Smoothie virtues

Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker toss all sorts of different elements into their music and then blend it into one smooth, lip-smacking concoction, just like a deliciously refreshing smoothie. Take some drum and bass, mix in a bit of grungy guitar, add a little bit of folk lyricism to it and then blend it together to reach a blissful dance party for all involved. As they hit the road for their western Holidazed and Confused tour, they’ve got a long trip out on the road ahead of them.

Thankfully, they’ve got a secret trick for recharging after a long time on the road and at a gig: do-it-yourself smoothie making. Originally meant as a way to refresh for the final push during lead singer and guitarist Ash Bucholz’s solo sets, it has now become a mainstay of the band’s shows.

“Ash started doing solo shows after his old band broke up and he became a health fanatic,” says turntablist and hypeman Jason Parsons, a.k.a. Human Kebab. “He thought it was only fitting that he did something for his new self, so he’d start making smoothies on the fly during the last song of his own set! He’d start putting strawberries and bananas into this blender and wait until the last song of the set so he can collect the energy of the room, goes into the blender and then essentially he would consume it.”

The band has clearly defined their roles. As hypeman, it’s Parsons’ job to get the crowd excited and ready to get on the dance floor. Bucholz is the steely-eyed guitarist and singer who focuses on playing his guitar and expressing himself through the music.

“Now that we’re making music together, he’s still making smoothies, but now there’s a second cup for me,” laughs Parsons. “If you see our show and see how much running around I have to do to keep up with that music, to drink that smoothie at the end of the set makes up for everything I lose on stage. For Ash, it means the world to him. I can only imagine how much his throat needs it after an hour-long set.”

Although the two released their first EP Wielding the C:/ in August 2007, they’re just now achieving success. After their lead single “Hollowpoint Sniper Hyperbole” started receiving airplay on a Toronto radio station, they began to take off. The music video for the song started getting airplay on MuchMusic, and the band was approached about putting the song on one of Canada’s premiere music compilations, EMI’s Big Shiny Tunes.

It’s an old cliche, but it’s true: even a little bit of success hasn’t gotten to the band’s head. They’re so big that they’ve been given advice by the ringleader of the Kiss circus himself, Gene Simmons.

“We played this show for a radio station and I guess he was there because he was in town trying to recruit for his new label, Simmons-Universal,” laughs Parsons. “After our set, he interviewed us in the bar for 20 minutes. He wanted to tell us what he loved about it, what he thought could be added about it. It was just surreal to talk with Gene Simmons. It was absolutely a strange experience.”

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