«The Organ» - biography, albums, songs, video clips
The Organ was a Canadian post-punk band formed in 2001 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Organ was conceived in 2001 by front woman Katie Sketch, born Katie Richie, in Vancouver, Canada. Sketch’s musical training started at the age of three, when she began classical training on the violin. Her childhood was spent largely in ignorance of the underground sounds of The Cure, Joy Division and The Smiths, whom The Organ would later often be compared to. She says: “Tiffany and Bon Jovi - that was my take on “80s music.” Katie attended an all-girls school, where she met Barb Choit, a childhood friend who would later help design the sound of the band in its embryonic stages. The oldest of three kids, Katie focused her attention on sports rather than music during her teens, racing competitively as a skier. “When Shelby and Jenny and Ashley were in high school, they knew all the obscure artists,” Sketch admits. “I knew none of them and didn’t learn about them until much later. I grew up listening to top 40. I liked U2 and Guns N’ Roses. I also liked old Sarah McLachlan, but 90 percent of the people that I hung out with as a teenager didn’t even know who she was. She was considered totally cutting-edge because she wasn’t played on the radio.” However, by the end of the 90s, her musical consciousness had begun to transform in ways that would later lead to the formation of her own unique sound. “I was in a musical lull, I couldn’t stand what I was listening to,” says Sketch, naming Sleater-Kinney as one example. “The local scene was also pretty shitty, and of course the radio was brutal. Then, by total fluke, my mom’s friend’s husband, Ron Obvious, hired me to help with the audio wiring for a studio he was building for Bryan Adams.” Obvious introduced Katie to the world of independent music, and what she calls “that ’80s sound.” He created mix-tapes of bands he thought she’d appreciate as a violinist (Roxy Music, Ultravox) and singers with an “amazing natural vocal pitch” (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nina Hagen, Kate Bush). This job also led Sketch to Tara Nelson, the engineer who would later record the Organ’s EP. It was at this time that Katie joined with her friends Sarah Efron (on bass and keyboards) and Barb “Sketch” Choit (Hammond organ, guitar, bass) to form the instrumental trio “Full Sketch.” The Organ extends “Full Sketch” with singing. After about a year, Full Sketch ended because Barb Sketch separated from the group. After several auditions that began in 2001, Katie preferred to just “hire” like-minded people and teach them how to play the instruments. The original group eventually rounded out with Katie, Jenny, Sarah, drummer Shelby Stocks, and guitarist Debora Cohen. In summer 2002, The Organ made their debut with the release of the Sinking Hearts EP. The Canadian press and indie publications across America praised The Organ’s dream-pop inflected presentation. By January, The Organ was signed to Chad Kroeger’s 604 imprint and Mint Records. However, before the year was out, Efron would leave to focus on her journalism career and be replaced by Ashley Webber. In 2004 Ashley Webber was asked to leave the band because she involved in another music project. Katie preferred that the band (The Organ) should remain being the top priority. Ashley was asked to join the band again during The Organ’s first international touring. And short after that Ashely left the band again. On November 14, 2005, The Organ appeared live on BBC6 Radio with their new bass player Shmoo, the younger sister of front woman Katie Sketch. They gave a brief interview and performed live renditions of the songs There Is Nothing I Can Do and Love, Love, Love. On the 27th, a little over a week later, The Organ announced via their website that they had just been signed to Too Pure Records, through which Grab That Gun would be available throughout the world in February 2006. Since then The Organ has been active touring the US, Canada and Europe promoting their album. Shelby once said that she did not expect people to turn up at their concert in Amsterdam. Their performance on stage is somewhat hypnotizing: no active over-the-top yelling as many indie rock bands do. They just stand there and play, interacting with the audience occasionally. They prefer to keep their performances short yet unforgettable. Selling their own merchandise is one added point to the cuteness of the band. The band split on 7/12/2006. “The Organ called it quits in 2006, with Katie, Jenny, Schmoo, Debra, and Shelby heading their separate ways. At the time of the breakup, the band had been working on several new songs, and some months later the members began discussing the possibility of bringing these remaining gems to life. In 2007, The Organ briefly regrouped and headed back into the studio to quietly record these six remaining unrecorded songs, originally meant to be part of a follow-up to their 2004 debut full-length Grab That Gun.” Shmoo’s got a new side project, named Die Cowboy Die. It is still in the works.Katie Sketch has a new project called the Mermaids, until now we’ve only heard one song - “Say you’re alive” - available on youtube.