When we first dreamed this entire band thing up, Isabelle already had a name figured out. She said we should be called "Combine." you know, cause it's combining the two of us, and it also means com-bine: like the tractor. (Isabelle grew up on a farm right? So the thought of a combine was actually really heart warming to her - to me, all I thought was "What!? Those big fucking awkward things that are out on the enormous prairie fields with a funnel-thingy going out of them?? - fuck no, I mean, come on! sheesh!!) However, I also took note of her initial concept, the two of us, and let it slide for the while. I truly believe, to this moment, that she reckoned we'd be called that: and I never, ever intended to go under that title.
Anyway, months went by and we were both working on our respective things when I started producing a local band's record, The February March. (of course they weren't called that back then, they were Formula - just to set the record straight). This was February 2006. After we recorded their bed tracks at a really good studio here in town, Mushroom Studios, we retreated to my house to do the overdubs. They were here for a month or more!
In the course of recording their album, we took the lads to our local fish and chip shop on Main Street. In this shop are a fairly large amounts of UK pennents, posters, paraphernalia and other odds and sods. They're really trying to project that they are an authentic English fish and chips joint. (Isn't that funny? The country most commonly known for being shite in the kitchen, has fish and chips for its culinary renown!) At the wall of our table was a plaque promoting some obscure tea or spice company and it has the slogan 'Enjoyed the World Over'. Well Isabelle suggested to the boys,"Why don't you call your album,'The World Over?' " They, with their usual lack of decisiveness, hurrumphed around and said, "nah, that's too .... " (fill in some bizarre reason why it's no good, and you'll have as good a reason as they said no to it.) Obviously this was a great title, but they weren't thinking that big yet!
I bring up The February March because it was their search for a name that made me come up with Combine the Victorious. We, the band and I, had made a pretty damn good record and now the band was bullshitting around about changing their name! This is a goddamn nightmare in this business, I mean, you should never change your name!! So there we were at the fish and chippie, jostling around some names, amoungst which were a few good ones, and then decided to put it to bed. The next week I woke up with Combine the Victorious in my head. Joel just so happened to call me at that moment and I said to him, "Hey why don't you call your band: Combine the Victorious ?" He paused and then commended me for the best name I'd offerred yet. Isabelle was glaring at me: how could you offer them our name? I shrugged it off as if to say, "Hey, well at least I offerred."
The reason I'd woken up that morning with Combine the Victorious in my head was, I'd had a dream that involved something to do with world war two. WWII as they say. (My dad was actually in WWII, for the Germans, fucking 13 years old. Insane.) Anyway, I've always, all my life, had a huge identification with the Battle of Britain. There's something about the legend of the tireless pilots flying in shifts and never really sleeping, all to defend a defenseless Britain, while Churchill gaves those magnificent speaches that's connected with me - directly. Plus factor in all the Canadians that freely signed up to go get killed, it's ridiculous. So fucking loyal. Amazing. No wonder I like that country!
So there it is, a strange collaboration between the idyllic childhood reminiscences of Isabelle and my own penchant for a heroic war torn time. But see, that's how we work.
Oh- and if you're reading this and you live in Vancouver, come to our show this Saturday night at the booze can - I really think it's going to be cool. 7 W.2nd Ave. Midnight