By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
An old adage claims if you love something, let it go, and it will come back to you or it was never truly yours. While this may seem an odd to reference in terms of a band, that’s exactly what happened to Jean Marc Pisapia, lead singer of The Box.
The Box was founded in Montreal in 1981, and found considerable success with both English and French audiences, with a resume that boasts four charting albums and 10 charting singles, including three Top 10 singles, “Closer Together”, “Ordinary People” and “Carry On”.
But by the early 1990s, the musical landscape was changing, and The Box was eventually released from their major record deal with Capitol/EMI.
Struggling to find a new label to release their fifth album, Pisapia says members of the band started writing and recording music for films and television ads.
“That became very lucrative and [the other band members] said we are making a ton of money,” he recalls, explaining they didn’t seem interested in returning to the record industry.
“I ended up alone, and that particular time, I thought The Box was done,” Pisapia says. He continued to perform and record as solo artist for next 10 years, until 2002, when he felt it was perhaps time for The Box to return.
“The industry came back to me saying it would be nice to see The Box again.” However, Pisapia’s original colleagues were not interested.
“None of them would have anything to do with it.”
At that point, Pisapia decided to reform the band with the studio musicians he had been performing with over the past decade and the second incarnation of The Box was born.
“This version I’ve got has been together many years without any personnel rotation; it’s been the same guys.”
The band has focused heavily on touring, mostly in Quebec, and released albums in 2005 and 2009, with Pisapia writing all the lyrics and music.
However, Pisapia noted in the past few years, it’s become apparent to him for the other members to feel like an integral part of the band, they should be involved in the writing process.
Pisapia notes both versions of The Box have played in Oshawa numerous times, but with thousands of performances over the past 35 years, recalling specific memories of those shows is a challenge.
“There isn’t a place we haven’t played in Ontario. We’ve played so many places it becomes a big blur,” he says with a laugh.
When he reformed The Box in 2002, Pisapia says he knew that perhaps the records wouldn’t be flying off the shelves, but it gave him the independence to release the type of records he wanted to with a more progressive-rock sound.
The Box last appeared as part of the ‘Canadian Eighties’ series at the Regent Theatre back in 2018 to rave reviews and sold out crowds.
Regent officials noted they’ve had many requests to bring the band back, and now it’s happening.
Tickets for the March 6 performance are $47 for a regular ticket and $77 for a VIP package.
Tickets are available online at regenttheatre.ca or at the box office at 50 King St. E. in downtown Oshawa.
The show begins at 8 p.m. and is recommended for ages 14 and up. For more information on the band, visit theboxband.com