Driveway is a new group from Toronto made up of ex-MAdE frontman Jason Taylor, ex-MAdE bass player Chris Sytnyk, drummer Robin Mason (Superhalo, Statistics), and Corey Matheson (Haggis) on banjo, pedal steel and guitar. These seasoned musicians have combined their influences that include Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Pixies, and Sonic Youth to form this â€-rock bandâ€™. â€œSome people are trying to call us alt-country, but thatâ€™s â€-cause they are looking for an easy description. They hear a pedal steel and automatically assume â€-countryâ€™. Alt-country is a buzz word right now and the problem with buzz words is: one, they are hard to shake and two, they fall out of fashion. Weâ€™re just a rock band.â€ says singer/songwriter, Jason Taylor of Drivewayâ€™s sound. Drivewayâ€™s self-titled debut was recorded independently and released by Curve Music. â€œWe wanted to with small labels because we want to start out organically,â€ says Taylor, â€œIâ€™d like the band to find and define itself.â€ On their debut CD Taylor is the main songwriter; however the band is free to add whatever they feel. â€œIâ€™ll write a song and hash it out a little bit at home, just to get the overall structure of the song, then I bring it in and everyone puts their own thing on it,â€ says Taylor, â€œlet the song after it has been â€-sort-of-writtenâ€™ end up Drivewayified. The guys add all the magicâ€ Driveway was lucky enough to get U.S. producer Keith Cleversley (The Flaming Lips, Urge Overkill and Spiritualized) to agree to produce some of the songs on the album. Taylor and Sytnyk established their relationship with Cleversley on the last MAdE album. Cleversley produced MAdEâ€™s Television Heart album. â€œKeith has almost no â€-amazingâ€™ gear, but he can pull off amazing recordings in spite of this,â€ explains Taylor, â€œkind of like the guy who can whittle Michelangeloâ€™s â€-Davidâ€™ out of a tree stump using only a jack-knife.â€ The rest of the album was produced and mixed by Torontoâ€™s Lurch. Mason said â€œthe whole recording experience of the making of our record will stay with me for a long time, it was amazing.â€ The guys in Driveway all have many years of recording and touring experience. Universal Music Canada and MCA in the U.S. released MAdEâ€™s first album, Bedazzler and Universal Canada distributed their second, Television Heart. The group broke up after the Universal/Polygram merger took place in 1999 after the albums received critical raves, but failed to sell well. Taylor said, â€œAfter that I just wanted to get back to basics, back to my roots and just make music. Driveway was formed in 2002. â€œI was writing for a couple of years, I remembered Robin from the old days and Chris was the bass player for MAdE, we put this project together and it was just the three of us for a while.â€ The group put an ad in the back of a local magazine looking for a guitar player. â€œWe only got one call and that was Corey Matheson,â€ laughs Taylor. â€œI remember talking to him on the phone and he said â€-Iâ€™m from Nova Scotia, I play pedal steel, lap steel, piano, guitarâ€¦â€™ and I said â€-holy S@#t dude, Iâ€™ll be over there in like five minutes.â€ â€œWe have all been in many bands before, some of us have even had a modest amount of success, but no matter what, we are in it for life, and I think to some degree this can be heard in the music,â€ Taylor said, â€œThereâ€™s something real about the music, thereâ€™s something magical when we are on stage together. I think the magic comes from the fact that music â€-isâ€™ us, not just â€-inâ€™ us. We are in it for the simple reason that we have no choice.â€.
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