Toronto
2 min

Spunk rock

Greek Buck gets harder

QUEER AS ART. With the release of No Time, Don Pyle and Andrew Zealley return to their Queen St roots. Credit: David Rasmus

For the members of Greek Buck, having millions of people listen to their theme for Queer As Folk seems a little unreal.



“I watch it in my bedroom with my boyfriend,” says Don Pyle, half of the Toronto musical duo. “It’s just us. It’s hard to think of anyone else watching it. It’s one of those things I mostly feel detached from.



“Watching it with those images was kind of weird. I kept thinking, ‘That’s not right.’ But I said, ‘Well, they’re going to pay us.'”



His musical partner Andrew Zealley says getting the theme was more or less accidental. Greek Buck had done the music for Canadian director John Greyson’s 2000 film Law Of Enclosures (for which they were nominated for a Genie). “When we did Law Of Enclosures, different people took note of us. The Queer As Folk people came to us.”



A new version of the theme “Spunk” – redone in a self-described “Ramones meet Giorgio Moroder” style – is included on Greek Buck’s new release, No Time. The five-song album includes appearances from local rock luminaries Dallas Good from the Sadies and Ian Blurton from Change Of Heart and Blurtonia. The album is topped off by two versions of “No Time To Be Seven,” with vocals by Pyle’s seven-year-old nephew, who apparently likes to be known as Tyler B.



No Time is more rock-oriented than Greek Buck’s previous more computerized and sequenced material. But the band’s origins go back to their rock ‘n’ roll days of the ’80s, when both were living a block apart on Queen St in Parkdale.



“Andrew was working in record stores and playing in bands, and so was I,” says Pyle. “I was playing in a pop-rock band that was kind of dorky and he was playing in a new-wave band that was kind of dorky.”



“We kept running into each other,” says Zealley. “We realized that we had a tremendous amount in common. We decided we wanted to do a cover of a Sigue Sigue Sputnik song. We found we both enjoyed the software sounds, and started playing sounds that wouldn’t have been appropriate for that song.”



Both had a background in working in visual media – Pyle’s Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet was best known for scoring The Kids In The Hall, and Zealley had scored children’s television shows. Their common interest in synthesized sound fed into their desire to work in different media.



“We were interested in doing things with artists from other disciplines,” says Zealley. This has included filmmakers such as Greyson and Sarah Polley, and artists from around the world.



But this music hasn’t lent itself to live performances. A Fri, May 3 four-song set as part of a Yoko Ono tribute at Lee’s Palace, will be only Greek Buck’s second performance and first in Toronto. But Pyle says they would like to play more live shows.



“Andrew and I did a show last summer with Cherie Currie from the Runaways. Andrew and I had been Runaways fans; it was something else we bonded over. It was the first time we had played guitar and drums together.”



* The album release party is also a chance to see and hear many of Greek Buck’s cross-media projects with people like John Greyson, Luis Jacob, Wrik Mead and others; the event runs from 6pm to 10pm on Tue, Apr 26 at Art Metropole (788 King St W); call (416) 703-4400. No Time is in stores on Apr 30; go to www.greekbuck.com.