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Econoline Crush rolling into Fort St. John

Egan's Pub is going to be rocked down to its foundation when in Econoline Crush rolls into town tomorrow night. Front man Trevor Hurst spoke with the Alaska Highway News about his influences, the industry, and a bit about the show.

Egan's Pub is going to be rocked down to its foundation when in Econoline Crush rolls into town tomorrow night.

Front man Trevor Hurst spoke with the Alaska Highway News about his influences, the industry, and a bit about the show.

Econoline Crush has been together since the 1995 when the Winnipeg, Man. native responded to an ad for a lead singer he found in a small music magazine while living in Seattle.

The ad brought him to Vancouver, where he won the spot as front man for an industrial act known at the time as Mauve. Hurst saw great potential for the band and wanted to see it go further.

"I wanted to take the sound from just keyboards to keyboards, guitars, drums and live music," he said.

After finding out the founding member of Mauve really had no interest in touring and performing live, Hurst and the rest of the band decided to move on together and get their act off the ground.

The name Econoline Crush was a spur of the moment decision, said Hurst, recalling "the day they literally had to name the group before the FedEx guy left.

"The name sort of came when we were finishing up a demo of songs and we had some interest from some labels we had this label in New York that really wanted to hear material, we hadn't named the band yet, and the FedEx guy shows up to pick up the CD to send (it) off to New York," said Hurst.

One member wanted to name the band 'Crush,' which Hurst was opposed to as "there's going to be a million bands named Crush in every city, it's just so common."

After some discussion about how the band's music was "like a machine," Hurst recalled how he first developed his musical tastes from riding in his parent's van.

"(The van) was an Econoline, what about Econoline Crush?... No one said anything, so we just wrote that down on the CD and sent it out and that's the way it went," he said.

Being the oldest of four kids, Hurst never had an older sibling's music collection to influence his musical tastes, so he had to find his own preferences - which didn't conform to what was popular among his peers.

When everyone he knew was listening to classic rock, he developed a liking for punk and 80s new wave, listening to bands such as Killing Joke, The Clash and early U2.

"One of the things that was interesting a friend was telling me that (U2 singer) Bono had said he didn't want to make dinosaur rock, he wanted to make new music. I sort of lived by that creed for quite some time and would never listen to, say, Black Sabbath or Zeppelin or any of that. I kind of avoided it," said Hurst. "It wasn't so much that I didn't like the music, I just didn't like the people that liked the music, they were annoying."

He does have an appreciation for bands with charismatic front men - Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and the late Michael Hutchence are among his greatest influences.

"All these guys played a role in what I saw as the way a rock star should perform live, you know, the swagger (and) the ability to engage an audience."

But being a musician now isn't all sex, drugs and rock 'n roll the way it was for Jagger and Tyler back in the 60s and 70s.

Free love, he said, is definitely a bygone concept.

"We come into our sexual prime and it's like 'hey, guess what dudes? We got two presents for ya, one's herpesbut hey, we got an even better one, it's called AIDS, and you die,'" he said.

But surely drugs are still fair game in the rock star world?

"Oh no, they invented crack cocaine. Don't even go down the drug highway 'cause if you get hooked on that crack cocaine or smack, you're done,"

That just leaves the good ol' rock 'n roll. Right?

"I'm a musician and I've had a hit record; thank God because when I'm 60, they'll be buying my records at the store and I'll have a retirement fundwhat? Oh, no one's buying records anymore? Great," Hurst said sardonically.

Not only is the music industry not the same as it was decades ago, it's not even the same as it was five years ago, which makes it challenging for bands to keep going.

"This generation of musicians in my peer group has always kind of been in flux and we've always had to adapt," he said. "We were brought up on one industry model, and now the industry has done a complete 180, and we needed to learn to adapt."

That's why little tours like the one Econoline Crush is kicking off in Fort St. John tomorrow night are so great, said Hurst.

"This is an important step in the growth of the band, sometimes people look at these little tours and they're like 'oh yeah, you're doing a little tour, big deal,' but for us it is a big deal," he said. "Rob (Morfit is) back in the band after 11 years of not being in the band. Him and Ziggy (Sigmund) just have an interesting chemistry; Rob, Ziggy and I have an interesting chemistry for us it's a really exciting kind of thing."

This will be Hurst's first visit to Fort St. John, but he said he's "looking forward to seeing Fort St. John we'll kick some butt and it'll be fun, we'll have a fun night.

Econoline Crush will perform at Egan's Pub on Thursday night. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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