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The best kept secret in music


"NXNE Festival"

We are pleased to invite you to perform at the
2005 NXNE Music Festival on the weekend of June 9, 10, 11, 2005.

We are still putting some finishing touches on the programming. In the forthcoming days, you will receive an email very much like this one with your actual date, time and venue. At that point, you will be asked to RSVP your invite.

If you happen to know right now that you are unable to attend that weekend, please let us know right away so we can make the necessary adjustments.

Thanks very much.

The NXNE Music Festival Team - NXNE 2005

"Left Hip Magazine"

Idiots! Interview by Gordon B. Isnor

Idiots! are an electronic duo recently relocated from Vancouver to Toronto band. Roey Shemesh writes, sings and plays bass. Howard Goldbach produces and plays keyboards and laptop. Their songs are passionate and exubertant. The first time I heard them they reminded me of Prince and Mount Sims. I subsequently came to understand that in addition to getting peole on the dancefloor and singing along to their infectious tunes they also have a passion for experimental sound & electronics and a background in classical & jazz music. Roey played bass for folks groups Po Girl & the Be Good Tanyas.

Why did you leave Vancouver?

It wasn't easy.  There are so many great bands and musicians in Vancouver who we love and miss.  We hope to come to Vancouver to play some shows in the near future.  We didn't so much decide to leave Vancouver as move to Toronto.  We came to Toronto last summer to play some gigs, which went really well.  I was thinking that Toronto would be a great place to explore, and I was up all night one night wrestling with the possibility.  The next morning, out of fate or just pure coincidence, I got a call from Howie, saying that he felt like it was a crazy idea, but maybe we should move to Toronto.  I took it as a sign, and was like "I'm in".  Toronto felt like the next step for us.  You can't stay in the same place forever, and you can never be in two places at once.

How is Toronto treating the Idiots!?

So far so good - it feels like the ball is really rolling over here.

Do you like the scene and the city there?

Naturally Toronto is a bigger city and it seems like everywhere we are, there is someone who is somehow involved in music. This guys brother is in a band, this girl's cousin does a music column, so in that way the scene is welcoming. On the other hand, being such a big city, there is that much more of a challenge to get to know all the people who are in any given scene. Both Vancouver and Toronto have really great qualities; it would be great to be able to live in a sort of Hybrid City, with Mountains, and good pizza.

What are some up and coming Toronto bands that you're excited about?

There is a band called Robot that is really cool. Two dudes, one does insane beats, and the other is a great singer. Jacqueline Rendell is another Vancouver export that we have been playing shows with. She has a new E.P. out called Just Be Cause, and has recently formed a band to play her songs.  We are playing with a band called Pony Da Look next month. It's three keyboards, and a drum kit. I feel like we have found some allies in them.

You?e playing at NXNE - what's the story on the show - who you're playing with etc?

The story is that we are playing at a place called Oasis on June 10th. There are five other bands set to play. The only other band we've heard of is called the No Luck Club. There is another band called Raskin, a pretty random and far out electro band from Mexico. Every band seems to have some electronic element, and we're excited to talk shop.

I understand you're planning a tour of Ontario & Quebec this summer and the west coast after that. Do you want to talk about that at all?

We started operation mass email, and we have gotten some shows. Hamilton, Kingston. We played a great show in London a while back so we're planning on returning there. We just got an email from a band called Convertible Robots, who want to set some shows up around that time, so we're going to do some with them. We're basically trying to book as many shows as possible for the next while.

How did you come together as a band?

Howie and I have been buddies since we were in high school. Back in Vancouver we played in lots of different bands: Klezmer, free improv jazz, lots of different stuff. We got together to record some songs that I was working on. They turned out pretty good, and we had so much fun doing it that we soon had a bunch of songs recorded. The question was, "Can we do this live??and as soon as we figured out how, we were good to go.

And what's the story on the band name?

We wanted a name that was easy to say and remember.

Something fun. Nothing that would reflect how seriously we take our music, because that name would suck.

Do you want to talk about Idiots! songwriting and production process?

Usually I will come to Howie with a song that is basically finished, from beginning to end. That's how it starts. From there we flesh it out with beats, and build it up from there. Often, we're never finished recording any given song, because we're taking stuff out, putting stuff in, always trying to incorporate new production tricks. Lately we've taken a fancy to faster tempos, so we've been reckless with some of our slow jams.

What are some influences on your songwriting and your sound ?some specific bands and sounds etc. that might have pushed you towards what you're doing as a band and as individual musicians?

We - Gordon B. Isnor

"Justify Yourself"

Idiots! Friday at Pat's Pub

1) What animal best describes your sound?
-The wonderful sound of the feline; hissing cats, cats about to pounce, cats in heat.

2) What is the freshest album in your stereo?
-The new Bjork live albums. On the Homogenic one there is this instrumental passage that I'm sure actually killed at least one audience member.

3) Which local band would win in a bike race?
-Bakelite has got the grace; Bella has the style; Jacqueline Rendall and Gordon B. Isnor are practically superheros.

4) What's your favourtite fast food eats?
-Pizza (Imported)

5) What is your latest internet obsession?

6) Which band would you marry, and who would wear the pants?
-Crazy Horse. We would basically be their domestic slaves.

7) Where's your fucking sense of adventure?!
-In our adventurous sense of fucking.

Jen Wong (Aug27-Sept2 2004) - Terminal City Weekly


"Earnest,sweet,princey, and bizzare. I get the lyrics in my head and think about innocent love of life". - Frazey Ford, Be Good Tanyas

"Idiots! become Fighter/Lover"

CBCRadio3 Exclusive: Idiots! become Fighter/Lover
Poster by Craig Norris at 1:48pm

Howard Goldbach and Roey Shemesh are Idiots! no longer.

The guys stopped by our Toronto studios and laid the news on me. Henceforth, they will be known as Fighter/Lover. Look for an NMC page soon and they'll be playing their 'first gig ever' at Lee's Palace in Toronto on Saturday, april 21st with These Electric Lives and fellow R3-30ers Kill The Lights!
But until then, here they are explaining the name change in their own words.

(Check audio for CBC 3 interview recorded live) - CBC Radio 3

"New Music Canada Track of the Day for June 1, 2007: Idiots! "Prime Meridian""

YouTube has helped me indulge in a fave passion - watching movie scenes. Like an ipod, selecting songs and not whole records, I can see those key moments again and again and not the whole film.
When in a blue mood I watch Bill Murray dance as Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic. Standing on the deck of his ship he explains how he installed rabbit ears in his crew's helmets so they could pipe in music. He then clicks and listens to a boppy little electronic number while he does this minimalist dance in his wet suit.
A perfect antidote to my occasional angst.
As is the song "Prime Meridian" by the duo Idiots! - Roey and Howard, now known as Fighter/Lover. The song is one that would be perfect for the crew of the Belafonte. They would just click the on switch and go.
And that's just what you should do now...wet suits optional. - Posted by Lisa Christiansen on Jun 01, 2007


Idiots! E.P.
Spring Is Here (Full Length L.P.)
Fighter/Lover E.P.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Please visit after reading...
Fighter/Lover (Previously Idiots) could be considered a statement or a question. Maybe the title is more of an assumption or guess. The reality is more likely that Fighter/Lover is a partnership… You know, a pair of mutually supportive components justifying the others existence. Duality. Fighter/Lover’s driving and melodic bass rhythms as well as clever lyrics and delivery are courtesy of Roey Shemesh. This is woven into a living wall of sound and texture via Howard Goldbach’s synthesizers, drum loops, and a treasure of secret live tricks…

At a table full of music aficionados, the style might be described as “many strands of simplicity holding up a puppet, seemingly with complex thoughts and emotions.” Or on the dance floor it might be series of barely audible proclamations such as “This is #@*%&! Great!” Such is Fighter/Lover.

Roey Shemesh has many musical inspirations, and when asked, may answer “Relationships and stories, Helmut Newton’s photography, or an outstanding piece of architecture… You know, Creative shit!” Well that seems apparent when you look the list of collaborations, shows and tours Roey has participated in. The Be Good Tanyas, Po'Girl, Veda Hille, Jesse Zubot, C.R. Avery, Kenton Loewen and Jeremy Page of Mother Mother. His style has included everything from Concert to Klezmer or Latin to Lullaby’s.

Howard Goldbach brings his skills to the table with a bachelor of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia. His scholarly approach fuels the experimental aspect and stability of the music, bringing warmth and depth to each arrangement. Howard’s interest in Jazz or Classical music plays a key role in his compositions. He has worked with many of Vancouver's finest improvising musicians.