Rock of ages

Dr David Semeniuk of Harmony Dental in Morley, WA
Dr David Semeniuk of Harmony Dental in Morley, WA

Once a saxophone player in a jazz band, Dr David Semeniuk of Harmony Dental in Morley, WA, is now belting out vocals with a rock band


I used to play saxophone in a big jazz band and we had shows most weekends in the jazz clubs and pubs of Perth. Every year we opened the Leeuwin Estate winery concert at Margaret River. That concert attracted quite a few big names and we supported Sting, k.d. lang and Simply Red.

“I first began playing music in high school when I joined the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band. They have three levels of bands and I worked my way up through the ranks until I joined the touring band. When I was with them, it was just national tours but previously it had included overseas gigs. They are a bit of an institution around Perth and the starting place of a lot of Perth’s great jazz musicians.

“After high school, I kept playing with them while studying dentistry. I only stopped when I moved down to Bunbury and it was impossible to commute back to Perth for gigs.

“I looked around Bunbury for bands to join but there wasn’t that much happening. For two years, I was in a musical wasteland. One of the reasons I returned to Perth was to get back in the music scene.

“Back in Perth I discovered that it was particularly hard to find good and available musicians to continue on with my own small-band jazz combo so, just to be completely different, I joined a rock covers band. We rehearse every Thursday night and aim to get local gigs fairly soon. We play a mix of old and new—Bon Jovi,
Cold Chisel, Choirboys, Daddy Cool, Grinspoon, Powderfinger and things like that.

“We’re called Drivetrain and I’m the lead singer. I had done a bit of singing in the past but crooning with the Kalamunda Youth Swing Band is completely different to being the frontman of a rock band.

“Drivetrain consists of two guitarists, a drummer, a bass player and myself on vocals. I’m the only dentist in the band, along with an electrician, two truck drivers and an IT student. We rehearse in an industrial unit full of Mustangs and old cars. Our drummer is a bit of a revhead and he came up with the name Drivetrain.

“Dentistry is a creative job but playing music engages a whole different side of your brain. Belting out vocals provides real stress release. I love being creative, making music and the companionship of being in a band— mostly it’s just about having fun.”

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