Emerging from the industrial city of Hamilton, Ontario in the 1970s, Simply Saucer created a distinct, original sound that was decidedly out of step with the current musical climate. The band played edgy rock & roll that was a combination of early punk pre-cursors (Velvets, Stooges, Modern Lovers), krautrock (Can, Neu, early Kraftwerk), and U.K. prog/psych (Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett - both with and without Pink Floyd).
Simply Saucer's origins date back to 1972, when band frontman, guitar player/singer-songwriter Edgar Breau hooked up with five other avant-garde, record collecting musicians and began rehearsing in a Hamilton, ON warehouse. The original compositions were long, improvised jams played on empty bottles, audio generators, theremins, keyboards, sax, flute, electric guitars and drums. Besides Breau, bass player Kevin Christoff became the other perennial member of Simply Saucer.
They soon entered brothers Bob and Daniel Lanois's basement studio to record six songs. Alas, the Canadian music industry at the time was mired in mainstream convention that produced steady sales but little artistic vision. None would sign the quartet or release their recordings. By 1976, a nascent punk music scene was beginning to develop in London and New York and Toronto soon followed. A reinvigorated version of Simply Saucer, featuring ex-Teenage Head guitar player Steve Park, emerged and began gigging. They released the "She's A Dog" single on Pig Records in 1977 to great reviews. England's New Music Express awarded it "Pick Hit Single of the Week".
By 1979, Toronto's club scene had begun to dissipate and the individual members of the band began exploring new paths. Breau detuned his guitar ala John Fahey, sold all his electric gear and began a new solo career. Almost thirty years would pass before he would own an electric guitar or appear on stage with Simply Saucer.
It was years later before the general public and music journalists first became aware of the groundbreaking Lanois recording session. The six studio songs, combined with an explosive live set (performed in 1975 atop Hamilton's then new downtown shopping mall), were finally released in 1989 in a limited vinyl edition on Bruce Mowat's Mole Sound Recordings, entitled Cyborgs Revisited. An expanded version of this album was released on compact disc in 2003 by Hamilton's Sonic Unyon.
Critical acclaim for Simply Saucer mounted exponentially over the years, with prestigious publications like London Sunday Times and Pitchforkmedia printing rave reviews. In December 2005, the UK's UNCUT Magazine named Cyborgs Revisited one of the Top 20 re-releases that year, calling Breau a prophetic punk visionary.
The unusual history of the band and its penchant for resonating with younger audiences and bands kept the flame alive, inspiring a loyal, worldwide cult following. Requests from fans to reform the band continued to make their way to Breau until he was eventually persuaded to do a reunion in September, 2006. Soon afterwards, the band,with an invigorated line-up, was playing select gigs across North America, as well as taking part in the Terrastock Festival in Louisville KY, and the Scion Garage Fest in Portland, OR.
Amazingly, for a band that never released a full album while together, Simply Saucer garnered extraordinary prominence in music journalist Bob Mersereau's book The Top 100 Canadian Albums, placing thirty-sixth in the polling of music industry scions, musicians and critics. The "amazing story" of "the band that refused to die" is the subject of Weird Canada editor Jesse Locke's forthcoming SImply Saucer book, as well as Toronto filmmaker Greg Bennett's upcoming documentary Low Profile: The Simply Saucer Story.
Ultra cool Los Angeles garage rock label In The Red will release a deluxe edition of Simply Saucer's classic Cyborgs Revisited in the months to come. A new studio EP was recorded in Detroit and released on Hamilton's Schizophrenic Records, while Chicago's Logan Hardware is preparing a 2LP compilation of rarities. Indie label Mammoth Cave issued a vinyl 45 of crowd favourite "Bullet Proof Nothing", the song which gave the inspiration and title to Toronto author Liz Worth's best selling book Treat Me Like Dirt (Bongo Beat Books), a history of the Toronto, Hamilton, and London, Ontario seventies punk scenes.
Instead of sitting on their laurels, Simply Saucer continues to forge forward into uncharted territory. Summer 2015 marks the fortieth anniversary of the band's Cyborgs Revisited rooftop recordings. Simply Saucer will be celebrating its anniversary with select live appearances while preparing new music for a planned, upcoming album.
“ Simply Saucer are a divine mix of early Pink Floyd (with Syd Barrett still mercifully intact) and The Velvet Underground (when Andy Warhol was at the helm and urging them towards the Exploding Plastic Inevitable). They are all this and more; a Suicide with a lust for life; a Silver Apples that are running with electronic juice! Sheer, ecstatic, underground bliss.”
— Edwin Pouncey, New Musical Express (London)