Tribute band aims for originality

Loot members Cory Cooper, left, Victor Szabo, Biaggio Martino and Dave Hyatt perform a tribute to Tool at the Queen’s Dec. 9. - Photo contributed
Loot members Cory Cooper, left, Victor Szabo, Biaggio Martino and Dave Hyatt perform a tribute to Tool at the Queen’s Dec. 9.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Musicians must find a way to be creative within a copy to perform a proper tribute to Tool.

So explained Victor Szabo, guitarist with Loot, a Vancouver-based tribute band dedicated to performing the music of Tool.

“Tool is all about not fitting in and not going with conventional norms,” Szabo said.

He and band members Cory Cooper, Biaggio Martino and Dave Hyatt formed about one year ago. They all write and play original music but formed the tribute because they liked the music.

“It’s really as simple as that,” Szabo said. “We enjoy playing that type of music.”

Simply put, Tool is a metal band. But ask any fan and they’ll describe complicated, layered melodies and poetic lyrics that question religion and authority.

But that wasn’t the challenge for the musicians – their individual parts were fairly straightforward.

“It’s no different than playing regular music,” Szabo said. “What was hard was making the four of us sound like Tool.”

Loot played the Cambie back in August, with Cooper donning a green, zippered jumpsuit, complemented by a blue-painted head under a spiky mohawk.

But for the most part, the band members take to the stage in jeans and T-shirts.

“We’re just ourselves,” Szabo said.

Tribute bands for groups like the Eagles, Neil Diamond and Kiss, attract hundreds of fans during regular tours. Some bands encourage tributes, sometimes managing and taking a cut of their earnings.

Tool tends to keep tight control of their image. Loot notified members of Tool about the tribute band but as yet have not heard back.

“It’s anybody’s guess as to what they would think,” Szabo said.

As one of the few bands performing a tribute to Tool, the opportunity is available to take it to a larger audience but that’s not their current focus.

“We’re not trying to make a huge business out of this – we’re having fun,” Szabo said. “We’re really enjoying it right now.”

Tool tickets are notoriously hard to get – the latest concert in Victoria, scheduled for Saturday, sold out within a few hours. If you weren’t one of the lucky few, catch Loot at the Queen’s the following week on Dec. 9 at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $9 at the door.

For more information, please visit www.lootband.com.


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