Ocular orgasms, crispy beats, and arm gnawing lyrics, all rolled up in one sweet, sweet, Susan baby blue are just some of the visions conjured up after a performance used to describe the trio that is Eye2Eye, Montreal’s concept Hip-Hop band that combines rap music with live theatrics.
Some have called Mark Broady, Doug Barber and Jeremy Rubin unconventional, trying to overlap different art forms into some musical slash theatrical, cross-training experiment for the young and the restless, and the routinely bored. To that end, they could be called mad scientists trying to create mad music, something no one wants created, but love it when they do!
“It isn’t one of those you either get it or you don’t type of statements we try to make to our audiences,” says Mark Broady. “We are thick with metaphors. People who listen to our music only once or twice won’t catch our lyrical tricks, poetic devices or the hidden messages,” says the N.D.G. resident.
“It’s not like pop music where they sing ‘cha la la’ and get away with it because it is a catchy tune.”
“We would never ask our audience to clap your hands in the air like you just don’t care,” says Barber. “We have too much respect for our audiences.”
The trio had been performing ad-hoc for years at high schools but they never took their work seriously until 2001 when they began to write down their lyrics. It was then that they realized they had much more to offer than simple rhymes and riddles, which gave Doug Barber an idea.
“I thought that we should start incorporating the songs into a play and perform it like a Broadway Musical, only with Hip-Hop,” says the Baie D’Urfe resident. “I wrote a script that created the spine for Eye2Eye,” he added. “Each Vertebrae was a Mark Broady song that later gave us the back bone.”
The move was logical given that Barber has been performing as an actor for seven years, in theatre, television and has written, directed and acted for the Untimely Ripped Theater Company’s comedy shows. It was almost as if Barber was looking for Broady, who writes the unique and intense lyrics that forms the structure of the performances.
“I like to imagine scenarios or predicaments that I might possibly find myself in one day,” says Broady, who writes most of the lyrics. Whatever scenarios I come up with, no matter how unlikely, always help me to better understand my own predicament and my own life as a whole.”
The concept is further heightened by the development of on stage characters, their alter-egos, if you will, who slowly surface during their performances.
Sometimes I find myself second guessing,” Broady said, which fits his on-stage personality, aptly named Second Thought.
“Second Thought is an introverted, reserved thinker who tries to always reconsider his thoughts before acting on them. He brings rationality to the table, but sometimes finds himself thinking too hard and he becomes removed from the realities of the present moment.”
Doug Barber’s June Sixth is a highly volatile and short fused person. “June Sixth is like a scared but brave soldier ready to face the beaches of Normandy on June Sixth, 1945. He is scared to death, but ready to face anything.”
D.J. You Know Who, Jeremy Rubin had worked as a sound and lighting technician throughout High School and College. The 26 year-old psychology major at Concordia brought some much-needed behind the scenes experience to the live productions.
“Jeremy was another logical choice given his musical background and technical experience,” Barber said. “He is the central nervous system.”
By the end of September 2001 Eye2Eye won their first battle of the bands at Clydes. Since then, they have performed 50 shows, including The Shiver Show Halloween Bash, and performances at the Caf