This section is representative of the biographical part of the project. Using information about the band found in secondary sources such as online articles, books, and interviews conducted specifically for the site, it will offer a digestible overview of the band/artist in question, and a discography of the band/label’s releases. After reading the interview, the viewer will be directed to the music that has been digitized and uploaded to the site. The desired effect being to give the reader some historical context to the music that they are listening to.
Founded in 1983 by friends and bandmates Gerard Van Herk and Tony Dewald, Og Music was an influential independent record label in Montreal until it ceased operations in 1990 when Van Herk and Dewald turned thirty years old. The label produced twenty-nine releases in its eight years of existence, including five vinyl compilations of local independent Canadian bands under the name ‘It Came From Canada’, that instigated a national network of bands and directly inspired the flood of indie labels in the 90’s.
==Deja Voodoo And Og Music==
After meeting in Cegep in the late seventies, and inspired by the punk movement and its burgeoning scene in Montreal, Tony Dewald and Gerald Van Herk formed the group known as Deja Voodoo in Montreal, Canada. Originally starting as a three piece called The Halftones, the band mutated into a two piece outfit after a show involving fireworks scared Jimmy Findlay out of the band. Influenced by Rockabilly, Punk, Garage Rock, Blues and bands such as Link Wray and The Cramps, styling themselves as a ‘sludge-a-billy’ band. Their music was primal and dirty, with Tony Dewald’s drum kit lacking cymbals, using only toms for a very sparse, heavy sound, and Gerald Van Herk playing a four string guitar raucously and singing like a more obviously doped up Elvis. Deja Voodoo released their first album Gumbo on Og Records in 1983 and was released on cassette only.
The band originally started Og Music to release their own material, because nobody else would. Releasing other bands’ music also offered Tony and Gerard a way to help cut the costs of production by having other bands split the initial cost of the cassettes and records. Three years after its inception, and several releases later, Og Music releases were paying for themselves. Deja Voodoo toured extensively across Canada, meeting many new bands a long the way. It was partly due to this exposure to great music from across Canada that spurred the creation of their first It Came From Canada Compilation. Some of these bands ended up on their compilations. Jerry Jerry and The Sons of Rhythm Orchestra and Dusty Chaps from Edmonton were both bands that the duo met on tour. The band developed a cult following through extensive touring of Canada and stints in the U.S. and Europe, their Og Music compilations. They promoted Og Music releases in their newsletter, Deja Voodoo Train, and through their annual band showcases called “Voodoo BBQs”. Surprisingly enough, the band had a couple of successful tours in Finland, which resulted in the release of ”Live at The Backstage Club, Helsinki Finland” album, which included a Finnish cover of “Rockaway Beach” by The Ramones. Though they never achieved mainstream success, Deja Voodoo released nine albums, three singles, and one cassette tape before calling it quits in 1990.
==It Came From Canada==
In 1985, Van Herk and Dewald compiled the music of some of their favourite bands into a compilation that they called ‘It Came From Canada’. The popularity of the ‘It Came From Canada’ compilation, it sold out within a week of its release, spurred the compilation of ‘It Came From Canada Vol. II’ the following year, and three subsequent iterations. The groups and musicians included on the compilations came from all over the country, as the lineup for Vol.I attests: Jerry Jerry was from Edmonton, as was his guitarist’s side project the Dusty Chaps; Chris Houston and UIC were from Toronto, the Enigmas were from Vancouver, and the Calamity Janes were from Ottawa; Deja Voodoo, Ray Condo & His Hard Rock Goners, the Gruesomes, and Terminal Sunglasses were all from Montreal. It was an eclectic mix of music that was representative of a large population of independent musicians from across the country. In 1990, when both Dewald and Van Herk turned thirty, they dissolved the label and the band to pursue other careers. Van Herk states in the interview on this site that the duo made a promise in a zine shortly after they started playing together that they would break up the band when they both turned thirty. He also intimated that the band and the label were intertwined, with much of the labels revenue coming from funds made by Deja Voodoo, and that when the band stopped playing, it became harder to keep the label going. Van Herk is now a professor of linguistics at the University of Newfoundland, and Dewald is Brewmaster at Deadfrog Breweries in Aldergrove B.C.
==Og Music Discography==
OG 1 – [[Deja Voodoo (Canadian band)|Deja Voodoo]], ”Gumbo” (Cassette – 1983)
OG 2 – [[Condition (band)|Condition]], ”Dirty Business” (Cassette – 1983)
OG 3 – Various Artists, ”From Montreal” (7″ single – 1983)
OG 4 – Deja Voodoo, ”Cemetery (Album)|Cemetery” (LP – 1984)
OG 5 – Asexuals (band)|The Asexuals, ”Featuring the Asexuals” (7″ single – 1984)
OG 6 – Terminal Sunglasses, ”Wrap Around Cool” (LP – 1985)
OG 7 – Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra, ”Road Gore: The Band That Drank Too Much” (LP – 1985)
OG 8 – Various Artists, ”It Came from Canada, Vol. 1” (LP – 1985)
OG 9 – Various Artists, ”It Came from Canada, Vol. 2” (LP – 1986)
OG 10 – The Gruesomes, ”Tyrants of Teen Trash” (LP – 1986)
OG 11 – Deja Voodoo, ”Swamp of Love (album)|Swamp of Love” (LP – 1986)
OG 12 – Deja Voodoo, ”Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die (album)|Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die” (LP – 1988)
OG 13 – Various Artists, ”It Came from Canada, Vol. 3” (LP – 1987)
OG 14 – Deja Voodoo, ”The Worst of Deja Voodoo|The Worst of…” (LP – 1987)
OG 15 – The Gruesomes, ”Gruesomania” (LP – 1987)
OG 16 – The Dik Van Dykes, ”Nobody Likes the Dik Van Dykes” (LP – 1987)
OG 17 – Various Artists, ”It Came from Canada, Vol. 4” (LP – 1988)
OG 18 – Deja Voodoo, ”Big Pile of Mud (album)|Big Pile of Mud” (LP – 1988)
OG 19 – (Unknown)
OG 20 – The Gruesomes, ”Hey!” (LP – 1988)
OG 21 – Various Artists, ”Mr. Garager’s Neighbourhood” (LP – 1989)
OG 22 – UIC (band)|U.I.C., ”Live Like 90” (LP – 1989)
OG 23 – Captain Crunch and Let’s Do Lunch, ”More Baroque-Post Industrial Hillbilly Launch Music” (LP – 1989)
OG 24 – The Dik Van Dykes, ”Waste More Vinyl” (LP – 1989)
OG 25 – Various Artists, ”It Came from Canada, Vol. 5” (LP – 1988)
OG 26 – Supreme Bagg Team, ”Supreme Bagg Team” (LP – 1989)
OG 27 – Ripcordz, ”Ripcordz Are Go” (LP – 1989)
OG 28 – Deja Voodoo, ”Live at the Backstage Club, Helsinki Finland” (LP – 1990)
OG 29 – Vindicators, ”Vindicators” (Mini-LP – 1989)
Michael Barclay, Jason Schneider, Ian Andrew. Have Not Been The Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985 – 1995. ECW Press. Toronto. 2011. ISBN 978-1-55022-992-9.
Ben Griffiths. Interview With Gerard Van Herk. Defunct Music Archive. http://www.defunctrecordsarchive.wordpress.com
Deja Voodoo (Canadian Band). Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deja_Voodoo_%28Canadian_band%29 . Accessed April 9th, 2013.