The Carpet Frogs’ roots began in 1993 when Ground Zero, one of Toronto’s hottest club acts, teamed up with Nick Sinopoli (argued as Canada’s top Alice Cooper impersonator) on vocals and percussion. With guitarists Michael Zweig (ex-Knockouts and who recorded an EP in ’84 under the guise of Michael Zee) and David Love, Jeff Jones (Red Rider, Ocean, Gowan, Infidels) on bass, and drummer Sean Fitzsimmons, the original intent was to jam at different clubs around the Toronto area, including Lee’s Palace and Lulu’s Roadhouse, and starting with the closing of The Gasworks in January of ’93.
A few months later they hooked up with Goddo frontman Greg Godovitz (also ex of Fludd). They played the local area for about a year when they decided to release an album. Produced by Godovitz, FROG CURRY was a mix of originals like “Baby Go South” and the title track, and fresh takes on Fludd‘s “Cousin Mary,” Johnny Kidd’s “Shakin’ All Over” (a hit with The Guess Who), and The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.”
That same year they released the four-track holiday disc, CHRISTMAS ALL OVER THE WORLD, which contained three versions of the title track. They earned a pair of award nominations in ’95 – for Central Canada Independent Artist Of The Year at Canada’s 1995 Rock Awards in Toronto, and for Best Independent Act at the Q107 Rock Awards in Toronto. They continued playing the circuit while everyone carried on with their outside projects, until Godovitz left in ’96.
Following his departure, an impromptu jam at a local Toronto pub in ’98 eventually led to them being asked by Burton Cummings to become his backup band, a chance at which they naturally jumped at. That same year, Zweig released a second album, CANDYLAND.
Aside from appearing on several compilation albums, their next appearance on disc wasn’t until 2003, with the five-track EP called EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. Along with the title track and three other new cuts, it also included another instant holiday classic, “Christmas Would Not Be Christmas (Without You).”
A year later they released PRETENDING TO FLY. Along with the four non-Yuletide tracks from the previous album, it contained the title track, “Lies,” “Deal’s Been Blown,” and “Don’t Tie Me Down.”
For the next several years, they either backed up Cummings on his tours, or Randy Bachman‘s (including the 2005 LIVE 8 concert in Toronto) – or together. They appeared on the 2006 CBC special and DVD entitled BACHMAN CUMMINGS: FIRST TIME AROUND and the 17-city Canadian tour that followed. They then backed Cummings on his ABOVE THE GROUND album in 2008, and resumed a road gig that took them across Canada and throughout the US. They also backed up Burton during his 2010 Vancouver Olympics performance
Since their inception, The Carpet Frogs have shared the stage with some of rock’s elite, including Cheap Trick, Styx, Loverboy, and Max Webster, among many others. Along with tours backing up Bachman and Cummings throughout North America and on various awards shows, they’ve also been one of the most in-demand groups on the corporate circuit, having played for everyone from accountants associations to Bill Clinton’s charity functions. In 2010 they had the honour of flying to Kandahar and playing in front of the Canadian troops in Afghanistan, the first of two trips there.