The Mesozoic era marked the appearance and extinction of dinosaurs. Millions of years later, Dinosaur Bones came into existence – the band that is. Time on earth: approximately 1.5 years.
Dinosaur Bones formed when members Ben Fox, Joel Clifton, Branko Scekic, Dave Wickland and Lucas Fredette broke free from previous musical endeavors and joined together to form what is now one of many independent bands from Toronto.
Despite its common location, Dinosaur Bones is wholly unique from other independent Torontonian bands. Their haunting sound, telling lyrics and quirky sense of fun is what sets them apart.
Fox – the band’s vocalist, guitarist and lyricist – describes their sound as “catchy and upbeat, but at the same time there is a melancholy darkness to it.” However, their MySpace page will tell you that their music is “concrete Hawaiian.”
Either way, their sound is likely to appeal to those who enjoy original alternative rock or whimsical musical storylines, often about forced loss and leaving things behind.
In a phone interview with The Cord, Fox says that his inspiration comes from his experience moving to another city.
“A lot of [the songs] have to do with my personal [situation of] leaving things behind in Montreal.”
Knowing this about Fox’s life makes certain lyrical metaphors in songs such as “Life in Trees” and “Royalty” clear.
As for their quirky sense of fun, the members of Dinosaur Bones enjoy spending spare time playing a Burmese sport called chinlone. Chinlone is played by keeping a small wicker basket up in the air.
“We play an intense amount of chinlone,” says Fox. “It is actually the greatest thing in the world!”
Another Dinosaur Bones peculiarity is a ritual that takes place before each show.
“Our bass player Branko has a little E.T. figurine and we all touch E.T.’s finger before we go on stage,” said Fox.
“Although none of us are superstitious … there is comfort in rituals,” he added.
Superstitious or not, the figurine seems to bring at least a bit of luck to the band.
This past January, they had their one-year anniversary at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.
Another lucky break occurred when Dinosaur Bones was selected to perform at Cutting Edge Music Festival.
“There are so many great bands playing that we are flattered to be a part of it,” said Fox.