Group marks musician’s return to rock
They may be fanatics – but this is the year they’re well and truly out of the attic.
Traditional rockers Fanatics In The Attic are an example of the locally organized bands that are getting long overdue recognition in this year’s Spirit of the Sea festival entertainment lineup, thanks to the efforts of new music co-ordinator Jim Black.
The band’s upcoming festival show (1 p.m. Sunday, July 31, East Beach Stage) is a step forward in recognition that bodes well for the future.
“Right now, we’re an independent band, but we’ve been approached by agencies wanting to work with us,” said leader, vocalist and guitarist Kerry Nordin, who is joined in the lineup by bassist Lawrence Kirby and drummer Hugh McGillvray. “We’d like to do a couple more festivals in Canada before we sign with anyone, then head to Europe for the outdoor festival circuit.”
The original rock band project has been in development with the current lineup for the past year, added the Burnaby-born Nordin, who has also been involved in the television and film industry, and moved to White Rock some five years ago.
Fanatics In The Attic are a band likely to click with those who like their rock hard, visceral and pared-down, recalling classic groups of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
That’s hardly an accident considering Nordin’s confessed early influences: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steppenwolf, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
“I started playing guitar and taking lessons at age 12,” he recalled. “I jammed a lot with friends.”
Nordin went to the same high school as television and movie actor Michael J. Fox, who shared his interest in guitar playing.
“Just before a school assembly one day, we picked up a couple of the school band’s guitars and I showed him how to play Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin,” he remembered.
Fox had an influence on him, too, Nordin noted, particularly after high school, when he saw the success the former was having in the television and film industry.
“I caught the acting bug in my early 20s and started doing some Vancouver community theatre,” he said.
A turning point came when Nordin landed a role in a Perry Mason television movie, which resulted in a lot more television and film work.
He qualified to become a full ACTRA member in 1997, and since that time has focused on special-skills performing and background work in such Vancouver-shot movies as The A Team, X Men 2, The Fantastic Four, 2012 and The Day the Earth Stood Still, as well as “a ton” of televison series and TV movie work.
Music has always been in the background, too, Nordin said.
In 1997, he put together an original band, Flesh and Bones, with himself as guitarist and lead singer, and success came tantalizingly close when they made a video that appeared on Much Music.
But Nordin said he also came face to face with the drawbacks of a dual career.
“The TV and film industry really took off for me at that time, so I had to make a choice... much to the chagrin of my bandmates,” he said.
It’s only in the last two years that he returned to his first creative love, he said.
“I decided to give music another go, because I had so many songs I’d started writing over the years that I wanted to finish,” he said.
“I don’t want to be sitting in a rest home one day, saying ‘should’ve, would’ve and could’ve’!”
Nordin said the last two years have consisted mostly of “writing, jamming, rehearsing and also playing acoustic guitar in lounges and coffee houses in White Rock.”
He also paid tribute to bandmates Kirby and McGillvray for their commitment in helping him make his project a reality.
“My very talented bass player, Lawrence, is a singer-songwriter and guitar player who’s very involved in the White Rock music scene,” he said.
He added he’s known Aldergrove-based McGillvray for 17 years, since the days when the latter was working with the band Dead Serious.
“Hugh is one of the best rock drummers I’ve ever heard,” he said.
Whatever the fortunes of Fanatics In The Attic, Nordin is happy knowing he’s finally pursuing his passion.
“Mostly I get a ton of joy out of creating something and hearing it come to life,” he said.