By Keith Sharp
When Lisa Boudreau and Terry Tompkins decided to reunite Lost And Profound after a recording gap of some 14 years, they didn’t have to look too far to find each other. The married couple had maintained a creative liaison even while pursuing outside musical interests, he as co-owner of Toronto based Eggplant Productions and she as an in-demand jingle singer and the voice of several of her husband’s animated television characters.
Now with a new recording, `Goodbye Mine’, released in May 2015, a new single `Subhuman’ and their full five-piece band back performing live, Boudreau is on the phone from her Toronto rehearsal hall, delighted that their new release has received such a positive reception from both critics and the general public.
Boudreau jokes about how the industry landscape has changed since she and Tompkins released their last album, the 2001 Red Suede Red release and how they were ill-prepared to release their new recording.
“We didn’t really have a game plan together when we originally released `Goodbye Mine’” admitted Boudreau. “The whole release thing was a little rash, and we didn’t have the right people in place at that time yet the end result is still very positive. I don’t think I’ve seen one negative review.”
Boudreau admits that it took so long to record the new record after undergoing quite a traumatic experience releasing `Red Suede Red’ a name they had also decided to call themselves at the time.
“I loved that record but it took us so long to record it, that both Terry and I were nauseated at the end, it felt like that project wasn’t in our hands anymore,” Boudreau informed. “The songs were kind of dark and sexy and it didn’t sound like a Lost And Profound record, so we came up with a new name. But of course, no one recognized us as Red Suede Red so the impact of that decision proved to be rather negative.”
Tompkins, in particular was so traumatized by that experience that he deferred from creating new music as he poured his creativity into his production company writing music for documentaries and animated projects.
“The truth is that Terry was so involved in writing music at work that the last thing he wanted to do was come home and write more music,” explained Boudreau who was also involved raising their family of two boys. “But on the weekends, the vaporizer would come, we’d start creating songs that we turned into demos and then we’d put them away and forget about them. Eventually though, we had so many demos that we just had to do something with them, Terry would play me the new songs, I thought they were great so we decided to put out a new record.
Understanding there had to be an incentive to get a band back together again, the pair booked a venue, announced they were going to debut their new material with a live performance and pushed the band to work out the arrangements and learn all the new tracks.
“That process worked so well we literally recorded the entire album off the floor, live,” explained Boudreau. “Except for some vocal overdubs, the recording was virtually completed in one session.”
Originally labelled as folk musicians after their Calgary debut as the Psychedelic Folk Virgins, Boudreau and Tompkins moved east to be closer to their parents (hers in New Brunswick – his in Hamilton Ontario) as their first child was due.
Their first indie cassette; “The Bottled Romance Of Nowhere” attracted plenty of label interest when it was released in 1991 and both Bob Ansell and Corky Laing, Polygram Canada’s national A&R team were interested enough to sign the pair to their label.
Having changed their name to Lost And Profound and released a debut record under that name in 1992, they enjoyed chart success with “Brand New Set Of Lies”, winning them a Juno Award nomination in 1993 for Best New Group (won by The Skydiggers).
“Unfortunately, our problems started to develop with Polygram during the release of our second record; `Memory Thief’ in 1994,” informed Boudreau. “We set up a showcase for the U.S A&R people but I was nursing my second child at the time and I think that turned them off. They didn’t promote the record properly, they brought in a new Canadian A&R department and we were eventually dropped from the label.”
On the rebound, they released `Love Sweet Messenger’ in 1996 as an indie recording, but when that failed to click, they focused their efforts on new initiatives; Tompkins on his production company and Boudreau as a voice actress and jingles singer (Yes that was her as the voice of The Bay and those Tropicana “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” commercials).
Recording their Red Suede Red record may have been a creative misstep but now they are back to revive their career with eight new tracks that contain the band’s trademark ingredients, Boudreau’s ethereal vocals and Tompkins’ plaintive lyrics set off against simplistic but concise instrumental arrangements.
Tagged as “Sadcore” which reflects the emotion of their music, Boudreau agrees that the band’s sound is hard to describe. “I hate it when people try to put a tag on our sound. I admit we are difficult to describe but I like the idea we are open to interpretation.”
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