Getting up close in between The Sheets 0
The Sheets are a four-piece band, based in Vancouver. The band plays every Thursday at the Blarney Stone in Gastown. (SUBMITTED)
The Sheets, one of Vancouver’s most impressive live acts, are a four-piece band that incorporates a reggae feel into their sound. The group performs every Thursday at the Blarney Stone in Gastown. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with lead singer Tim Payne.
24: When did you first start playing?
TP: Tom Kuzma (bass) and I are high-school buddies from the same town in Ontario. We played music together in stage bands, jazz bands, big bands and always had our own original projects on the go. I met Heath Parnell (percussion, vocals) when I moved out to Vancouver. He lived down the hall from me in my apartment building. I saw him wearing a Jon Butler Trio T-shirt one day in the stairwell and the rest is history. We played various pubs around the city as a three piece for a couple years until we ended up at the Blarney Stone where we met Gavin Mullen (guitar, vocals), who was bartending there. He just happened to be the perfect addition for the band.
24: Is there any special significance to the name, The Sheets?
TP: When we first started up and weren’t taking ourselves too seriously we needed a name for our cover band. Somebody came up with the idea of the sheets because we play covers. I think it all has to do with linens or something.
24: Do you feel it’s important that everyone shares the same musical interests?
TP: No, not at all. Actually, I think that it’s vital that everyone bring different interests, opinions and influences to the table. We all have different musical tastes and ideas and I think that’s helped to make us a well-rounded band. That being said, everyone needs to be receptive to other ideas and at the same time, everyone needs to share a common vision for the band. Disagreements are inevitable, but like in every relationship, you have to work at it to get anywhere.
24: How do you find Vancouver audiences?
TP: We get a lot of love from people who see us play and that always feels good. It means a lot to us when people take the time to approach us and say something nice about the band.
24: What are your personal influences?
TP: Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh, Sublime, NOFX, Mad Caddies and so on were always on my mix tapes. I used to listen to all kinds of music, though — everything from metal to hip-hop. Actually, Tom and I played in a Primus cover band when we were in high school. It’s interesting how things progress.
24: Since you do a lot of covers do you try and put your spin on someone else’s song?
TP: Always. It’s great when people can listen and say, ‘Hey, I know that tune,’ but it sounds somehow different from the versions they know. That makes it more interesting for us too. We enjoy playing songs more when we add our own flavour to them — the ‘Sheets Spice,’ if you will.
We have a lot of original material that I’m really excited to lay down. Recently, we’ve been focused on the live performance thing, which is important, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the studio too.
24: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned to pass along to aspiring performers?
TP: As cliche as it sounds, don’t give up. Everybody sucks when they first start and the only way to improve is to keep at it … We have to move past times like these. Become stronger. Work harder. And this goes for everything, not just music.