Heterosexual men call it quits?

By Nicole Kobie

They may be gone, but they’re not going to let you forget them. While Vancouver radio-darlings The Odds may be on an undetermined break, they’re not finished with music by any means.

"We’re just sort of on a hiatus, or maybe we’re done. I don’t know," says drummer Pat Steward, as he crunches on breakfast. "You can’t read the future, y’know. We’re all pretty involved in some other things."

The band, consisting of lead singer Craig Northey, guitarist Steven Drake, bassist Doug Elliot and Steward, aren’t officially broken up, but are pursuing other projects. Odds fans need not worry, though, as a singles compilation was recently released.

"There is a new song and we will be doing a video of it. I just heard some of the ideas the other day and it’s going to be hilarious," explains Steward, adding that the "new" song is actually an unreleased version of the Christmas carol "We Three Kings."

The compilation includes all the Odds singles from their four CDs. Don’t expect a tour anytime soon though. All these side projects have led the Odds to spread out.

"Logistically, it may not happen," says Steward. "It would be cool to do that, but everybody’s all over the map."

According to Steward, the members of the band have always had side projects, but now those side projects have overrun the Odds. Northey, Elliot and Steward, along with Simon Kendall, have started a new project called Sharkskins. While it’s three-quarters Odds members, don’t expect the usual modern rock/pop tunes. This new effort is mostly instrumental, with soul, R&B, covers of James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone as well as some of their own songs.

Steward and Northey are also working with Colin James, who has been co-writing Northey’s new solo album, with a single to be released on Sept. 15.

While Steward may have moved on from the Odds, he still has fond memories. Simply playing the songs was an honour as he considered himself fortunate to work with two guys who were such talented song writers, Northey and Drake. Nevertheless, Steward and Elliot did question their judgment from time to time, once concerning the song "Make you Mad."

"Doug and I both, clandestinely, were discussing something and said ‘I don’t get this song,’" explains Steward, with a laugh. "This was before we recorded it. I just sort of went, ‘OK, I’ll give you what you want.’ [They] started putting other guitars and other layers on top of the bass and drums and basic guitar. Steve put this one guitar on and I was like ‘oh, I get it now.’"

Just playing the songs is Steward’s favourite part of performing, especially when people "get into it," and obviously care about the music. Reminiscing about the Odds shows at MacEwan Hall, Steward says they pushed to get the concert declared "all ages" because when the 15-year-old kids are allowed in they are always excited to be there.

"These kids come in and they’re like ‘wow, we’re here!’ and then there’s the 19 to 20 year-olds that are weirded out by that for some reason, so they stay way in the back so they can drink," says Steward. "It’s a little bizarre how alcohol dictates what and how the time will be spent."

To see what Steward and other Odds have been up to, check out the Sharkskins, playing Reds in Edmonton Fri., Sept. 8. The Odds’ Singles- Individually Wrapped is in stores.

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