Major Maker Makes It

The Ottawa XPress– November 29, 2007

Jingle Sells:
Jingles Are the Way for Toronto’s Major Maker

Not all musicians lending their voice to television commercials sound as off-key as the Ontario Freshness Guy. There’s Feist for iPod. Bedouin Soundclash for Zellers. Ottawa’s Andrew Vincent for Old Navy. And now, with spots for Chevy, Telus and Maynards Candy, Toronto’s Major Maker is proving how good jingles grow-a-oh in Ontario–along with the bank account.

“It’s like an actor trying to land a spot by moving to L.A.; it can totally happen, you never know,” says singer-songwriter Lindy Vofjnord about landing success by taking a commercial route with his music partner, Todor Kobakov.

Sell outs?

“The people that criticize, I don’t have any energy for addressing why they’d think this was a bad idea. They can go fuck themselves,” Lindy says politely.

Arguably one of the nicest guys in the music industry today, Vopnfjord encourages the new marketing trend because it’s helping catapult indie bands into the limelight. He insists that people are happy to hear that music from their favourite bands is getting out there, and he credits people with the intelligence to know that the song isn’t necessarily an endorsement of the product.

Plugging the duo’s music into the corporate headphones is Daniel Cutler, co-founder of the Arts & Crafts label (Metric, Broken Social Scene, Stars). Cutler, who manages the duo under a separate label, is scoring ads and television show spots, which is leading to distribution deals as well as iTunes and radio airplay for the rest of the band’s catalogue.

“It’s amazing being in the same room with Daniel Cutler and listening to him on the phone or watching him talk to somebody,” says Vopnfjord. “I can’t talk shop. I’d probably say something dumb.”

So let the band focus on making music.

“The ways of being inspired are to encourage the conditions where that can happen more often,” says Vopnfjord. And if going commercial part-time pays them to be musicians full-time, is that a bad thing?

Already, Major Maker’s Brit-tinged ’60s pop hit Rollercoaster, which Maynard’s candy featured in a commercial, is pulling in 77,000 hits on YouTube. EMI released it as a single. All this has helped boost sales for the band’s original project, All Illusion, a killer alternative pop-rock record starring former Ottawa guitarist Ian LeFeuvre (ex-Starling), bassist Thom D’Arcy (Small Sins) and drummer John Ocerbian (Sarah Harmer).

“We’re just one band changing the world,” Vopnfjord jokes. One commercial at a time.

Major Maker