370 Queen Street West Toronto
Advance tickets also available at The Horseshoe front bar, Rotate This & Soundscapes
Rusty was formed from the ashes of One Free Fall. That band’s bassist Jim Moore (ex-Misery Goat’s drummer), drummer Bob Vespaziani and fellow singer Ken MacNeil continued rehearsing together in Toronto’s Kensington Market area. After teaming with ex-Doughboys member Scott McCullough — Rusty was born. When it was clear they were going to be signed to Atlantic records in the U.S. Vespaziani was unable to carry on with the band and he was replaced by Mitch Perkins. They soon released a an eponymous 5 song E.P. which was recorded in a single day. The EP did well on the indie and college charts.
The band’s debut album, cleverly titled ‘Fluke’, found the Handsome Boy – TAG (US label) release distributed by BMG in Canada and through Atlantic Records in the States.. On the heels of the album’s first single, “Misogyny”, gay porn filmmaker Bruce La Bruce liked the song so much he used it in his film ‘Hustler White’. The result of that association led to a Much Music award-winning video for the song (a collage of scenes from the movie) and pushing ‘Fluke’ to gold status in Canada.
The disc sold just a hair short of Gold Status in Canada, reaching the modern rock Top 40 in the U.S., and yielded four radio hits — “Wake Me”, “Groovy Dead”, “Misogyny”, and “California”. It also earned them a Juno nomination for ‘Best Alternative Album’; losing to Art Bergman (Jim Moore played bass on some of Art’s album).
Their follow-up album was titled ‘Sophomoric’, and was produced by GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, L7). The first single, “Empty Cell”, featured the return of Bruce La Bruce — this time as the video’s director.
In 1996, during the recording of “Let’s Break Robert Out Of Jail” for the soundtrack of Bruce MacDonald’s movie ‘Hard Core Logo’, the band began experimenting with 1960’s and 1970’s garage styles. This style mutation resulted in the 1998 album ‘Out Of Their Heads’ featuring Rusty originals plus covers of the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” and The Kinks’ “Till The End Of The Day” produced produced by Matt DeMatteo (Big Wreck, Brass Bikini, Ashley MacIsaac). It would also be the full-length debut for new drummer John Lalley who joined the band in 1997 to record their Christmas song “It’s Christmas Time (And I’m Poor
The band subsequently broke up, playing their final show on November 25, 2000.
In the summer of 2011 the band reunited for two shows at the NXNE festival in Toronto, sharing the stage with Descendants, Fucked Up and Metz at Dundas Square and another sold out club show at The El Mocambo…the first venue the band played at back back in 1994.
In 2012 the band did the “It’s Christmastime and I’m Poor” tour of Southern Ontario. Weakerthans bassist John Sutton was recuited to replace Jim Moore (who now resides in the U.K.) and original drummer Bob Vespaziani replaced John Lalley (who was out of the country as well). That mini tour culminated in a sold old Horseshoe Tavern show on Dec 28.
This December (2013) finds the band back on the road again for a series of shows in Sudbury, London and Cambridge…culminating in a two night stint back at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on Dec 28’th and 29’th. Next year will be the 20’th anniversary of the band and it will begin with shows in Ottawa and Montreal on Feb 14’th and 15’th. A new record is also planned as well a longer summer touring schedule.