Words by Chris Carriere

Alright, here goes nothing. When last we left you, Dance Electric were riding high. We had a bit of a monster metaphor running, so let’s give it once last gasp before we drop it in favour of cold, hard reality—as in that moment of a dream when you realize you are dreaming, and consequently wake up.

Dance Electric, the chimera brewed from pop structure and schizoid hardcore aggression, seemed to be, as Jamie puts it, a “world beater”. Its four caretakers, Theo (vocals), Jamie (bass), NJ (guitar) and Tori (drums) had been welded together by the shared responsibility of carting their frequency freak show around Ontario.

“I think that hardcore has always represented a marginalized genre of music,” Theo says, “so it sort of made sense to us to play all of these weird shows. We’d take anything that was offered, basically. Oh, that seems weird, let’s play there.

They played a wrestling match. (“Presenting Dance Electric, signature move: eardrum obliterator.”) They played an event for abused teens, watching one of the teens berate an officer for police inaction and then commencing the auditory antics. (Theo: “It was awkward.”) The weirdness brought the four ringmasters closer together.

“To me, what made the band special wasn’t just the art, but the interaction between the four of us,” Theo says. “It was just great watching Jamie and Tori rise to the occasion when they didn’t have our history [in the music scene].”

For Jamie, the self-proclaimed underachiever throughout high school (who is nonetheless very bright, and will engage you verbosely on subjects ranging from Beckett to permaculture), the band remains a high point in his personal chronology. “For my family, for my father, even,” he adds. Even more: his work taming the Dance Electric beast earned him a spot with infamous musicians-about-town, the Vulcan Dub Squad.

“That was huge for me,” Jamie says. “I idolized those guys. I remember staring out the window in grade 11 English, just dreaming of being the bassist for the Vulcan Dub Squad.”

“Looking back, Dance Electric definitely seems special. But after awhile, it didn’t feel as special anymore.”

Cue the dramatic strings and the ground dissolving beneath you. No more metaphor, no more rock and roll dreamworld.

” title=”

" title="