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It’s December, 2002. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: The Palomino Club. A trio of young men sits around a table during a break and decides that they’ve had enough Top 40 music. They want to write and perform their own songs. Sandy Taronno, Dave Pankratz and Brian James start a group they call ‘The Good Fight’.
Many rehearsals later they come to the conclusion that this name will better suit a song. They therefore change the name of their new band to ‘Sharp House Candy’. Curiously, only a little while later, they repeat this odd process, name a song ‘Sharp House Candy’ and re-name their band “Quinzy”. A pattern begins to emerge…
Their first gig was at “Joe’s Garage” in Transcona. An audience member at that time thought they were called ‘quinsy’ which is actually a tonsil infection.
The group began recording very soon afterward and released their first E.P. “We’re Here to Help” in 2003. Also in 2003 they performed their first ‘Xmas Show’ which has since become an annual tradition, occurring with the same frequency as group name changes. By December that year they had realized that in no conceivable context could anyone (not even James Keelaghan) use the word “Quinzy” as part of a lyric or song-title. To this day they remain ‘Quinzy’.
Local fans began to admire and follow the band, and this was easier to do since they thoughtfully began to retain the same identity from show to show. Demand was such that the group recorded and released the cd “Please Baby Please Baby….” in 2005. The tracks ‘Mike, Your House is on Fire’ & ‘One Millionth’ have garnered excellent support at College radio in Canada. And you can check the tracking reports if you don’t believe it.
Changes were afoot in 2006. Guitarist Brian James, realizing that the name ‘Quinzy’ was permanent, took the next available option for change by suddenly quitting the group and thereby sending the remaining two members into fits of head scratching. Gallons of calamine lotion later, they replaced James with their brothers Jason Pankratz and Jamie Taronno.
The re-invented “Quinzy” of Dave & Jason Pankratz and Sandy & Jamie Taronno sought out infamous curmudgeon & manager Vince R. Ditrich (House of Doc, Spirit of the West), convinced him to take them on, and then unveiled their new lineup and material at the Western Canadian Music Awards, held in Winnipeg in October, 2006. Their showcase audience was packed with well-wishers, long-time fans, a bunch of high-powered industry mucky-mucks from Toronto, and a small herd of confused shoppers looking for Omnitsky’s.
The Toronto industry mucky-mucks stayed the whole show, and clapped manager and band on the back, saying something to the effect of ‘Keep it up, boys…Someday you’ll make hundreds!!! Get your people to call our people. We can do lunch’. Not having any people, but absolutely famished at the time, Quinzy couldn’t wait and were instantly inspired to approach legendary record producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda via the phone booth at Sal’s. Luckily he has no people either, so he answered the call.
The album begins production in May 2007. It will be released when it’s done. It will be distributed by someone with brains, foresight & excellent taste. It will make you feel damp & clammy all over, not unlike the cold sweat you get when retching.
Quinzy have made a mutual suicide pact in order to keep the band name and its members as currently constituted, at least until hell freezes over.
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