Meet The Band: Secret Connection

So we're pretty excited about this week's Friday night show at Sneaky Dee's. Like, "we've got a train to catch at 6:30 the next morning, but who gives a shit" excited. And not only because Secret Connection are playing. Our friends over at Audio Blood are celebrating their fourth anniversary with sets from Hands &  Teeth, Amos The Transparent and Acres of Lions too. But this is the very first time we get to see Secret Connection live — and we've been wanting to for a while. It's the new band from Rajiv Thavanathan, who you may remember as the former beard-happy frontman of one of Toronto's most rocking live rock outfits: Oh No Forest Fires. And if Secret Connection's debut EP (which you can download for free right here and includes an awesome song about The Balconies' Jacquie Neville) is any indication, it should be some goddamned fun.

You can check out all the Facebook deets here. And we recently caught up with Mr. Thavanathan to ask him some of our silly questions before the show:

How do you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you before?

I’ve always had trouble with this question. Usually when someone says “what do you sound like?” I usually say “Well, how much music do you listen to?” because in my experience, there’s little benefit from telling somebody’s grandma that the last song we wrote was totaling ripping off Guided By Voices. In those situations, I’ve said we sound like The Beatles, except we’re way better looking. I dunno, it’s nothing special I suppose. I think of us as a guitar band, although we have keys too. I think we sound like the same bands that influenced everybody we know like Built to Spill and Superchunk and maybe at our most mature we might sound like old Wilco if Jeff Tweedy had no idea how to sing.

If you could open for one current band that you haven't played with before, who would it be?

I’d like to play with Zeus, just because I think I could really REALLY learn a lot from them.

If you could play one venue you've never played before, what would it be?

Hmmmm, I dunno I don’t really think about that I guess. Maybe Massey Hall? Just to say I did it? Although no one would show up, and I imagine playing to an empty theatre is pretty depressing, so probably not that. Uhhh. Hmmm. I don’t know. If I think of something I’ll come back and write it in. I really like The Vic Theatre in Chicago too. Same problem though.

What's the worst album you own?

Oh jesus, this could go on for days. Probably that album by The New Radicals. Remember that song? “you got the music in you, don’t give up” yadda yadda. I love that song, I still do. Like really really love. I saw that album in a pawn shop and I picked it up just for shits, and MAN it’s terrible. That said, I bought “So Much For The Afterglow” by Everclear for the same reason and it turns out I actually really love that album.

Who, in your opinion, has/had the best facial hair of any band ever?

Me. Actually. Ian Blurton. I’m definitely not the first person to say that either.

What would be your all-time, all-star supergroup?

I once went to a “paint n’ clay” shop where they give you a blank ceramic mug and you get to paint it yourself. On that mug, I drew a big Woodstock type festival with a supergroup playing, which consisted of Bono, Flea, Noel Gallagher, Stevie Wonder and Dave Grohl on drums. This should give you an idea of what my musical taste was when I was 13. If I had to do it now? I’m not sure I guess, but I assume Jeff Mangum would be involved.

What was the craziest live show you've ever seen?

There’s a local band here in St. John’s called Monsterbator, and I mean it when I say the first I saw them play I remember thinking “this is fucking BONKERS, and it is one of my favourite things I have ever seen.”

What was the craziest live show you've ever played?

Hmmm. I used to play in a band called Oh No Forest Fires, and pretty much every show we ever played was at least a little weird. We played a show at CMW once where we absolutely traaashed our gear, that was pretty wild I guess. I think Frank Yang took a really great picture of the stage after we were done and it looked like a fucking war zone.

What's your favourite song to play live? Why?

Anything where I don’t have to sing and I get to turn my guitar up really really loud. I am going to be deaf before I leave the “young man” phase of my life. Alternatively, any song that is not-so-subtle about a failed relationship or someone that I have ill feelings towards is also really great. Because there’s nuthin’ better than spite!

What was the first record you ever bought? When was the last time you listened to it?

I think the first CD I ever “owned” was Tom Cochrane’s ‘Mad World’. Which is actually a pretty good album, all things considered. But I’m pretty sure that was a gift.

Who was your favourite band (or artist) when you were 12 years old? Do you still like them?

I, like a lot of well-meaning-but-confused young men was really really into the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 12. I suppose I own them some kinda debt, because they made me want to start playing bass which is why I ended up playing in bands in general. I am also pretty sure that my first kiss was a result of me being into that band, which also says a lot about the kind of girls I was into when I was 12 years old (which basically means I would be in love with anyone that would even be willing to think about it). I would say they were my first real “favourite” band, like used to tape videos off Muchmusic and make mix tapes after borrowing CD’s from friend etc. etc. Nowadays I still find a minority of their stuff pretty enjoyable but for the most part I have a hard time taking it seriously. It’s kind of ridiculous isn’t it? I went to a party once where this guy was saying that Anthony Kiedis was the greatest rock lyricist of all time, and we just absolutely fucking CRUCIFIED the guy. I mean, who could possibly say that and mean it? The guy’s a fucking idiot.

If you could only listen to one band or artist for the rest of your life, who would you pick?

Probably Wilco. I can usually listen to any of their albums, any time of day or night, and be pretty happy with the situation. I know that’s a bit of a boring answer but it’s the truth.

Say, for some strange reason, all the music in the world is going to be destroyed, but you can save all the songs from one decade. Which decade's records would you save?

The 90’s!!!! For a whole bunch of reasons. Because then I could still listen to two good Spoon records but I could also hear “Love Song” by Sky.

If you could switch places with another musicians in some type of "Freaky Friday" type incident, who would you want it to be?

I’ve always said that I want to be in charge of the Hey Rosetta twitter account. I think I would a way better job than Phil. Their audience would go from “sizable” to “non-existent” in a matter of hours, I think. Does that answer your question?

Partridge Family or Monkees?


If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life?

Hahahah a face tattoo?? What’s that one of Morrisey holding the baby? Maybe that.

If you could have one musical superpower, what would you want it to be?

I wouldn’t mind having a “Being John Malkovich” kinda situation, except I would be controlling Robbie Williams instead. I bet that’d be fun.

Do you hate your hometown?

There was a period of time that I really resented St. John’s (NL), but now that I’ve been home again for just over two years I’ve come to remember everything great about a place like this and I don’t hate it at all anymore. Quite the opposite. I fucking love this place. I do miss Toronto though.

Meet The Band is a regular feature in which we introduce you to bands we like. You'll find the rest of them here:


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