Entertainment
WHAT A CATASTROPHE: Bandmates Jeff Eager and Dave Martin refused to smile for this
Nicole Kobie

Ultra-original music

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Go to a bar (except the Night Gallery), and if there's a live act advertised, it's safe to say it's a cover band spewing out top-40 hits. That's all people want to hear though, right?

The members of Ultraviolet Catastrophe hope that's not true.

"Doesn't anybody care about talent anymore?" laments guitarist and vocalist Jeff Eager. "Today it seems as though kids only play punk. We'd see these bands onstage and know we could do better."

So, a year and a half ago, University of Calgary student Eager and his three bandmates--vocalist and guitarist Dave Martin, percussionist Matt Dixon and bassist Jim Maxwell--set out to prove their worth and talent.

While there was instant chemistry, the four musicians come from different musical backgrounds and have varied musical tastes.

"We didn't know a lot of the same stuff when we started," explains Martin.

UVC started with cover songs ranging from classic rock to blues but now write their own music, from funk to samba to punk to rock.

"We make [each song] different than the last one," begins Eager. "We pride ourselves on it."

"Every song is different," continues Martin. "There's a lot of input from everybody."

Such diversity in songs sets them apart from many local acts. Most clubs only want covers, but that's not what UVC is about, says Eager.

"No top-40, no selling out," emphasizes Martin. "We have to like what we play."

And so does the audience. After a few smaller gigs, where their only fans were personal friends, they've expanded their fan base. After winning round one of Bandwarz at the Palomino Pub, UVC got only good feedback from friends and strangers alike.

"It was nice to get the opportunity to play... for a lot of young bands it's hard to get a chance," says Eager, adding that they expect to do well in round two. "We're doing pretty good. Maybe because the first two bands really stunk it up."

With an electrifying stage show, it's not surprising UVC stands out from the crowd. Their energy, paired with good music and audience interaction, gets even the harshest audiences going.

"You can almost feel the heat coming off the stage. We take you on a ride," claims Eager.

"You'll be blown away by guitar solos," says Martin, adding the drumming is not to be missed as well. He says you'll like UVC if you're sick of seeing all those regular Joe Blow cover bands.

For something different and new, head to the Palomino Pub on Sat., April 14 to take in Ultraviolet Catastrophe or any Tuesday night for Bandwarz.

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Comments

It's amazing how the media portrays you; how they can spin your message into something completely different. It's been a couple years since that interview, and I still wish it could be redone. The exclusion of certain comments and additional commentary made us sound just like any other group, out to promote ourselves and sound cool. Perhaps this final year as we take the main stage at BSD 2004, we can set the record straight. I'm not fighting a war against punk music in particular, I'm fighting a war against untalented, dispassionate so-called "music." And if you come to our show, you will not be blown away by guitar solos or our drummer; you will be blown away by the entire experience created by all musicians as a whole. It is the way rock'n'roll is meant to be: blues-based, young-at-heart, and emotionally-charged. That's the uniqueness of Ultraviolet Catastrophe mixed with the classic design of rock'n'roll - it's the recipie for Ultra-original music. It's okay that Dave and I didn't smile for the photo, there's a whole world out there of bad music being celebrated and great music being ignored. What a catastrophe.

With love,

--Jeff Eager