See Spot. See Spot Run—and play guitar, get signed, record a top 40 single, and become famous.
“See Spot Run," a familiar rock band to many Fort Frances residents, stopped in at the Rainy Lake one more time last week to promote their latest CD, "Ten Stories High.”
A lot has happened since drummer Bruce McQueen, guitarist Randy Bowen, lead singer Chris Brodbeck, and guitarist Reggie Bennet played here in August. For one thing, their song, “Au Naturel,” has started getting air time on MuchMusic—and begun climbing the charts.
It also has launched the band on their first coast-to-coast tour, which began in Newfoundland in September and will keep them onto the road until Christmas—with some time off at the end of this month to shoot yet another video.
“We're at the beginning,” said Bowen, noting the two-year-old rock band still had a lot of ground to cover.
“But it's a good beginning,” Bennet added.
While the broad-based rock sound of “See Spot Run" hasn't become as synonymous as "The Beatles" or "Van Halen,” they've managed to earn some recognition on the way.
During the interview with the group in the Rainy Lake, a couple of parents pushed a shy teenaged boy to the table where the group was having lunch.
“This young man has something to ask you,” the man said, pushing what seemed to be his son to the forefront of the trio.
“Can I have your autograph?” he asked. Apparently he had pointed out the band to his parents from another table, recognizing them from their video.
After the 15th “I wish I could go over there and get their autograph,” the boy's mother took command and walked him over to the table, scrap piece of paper in hand.
“That's what's weird," Brodbeck said afterwards. "People are nervous to see us.”
“We were out for a hot dog and these girls were there and they were going, 'Ooo, oooo, ooo,'" Bennet added. ”Chris asked them what's wrong and they just went 'Ooo, ooo, ooo.'
“All we wanted was a hot dog,” he continued.
Although the fame is a bit awkward to deal with at first, McQueen noted the recognition as musical artists “is what we've all be working toward.”
“This is the dream," echoed Brodbeck."We've been really lucky—people are always complimenting us, congratulating us. We've been treated very good.”
Still, working their way up the ladder hasn't been easy, either. Many artists work for over a decade to get to the point where “See Spot Run” has gotten to in just a couple of years, much of which seems to have been spawned by an early record signing with Loggerhead Records.
The group's aim right now is to continue building their name in Canada until the time comes when they can break into the U.S. market—and start the process all over again.
The key to that, Brodbeck said, is to play their music for as many people as possible regardless of the size of the venue.
“I always remember the 'Watchmen,'" he said. ”They could draw 15,000 people in Saskatoon but in Thunder Bay, they played 'Crocks and Rolls' [a small bar].
“When asked why, they said they had to play to as many people as possible,” he added.