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Fantasize!! Final Thought’s Newest Release + Interview

13 Aug


Final Thought is a Toronto based Pop/Rock trio consists of lead singer and guitarist Dustin Dopsa, Brandon Hawthorne on bass and Tom Watson on drums. From starting the band in highschool to playing private shows for Gene Simmons, These guys have been together for quite a while and it shows in their newly released EP Fantasize.

Rich Moore recently had the chance to talk with lead singer Dustin Dopsa about the new “Mini album” as Dustin likes to call it.

Rich Moore:  Where did you grow up and when did you start playing in a band?

Dustin Dopsa:  I grew up in Barrie, just an hour north of Toronto.  I officially started the band Final Thought in grade nine as a battle of the bands submission.

RM:  I have to say: That’s a long time playing together without changing names.

DD:  Yah that was one of the things I hated about bands in highschool.  I would say to myself, why don’t you guys just stick with it.  You have gone through all the trouble of building whatever fan base you have and then you go and tarnish it by changing your name!

RM:  What was the recording process like this time around, compared to your previous albums?

DD:  Well, this time I decided to do all of the recording myself.  Previously we would go to studios and record, but that is very expensive and sometimes the tracks don’t come out exactly how you want them.  So we recorded at my place in Toronto.  At the time i was living in an old Victorian home. It was built in 1891 and had twenty foot ceilings so it was great for recording.  I enjoyed the experience although it was difficult and very time consuming.  I had to use every resources I had,”getting friends to help record parts I couldn’t have done on my own.”  I think having the experience of making an album before making one on my own definitely made for a smoother process.

RM:  What have you been listening to lately?

DD::  I really like the new ASAP Rocky Album, and i have been listening to the latest “Bahamas” album.  Funny thing Bahamas actually went to my highschool, i just found out last December.


These guys are seriously talented!  Lead singer Dustin Dopsa vocals rival today’s top 40 artists.  Along with some banging bass and drums Final Thought’s newest EP/mini album is a must listen!  The fourth track “Don’t know is personally my favorite.

You can have a listen to Final Thought in the links below.

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook below.


Jumple: The Gypsy Gods Of Inspiring Dance and Jiggy Bums – Live & Interviewed @ The Rasputin Vodka Bar June 22, 2014

7 Jul


They say that Russians never smile for fear that their mustaches will fall off. As a Russian-speaking western Ukrainian, I can attest that this is absolutely true. What most people don’t know is that there is a hidden clause in the “No Smiling” subheading of the Blood Oath to Zombie Lenin contract, a contract that all Russian speakers sign at age seven in exchange for the powers of manly facial hair, complete imperviousness to any form of overdose and the finite capacity for a precisely Slavic amount of [redacted]. This hidden clause states that this rule does not apply while somebody is drunk, wearing a funky hat, or is in a state of Jigy-Jigy.

In all seriousness, Jumple is Toronto’s very own and very underappreciated Gogol Bordello. This comparison of “Slavic Gypsy Folk” falls on both sides of a razor-thin blade. Gogol Bordello marketed themselves as an immigrant interpretation of punk, a genre which has been a Western reference point since London Calling. To contrast this, the beauty of Jumple is they make no compromise in regards to their influence, showmanship, goals as musicians, or even the sheer size of their testicular fortitude.

If you were at Jumple’s show on June 24th at the Rasputin Vodka Bar, you would have seen all the members of the band tearing it up on stage: Eugene (singer/acoustic), Ruslan (violin), Kirill (accordion), Matski (drums), and new bandmate Mike (bass). You’d also had seen a hundred people swing dancing, with about ten ladies having taken residence on top of bar tables to start their careers as PG-14 burlesque dancers.

Jumple - Jigy-Jigy (2011).

Jumple – Jigy-Jigy (2011).

This is the magical energy of Jumple. The traditional Russian influences find new life within their songs, and restore dignity to the modern definition of dancing socially—for fun, not as an excuse to dry-hump a stranger in a club or boot someone in a mosh pit.

What many will not understand is that you cannot take a group of music majors and toss them a Red Army Choir vinyl, as you may result in the bag of goober-sounding Soviet Pop/Discoteka music my parents still embarrass me with. The real source of Jumple’s energy is how Eugene effortlessly projects his grandiose vocal styles through his thick accent that represent a great number of cultural feelings and hardships. It’s how Kirill plays the accordion like he’s paid millions, but he most likely has a history playing like that in public for the sake of art and expected little in financial compensation. It’s how Ruslan shreds the violin like a sociopath, but then stops to hold a single feeling conveyed in an uncomfortably prolonged note. You will get a feeling yourself, like a single tear has formed at edge of your eye and is slowly sliding down the side of your cheek.

And then you actually tune into the lyrics, and realize the song they are playing is “So Good” and all the goddamn lyrics are about eating delicious chicken wings.

This flip of the finger to serious subject matter is excellent for Canadian fans. While not all of Jumple’s songs are in English (because Kalinka Kalinka” is always appropriate), rest assured that screaming along is absolutely encouraged.  What some may not understand is that Jumple is a product of a particular time period in a different culture, which was in turn heavily obsessed with American culture. Resultantly, when you see Jumple live, you may be lucky like I was and take in covers of “Enter Sandman” and “You Gotta Keep Them Separated” through a thick Russian accent and accompanied with violin and accordion.


After the show ended I conducted a very brief interview, in Russian, with Eugene:
A.S.: Which parts of Ukraine did you guys immigrate from?

Eugene: Me and Matski, the drummer, are from Kyiv. Ruslan on the violin is from Odessa. Kirill on the accordion is from Minsk, and Mike, our new bassist, is from Toronto.

A.S.: Nice! I’m from Donetsk myself. How would you describe your genre of music to an average Canadian?

Eugene: We are Gypsy Folk.

A.S.: Well what would you describe as your influences? I was going to say Gogol Bordello, but then you covered “Start Wearing Purple” and I had my answer.

Eugene: Our influences stem from traditional Ukranian and Russian folk and gypsy music, but also augmented by the sound and attitude of American & British pop & rock, especially in the ‘80s & ‘90s. And Gogol Bordello, of course.

A.S.: So, what do you think Canadian fans enjoy most about your music?

Eugene: Honestly, it is energy, dancing and atmosphere. To be fair, we do abuse the “Russian Stereotypes” card a bit too often, but that way we can provide a meaningful avenue for Canadians to show interest. It’s a very big culture shock thing initially, but once they get over it, they join in and begin to actually have fun learning and participating in our culture.  But that is a very hard thing to achieve. Canadians are so reserved, it is borderline impossible to get them to move.

A.S.: I can see that. North American culture conditions the individual to fear committing a social faux pas and being embarrassed. Okay, I got one last question: what is the most badass ting you, or your band members have ever done?

Eugene: Honestly the most badass thing we have ever done is get Canadians to move.


While the repetition may have been for comical effect, there is a grain of salt in it. Most people nowadays are too afraid to make a spectacle of themselves. Unless there is a “cool” reason to swing-dance with a complete stranger, most of the folks sticking around the edge of the goofy dancing area really do like the music. They just need to be eased into it with vodka.

If you were intrigued by the bold and unique nature of Jumple and their enormous balls, check them out live. You owe it to yourself to come get Jigy-Jigyed. On an unrelated note, be sure to jumble’s first album Jigy-Jigy on Bandcamp; it’s free to stream and only $5 to purchase.

Check out Jumple!





Author: Alex Slakva