Ultra Mega’s long-delayed Dart EP

By Taylor Burgess

Tonight at the Lo Pub with Vampires and White Light Machine, Ultra Mega will releasing The Dart EP, their first record since their controversial Black Wu Jackets.

The sessions didn’t include drummer Ben Jones because he was busy with school and the recently-added guitarist Josey Krahn wasn’t a member yet, but singer/guitarist JD Ormond and bassist Conrad Petkau had a great deal of fun recording with Six Shooter signee Luke Doucet.

Doucet, who played the role of producer and played the drums for the EP, happens to have quite a special relationship with Ultra Mega. He’s Ormond’s brother.

“Sometimes when we were working in the studio,” says Ormond wistfully, “I would be looking at Luke and I’d just picture him like he was some punk in the West End and we were making songs you could double your friends on your BMX to.”

For the session, even though Doucet was on drums, they had hired a number of studio musicians.

“They came in to fill things out, to give them a bit of spice. It turned into a song-creating endeavour—we could hire these guys and the album would go this way, or we could hire these ones and it would go that way,” says Ormond.

The album was recorded in January 2009, but JD felt it necessary to sit on the recordings for a while. Together with the rest of the band back in Winnipeg, they eventually decided to nix half of the 10 songs. The five that they had kept were just of Ormond, Petkau, and Doucet playing and including none of the session musicians.

“Maybe that’s why it’s taken too long,” says Ormond. “Listening to [all the tracks] now, for anyone who are used to our sound, there would probably be a few people maybe scratching their heads.”

Drummer Ben Jones says that he still feels part of the ownership of the album, even though he wasn’t there recording it.

“Luke played all of the drum parts. They’re not necessarily what I would’ve played, but I still think they fit. That sounds negative—but it’s not!” exclaims Jones. “We’re really excited to tour this album and we’ll all record another one together in Winnipeg.”

How does The Dart compare to Ultra Mega’s other recordings? How does this EP, done in studio with the talented musician Doucet, sound differently than their other songs?

Jones pauses. “Uh… Well, it sounds really good, if you catch what I mean? It’s a little polished. It’s still raw, and it still rocks but it’s just,” he stops to rub the table with his hand a little, “varnished.”