Gimme a backbeat, I wanna move, cuz when I go out, I wanna go with a groove…
Listening to the tight, clean drum track on Wanna Go Rockin, it’s hard to believe it was laid down by a man in his seventh decade.
It’s the opening track of the debut EP from Giant’s Head, a collaboration from two well-known veterans of the music business, guitarist Steve Hegyi and drummer Gord Osland, the former executive director of Penticton’s Children’s Festival.
“It’s too late to stop now,” said Osland, quoting the title of one of the other tracks on the EP. He has never stopped drumming.
“It’s probably one of the reasons I am still able to walk the dogs three or five miles every day. It’s a great way to stay in shape. And it’s fun to do, it’s not like going to the gym.
“It’s a joy to be able to do it. This is what we’ve been doing forty or fifty years. Why not keep doing it?”
Along with Stu Goldberg, who produced, arranged, recorded and mixed the music in his Peachland studio (while playing keyboards on the album), Giant’s Head shows the skill of musicians with decades of experience coming together.
“Steve is one of the great unsung guitar heroes out of Winnipeg,” said Osland, who also says Goldberg is “one of the finest keyboard players on the planet.”
“Steve and I got together in my basement about a year ago,” said Osland, adding that they just started playing and having fun just because they could.
“To sit and play and make stuff up with Steve it’s just so much fun. “
It wasn’t long before they flicked the switch on the recorder.
“By three or four months together we had about eight tunes. We decided to put it out there and see what happens,” said Osland. “We got together with Stu and recorded it all this summer in his studio.”
The tunes on Giant’s Head are new, but the sound is reminiscent of the best of classic rock.
“We’ve got some pretty good Winnipeg DNA in these tunes. We like to call it Classic Nouveau; it’s classic but it’s new,” jokes Osland.
Both Osland and Hegyi come out of the late 60s music explosion in Winnipeg, that brought Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Neil Young and more to the world’s attention.
“Our heroes were the guys in the Guess Who. They were one of the first rock ’n’ roll bands that made it out of Canada and they were right in front of us, playing at the community halls,” said Osland. “We had some pretty solid mentors. And of course, Neil Young, and all those guys, these guys are playing right in front of us.
“I never thought that Neil was going to amount to much because he couldn’t sing. To hear him sing a tune, it was kind of painful a lot of times, so what do we know?”
It’s easy enough to find Giant’s Head. The band has pushed it out all the services: iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and more.
“The way to do the music business now is a whole different deal,” said Osland. “We’ve had to learn how to market in a whole different way. You have to do it yourself. It’s been a pretty steep learning curve for a couple of geezers like us.”
Links to the band’s music and more can be found on their website, www.giantsheadmusic.com.