Econoline Crush was formed in 1992 when singer Trevor Hurst moved from Canada to Seattle and answered an ad for a new band in a local newspaper. Hurst took the name of the band from Euxebe Auxtry's novel Jeu de Fountaine, which involves a drug called econoline crush which made the user hopelessly optimistic. Sometime later, the band relocated in Vancouver.

In 1994, the band released their first EP called Purge, and the band started building a steady following. The album even garnered them a nomination for a Juno Award in Canada. Two years later, they followed it with the full-length album, Affliction which cemented their popularity in their homeland even more.

However, it was 1998's The Devil You Know that proved to be the band's breakthrough. With a slightly more mainstream sound shaped by their producer Sylvia Massey (Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, etc), the album amplified the band's audience. The album already was certified gold status in Canada and features five singles including, ""Surefire"", ""Sparkle and Shine"", ""Home"", ""All That You Are (x3)"", and ""Razorblades and Bandaids"". With the success of The Devil You Know the band tried to breakthrough to the United States and toured with bands like KISS, The Tea Party and others. However, they didn't get the response they expected.

Shortly after, guitarist Robbie Morfitt parted ways with Hurst and company. The band, however, went to California to work on their next album with producers Bob Rock and DJ Swamp, and with collaborations from Chris Vrenna (formerly from Nine Inch Nails). In 2001, they released Brand New History to mixed reviews, despite some moderate commercial success. This caused the band to temporarily disband, and each of the members dedicated time to other projects.

Drummer Johnny Haro has resurfaced in The Dreaming, as well as vocalist Trevor Hurst starting his own band, Hurst, with whom he released an EP titled Wanderlust. Ex-guitarist Robbie Morfitt can be found behind the camera these days directing music videos for bands like Stink Mitt and The Organ.

Trevor Hurst has recently announced on his Myspace page that he is currently working on a new Econoline Crush record. The band has recently done a small tour in Canada with Hinder.

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Econoline Crush in talks with Massy

By KAREN BLISS -- Jam! Music

Programme-heavy rock band Econoline Crush has been in a North Vancouver studio all week and has written and demoed six brand new songs.

The band, which reformed last fall after frontman Trevor Hurst took a detour into a lighter project called Hurst, hopes to cut an album this summer with California-based producer Sylvia Massy, who has worked with Prince, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and did Econoline Crush's 1997 ""The Devil You Know,"" certified platinum in Canada.

Since arriving at Magma Studios, Hurst says he has been in ""write-mode"" and wants to maintain that as much as possible. Even though Econoline has been touring with some new songs, these six, still untitled, were written on the spot and self-produced. He has just two more days at Magma and hopes to walk away with seven songs ""if we're lucky.""

Econoline Crush will then take a week off, come to Ontario for a string of dates booked by Toronto's Ralph James of The Agency Group, then return to Magma. The plan is to then record with Massy (whose married name is Shivy) at her Radio Star Studios in Weed, California.

Hurst has kept in touch with her since ""The Devil You Know,"" which he calls ""the best experience ever. It was a blast and so much fun and crazy creative and it felt like the way I always felt it should be when you make a record. It was really special.""

Hurst is now the only original member of Econoline Crush, which formed in 1992 and signed with EMI Music Canada in 1994, releasing its final album for the label in 2001 called ""Brand New History."" The current line-up includes guitarist Dave Hesse, bassist Mark Gomulinski, and drummer Jay Benison.

He looks on the Hurst period of his career -- a project written and co-produced with ex Collective Soul guitarist Ross Childress -- as ""my Chris Gaines portion of the program,"" he laughs, referring to country star Garth Brooks alter-ego. Hurst, which was managed by Toronto's Coalition Entertainment (Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan), released one EP, ""Wanderlust,"" in 2005, that was released through MapleMusic/Universal Music Canada, but the project never caught on with the public.

""We really wanted to follow that through,"" says Hurst. ""Songs for me, they're little entities and I couldn't see them die. I wanted to see them get performed and get recorded and finished, so we did that, but we went back in to write as Hurst and a couple of the guys didn't want to keep going, so I was just writing with Mark Gomulinski who played bass in Hurst.

""The two of us had been working on stuff and jamming away and we had been talking with [former Econoline bassist] Dan [Yaremko] and sending him some stuff. I'd been talking with all the guys [from Econoline], right to [guitarists] Rob Morfitt and Ziggy and [drummer] Johnny Haro. And even though Rob can't play guitar anymore because he broke his wrist in a million places, and Ziggy's teaching hot yoga in L.A., and Johnny's playing in this band called The Dreaming, all of us talked and there was all this nostalgia around the band and I got everybody's blessing to continue on.""

Hurst and Gomulinski entered Power Sound studio in Edmonton, and brought in writer/producer/engineer Bill Kennedy, who had remixed ""The Devil You Know"" track ""Surefire"" and had just moved back from Los Angeles. They also recruited Hesse, who used to play in Fifth Season (now Social Code) which toured with Econoline Crush for ""Brand New History.""

""We got four decent tracks done, and it was cool 'cause it reminded me of when we started, and we thought, 'Now do we wanna play some show?'"" recalls Hurst.

He says his manager at Coalition was ""indecisive"" about Econoline Crush returning to the road, and at that same time an old friend of Hurst's, Jay Sakowski, Econoline Crush's former guitar tech, asked if he could work with him in a management capacity.

"" He came to me and said, 'Can I try and put together some shows between Boxing Day and New Year's and see if I can get Econoline gigs under the radar but still decent shows, so I said, 'Yeah.'""

So with The Agency Group still onboard, the band was booked from Regina to Kelowna, BC, and ended up in Saskatoon on New Year's Eve. Yaremko even played, but couldn't rejoin on a permanent basis.

""When we played 'Sparkle & Shine' in Regina, I couldn't hear myself singing, the crowd was singing so loud. I couldn't believe it,"" says Hurst. ""It was just mind blowing and then we were like, 'Well now we can't stop.'""

Ralph James got Econoline the opening slot on the sold-out Hinder tour earlier this year and the band continued to write and play shows. Hurst and Gomulinski are based in Winnipeg; Benison is in Vancouver; and Hesse is in Edmonton, but they tend to meet up in Manitoba, the central location.

Hurst isn't shopping the four songs they cut last fall. He is waiting to work with Massy again.

""That's our big thing,"" says Hurst. ""Before we knew about Sylvia being involved, I had sent her some stuff and had been corresponding with her on the Internet. She's very excited. She says the songs show a lot of promise. She thinks there's some single material. We're in negotiations right now, but she's like, 'Whatever you need to do to make it work,' so we'll figure out a way to pay for it or do it on spec, then shop it.

""It's exciting,"" he adds, ""because there was a lot of dysfunction when we were doing 'Brand New History' and I think that the time away has corrected that vision. I think it's a vision of Econoline. At the time, in making 'Brand New History,' there were so many different things pulling me. [We had] Bob Rock do a song, John Travis do a song, and we had Wally Gagel working on this stuff, so we had all these different people with their input and the record sounded disconnected to me.

""And in this scenario,its very much along the lines of songs like 'Home' and 'Sparkle & Shine' and very basic industrial rock kind of stuff. It's not foreign to the Econoline Crush fan. It's what we're known for, melody over riffs.""

So with Hurst as the only original member, what makes this band Econoline Crush versus a new Hurst project?

""First off, we still have input from Dan and other guys, right?"" he says, stressing an earlier point. ""Secondly, with the Hurst thing, it was all songs written by myself and Ross Childress, and it was Ross's vision of the production side of things, and we were always doing it with acoustic guitars and nothing electronica. There were no samplers, no keyboards.

""Econoline Crush, in my opinion, is a musical project. It's never been much of a band because we've always had so many different people come and go all the time that it's just a concept. It's the idea of putting riffs and strong, rock guitar-driven melodies with a vocal melody that almost contradicts it, that's almost cutting across the grain, like smooth, melodic vocal over top of searing guitars. It's not really hard to do if you don't lose the plot.

""I think maybe in the past we've kind of missed the plot when we've started writing and I just think I've always been the driving force of Econoline. People come and go from Nine Inch Nails all the time, but it's always gong to be Nine Inch Nails. Same deal.""

Hurst hopes to have a new Econoline Crush single ready for the fall, backed by a full tour and release of the album.
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