Don Tapscott (Keyboards, vocals) – a widely proclaimed cyber-guru, Don’s musical roots trace back to the 1960’s where he performed regularly with the Don Tapscott Sr. Dance Band. Coming into his own musically, he founded the Village Squares which won the top prize at the Ontario-wide Cobourg folk festival in 1965 (He says he was 3 at the time). He later became the mysterious 3rd member of a Yorkville coffee house called The Pilgrims Three and later played keyboards in the bands John Bull’s Other Island and The Boys in the Band (not the gay movie of the same name). In the 1980’s he performed with a heavy metal (honestly) group called Black Rainbow. Despite his reputation as the oracle of new technology, Don’s musical tastes are still firmly rooted in the ‘60s and he brings a core of Motown R&B to the band’s music. His weapon of choice is the Hammond B3, which unlike the micro gadgets he preaches about, still takes a small transport truck and team of 4 to lug around to gigs. But it sounds so sweet on Green-Eyed lady………..
Gerry Throop (Lead vocals, guitar) – a retired Bay Street financial executive with more musical toys than hair, Gerry brings a sort of Sting meets Mellencamp (in his own mind anyway….) styling to his vocal performances. After spending his teen years as a die-hard folkie in Ottawa, singing with amongst others with the much younger Trish, he bought an electric guitar and turned to the dark side. In the 70’s he was founding member of the never acclaimed Quickshadow, a west end Toronto ‘hair band’ more known for their cool wheels than their music. After abandoning his professional music dreams and choosing the path most travelled……(thank god! 🙂 he formed a number of corporate bands including TMC Rox in the 80’s where he met up with Stew, and DTMF in the early 90’s where he first teamed up with fellow guitarist Jim. Gerry met Don in the mid 90’s through their sons’ hockey team and together they cooked up the idea for MIS at a weekend tournament in the US…..while their kids terrorized the other Motel 6 guests in the halls. Typical rock star wannabes…..they can’t even trash a motel on their own!
Jim Hardy (Lead guitar, vocals) – looking forward to Gerry as a client in the near term, Jim is CFO for a multinational senior’s care organization. Jim brings a certain ‘what the hell was that’ to his guitar work in MIS having recently discovered that it’s ‘all about the right hand’. An engineer by background, his pedal board looks like a Bell switching centre, and is lovingly referred to as his ‘make-up kit’. A hard rocker at heart, the band is always asking him to ‘turn it up. Jim’s musical history started in Vancouver and included many performances at the storied Commodore Ballroom with the legendary 80’s band Montego Shine (now performing as The Benders). Other stints included Fast Fourier and the Nyquist Criterion, and with Gerry, DTMF (you can’t take the engineer out of him apparently). Jim’s musical influences are as diverse as The Who, ACDC and Tower of Power and occasionally when the mood strikes, he has been known to drag out his sax and wail like the ‘Tower’ (although it’s not clear that Tower of Power ever actually played The Girl from Ipanema…..)
Stewart Borden (Bass, vocals) – a financial services consultant, Stewart is always the best dressed member of the band. Taking Men in Suits literally he always shows up to gigs in full Saville Row attire (we’re not really sure if he likes dressing that way….or whether he just doesn’t get the joke……). Stewart, originally a piano student found all those white and black thingies too confusing, not to mention the over 180 strings, and since Stew can’t count that high…..he opted for just 4 strings – the bass. Probably the best musician in the group, the other band members who work in the financial services industry have conspired to give him so much consulting work that he has no time to look for new band mates. After a stint at university with Mr. Christie and the Good Cookies Stew gigged with the Toronto bar band Thurston Howell and the Lovies before he began playing with Gerry in TMC Rox, and the rest as they say is (sordid) history.
Vince Mazza is the newest, youngest and best looking of the men in MIS (just ask him…). Having partially financed his education by playing in bar bands including ‘Has Anyone Seen My Pants?’ and ‘Flat Broke’, we first met Vince while he was taking a sabbatical from music, after a horrible incident with a loose drumstick and roadie in his previous band. We convinced Vince that twirling drumsticks wasn’t even that cool in the 70s, and coached him back to the ‘skins’. His sizzling back beat and razor sharp sense of timing (count-ins not included) keep us grounded at all (ok, most…) times.
Trish Fonberg is the only member of the band without Bay Street roots (we’re not even certain she knows where Bay Street is…). She is a hotshot executive at the industry leading loyalty company that among other things runs Air Miles. Trish grew up singing and playing guitar with, among others, Gerry Throop, who she is always informing us is ‘much, much older” than she and who she confirms has had “lots of hair” and “lots of toys” ever since he was 15 years old . In addition to her rock and roll vocals Trish brings what is clearly the most … *interesting* wardrobe to the band, complete with hypnotizing pants and … where was i…. Famous for her sound check freak-outs, she loves her new “family of brothers’ and says that becoming part of MIS has been life-changing. No kidding. Oh- all attendees at band concerts receive one million Air Miles.
Duke McKenzie is an entrepreneur and digital executive who is known to his staff both as CEO and as founder of Hip Hop Education Fridays. A passionate rap aficionado, Duke has released a five song body of work called Duke “AKA” Carlton Banks Man. The overwhelming response to this release (mostly from his children) contributed to the album’s Leaden Album status (with almost 2 copies sold!). Despite his success, Duke graciously lends Men in Suits his lighthearted hip hop flair that injects their distinct brand of mash-ups with even more soul.