“We’re pretty boring. Not a fun band.”
This is how the three members of Abbotsford-born band Doja characterize themselves. The issue with their description is simple: it’s wrong.
For starters, it’s obvious that bassist Steve Kalkan, guitarist Ricky Laurie, and drummer Brad Desjardins have known each other since the first grade and been playing together for years – their witty remarks flow as freely as the air between them.
When Kalkan delves into a cringe-worthy tour story involving a clogged toilet in Golden, B.C., the joking only increases. “The story is a little bit inappropriate, but, like, not extremely,” Kalkan starts.
“Someone in our crew – I won’t name who – clogged the toilet of the room in the hotel we were staying in, and 15 minutes after, some guy knocks on our door and somehow knew we had plugged the toilet! Apparently, when it gets clogged up, there are leaks into the kitchen downstairs.”
At this point, Laurie and Desjardins have constipated expressions on their faces. “Most uncomfortable plunging experience of my life,” Kalkan concludes quietly. “Did any of your chicken sandwiches taste little a bit off, guys?”
Doja’s latest release It’s Me, You is a mesh of ska, funk, and punk rock; first single “Tolja” is a perfect example of this, rolling effortlessly between its groove-based verses, funky guitar, and rock choruses. “’Tolja’ is the first real Doja compilation versus the first Ricky, Steve, and Brad song,” says Kalkman. “And also, I have to add: the song name is thanks to Soulja Boy.”
Other band favourites include the dark, heavy rock “Creature” and “The Way It Goes”, a catchy tune with soft harmonies and a sudden guitar solo as the song peaks. Many moments on It’s Me, You are reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime and other bands that the trio listened to growing up.
“The bands we listened to as kids – like the Red Hot Chili Peppers – will forever and always be ingrained in what we play,” says Kalkan. “We probably listened to Harmonium a lot, too. Or some other French Canadian band. Because we’re cool like that.”
“Hah! End the article with that!” Laurie grins.
“Then,” Kalkan jokes, “conclude it with: ‘What a pretentious dick.’”
Catch Doja’s album release show January 29th at the Biltmore Cabaret.
By Kristina Charania