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Named after their singer/guitarist and influenced by artists ranging from the Pogues to Neubauten, the quirky, Montreal-based indie/folk/punk outfit Tam also features bassist J.P. Quintin, drummer Eloi Bertholet, and keyboardist/engineer/bassist Johnny Souranis. An animator for films, Tam began her musical career in 1990 as a rhythm guitarist in Swing Dynamique, where she met Bertholet, before forming the first version of her band in 1996 with former Failsafe drummer Peter Boucher and Souranis, who was also the bassist with the Juno-winning group Go Van Gogh. Dubbed the Butchershop, the trio gigged around Montreal and recorded some demos. Tam headed for Manchester, U.K., and made connections such as producer Arthur Baker and Smiths/Haven manager Joe Moss. She returned to Montreal and formed the Vampires with Czech-American musician Andy Nesvadba. The band played a weekly gig at the city's Pasalamany Bar in 2004, where Tam met David Wenger, with whom she later recorded. After the Vampires split, Tam played some solo gigs, including some dates with the Unicorns, and reunited with Souranis to record more demos; despite a lack of local interest, Tam was signed to Thurston Moore's label Ecstatic Peace! After assembling the rest of the band, Tam recorded their self-titled debut album, which was released in summer 2006. ~ Heather Phares

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