Stupid Is As Stupid Does . . .
Straitjacket is a Toronto area based rock quartet with a noticeable edge – the material is strictly great old hit cover tunes that have been reworked with crushing hard rock aggression and combined with melodic pop sensibilities, to create an album chock full of amazing kick-ass rock anthems.
Straitjacket’s strength lies in their ability to take popular hit songs and rework them into heavier more current versions marketable in today’s musical climate, thus not only having the ability to release album after album of great music, but also the opportunity to bring these classics to a whole new generation of listeners.
Even the controversial album cover ties into the equation. The title “Vices” can relate not only to the cover art, but also to the music itself.
Straitjacket Consists Of Four Uniquely Talented (ie: Special) Individuals:
Chad Campbell – Lead Vocals:
Chad started singing at 17 and honed his chops touring with the cover band “Mind’s Eye” and the Black Crowe’s tribute “Hard To Handle.” Chad also released an independent album called “Sex, Lies & Audiotape” with his former original band “Jack Butler,” opening for the likes of Rik Emmett, Lee Aaron, Harem Scarem, Honeymoon Suite and Sven Gali. More recently Chad has performed with the Guns-N-Roses, Queen and Van Halen versions of the “Classic Albums Live” touring group. In his spare time Chad is somewhat of a philanthropist. It is his sworn mission to adopt confused Hollywood starlets in a selfless attempt to get them on the right track. Says Chad: “It’s just terrible what they have to go through and I want to help anyway I can.” (So far only three starlets have become pregnant). Chad counts Stevie Wonder, David Coverdale, Al Green and Glenn Hughes as major influences.
James MacEachern – Lead & Rhythm Guitars:
James started playing guitar at the age of 12 and by the time he was 17 began gigging with numerous original, cover and tribute acts such as “Van Wailin,” “The Stone Temple Co-Pilots,” “Kingpin,” “Renaissance,” and “Steel Lily.” James has toured across Canada and parts of the U.S. opening for notable recording artists such as Dream Theater, Lee Aaron, Goddo, Trooper and Finger Eleven. James cites Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore and David Gilmour as influences.
Mark Piraino – Bass Guitar:
Mark “I want a Harley” Piraino started playing bass at 16. Before long Mark became a regular staple on the local music scene, playing and performing on releases with various independent recording acts and opening for artists such as Honeymoon Suite. A self-professed “wannabe” biker, Mark still has the Big Wheel from his childhood years. He enjoys straddling and caressing it, making “VRROOM, VRROOM” noises while he dreams of the day he can finally afford a “HOG.” Mark’s influences include Rush, Van Halen, Kiss and Led Zeppelin.
Rob MacEachern – Drums & Percussion:
The finest mediocre drummer ever to come out of Canada, Rob developed into a seasoned touring musician before reaching the age of 20 (Rob’s a legend – just ask him). Rob has toured all across North America approximately 60 times with numerous bands including “Sven Gali”- which he was awarded a GOLD RECORD in Canada for the album “Under The Influence,” “Blu Bonz” and “Michael White And The White.” Blu Bonz released 3 independent CD’s before splitting up, and aside from numerous club tours did a 2 month U.S. arena tour opening for metal goddesses “Kittie.” Rob also performed in various bands with his “Evil Twin” brother James, including “The Stone Temple Co-Pilots,” “Kingpin” and “Van Wailin.” During Rob’s drum solo he crams a drumstick up each nostril, takes 3 sticks in each hand and performs the patented “Triple Lindy,” a six limbed fiasco unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Truly an inspiration to the serious percussionists of the music world and definitely a sight to behold!
Straitjacket The Band:
Due to the classic material chosen and the heavy studio production style, the music of Straitjacket is marketable to an extremely diverse audience. We have fans ranging in age from 10 year-old kids to 50 year-old grandparents, but the majority fall between the ages of 25 to 40. Everyone who hears the album LOVES IT! We’ve had buddies lend the album to their friends and then their friend refuses to give it back, instead offering to buy it from them!
The members of Straitjacket came together from across Southern Ontario. James and Mark reside close to Niagara Falls, Rob lives in London and Chad’s from the Markham area of North Toronto.
What morphed into “Straitjacket” was initially an assortment of bands featuring various members playing in the Toronto area.
James and Rob had numerous bands over the years doing anything from tribute acts (Van Wailin’ and The Stone Temple Co-Pilots), to cover bands (The Fridgemagnets and The Village Idiots), to original acts (Kingpin and Liquid Roxanne), playing all over Canada and parts of the U.S. to as many as 2,000 people at a show. The highlight of these lineups was headlining a large outdoor festival in Ohio where the lead guitarist from Styx was in one of the opening acts, and we went onstage to perform to close to 8,000 fans! In addition Mark and James played in another area cover band called Pop The Hood and Chad was involved with both Liquid Roxanne and The Village Idiots.
Ultimately, after years of playing cover songs “Metallica” style and nurturing a devoted following, it was decided that the natural progression was to record an album. The band was assembled, songs were chosen and recording sessions began in the winter of 2005. Production duties were assigned to James due to his extensive recording experience in numerous area recording facilities including The Asylum, Underground Sound and Metalworks Studios in Toronto. We would record whenever we could get into the studio at discount rates!
Eventually (over a year later) we finally had a finished album complete with some very controversial album artwork (courtesy of James’ warped mind). Keeping with the album’s title “VICES,” the cover art depicts Jesus nailed to the cross and trying to take a drag of a cigarette. There are several subtle aspects on the cover that may not be immediately noticeable. Jesus is sporting a nipple ring along with various tattoos, including “SAVE ME” tattooed across his abdomen, and the Hebrew inscription on the plaque above his head translated basically means “Keep Off The Grass” in English! This will be sure to irritate any self-respecting bible thumping freaks!
Straitjacket feels the music contained on their album is pretty darned good (even by preschool standards), and would also make for fabulous Television and Movie Soundtrack material as well! The real beauty of Straitjacket is that since we focus on recording great cover songs - meaning essentially that we can never run out of material, our vision for the future is to play a lot of gigs, have a lot of fun and record and release follow-up albums as long as people care to listen!