When and how did you become a band?
Lesley and Sarah kinda joked about starting a band when they met back in 2012. We had virtually no experience (Lesley had a short-lived Pixies cover band project in university, does that count?) and a handful of random instruments including a bass guitar, a 16mm film projector with a mic input, a set of coconuts and a wheezy 2 octave organ that takes 30 minutes to warm up. Along with some mutual encouragement somehow this was enough to start scrapping together ideas. We recruited Lesley’s long-time pal Madison to join and she ditched her acoustic guitar for an electric one. Then we discovered a unicorn aka a drummer without a band, her name was The Drummer aka Keltie Duncan.
How did you decide on your band name?
The name came first, before any jams ever happened. A classic “we should totally start a band called ______” moment. I’ve probably said that 1000 times in my life with about as many dumb ideas for band names but this one time it actually stuck. Bonnie Doon is a RIVER in Scotland and a neighbourhood familiar to Sarah and Keltie in Edmonton.
Tell us about your first show.
Our first show was nerve wracking and amazing. Our friend Ian learned that we had started a band and he was really encouraging and insisted that we book a show, even if we only played 2 songs. He got us on a bill opening for his band Voicemail and a band from Toronto called Valley Boys. The venue was an underground arcade called House of Targ that only did shows once a month or so. The night of the show the place was packed, we played 4 or 5 songs including a Misfits cover. The other bands totally rocked then we drank a bunch of beers and played NBA jam and pinball all night long. I remember getting a lot of pats on the back.
Can you describe your music?
Our music is kinda surfy, kinda spooky, kinda post-punk. Some words others have used to describe our band are “spaghetti surf” (like a western set on the beach) and “Scooby doo punk”
What bands (or other things) are your influences/inspiration?
Viv Albertine’s book “Clothes Clothes Clothes, Music Music Music, Boys Boys Boys”
Gear talk: instruments/pedals/amps
We still consider ourselves to be relatively new-ish musicians who are happy with hand-me-down gear. We’ve gotten into pedals a bit.. ??? The coconuts have definitely added a distinct element to our sound.
Who are your favorite local Canadian bands?
OMG SO MANY. Boyhood, Street Meat, Organ Eyes, FET.NAT, Strange Attractor, RAAS, New Swears, Blue Angel, Scattered Clouds, Pregnancy Scares (RIP)
What do you want everyone to know about your band?
We’re secretly/not so secretly a Presidents of the United States of America tribute band – P.O.T. U.S.A. for prez!
Any other comments/shout outs?
Shout out to Tony’s Pizza, Bruised Tongue & Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls