by Katie Rankin
Charlottetown’s newest rock band Atta Boy! formed on a Tuesday. The band’s first show was on a Thursday—two days later. Surprisingly, the band and the song it wrote for that first show stuck, and now the band is writing more songs and playing more shows, some that are even planned weeks in advance.
This winter Cory Roper (drums, guitars, accordion, banjo, vocals) heard about the show Rockin’ for Dollars at Baba’s and thought it would be a great chance to play music. He enlisted his brother Daniel Roper, co-worker Alexi Ladéroute and fellow open-mic host Ryan Merry to form an impromptu group. The date for the show approached much quicker, weeks quicker, than Cory realized and they were left with two days to write a song.
“We didn’t know A) how the band should sound, B) what the song was going to be about, so we opened a dictionary and pointed at a word and it was ‘screech owls’ so we wrote a song about owls and then we called it ‘Wingin’ It’,” says Merry (guitar, drums, vocals). After that show, they couldn’t resist becoming a permanent band. “The reception was so good that first show that we were like ‘Okay, guess we gotta keep doing this,’” says Ladéroute (bass, guitar, vocals). “And the fact that we could write a song in two days and have it down pat and handle multiple instruments and have fun doing it,” says Cory.
Every member of Atta Boy! plays multiple instruments, including Daniel who plays bass, and also auxiliary. “Wingin’ It” is the only song the band has written entirely as a group, something that Cory says came organically despite the looming deadline.
“The rest of the time Cory or I will have a song written fairly complete and then bring it to the band and then it kind of fleshes together,” says Ladéroute. Atta Boy! tends to play both acoustic and plugged-in shows. “That’s the thing about the songs we write-they’re super malleable. Like we manage to play almost punk shows and we’ve played country shows just by toning it down or turning it up,” says Ladéroute. He says the band’s sound has been compared to everything from Western-themed movies to Queens of the Stone Age.
For Atta Boy! everything involving writing and playing music should be fun. “My biggest pet peeve anytime I’ve ever seen a band is when a band doesn’t look like they’re having fun. Music is hands-down the most fun thing you can ever do so if you’re up there and you look bored and you look like you’re not having fun that sucks,” says Merry. The band’s theory is that if you’re having fun, people in the audience will too.
Catch Atta Boy! on September 13 at Baba’s with Bad Uncle and Cud Eastbound.
This is Katie Rankin’s last Talking Bands column as she leaves for Ontario to pursue a Master of Pop Culture degree. The Buzz thanks Katie for her excellent contributions, and wishes her success at Brock University.