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01. The Band
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”. JM produced, played guitar and provided some background vocals for Toronto band Flowerchild on their debut album (2011).
Have other musicians ever played with The Tea Party?
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 instruments?
Normal, the band would hear an instrument on a world music recording and decide to include it in their 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. Incidentally, 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.
What albums have TTP released to date?
Demo Cassette: “Capitol Records Demo” 1991
“The Tea Party” (Indie) 1991
“Splendor Solis” 1993
“The Edges Of Twilight” 1995
“Live at the Enmore Theatre” 1999
“Tangents – A collection” 2000
“Illuminations” (DVD) 2000
“The Interzone Mantras” 2001
“Seven Circles” 2004
Where can I buy the Indie CD?
It is extremely hard to get your hands on one of the original 3,500 copies. You can try finding one on eBay (www.ebay.com) but unfortunately, most bids start at around $200 US
Are there different releases of the records?
Yes there are. This mostly depends on the country of release. The design may vary, or the album may contain additional tracks. There are also special edition albums. 100,000 copie of “Tangents” were released as a limited edition, and included an additional booklet. “The Interzone Mantras” was released as limited edition too and featured a lenticular cover.
Does a live CD of TTP exist?
Back in 1997 the band recorded some material during their tour across Australia and in 1999 a mere 100 copies of a 5-track live CD were produced (“Live at the Enmore Theatre”). The band has talked about releasing a live record sometime in the future.
What singles have TTP released and how can I get them?
Most of the singles were released for promotional purposes only and are not available in stores. Once again, you can try your luck on eBay. For a complete list of every single the band has ever made, visit www.wild-one.com/disc/teaparty.
“Live at the Enmore Theatre” – I’ve never heard of this before, what is it?
This is probably the most difficult TTP record to come by. Only 100 CD’s were made in 1999. The Australian radio station, Triple J, gave them away through a contest. The following songs are on this little treasure: “Underground”, “Heaven Coming Down”, “The Halcyon Days”, “The Messenger” and “Gone”.
Do LP’s exist of the TTP’s recordings?
Yes, “Splendor Solis” and “The Edges of Twilight” were pressed on vinyl. “The River” was pressed as a Maxi Vinyl single too.
What videos has the band made and where can I buy them?
On February 21, 2001, TTP released the DVD “Illuminations”. The DVD contains every video to that date except “Let Me Show You The Door”. Check out our Multimedia section for more details!
Is there more available about the band on video?
Due to TTP’s success in Canada, it is only natural that they get more regular air-play and perform on a more frequent basis there than in Germany. We’d love to list every show they ever played but this would take forever. The band appeared in many TV shows, like on Much Musics “Intimate & Interactive” show or “Sandjob 2002”.
In 1994 TTP performed in Germany during the Poppkomm at the show, Heinz Rudolf Kunze and Friends, which was broadcast and recorded by WDR. TTP played “The River” and “Shadows on the Mountainside”. In August 1999 VIVA II aired a 20 minute report about the band, including an interview and performances at the Bizarre Festival. WDR, who usually records this event, did not record TTP and commented “We can’t record every band”. Needless to say how disappointing that was! In March 2001 The Bavarian Channel aired three songs of a TTP performance during the Rock im Park Festival 2000. The Offene Kanal Frankfurt recorded the shows in Neu Isenburg and Bochum, but aired just three songs and two songs, respectively.
06. Live Shows
While attending live TTP shows, I’ve heard songs or inserts that are not on the records. What are they?
TTP are well known for covering songs or snippets of other artists’ songs. The following is a selection of songs they sometimes perform:
– Heroes, David Bowie
– I´m Afraid Of Americans, David Bowie
– Everybody Here Wants You, Jeff Buckley
– The Messenger, Daniel Lanois
– The Maker, Daniel Lanois
– Hela Lisa, Hamza El Din
– All Along The Watchtower, Bob Dylan (Hendrix)
– No Woman No Cry, Bob Marley
– How Blue Can You Get, B.B. King
– The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
– Sympathy For The Devil, Rolling Stones
– Shattered, Rolling Stones
– Paint It Black, Rolling Stones
– Back in Black, AC/DC
– Money, The Beatles
– Love The One You´re With, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young
– Still Haven´t Found What I´m Looking For, U2, in Sister Awake
– Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley, in Save Me
– Millennium, Killing Joke, in Temptation
– Rusty Cage, Soundgarden, in The Bazaar
– The Messenger, Daniel Lanois, in Save Me
– The Maker, Daniel Lonois, in Save Me
– Hurt, Nine Inch Nails, in Save Me
– Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division, in Walk With Me
– Sober, Tool, in Save Me
– The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegroove, Dead Can Dance, in Save Me
– Rakim, Dead Can Dance, in The Halcyon Days
– Train Kept A Rollin´, Yardbirds, in Baby What You Trying To Do
– Bullet In The Head, Rage Against The Machine, in The River
– Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen, in Save Me
– Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?, Moby, in Underground
– Temptation, New Order, in Sister Awake
– 3rd Stone From The Sun, Jimi Hendrix, in The River
– Voodoo Chile, Jimi Hendrix, in The River
– Zahira, in Halcyon Days
– Dazed and Confused, Led Zeppelin, in The River
– Kashmir, Bring It Home, Rock n Roll Part One, Lemon Song, Whole Lotta Love, How Many More Times (all Led Zeppelin).
TTP played this medley during the “Coach & Horses Show”
– I Wanna Be Adored, The Stone Roses
– Always On The Run, Lenny Kravitz
– Into my Arms, Nick Cave
– In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel (JM, WRC 2002)
– War Pigs, Black Sabbath (White Ribbon Concert 2002)
– L.A. Woman, Peace Frog, Roadhouse Blues, Doors
What is so special about a live TTP show?
You simply must see a live TTP show! Many critics say that they are one of the best live bands ever! However, during the same tour, every show has basically same set-list and JM tends to make the same jokes over and over again. JM is a perfectionist and the times of wild improvisation and jamming seem to be over.
07. Songs & Lyrics
The “Splendor Solis” and “Alhambra” lyrics are not printed in the CD’s booklets. Where can I find them?
That’s easy! Just visit our Discography section and go to the individual album …
What are the lyrics of the hidden track on “The Edges Of Twilight”?
You can find it in the Discography section by simply clicking on “The Edges Of Twilight”.
What voice do we hear at the beginning of the song “Transmission”?
When dialing “1” for local calls in Montreal, a woman says in French “Ne faits pas le un …” (“Don’t dial one…”).
What is the name of the instrumental piece between “Babylon” and “Pulse” on the album “Transmission”?
SC composed it and it is named “Embryo”.
What does the voice say at the end of the song “Aftermath”?
A woman reads from the bible saying “As it was in the beginning is now and shall ever be…”. You can hear the same text during “A Great Big Lie” on the album “Triptych”. At the end of this song you can hear a male voice say “That reminds me of Psalm 73 where the prophet is looking at the wicked man…”.
In the “Triptych” booklet, parts of the lyrics of “A Slight Attack” are missing? What are they?
Brace yourself with arrogance
In case you see the light
You´ll be hanging like a scarecrow
Waiting for the second light
What kind of music do the band members listen to in private?
Basically they are open to all kinds of music. Their open mindedness is often shown during their shows by adding many cover versions of other artists’ work to their performances.
JM loves listening to all kinds of world music, as well as Radiohead, Aphex Twins, Portishead, Tool and Led Zeppelin. Same goes for SC, who adds Nick Cave to his list. JB likes the harder sounds and has fun listening to one of his AC/DC records. Check out our Shop section for their Desert Island 5 record picks!
What does the band think about bootlegs?
To tell you the truth, they don’t like them too much. Still, they tolerate bootlegging – as long as nobody makes a profit from it. There was one exception to this tolerance in summer 2000. TTP played with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and performed “Walking Wounded” for the first time. JM asked all people to turn off their tapes and not to record the new song. It still was recorded, but was not even available on Napster until “Tangents” was released.
How important are the Eastern influences in TTP’s music?
Very important! Since his 12th birthday JM has been a huge fan of world music and that has never changed. His passion for this kind of music is shown by the fact that he flew to Egypt just to buy a certain instrument – an oud! During some shows in the past, the band has been accompanied by Indian tabla player, Ritesh Das, founder and Artistic Director of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble.