Edges of Twilight”.
He also sang the song “Time” on the album “Alhambra”
and appeared in the video “The River” dressed as a shaman.
Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Delerium) mixed the songs "Temptation"
and "Sister Awake".
During the recording of a new album, a variety of musicians sometimes
take part in the process of creating new Tea Party masterpieces, e.g.
Ritesh Das of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.
In fall 2002 they collaborated with various symphony orchestras across
Canada during their Orchestra tour.
What kind of instruments do the members of
the band play ?
TTP are well known adding a large number
of exotic instruments into the mix (check out "The Bazaar"-section).
The following is a small selection of the guitars JM uses the most:
Gibson Harpguitar from 1916
Les Paul’s Classics from 1960
J-50 Acoustic Gibson from 1964
71 Fender Telecaster Parsons White B-bender (Prototype)
12-string electric Fender
Instruments, used by SC:
Bass: Fender Telecaster from 1972
How did the members learn to play the exotic
Normal, the band would hear an instrument
on a world music recording and decide to include it in there ideas
when it came to writing songs. After finding out what the instruments
is called, which usually came from reading the booklet that came with
the CD. Incidently, most world music CD's have extensive notes that
sometimes would include playing tips, and tunings, with Peter Gabriel's
label, Real World, being a great example of this. From there some
shopping would occur. And finally, the learning process, which never
stops. The tip is to always learn and always ask questions.
Where did the band buy the instruments?
The band's favourite stores are World Music
in the Village in New York City, Kala Kendar in Toronto, Ali Akbar
School of Music in San Raphael, California and Lark in the Morning.
Don't forget to say the Tea Party sent you, for a discount. In addition,
while traveling in Australia, Turkey, and Europe, the group has brought
back a few different things of antiquity.