Herbal magic

Lillian Simmons
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The Thymes, (from left) Jeremy Rice, Ryan Taylor, Leon White and Gene Browne. — Submitted photo by Darcy Fitzpatrick

Jeremy Rice, lead vocalist, rhythm guitar player and songwriter for The Thymes, describes the band’s sound as having a “classic rock feel with whimsical lyrics and chord progressions.”

The St. John’s band formed early this year, but it wasn’t the first collaboration for some of its band members.

The Thymes’ drummer, Ryan Taylor, who spent some time playing with bands Rayfield and The Caves, also played with Rice in The Beach B’ys, while lead guitarist Leon White and Rice previously played together in The Sellouts. Bass player Gene Browne has played with Overlay and The Living Daylights, and keeps the music going while running two downtown bars, the Levee and Headquarters.



Rice has been writing songs for about 15 of his 33 years, ever since he first began playing guitar.

After spending several years working on individual solo projects and playing with Timescore in Toronto, he returned to St. John’s in 2005 to play with The Travelling Salesmen and Sellout, writing and contributing to the repertoire of each.

In January, Rice, Taylor, White and Brown decided to put together The Thymes and are currently working on a new CD.

“I had a bunch of songs I’d been itching to get out. It had been awhile since I’d done any original material live,” says Rice. “I decided it was time to get back on the go and do something original. I’d known these guys before and had worked on certain projects with them in individual capacities and they’re close friends of mine — so it worked out pretty well.”

Rice mostly writes alone, but says sometimes a song will get its start during a jam.

“Then I might go home and fine tune it so that it’s in song format. But generally I’ll bring a song to the table and we’ll sort of just hack it out.”

The band has played about half a dozen gigs so far.

Each of the guys holds down a day job, but they’ve managed to put together several videos that have been garnering attention through social media networks.


Video connection

For the past three years Rice has been working at a television production house, Best Boy Productions.

Best Boy locally produces television shows for broadcasters on an international scale.

“Right now we’re working on a children’s TV show called ‘Mickey’s Farm’ (Pet Network). I write a one-minute tune for the end of each episode and I also do the score for that show and others. So I’ve made a few friends who are into the visual side of things.”

That said, the hope is to produce more live visual material to complement the new CD.

“So, we’ll probably produce a few videos and see where that takes us.”

The Thymes will play their original songs at Headquarters Friday, along with Texas Chain Saw, The Reluctant Showmen and Mercy, the Sexton. They’ll also play a benefit show at the Levee Nov. 12 for Hands Across the Sea, a non-profit organization serving children and their families in Haiti, and a show with Catcher, Dec. 2 at Headquarters.

Geographic location: The Sellouts, Toronto, Haiti

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