March 01, 2004


Borialis photo.jpg

Borialis rides out album delays, lineup changes

A lot has happened to Borialis since the rock-rap band signed with Capitol Records in 2001.

But what was supposed to occur twice last year -- and didn't -- was the release of What You Thought You Heard, the band's debut album for the label. As a result, the delay of the disc contributed to the departure of some Borialis members, says singer-guitarist Rick Dahrouge.

"People just lost patience and had to move on," says a matter-of-fact Dahrouge, who's unsure why the album didn't come out last summer or in the fall, as previously announced. "It's so hard to wait around."

Dahrouge toughed it out, and so did bassist Eddie Acevedo and drummer Jay Kulikowski. The big payoff for their endurance is expected to arrive March 23, when What You Thought You Heard finally arrives in stores.

"Me, Eddie and Jay -- we're in it for life," Dahrouge says. "We love music, and we love playing together."

Their bond goes back a long time. Dahrouge, 29, has known Acevedo, also 29, since childhood. It wasnít uncommon for the two friends to sing songs together while riding the bus to and from high school in Neptune, N.J. They formed the band around 1993, the year Dahrouge graduated. Kulikowski was later added to the fold, followed by other instrumentalists.

Previously known as Vibe Tribe, then Stone Groove, Dahrouge's band began calling itself Borialis -- a name he had in mind since his junior year in high school -- around 1997-98. That's about the time he expanded his repertoire as a performer to include rapping, yet another element of his music career directly related to his school days, when he listened to a lot of urban music.

"[Hip-hop and R&B were] such a part of me, but at the same time, I wasn't totally a hip-hop or pop dude," he explains. "I wasn't totally a rock dude, either. But I loved Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and old Van Halen."

Borialis' mix of rock, rap and reggae has contributed to the band having a diverse audience, Dahrouge believes.

"The thing with us is that real young kids like it, and at the same time, people in their 40s and 50s like it because they get into the rhythm, the guitars and the melodies," he explains. "So, it's really the rock aspects that the older people like because they hear riffs. You really donít hear guitar riffs anymore -- you're just hearing chords or loud, overdriven tones. We bring melodic and heavy riffs."

And with those melodies and riffs comes an immense sense of pride for a relatively unknown band from the Jersey shore.

"If there was a band that can speak for a general population, I think we are the sound that can cross more boundaries than any other group," says Dahrouge, who expects his revamped band to tour soon. "The greatest music of all time as far as pop culture is concerned has been rock 'n' roll and hip-hop. There was disco and punk, but they were slivers. But the huge impacts came from rock 'n' roll and hip-hop, and we bring those elements fully."

-- By Chris M. Junior

Official Borialis site:

Posted by medleyville at March 1, 2004 02:56 PM