Today’s Q&A features D2UR, a Winnipeg modern-rock outfit who recently showcased their latest video Little Sunshine on the site. You can check it out below and read more about it HERE. Meanwhile, here’s what D2UR co-fronters Diane Ibister and Mike Ibister had to say to my stupid questions (they were smart enough only to answer 16 instead of subjecting themselves to 20, though between the two of them, they did send me 20 answers, so close enough).
Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and other details you’d like to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
Mike: Hi, my name is Mike Isbister, co-founder of the Winnipeg-based band D2UR. I am a bad-ass Scorpion, still young at heart and aching to rock n’ roll!
What is your musical origin story?
Mike: D2UR rose from the wreckage of a cover band, same name, and began its metamorphosis as an original band in 2010. D2UR is a straight ahead, no frills rock band who strive to write great music. Prior to forming D2UR, I was in a few original bands, my first being a hard-rocking outfit named SledgeHound that was influenced by the grunge bands of the day. Later I joined forces with another terrific songwriter to form a band called The Survivors that was more straight-up rock. Unfortunately, all we have is demo tapes from those days.
Diane: I did a bunch of writing with girl bandmate & a couple of guys that I used to jam with in my teens, but nothing became of it. I wrote Good Together that is on the Rev U Up album when I was 20 and it’s always been a favourite of mine and also to our fans. I liked it so much I used the same chord progression in a wedding song I wrote for my brother called The Wedding Day.
What’s your latest project? Tell us everything we need to know.
Mike: We recently released three new singles. These songs feature bone-crushing beats and infectious bass line grooves and rocking guitar. Wild Ride is a full-tilt classic rocker of hell-bent destruction. The song twists and turns dangerously while the pedal is through the floor. The bass pulsates and grooves while the drums pound feverishly. It’s one ride you’ll want to take over and over till the end. Where’s the Rocket is an up-tempo rocker about crazy antics and good times. Diane wails through the wall of guitars, driving bass and thumping drums, as the song drives to a frenzy. Little Sunshine opens in a haunting dark mood and the vocals spin a tale of deceit and lies. The chorus kicks in and unleashes no mercy. It is a rock n’ roll tale of abuse and sadness draped in bombastic rock layers. We recently composed a song called Slippin Away that captivates what everyone’s been going through since C-19 hit hard and everything ground to a halt. It has a great melody and it’s a bit of a different song for us — it speaks to a wider audience I believe.
What truly sets you apart from other artists?
Mike: Partly our passion for rock ’n’ roll, which we have never given up on, even though there are far more genres today. It’s been in our blood forever and although we love all kinds of music, rock is truly our passion. Another factor which I believe sets us apart is the fact that touring is difficult for us given that I am a partner in an architectural/design firm in Winnipeg. We are building a catalogue of enough rock to be positioned to support other acts on tour. For the time being, we are somewhat set in playing local shows and festivals until someone comes a calling to play elsewhere.
What album / song / artist / show changed your life?
Mike: The first album I ever heard was Killer by Alice Cooper. We had an older cousin staying with us at the time attending college. When he played that for me, the fluff I was exposed to on the radio went out the window and I was hooked on nasty rock n’ roll. I loved many bands growing up including Montrose, ZZ Top, 999, Zep, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and others. Later I was heavily influence by AC/DC. Their primal chord structures and Bon’s wailing burnt a hole in my brain and is forever stuck in there.
Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played and what you got paid.
Mike: Much of my original music began in SledgeHound and we wrote many original songs and it was a fantastic time to be able to experiment and grow my writing skills. We still refer to some of the lyrics I generated back then, when looking for song inspirations or in need of lyrics. Recently we resurrected one of these early songs, Little Sunshine. Our drummer at the time, Scott Wilkie, originally penned the song lyrics. Diane recently found the lyrics and strummed a couple of chords. I went right down to the basement and pieced together the rest of the song in ProTools. In the day, SledgeHound would play bars like the old Zoo here in Winnipeg for a measly $50 when they were doing three bands a night.
What do you want to be doing in five years?
Mike: Travelling is a passion we both have but mainly recording, playing music full time as well touring – we have a lot of road to cover……
What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
Mike: We’ve recently been listening to a psychedelic artist, OJR that has some killer songs with really killer grooving bass parts. His song Psych Numb is really cool.
What are your favourite songs / albums / artists right now?
Mike: We have recently stumbled across a great rock band from Australia called Datura4 who have some great amazing riffs and great stories in their lyrics. We love how they find a great groove, keep repeating that, morph into another groove, and then come back to the original idea. It been blasting in my car for weeks. Aside from them we’ve also been listening to Black Paisley, Rival Sons, Dinosaur Pile-up to mention a few.
Who would you be (or have you been) starstruck to meet?
Mike: We have been hooked on Tom Petty for a long time. He was such a great songwriter. We saw him in Nashville on his last tour with Joe Walsh, another long-time favorite artist. It would have been great to meet him. It is so sad Tom departed early, very tragic. Would still love to meet Joe and some other great guitar heroes like Ritchie Blackmore, Angus Young. Would have loved to meet Malcom Young, sadly another great that departed too early.
Diane: Agree with Mike, but I personally would love to meet Sheryl Crow … I have been a fan of hers for a very long time and sound a little like her in some of our tunes. Her newer material I am less crazy about but was totally impressed with her performance at our Winnipeg Folk Festival a couple of years ago. Stumbled upon her guitarist, Peter Stroud, shopping at one of the boutiques and had a little chat and got a selfie with him. I think some of our songs she would sing well & have reached out to her but had no response. I would also love to meet Ellen DeGeneres and get to perform on her show.
What do you drive and why? What do you want to drive and why?
Mike: I have a 2011 Cobra Shelby which kicks ass and I drive a 2011 Jeep Wrangler in the winters. I’d drive the Shelby all year round if our winters weren’t so frigid and because we have so much snow.
Diane: Nissan Murano … love my vehicle with my heated seats & steering wheel and lots of space for gear and groceries.
What superpower do you want and how would you use it?
Mike: I would have strength because I could haul all our gear and touch down anywhere and set up to play a rock show.
What skills — useful or useless — do you have outside of music?
Mike: As I mentioned earlier, I practice design in an architectural firm and run the design division. I graduated from the University of Manitoba and have been designing with the firm for over 20years. We’ve done a lot of great projects here in Winnipeg as well as across Canada and in the US.
Diane: I am a licensed Aesthetician of 39 years … I have been self-employed since 21, renting chairs at hair salons, then set up a day spa in my home part time after my second child. I give a mean massage, so I am told, and love what I do. I also love to decorate anything and everything which makes Mike and I a team all around.
What do you collect?
Mike: Musical gear. I think I have ever piece of equipment I have ever purchased.
If I had a potluck, what would you bring?
Mike: Ribs with BBQ glaze, the perfect summertime treat!
Diane: An appetizer … toasted baguette, spicy jam, raspberry merlot cheese with a fresh piece of basil … Always a hit. Love to create different salads and vegetable medleys as well.
Tell us about your current and/or former pets.
Mike: We have a very cool cat named Dexter, after the TV show. His name if very appropriate as he always brings home a plethora of small mammals after his hunts. He loves to show off and get spoiled!