Drom te las, Drom te makas... The road that brings, also takes you away. It's an ancient gypsy proverb about the trials and travails of constant life on the move. It's also a mantra for the six members (5 male, 1 female) of McGnarley's Rant, a road-weathered group of musicians that sometimes call Victoria, British Columbia home.
Living in their tour bus since October 2000, the band can relate to the nomadic gypsy life: they have been touring Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. exhaustively, playing over 300 shows since their inception in early 2000, assaulting listeners with their unique, high-energy blend of political punk and rock laced with gypsy, Celtic and folk themes (think Tom Waits meets the Dead Kennedy's in Eastern Europe...) The music is manic and energetic at times, and passionately contemplative at others; the tight musicianship is a strong compliment to lyrics focusing on topics both personal and political.
Bassist and co-songwriter Mike Brcic explains some of the influences behind the music: "I grew up in a Croatian household in Toronto, where I was exposed to a lot of ciganska muzika, gypsy music. The whole band listens to a lot of the music and it makes its way into the songwriting in various ways, both subtle and not-so-subtle. We all come from different parts or Canada with very different backgrounds, so that's reflected in the diverse nature of our music too." The band's music often uses odd time signatures and scales, a trademark of gypsy music, and uses unique, atypical instrumentation (for a rock/punk band) to shape their dynamic sound (the band features members on violin, mandolin, drums, bass, vocals, and guitar).
As for road life, the band doesn't see much change in the foreseeable future. They have another intensive tour of Western Canada and the US planned for the rest of 2001 and early 2002, then are taking a trip down the west coast to the sunny beaches of Mexico for a well-deserved break to write and rehearse music for the follow-up to their successful and critically acclaimed debut CD. Currently negotiating with distributors for their 2nd album, next summer will see the band hitting the festival circuit full-time, in Europe and Western North America. Says violinist Sara Hart, "we all miss having a home, for sure, but for now we're committed full-time to the caravan. For now... the road calls."