A failed attempt at being a classic rock tribute band was what convinced Toronto’s Joan Smith and Isaac Klein to try going down the original-tunes route.

“It was pretty cheesy,” said Smith, who was tasked with the job of pulling off Robert Plant’s in a Led Zeppelin cover group. “It was fun but we are not 50-year-olds yet ready to give up the dream or anything.”

It was only after a couple of incarnations that Smith and Klein — who played the role of John Bonham in the tribute band — decided to go their own route with Little Foot Long Foot.

“We decided we didn’t need a bassist or another guitarist,” said Smith, who plays guitar and sings.
“We figured it was the most economical way, and it set us apart a little bit.”

The guitar and drum duo — a reverse of the White Stripes format — recently released their debut EP, Just About Broke, and are on an East Coast tour with three shows in Halifax.

The album has garnered positive reviews for its blues rock feel.

Smith said it’s “infinitely better” playing their own material and they try not to listen to Zeppelin anymore.

It has changed the way she feels about herself as a musician.

They no longer have to mimic someone else’s style, and can create their own.

“I feel a lot more honest on stage,” Smith said.

“We do have one Zeppelin cover, which we pull out once a while.

“It’s a slightly obscure song.” The duo play at Tribeca tomorrow.

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