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"Canandaigua Messenger Post - April 02, 2009"

On their debut CD, the three members of Troyka wear their influences well, but lightly. Imagine Rush's Geddy Lee fronting the Police — as singer/guitarist Ian Mitchell Boni has the type of soaring vocals associated with Lee, and many tracks wed reggae rhythms to a rock vocal the way Sting and his mates used to do. Some may hear bits that recall Van Halen or U2 or even REO in its heyday.

But mostly? Troyka sounds like Troyka.

That was the idea when the trio got together around two years ago, Boni said: Take their influences — which also include backgrounds in jazz — and meld them together while making something new.

While it’s only been in recent months that the band has been able to afford the duplication process for the album, “Turn On Your Life” has been in the making almost as long as the band has been around: Boni, drummer Mike Reed and bassist Neil Dreger began recording about two or three months after getting together in March 2007. Reed and Dreger had been in Geneva rocker Bob Greco’s band, while Boni fronted his own Ian Mitchell Band; when they shared a bill, “I said, ‘I’d love to play with these guys,” Boni said — and before long, that came to be.

The 10 tracks are varied in subject matter: Love discarded, as in the reggae-tinged “Samantha,” which makes it clear there’s blame on both sides (“It takes two to tango/You’re not the only one to blame ...”) and “My Wife.” Losing oneself in the happiness of a moment — maybe a concrete time and place, maybe a state of mind — as in “Paradise” and “Tailuanuba” (“The water is blue and the beaches are hot/The liquor is hard and the women are not/So easy to get to this wonderful place/Not so far from here and we can escape/Just hold on tight ...”). Moments of danger and tension, both personal (as in the dramatic disc-opener, “Number 7”) and societal, maybe universal (“Who’s On Our Side” and “Plague” — “Feeding the hand of deception/Leading us in one direction/A moment too late for correction ...”)

If there’s a common theme, it seems to be to make the moment yours — that happiness, a life well lived, is what you make of it. Boni tends to agree: Hence, the title: “Turn On Your Life.”
“It kind of tells the story of one man’s journey through time,” Boni said, noting that the band has done a couple of videos feeding that concept.

Troyka will officially release the disc at a show Saturday, April 4, at The Lovin’ Cup in Henrietta. They plan a mini-tour — New York, Ithaca, etc. — as well as the festival circuit, including their own Naples Music Festival. They’ve also got some Midwest dates planned, as Dreger is from Wisconsin. Meanwhile, they play the big rooms and the small around these parts, from Water Street Music Hall to bars like Monty’s Krown. (“Some of the best are the smaller little rooms,” Boni said.) And they’ve all got other projects: Dreger, of East Rochester, teaches jazz bass at Finger Lakes Community College and is part of the Jazz Mad Lab. Reed, of Rochester, plays in various jazz groups. And Boni, who grew up in Canandaigua, plays with his dad Lyle Boni in the bands Naked Grey and The Rollin’ Bones. (Lyle’s also in Hazer.)

“We’re not in this to make fame, fortune and glory,” Boni said. “We’re just musicians who love what we do.”

On the Net: www.troyka - L. David Wheeler, staff writer Daily Messenger

"The Holy Trinity - City Newspaper - April 01, 2009"

Troyka is a three-piece ("troika" means "three" in Russian) Rochester rock outfit that plays music with elements of desire and power. Its sound is categorized by crunchy guitar over a pop groove, all of it under emotive vocals. With just three members - Ian Mitchell, guitar/vocals; Neil Dreger, bass; and Mike Reed, drums - to weave the sound, the air between the notes serves almost as a fourth member (anyone know how to say "four" in Russian?). The bottom line is, Troyka sounds bigger than the sum of its pieces.

The tangible members of Troyka got together in spring 2007. Dreger and Reed were in the Bob Greco Band while Mitchell was playing in Naked Gray and the Ian Mitchell Band, along with several acoustic projects.

"I wanted to play with Mike because he was a kick-ass drummer," says Mitchell. "Then I found out Neil had to come with Mike." The admiration was mutual.

"And I wanted to play with Ian because he was pretty," says Reed.

Troyka's sound is rooted in its groove. Call it pop if you like, but this is the element that hooks the ears and counters the guitar's temper. If Mitchell were not in Troyka, he would qualify as a full-on rock player. And his voice, especially on the tune "Samantha," has an exquisitely plaintive upper register, not unlike Sting. In fact, the band has a cool and overall "Regatta de Blanc" tinge to it.

It's easy to tell where a band wants to go by looking at where its members were before. A lot of new bands are reactionary, an answer to questions that the previous bands didn't ask.

"Mike and I came from a band that had a sole creator, and we weren't as much a part of the creative process and we wanted to be," says Dreger. "It was very formatted pop. We wanted to do something more in the style and feel of what we were interested in. We wanted to be something more organic." Mitchell was in the same place.

"That's basically where I was," he says. "I was ready to move on to something stronger, really concentrate on the new musicianship and really have a level of quality to it."

Within two months, the new band was already writing and recording, its members contributing equally. All of them agree: Troyka is democratic, despite democracy's pitfalls.

"It moves a little slower that way, because there is so much give and take," says Reed. "But all the songs come from the three minds."

"There's been a couple times," Dreger says, "where someone's brought an idea that, in the end, there's a unanimous decision that it doesn't fit the genre we've become. We all have such varied backgrounds - jazz, bluegrass, jam band, funk - all these different styles. And someone might come up with an idea that's too specific to a genre that doesn't fit the sound and vibe we've created."

"The interaction between the instruments," Dreger says, "that's where I think we shine; on the inside of the music as opposed to the outside."

And the shine will blind you on the band's first album, "Turn On Your Life," due out April 4. It's a cohesive, energetic, fun CD that might remind you of other power trios like The Police or The Jam or Rush. Though the band considers some of those legends as influences, their sound isn't something Troyka is pursuing. Troyka sounds original and fresh, though Dreger can't quite put his finger on why.

"Maybe [Troyka's sound] is present and readily audible," he says. "Whereas most bands are trying to find the mainstream, we're playing things we enjoy, creating the sounds we want. And I think what happens is, people see our own enjoyment. We're not doing it for the audience, we're doing it for ourselves, and that affects the audience."

"A lot of our best songs have happened spontaneously at our practices," Dreger says. Sometimes, according to Dreger, a song will come in that doesn't fit. But instead of trashing it, they work it on out.

"We Troyka-fy it," he says. It's as if, to the band, Troyka is its own genre.

"You could call it progressive rock at times, due to some of the harmonized lines the instruments play," Dreger says.

Reed breaks it down: "The basic genre is rock," he says. "We're a rock band, plain and simple. But the feeds that come into it have some reggae, jam band...there're a lot of instrumental aspects to it that change the genre."

So even though the band is progressing, it isn't evolving too far from where it was, or where it wants to go.

"We didn't know where we wanted to be," says Mitchell. "I think the sound, to be honest, has stayed pretty consistent. We've just tightened up the feel and all the things we were trying to do before. The method to our madness has unfolded."

And as the madness continues to unfold, or suggests additional instruments or sounds, Reed, Dreger, and Mitchell plan on keeping it all in house.

"We add anything," says Dreger, "We're going to add it ourselves." - Frank De Blase

"City Newspaper Jan. 16-22 2008"

It's probably the flanger that makes me say this, but if The Police was more of a heavier rock band, it might have sounded like Troyka. Troyka's music bounds and turns with thoughtful, spacious moments that set you up for that belly flop thrill when the more conventional stuff gets kicked back into gear. Vocals that break up nicely as they approach the upper register add to the band's energy, intensity, and plausibility. There's a little bit of fusion in there, what with guitarist Ian Mitchell's jazz background popping up within the band's urge to rock. Jazz and rock have been like chocolate and peanut butter for a while now, but Troyka remains unique. You'll see what I mean. - Frank De Blase

"Troyka At last, the local pop-rock trio will release its debut album"

Local pop-rock trio Troyka formed two years ago, and two short months later began recording original material.

But after the band finished work on its debut album last summer, things stalled.

"It was big money to pay for the actual replication of the CDs," says singer and guitarist Ian Mitchell.

But Troyka managed to raise it and will release Turn on Your Life in less than a month.

Bassist Neil Dreger says band members didn't have a theme in mind when they made the record.

"But the overall vibe for most of the songs seemed to always come back to being yourself and making your own decisions in life and having fun," he says.

Influenced by power trios such as The Police and Rush, Troyka borrows familiar reggae beats and sometimes trails off into instrumental segments while maintaining a pop-rock theme.

Drummer Mike Reed adds that the songwriting was very much a group effort, awhich was a new experience for him.

"It was a really cool process," he says. "I think, as a whole, it helps give us a more unique sound, just because we are three minds working together on the same song."

Fans can expect a multimedia experience during the show. Mitchell says. A music video created by the trio will serve as the backdrop, and Troyka will play in sync with the video.

"Troyka is a treat for the eyes and the ears," Dreger says.

Off-stage, there's a lot going on with the group, too. Reed was married in October, Dreger recently got engaged and Mitchell will become a father in May.

But don't think these life changes will slow anything down .

"You don't quit your job when life happens," Dreger says. "It's a career move, it's a full-time job. We've all worked (our day jobs) today, and now we're here working again at the studio. That's how it works."

Troyka is planning a summer tour of the Midwest. And by fall, the band hopes to dig into its second album, which members have already started writing.

"There's exciting things on the horizon," Dreger says. -

"April 2, 2009"

excellent band! the police meet 311 turned up to 11! ( is 'turned' even a word? ) another example of the amazing talent that comes from rochester. - 100.5 fm The Drive Rocehster, NY

"Lilac Festival"

If you're a fan of the pop-rock sounds of Taylor Hanson's (of Hanson) new project Tinted Windows (also featuring members of Smashing Pumpkins and Cheap Trick), you'll enjoy trio Troyka. The band's catchy pop-rock is topped off with a little bit of funk and blues. - Insider Magazine


"Turn On your Life" - Debut Album
"Samantha" - Single (music video)



Formed in Spring of 2007, TROYKA is a power trio delivering a high-energy, high-creativity performance of a unique style, well-suited to any venue or crowd. Focusing primarily on the creation of original music, TROYKA can perform an hour and a half of original music, or they can play solo on full night's bill, filling out the set with covers from artists like The Talking Heads, The Cure, & The Police to name a few. With the recent addition of an self-produced video backdrop, TROYKA's performance has become a show sure to stimulate both the ears and the eyes.

Past feature performance highlights include:
-Opening for the Gin Blossoms at the 2008 10 Ugly Men Festival in Rochester, NY
-Opening for The L.A. Guns in Canandaigua, NY
-Winning the 5th annual Ugly Idol competition sponsored by 94.1 The Zone
-In-Studio performance on "Zone Grown" on 94.1 The Zone
-Being featured on "The Sunday Night Shakedown" on 98.9 The Buzz
-Being featured on "The Breakfast Buzz" on 98.9 The Buzz