For me, it’s the human angle that I find interesting when it comes to musicians. But I do get the other side too. You know, the glitz and the glam stuff. Nevertheless, I think Shania Twain said it best when she wrote, “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” So, such things as record sales, venues played, and even the amount of adoring fans that a performer has gotten to know intimately well are all fine and dandy however, my real draw is to the performer him or herself.
I really want to know what that performer is like as a person and I also want to know, after the glitz has gone, what has that person done with their life? So, when a musician comes along who is articulate, appreciative, intelligent, and industrious, I have to know more.
Gil Moore, the iconic timekeeper in the Canadian megaband, Triumph, fits that mold. If you like rock music and you were paying attention in the late 1970s through the 1980s, you know the group. “Lay It On The line,” “Rock And Roll Machine,” “Hold On,” and “Fight The Good Fight” are just some of the band’s hits to name a few. Although Triumph is not performing at the present time their legion of fans still await the day that a reunion tour or new record comes about. The band did give their fans a treat in 2008 when they rekindled for two shows and whether or not more are in stock in the future remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, Triumph remains as a rock and roll force still getting airplay today and still being talked about amongst rock connoisseurs. Formed in 1975 the band put out 10 studio albums and 4 live albums which were followed by 2 video releases and 4 compilation albums. Its three members (Rik Emmett, Mike Levine, and Gil Moore) offered rock fans that unique power trio chemistry and sound that hasn’t been replicated ever since. (Oh yes, I know, there is another Canadian power trio band that has also wowed rock fans worldwide and they continue to do so. But we’ll get to them later)
So, when I got the opportunity to sit down with Gil Moore, I jumped at it. What really drew my attention to Gil was his second career at Metalworks Studios which is based in Mississauga, Canada. Gil seemed like he was really developing a business related to music. In fact, however, I came to learn that Gil was actually succeeding in business. I guess seeing what Gil did in Triumph would not make this a surprising revelation but what the heck. Let’s have some fun. So, I thought the idea of a second career was interesting along with trying to merge Gil’s life with Triumph and Metalworks into one timeline.
Here are the results of my research. . . .
K Bo: What is the current status of Triumph and is there any chance of a reunion?
GM: Well, first of all Rik is playing all the time. He’s out there traveling all over and playing all kinds of gigs. We do get together a couple of times a year and we have dinner and talk things through. The issue, however, is really my career here in Toronto with Metalworks which is a company that I have developed. It’s very hard for me to walk away from it because it’s busy and growing and we have a lot of employees and so forth. So, I’m the guy holding things up. We do talk about it although it has not come to fruition outside of the two shows we did in 2008. We realized what a lot of commitment it would be to play an indoor tour. The 2008 shows were festivals so we were not carrying sound and lights. To do an indoor tour is really a year long commitment. I’ll say this, if we were going to do it we would do it right. However, I would have to basically get away from Metalworks for the better part of a year to really pull it off and that would be difficult. Metalworks is where my heart is now. That’s not to say that it’s not with Triumph but some people change careers in their life and I guess I have gone through a bit of a career change of sorts although I am still in the music industry. When Triumph was still active I was 100% devoted to it. It’s pretty much the same way with Metalworks now.
K Bo: Having said that, if you never did another festival or live performance with Triumph are you satisfied with your body of work with the band?
GM: No. I’d like to do more recording and I would really to play another tour mainly for the fans, not so much for us. Since so many people have asked for a tour I feel kind of like a spoiler in a way that it hasn’t happened. I don’t have a burning desire to go do it perhaps the way some people might expect but for the fans and my kids I think, yeah, it’s worth it. As to the comradery aspect with Mike and Rik, when we played those shows together in 2008 it was great traveling with the guys and hanging out. The rehearsals were a lot of fun too.
K Bo: Well, when you look back at all you accomplished in Triump do you think you can recreate that magic or do you think it’s better to leave things well enough alone?
GM: That’s a tough question to answer but I think music is a lot like sports in that there is a place and time when you are growing up, and you are young, and you have your favorite athlete or performer. It’s really the same for the athletes or performers too. At that time these things are near and dear to your heart. On the other hand do you really think that a guy who played NFL football at 27 is going to play as well as when he’s 47? It’s just not going to happen. You know I feel when you look at a lot of the bands that are playing later in their careers there is a reason why they are doing it. The reasons vary. Some do it for the money and others do it because they don’t know how to do anything else. Others do it just because they enjoy the performance. That’s a tough question to answer.