Biography - By Timm Kerwin
Spaced Out... Two words that can mean different things to different people. But to a certain Antoine Fafard, the meaning lies somewhere, in musical form, in the depths of his twisted mind. Self proclaimed "Prince of Ambiguity" (that's how he introduces himself in concert!), Antoine only recently introduced the world to his own brand of "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" type of music. But by ignoring pop music clichés, music industry standards and pretty much everything else in the music business, he's gone ahead and created something he can call his own. Complex rythm patterns, ecclectic melodies and innovative arrangements have molded his musical vision into what are the two albums that have seen the light of day so far. But he is not alone in the entity that is Spaced Out, and their story can be traced back to a place far, far away (Montreal!!), a long, long time ago (1994!!) to a band called Cortex.
Antoine, still in his teens, was studying and playing bass guitar when he and his older brother Olivier, a drummer, put a band together with school mate Mathieu Bouchard on guitar. Cortex, as they called themselves, played a few gigs but were more interested in getting their music on tape when Antoine and Mathieu realised their similarities in song ideas. Between 1994 and 1996, the trio recorded 3 demos, the third being "Trophallaxie", a song that would eventually end up on SO's second album. Band name changes occurred before they settled on 'Spaced Out' and line-up changes soon followed. After the third demo, the trio became a quintet when Eric St-Jean was drafted. into play keyboards (sequencers had been used up until then) and Vincent Pellerin on board with his sax. Soon after, Vincent announced his departure as did Olivier, who wanted to pursue other musical interests. Benoit Verdant came as in Olivier's replacement but his stay was brief, serving only to inspire the song "Green Teeth" (1st album).
After shelving SO for a couple of months, the lads got back together for a stint of live dates. Olivier was back behind the kit but Eric was unavailable,so it was back to the original trio using sequencers once again. Another 2 song demo was recorded before Olivier said good-buy for the second time. The year is now 1998 and a new drummer is again needed. Antoine invites another of his school mates to join his project, to replace his brother. Martin Maheux, also studying music, had just quit local French pop group Fouille-moé after doing session work on their first and only album. With a lot of studio experience under his belt, Martin accepts the invitation and new material is rehearsed. A brand new 6 song demo is recorded and is to be used as a calling, card. Realizing the good sound quality of the demo, the band decides it would become the bands 1st official album and Antoine duly sets up a web site to promote it and the band. Though initial sales were minimal, it did however spark the interest of a small independent local progressive label, Unicorn Records. Before a deal with the label was inked in 1999, the band was again put on hiatus. Martin went on a national tour with franco-Saskatchewan pop act PolyEsther and Antoine was involved in music for T .V. production.
When they did get back together to sign the dotted line with Unicorn, a few small details had to be ironed out. Firstly, Mathieu Bouchard was no longer in the band. Secondly, four new songs were to be added to the original six that made up the demo to create the first official first album. Still with me?? Louis Coté was brought on board to take over Mathieu's guitar duties and Éric St-Jean returned to the fold as permanent keyboard player .The results of all this work could finally be heard in the fall of 2000 when Unicorn Records released the first official fifth album, 'Spaced Out' and the world was introduced to a new and quite original band. It must be highlighted that SO is the second band to have been signed up with the Unicorn Records' label after Mystery, label-founder Michel St-Père's progressive rock group.
Local gigs followed and record sales slowly grew. Not one to sit quietly and while away the hours, Antoine started writing new material (including one song with Martin Maheux, now Antoine's right- hand man) and recording for the second album began in the winter of 2001. Gigs and a few more gigs. Antoine and Louis to show-off their talents on 'Missing Link' , the first album by local metal outfit Sweet Distortion. July 2001 sees the release of S O's second album 'Eponymus II' and more shows are lined up. But Louis's hectic schedule prevents him from doing the shows so Sweet Distortion's Marc Tremblay takes his place. Fast forward to fall of 2001 and you'll find Antoine again writing new material for a 2002 release. Always instrumental but with new sounds. Martin is also in the process of putting the final touches on a solo jazz album, 'The Physics of Light' , which should come out in 2002. The story so far ...
Written by Timm Kerwin, Sound Enginneer