Story by Dick Hildebrand
Photography by Ryan Brough, Zeebra Media
You could say that Bruce DeBacker, 26, is an enigma…given his credentials, you’d think he would be the consummate business professional. However, nothing could be further from the truth!
Born in Leamington, he matriculated from the Leamington District Secondary School and attended St. Clair College where he finished a course in Police Foundations. He continued his education at Brock University in the Niagara Region, graduating with a Social Sciences degree. “Then,” according to his father Neil, “the former bass player marched straight out of university and became a front man in his main band ‘Löve Razër’. With music being his passion, Bruce is also a member of two other bands —‘Hair Force One’, a well-known Windsor-based rock group where he plays guitar and shares the stage with his guitar player from Love Razer, performing acoustic covers, mainly in area clubs and bars.
‘Löve Razër’, which, thanks to the internet has a fan base stretching from Windsor to Quebec and around the globe, is a four piece band with a hard rock sound that has been compared to Motley Crue. “I sort of look like one of the members,” says Bruce DeBacker, “I’ve got long blond hair, kind of like one of the singers, while our guitar player with his long black hair looks like their guitar player. A lot of people have suggested a relationship between our sound and that of Motley Crue.” However, DeBacker emphasizes “we don’t sound like that band on purpose...we’re a new sound...we’re not even like an 80s rock band, although we have hints of that era. There might even be a bit of punk style but first and foremost we are a hard rock band.” Ideally, Löve Razër’s target audience would range in age from 16 to 30; people who want to hear music from real instruments instead of the electronic sounds which are so popular these days.
The guys like to carry some personal mystery into their shows so each one has a stage name, just to make it more interesting. Bruce, as lead singer and composer of most of the original lyrics, goes by the name of SYDNEY SNOW, a moniker he adopted because he liked the name Sydney and is an avid snowboarder. As he describes himself, “I’m a part-time support worker in the field of special needs, with a full-time career in music.” Briar Lindley, who calls Belle River home is more familiarly known as Micky Bonez and is the group’s guitar player. He’s a member of several bands and earns his living exclusively through music. Bruce says, “he’s a full-time rock star.” Mike Wilkins, or METAL MIKE is the bass player and works at Caesar’s in Windsor as an audio-visual technician, while the Löve Razër drummer is CRISSY STIXX or Chris Atkins, who is employed in the auto parts manufacturing industry.
In the beginning the group did have a fortunate break. Having only been formed two years ago, ‘Löve Razër’ applied to the Jack Daniels Supporting Act competition online and won. Instead of pocketing the cash prize, the band put it toward the cost of producing their first disc…an extended play album and to produce a music video. A second video was released in August of last year while a third titled ‘Stuck Under You’ was made public this past February. It was recorded live at the new $1.5 million soundstage at Seacliffe Park in Leamington following the Hogs for Hospice motorcycle ride last summer. The videos can be seen by logging on to the band’s Facebook page or on You Tube, while other tunes can be heard by logging on to various internet music sites. More information on the band can be found by logging onto www.loverazer.com. Playdates, links to other sites, and merchandise, along with tickets to the album release party are all available on the site.
A full-length album titled “Border City Rebels,” an 8 track disc of original band-composed material and recorded at Marty Bak’s SLR studio in Windsor, will be unveiled April 28th at the Rockstar Music Hall on Central Avenue in Windsor. Doors for the big bash will open at 9 pm and tickets can be purchased through the band’s website.
During the next couple of months, the guys will take to the road again for shows across Ontario to promote their new album. Again, all proceeds will be used to pay for the next album and to fund American visas which, hopefully, will allow the group to play in the rich U.S. market as early as next year. Already, ‘Löve Razër’ is gaining a small foothold around the world, thanks to online radio and Facebook. Messages have been received from as far away as Germany and Italy where people have heard the music. Locally, 89X has featured the band on its Indie band segments.
‘Löve Razër’ puts forth its best efforts no matter how big, or how small the crowd. The band has already appeared at numerous clubs across Ontario and in parts of Quebec. The music rocks and patrons generally crowd the dance floor. While most of the tunes are original material, the band does play cover versions of hits from bands like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Bob Seger. And that explains Bruce, is basically for fans who aren’t necessarily familiar with our original stuff and allows them to “better understand what we’re all about.”
The formula seems to be working. Audiences are getting larger and the fan base is growing. Band members make no pretenses …they’re all down to earth and there are no inflated egos. They work hard knowing what a fickle and difficult industry they’re in. They take their music seriously and still manage to have lots of fun. They play hard-driving rock and roll that comes at you with laser precision.
Only time will tell what success awaits Löve Razër down the road.