Now that they've managed to resurrect the supposedly dead musical form of ska in their homeland of Canada, all that's left for Toronto's King Apparatus is to conquer the rest of the world.
The 7-year-old septet, voted the best live act in Canada in 1992, is already building a small but loyal fan base south of the Canadian border. But they're setting their goals higher than just a cult following in North American, said bass guitarist Mitch Girio, who co-produced both of the group's efforts, 1991's "King Apparatus" and 1993's "Marbles.""There are still a lot of people who haven't heard of ska," Girio said. "Maybe we can change that."
This week, King Apparatus will make its third and fourth Utah appearances, headlining shows April 10 at Salt Lake's Zephyr Club and April 11 at Meridian School in Provo.
The band's version of ska, reggae's more up-tempo forefather, is more akin to the "second wave" of ska, the two-tone movement from England that included the Specials, Madness, the Se-lec-ter, the (English) Beat and Bad Manners.
"I think we're closer in sound to the British movement (than the Jamaican)," Girio said. "We stick more to the musical side than the social, though."
King Apparatus also adds a goofy, humorous slant to its lyrics, especially "Buy Our Stuff," an honest appeal for fans to support them financially - its lyrics consist solely of "Buy our stuff! Make us rich!".
"We were trying to be more aggressive with our selling tactics, but none of us were salesman-types," Girio said. "So we'd play the song near the end of a set and people liked it. It's catchy because it only has a few words, and it often worked. We're not rich, but we've managed to stay alive."
King Apparatus will be joined by Salt Lake's Insatiable for both shows and Provo's Stretch Armstrong at the Provo show. Tickets for both concerts are $7 in advance, with Smith'sTix and the Zephyr selling tickets for the Salt Lake show, and Provo's Sonic Garden and Crandall Audio in Orem handling tickets for the Provo show.