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13 Engines Biography

Last updated: 03/29/2012 12:00:00 PM

Formed in the mid-80's as The Ikons, the members were York University students trying to get by on rock and roll and beer. The released a self-titled cassette in 1986 before making waves on Detroit radio where they would straddle the border town clubs between the Motor City and Windsor with a new name in honour of the motor trade - 13 Engines.

While there they recorded two independent albums for Nocturnal Records -- 'Before Our Time' (1987) and 'Byram Lake Blues' (1989). The latter spawning a college radio hit single in "Beached"

Their major label debut, 'Blur To Me Now', was produced by the late David Briggs (Neil Young, Alice Cooper). The album jettisoned two medium rotation singles with "Big Surprise" and "King Of Saturday Night" allowing them the freedom to tour across the country.

However, they would soon lose their US distribution deal with SBK and a disappointing promotional push in light of such labelmates as Vanilla Ice making 13 Engines a low priority.

EMI Canada kept the band on the high profile list and made a legitimate bubbling under hit of their next album 'Perpetual Motion Machine' in 1993 - which landed them a coveted spot on the first annual Tragically Hip 'Another Roadside Attraction' tour. The CD launched two heavily played singles/videos in "More" and "Smoke & Ashes".

As the alternative scene became more mainstream it seemed that 13 Engines' time had come. The release of 1995's 'Conquistador' bore this out and the public quietly awaits their return.