By Laura Jasmine
Photo By Dave Di Ubaldo
Ottawa’s Iconoclast has seen many of their friends’ bands come and go during their over 15 year journey.
The band most recently opened for Finger Eleven at Mavericks, and has played with other popular bands such as Theory of a Deadman, Rival Sons, and Danko Jones, and are still aiming high.
Founding member and bassist Michael Korn said the band was formed when three of their members were still fresh out of high school. Singer Marc Bourgon joined couple of years later, and the second guitarist Dave Di Ubaldo began four years ago.
“We did three records as a four piece, and when Dave joined us, I don’t think we even had an audition—he just fit right in, and this has been our final form since” said Bourgon.
The band’s most recent album They Were Right About Us came out late last year. Since then the band toured Ontario to support the release and have had radio play on community stations. Ottawa Senators picked up one of the songs, “I Run”, for their pre-game warm-ups. From there on it was picked up by several other hockey teams’ arenas, making it all the way to Sweden.
“The name of the EP means exactly what it says. We felt like we had this chip on our shoulder where we felt like we were perceived as just another rock band, and there were few times when it was told right to our faces,” Bourgon said. “We came to embrace the fact that that’s exactly who we are—classic, heavy rock band and they were right about us.”
Korn adds when writing songs for the album, he would intentionally stop writing when he came up with a riff at home because he wanted it to be a representative of how it sounds when he played it to the rest of the band for the first time.
“I wanted us five to take that spark and go with it as opposed to coming in and saying here’s a song, let’s learn it. The one thing that this record has over the previous ones, is that it’s probably the most inspired one because everyone was fully on board the whole time,” he said.
Bourgon said the band is thankful to Ottawa’s newest commercial rock radio station Rebel, which has offered radio time for local rock bands.
“I was listening to the stuff they were playing and it was a no brainer for us, we wanted to get in. So I contacted them and they picked us up right away. One of our songs have been playing pretty steady and we got to do an interview with them the morning of the Finger Eleven show.” Bourgon said. “It means a lot to local rock bands and the scene in general to get that exposure.”
Bourgon said in this day and age when there are so many bands and options who to consume music, reaching one person is an achievement. Their goal is to play as many shows as they can to reach like-minded people.
“It’s so difficult to get someone to pay attention to you for even 30 seconds these days, so when you do that you have to grab it by the horns and ring it out as much as you can,” he said.
Both Korn and Bourgon credits their longevity to perseverance, stubbornness, and believing in each other and what they are doing.
“It’s one of those things when you get older. I’ve know most of these guys forever, been to their weddings, met their kids,” Korn said. “That’s one of the things that make our band important to each other and why we’ve lasted so long. I can’t imagine playing in a band with anyone else anymore.” •