See Spot Run back for another round

It’s been 11 years since See Spot Run began coming to play in Fort Frances, and they just can’t seem to stay away.
“People have always been really good to us here, that’s the truth. You can’t really ask for more—they buy our records, they party with us, they feed us,” said guitarist and vocalist Randy Bowen, laughing. “We’ve never had a bad time here.”
When the band formed in 1993, they were just another unknown, Canadian band.
But that quickly changed.
With the release of an indie cassette, two albums, five music videos, numerous television appearances, and three big hits—“Au Naturel,” “Weightless” and “Terrified”—they have successfully carved out a niche for themselves in the Canadian music scene, even making history, with “Weightless” landing in the top 100 most played Canadian songs in radio history.
“It’s quite a feat to get on the charts, because you’re competing with the world,” said lead singer and bassist Chris Brodbeck. “You’re competing with Britney Spears, and heavy, heavy competition. [”Weightless”] was number five world-wide, so we weren’t competing with just Canadians, we were competing with international stars. So to get that high on the charts is really tough.”
The success of “Weightless” certainly opened some more doors for them, giving them bigger venues to play, and the opportunity to tour with I Mother Earth.
They have also played with Moist, Kim Mitchell and Blue Rodeo, to name but a few.
The two original band members, Brodbeck and Bowen, both of Montreal, have seen the group go through a few changes since they first formed, most recently the addition of a new drummer and guitarist.
In February, Josh Trager joined See Spot Run after a chance meeting in Montreal through a mutual friend of Bowen’s.
“[The friend] gave Randy some drums to deliver to me in Montreal and so he comes over with the drums and all of a sudden he’s like ‘So, you want to be in my band?’” said Trager, laughing. “‘What’s your schedule like for the next year?’”
“It was a privilege [to join See Spot Run],” added Trager. “Justin and I were actually talking about it last night on the way to Tim Hortons. Just the thrill that we get every night, playing some of these songs—in particular ‘Weightless.’ It’s cool to play a song that everyone knows, and we’re actually playing it.
“Playing ‘Weightless’ every night is living the dream for me.”
After Trager’s arrival, the band started recording a few songs as a three-piece, which worked out really well—but they still needed a fourth. They posted an advertisement on-line, which guitarist Justin Bunn—originally of Trenton, Ont.—responded to.
Immediately the four gelled, which is evident in the unified sound and energy they put out on stage.
“Playing music and playing live is definitely a release,” said Brodbeck. “You’re acting, no question you’re acting. You’re letting go.”
Though they do adapt certain personas on-stage for their performance, the band members are virtually the same off-stage as on, just with the amp turned down a little and no distortion.
Their comfort with each other is evident in their constant jokes and friendly jabs that provide the backdrop both at work practicing, and at play in their stereotypically messy hotel room, where they sat throwing marshmallow strawberries—or “num nums”—into each others mouths.
On-stage they bring that jesting and fun with them, inviting the crowd to join in.
See Spot Run’s shows are definitely crowd-oriented, with all four members—whether they are rocking out under their hair or jumping around on stage—continuously involved in the music and the audience, dividing their energies without losing anything in the process.
This current month-long tour of Northwestern Ontario and southern Manitoba laces the old favourites—as the copious demands of ‘Play “Lucy”!’ attested to—with a few brand new (and very catchy) tunes, such as “Wild Over You,” “Caffeine,” and “Supakindaluvinthing.”
“Playing here, people are really cool and responsive,” said Bunn. “They’re requesting See Spot Run songs from the crowd. All in all, Fort Frances has been a 10 out of 10. Five stars.”
They have also been playing covers over the past few nights, adding their own flavour (which Trager jokingly described as “rainbow sherbet”) to such tracks as No Doubt’s “Hella Good,” The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Just What I Needed” by the Cars.
The primary reason for this tour is to continue to develop the chemistry of the band, and to work out new music in preparation for the recording of their upcoming album, which will likely be recorded in both Toronto and Montreal.
In the meantime, though, they are content to play as many shows as they can, continue to establish themselves as a band, and maybe, one day, get a Tim Hortons tour bus.
“Every single Tim Hortons we hit, we’d play at,” said Brodbeck. “Wouldn’t that just be terrific? The Tim Horton tour. See Tim Run.”
But until Tim Hortons calls, See Spot Run can be seen here at the Adventure Inn, wrapping up their five-day stint here with shows both tonight and tomorrow night, before heading out to Dryden.
“We just want people here to know that we appreciate them. We love coming here, and we love playing for people here,” said Brosbeck. “And we appreciate the appreciation they give us.”