Has there been a better time for Canadian rock bands than the 1990s?
Tyler Elynuik doesn’t think so.
Elynuik’s name might not ring a bell, but if you’re a fan of bands like Age of Electric, the Headstones, I Mother Earth, The Odds, The Watchmen and others who had their biggest hits and drew their biggest crowds in that era, you likely know his efforts to preserve and promote the music in a different way.
He’s the mastermind behind Rave & Drool, the social media presence and in-progress documentary to tell the stories of musicians involved in the all-too-brief explosion of Canadian rock between hair metal and boy bands.
“It all started years ago while I was working at a record store,” he says. “It was a slow night, so my coworker and I started reminiscing about all these ’90s Canadian bands (this was before people like Moist, Watchmen, AOE, IME had gotten back together) that led me to search the store’s database for recent sales of what I deemed seminal records of the era. I then found that a lot of these were out of print. Shocked, I then wondered what these bands were up to.”
After some sleuthing and searching, he realized most of those bands pretty much faded out with the decade.
Once he started to wonder why that was the case… the Rave & Drool documentary was born.
It’s been in the works for a few years now, as Elyniuk and a small team interview the biggest names of the era (along with people involved in the industry, directly or indirectly, including our own Alan Cross). But instead of keeping people waiting until the documentary is done, he’s decided to use very modern concepts to keep the story rolling.
On Sept. 22, he released Rave & Drool: The Podcast.
“The film and TV version of this story has taken way longer than anticipated, so I decided to do something that gives supporters of the project content every month,” he says. “If the podcast is a hit, it will show broadcasters and funding people that there is a market for this story and that it is a worthy investment. Lastly, it simultaneously helps me from going insane while dealing with the slow moving TV and film world.”
The podcast doesn’t exactly mirror the movie, as it also includes people who helped make the music of the ’90s so successful. He’s also got more time to talk with people about their experiences, without the limitations of having to keep interviews a little more focused for the movie.
“This podcast allows multiple members of a band to tell their story on different episodes, or multiple VJs, journalists, etc. to do the same. People can experience the same event or decade in different ways, with a different point of view, a different memory. The podcast allows an avenue for each of them to tell their personal story as opposed to a story that contributes to a larger, broader idea or concept.”
These are personal stories from a cast of characters who might not have had the chance to share their memories yet, Elynuik said. He wanted to be able to ask questions that provide context while taking the pressure off.
“For example, in the first episode Ken (Kelley) from The Monoxides told a hilarious story of how they got their name. That’s a gold, personal story that probably wouldn’t have gotten into a film or series where every minute has to contribute to the larger story.”
The documentary is still in the works — rest assured! — and meetings continue to happen to keep that moving forward. “It’s been hard to take it beyond the developmental stage of a ‘passion project,'” he admits. “My team and I have nearly taken it as far as we can under that guise, so I’m looking to partner with an experienced director and production house to take it to the next level, which is raising capital and securing a broadcast agreement with one of the TV stations or streaming services. Then we can begin shooting again and work towards an end film or series everyone can enjoy!”
This project, in a word, has become Elynuik’s life. This is something in which he believes very deeply, something that drives him and consumes his thoughts because the music means so much to him.
“When the ultimate goal of a film or TV series is accomplished, I will continue to do my best to keep alive the music and artists of the Canadian ’90s through the podcast and various social media platforms that are available,” he said. “In the meantime, I just hope people enjoy the podcast and give me their patience and understanding regarding the TV/film project because, believe me, no one wants that brought to fruition more than me!”