From Strangers to Bandmates

From Jimmy Hendrix and Prince, to Miles Davis, KGB has covered a lot of ground with their music. And although they find themselves in a long-distance relationship with guitarist Wayne Garrett, they plan to keep on going.

Their drummer, Patrick “Paddy” Singh, hears people make music everyday while he works at Mark and Paddy’s Wondrous Music Emporium. About a year and a half ago, he heard bassist Jeff Van Zandvoort, and Garrett – and, before he knew it, they had started their own wondrous musical journey.

“I thought it would be cool to start a band with three people who didn’t know each other at all … and that’s how we got together. I phoned them up and said, ‘Would you like to jam?’ And they came to the shop and the first time we played it was apparent that we were clicking,” Singh explained.

They decided on the band name, KGB. Singh said he recognizes that there are several bands out there with the same name and that at some point in time it may have to be changed – but, for the time being, it works.

“I like it because it’s a bit sinister; it’s unpredictable. We’re agents of rock, really … secret agents of rock and roll, that’s what we are – the KGB,” Singh continued with a laugh, “so we always tell people we’ve got ways to make them rock and [that] KGB also stands for Killer Green Bud. You can come up with a lot of names with that.”

Garrett moved back to Calgary about two months ago to pursue his passions and write a rock opera, but has already flown back to Whitehorse once for a show.

Rather than seeing the long-distance dynamic as a hurdle, Singh said it’s “almost like he [Garrett] never left”, thanks to the Internet and being able to easily transfer tracks back and forth.

“We get along so well musically. It’s really amazing how quickly we can come up with songs, can be rehearsed and ready for a show,” Singh said.

The band has adopted a few local talents into the KGB, including Tom Connor on the vibraphone and songstress Krystal Dawn.

Dawn found her way into the KGB when she had asked Garrett to accompany her for a show at Baked Café, one thing led to another and soon KGB was backing her up at the concert.

“We practised an incredible amount because I had never played with a band before and I was really nervous about it.

“I was really worried about my ability to play with a band so I really wanted to make it good and we really over-practised and we played the show and it was great. We had a lot of fun,” she said.

Dawn went to India for four months, and when she arrived back in Whitehorse, they went back to jamming again. Although the core of the band is Singh, Garrett and Van Zandvoort, Singh said there’s something neat about being able to keep it different and add various talents.

“We really like the fact that we can really add anybody at the drop of a hat and it’ll still have the sound – it’ll be cool; it’ll be different.

“So it always is a work in progress; it always keeps us on our toes and it’s a lot of fun,” said Singh.

The band is hoping to record some tunes in the new year and the spring and the members have been applying to various festivals. “I think people respond positively to it because it’s different; it’s not really jazz; it’s not really rock; it’s got an interesting sound to it – and interesting feel,” he said.

Although the band’s website will only be launched in about a month and they will likely be playing some gigs around January and February, Singh said people interested in what’s happening with the band can call him at 456-2480.

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