Former HELIX Guitarist On New DECIBEL Project - "If You Don't Write Good Songs, It Ain't Gonna Fly Baby"

January 14, 2007, 12 years ago

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A brand new interview with former HELIX guitarist Brent Doerner regarding his new DECIBEL project is available at An excerpt reads as follows:

One of the most iconic images in Canadian rock is from the music video 'Rock You', by Helix. You know that image. The guitar solo kicks in, and the guitar player emerges from the water, Gibson in hand. Anybody who has seen that video remembers that solo. It's just one of those things: an image that's etched into our rock and roll memories. It clearly stated who this band was, and what their purpose was. They were here to rock you.

That guitar player was Brent Doerner, who played on and wrote many Helix classics. Brent Doerner left the band in 1990, but never quite left the Helix family. He rejoined the band briefly for their It's A Business Doing Pleasure album, and has made guest appearances on many of their CDs since leaving the band. If you picked up a CD like Back For Another Taste, B-Sides, or even the recent Rockin' In My Outer Space, you'll hear Brent playing some guitar.

Aside from these guest shots, Brent's been fairly quiet…until now. In late 2006, Brent was ready to make some rock and roll noise again. The result is Brent Doerner's Decibel, which is both the name of his new band and new album. It's an album he's very proud of, and justifiably so. For him, it's all about songwriting.

"If you don't write good songs, it ain't gonna fly baby," he says in his friendly, jovial way. "That's it, it's over. You can be the best players in the world, and it won't save you. A lot of guys could play like the wind, or drum like the wind." The result is an album of what Doerner calls high-energy rock.

Decibel is a record of unique songs. The lyrics are fun, out of leftfield, and catchy. The guitar playing is hard and smooth all at once. It's been a true labor of love for Brent Doerner, who's been working on these songs for the better part of a year.

"I was bound and determined, come hell or high water, to make an album. I bought a 24 track, one of those digital things, and I said, 'I'm making an album, I don't care how I do it.' I still had all my guitars, or some, and I just started writing." He also hooked up with his new band, consisting of Shane Schedler on lead guitar, Chick Schumilas on guitar, and Dan Laurin on drums. There's even a smattering of guest appearances on the CD. Perhaps most exciting is a guest shot by Brent's twin brother, and ass-kicker on the drums, Brian Doerner.

Interestingly, with Brent playing guitar, the band has three guitar players. Brent tells the story: "We kind of like the idea of three guitars in the band, with a bass player and a drummer. I met these other guys, Shane, Chick and Dan, when I was living alone in my house. I was writing songs, and going at it with a vengeance, really. These guys kept coming by to my house and saying, 'We got all these songs too!' I got to their hall, with some beer, and I sat down, and they blasted away for a friggin' hour, just earthquake volume. When they're done, they say, 'Well what did you think of the songs?' And I said, 'Well I didn't hear any songs, just all this music.'" The band responded to, 'Well we did the hard part. You just have to write the melody and the lyrics!'

Brent continues, "But they were bound and determined in the end that they wanted three guitars. And what's happening with me when I lead sing is, I stop playing so I can sing, because some of this stuff I can't sing and play over it. I can sing and play over a lot of shit, but it seems that I can't sing and play over some of the stuff that I wrote!"

Read more here.

(Thanks Michael A. Ladano)

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