Month: July 2013

For Esme CD release tonight!

Two years, three Toronto apartments, a few visual artists and twelve musicians later Martha Meredith’s dream was born. Coming a long way from humble beginnings in a spiral note book paired with a synth, and solitude. She has gained notoriety recently playing Canadian Music Week, the widely popular Boots & Hearts Music Festival and placing in the semi-finals of Toronto’s IndieWeek Martha knew it was time to take a bolder step!

Tonight’s celebration of this bolder step takes place at Measure in Toronto, as Martha Meredith celebrates a transformation in trying to balance light and dark. Out of this transformation and a love of distortion and vocoder rose For Esme. Joining Martha is her band mates, Kevin Blair, Nathan Crook, Adam Balsam and Kathryn Marriam. They hit the stage at 9:30pm hope to see you there!

album art

album art

Their debut EP is available for pre-order now, to be released later tonight.

The self-titled EP takes you the listener on a contrasting adventure from city lights to windows into the woods. Its sound could be lent to a fantasy based score blending organic with computerized seamlessly.

For Esme can be found on:

Website: http://www.foresmemusic.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-Esm%C3%A9/489828704390249

Bandcamp: http://foresmemusic.bandcamp.com/

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Warped Tour 2013

Vans Warped Tour 2013Fresh off a goodnights sleep and back in Kingston I am  missing Toronto already.

To say the weather was fair is a bit under enthusiastic! And it was different because I wasn’t covering Warped Tour as I have quickly become accustom to. But still had an amazing time non-the less. I got to talk to a couple of bands that I have previously interviewed and watch their sets.  Made me love their sound even more!

I got to chat with July Band shortly before the Toronto date of Warped Tour 2013! Check it after my review of the days events.

The day was a mix of sun and rain which should have reduced the crowds but as music always prevails, Some big names headlined the Kia Stages, yet the best surprises were at the smaller stages.  Reading the day’s schedule tying to plan my day and avoid any overlap, I was excited to find out that some bands that had made the bill were ones I had previously talked with. ( Crystalyne, Acers of Lions, Courage My Love). They rocked the heck out of a not so dry situation and made it truly the best day ever!

Best surprise of the day, on recommendation from Acers of Lions bassist Dave, was to hit the acoustic basement tent, (which could have been placed further from the medal acts at the stage to the left. Where Billy the Kid was captivating! She also was exuberant to announce that she would be joining the rest of dates for Warped tour 2013. Billy the Kid hailing from Vancouver, is a Canadian Singer/Song Writer with a memorable voice. I can’t get  “Running”  out of my head, after picking up her EP Stars Exploding.  Check out one of her earlier songs, “Us Broken Hearts” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfFyjF4cKwA

With a small break in acts I wanted to see what some of the vendors had to offer.  Wandering and general people watching took precedence. I was on the hunt for July band merch tent, which proved unfound, in the sea of merch tents and record companies seemed endless.  I even recognised a few of the Roadies, from the Fuse sponsored show “Warped Tour Roadies”! (Defiantly worth a watch).

Some bigger name surprises was, 3OH3 and Mad Child, of Swollen Members who had some solo work to offer. He was highlighted on Much Music ‘s show New Music Live the previous day deputing his new single, “It gets better”. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avBvj2dIt8M&feature=c4-overview&list=UUBJcLcYDDLHNRZF96P9Hz5g

Catching up with July Band’s vocalist Devin Moody, shortly before they were set to play the Toronto stop of Warped Tour 2013 they talked with Canadian Tapped Promotions about Warped Tour and announced new music to be released next month!

July Band Promotion ShotCTP: Is this your first time playing Warped Tour?

Devin: Yup! This is our first time on Warped and we’re so thankful and excited.

CTP: Pick one of your songs and can you give me the story behind it?

Devin: Our song “What We Signed Up For” is a song about following your dreams. A lot of people will put you down or laugh at your dreams but if it makes you happy then follow your heart. You have to do what makes you happy not what everyone else wants you to do. So, that’s why we wrote the song!

CTP: What is your favourite song to play live?

Devin: We all talked at band practise the other day about this and I think we all collectively decided “Second Best” was our favourite to play live.

CTP: Who would you collaborate with given the chance?

Devin : Patrick Stump (Fall out Boy)

CTP: Any Tour stories you can share? 

Devin: Our bassist Marc got really drunk on the first night of our tour in Japan with some of the other bands and was jumping roof to roof and ended up losing his phone/all his money… on the FIRST day of tour.

CTP: What do you think is the Summer of 2013 song?

Devin: That’s a tough call. I personally am really digging Michael Buble’s new single “It’s a Beautiful Day”. It’s a great break up song but still is super catchy and upbeat.

CTP: What’s up next for the band?/ anything else you want to tell your fans?

Devin: We’re touring in the USA again this August and releasing new music later this month! We’ll be writing a new record this winter. Then…we’ll take over the world!

Check out July Band Official at their website; www.wearejuly.com for upcoming tour dates and You Tube Channel: www.youtube.com/wearejuly  . Devin (vocals) along with his band mates, Andrew Falcao (guitar/BV), Marc Sautter (Bass/BV) and Sam Guaiana (drums). Pulled a killer set on the  Kevin Says Stage at Warped Tour 2013!

Kevin Lyman you and your crew have produced a fantastic show 17 years running.  Thank you very much for a much anticipated #Bestdayever!

See Spot Run’s Gonna Getcha on Stage!

The members of See Spot Run; Fudge, Aaron, Chris and Randy

The members of See Spot Run; Fudge, Aaron, Chris and Randy

 

See Spot Run has proved lasting power in an industry that swallows up talent like an ever hungry predator stalking its prey. Opening for famous acts like Bon Jovi and AC/DC are just two of the many highlights Montreal natives, now based in Toronto have encountered. Quickly working (thanks to technology) I was able to secure an interview with front man and bassist Chris Brodbeck and guitarist Aaron Little shortly before their set. Drummer David Fudge and Randy Bowen on guitar. Chris started off by describing how they came to be See Spot Run. (SSR),”The band started as an amalgamation of two bands at the time. That began song writing and playing shows that eventually made “Weightless”. We have made music since weightless and will be playing songs from all the albums. The Red Dog was actually where we debuted “weightless”, it hadn’t even hit radio stations yet. Peterborough holds a special place in our hearts, “It’s a very classic place”.”

CTP: What’s the story behind the name?

SSR: See Spot Run (SSR) named after the classic school reader that has been since been retired from the school system. Some of our younger fans know it as a name of our band or the 90’s movie.

CTP: If you could pick a song to tell me the story behind.

SSR: Well weightless was written in Winnipeg at my brother’s house on his guitar. The people who owned the house before him were a part of the Canadian band Street Heart. It was written in a very musical home. When I was toying with the melody and went to the bathroom and on the back of the toilet, his wife had a hairspray bottle and it said weightless. And when I came back down stairs the song came together.

CTP: Any tattoo stories you want to share?

SSR (Aaron): Our drummer Fudge has Fantasia on his arm, Mickey mouse and the dancing brooms.

SSR (Chris): I haven’t narrowed it down yet. Except you’re not suppose to worry about what it is, I missed the train on that one.

CTP: What is the writing process like?

SSR: Its really what came first, the chicken or the egg? And it really depends on the song. For me its melody first then the lyrics come after. (randomly throwing out words while having a melody run through your head seemed to work for Paul McCartney).

CTP: If you could have a super power what would it be?

SSR(Aaron): Flying.

SSR (Chris): Reading minds. Very dangerous, but it would save so much time. I would also like to be really strong so no one could beat me up. so if someone ever had beef with me I could just say, “Drop the gloves”.

CTP: What’s your favourite place you have toured?

SSR(Aaron):  Flin Flon Manitoba, and Jasper because of the Alps. Places that have character.

SSR (Chris): We should be drunk! (sarcasm). There is this misconception about rock and roll we are forever hiding the truth.

CTP: Favourite cartoon growing up?

SSR: Bugs Bunny and the Flintstones and the Great Kazoo. New stuff Futurama is good.

CTP: First  instrument you learned?

SSR: guitar, I played a piano before learning guitar, but never formally learned. I will learn one day! When I’m retired! The thing about musicians is they very rarely retire.

CTP: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

SSR (Chris):Keith Richards.

SSR (Aaron): Dave Graul or Slash.

At this point they turned the interview around on me, in a short rapid fire questions some of which I could answer and some shamefully couldn’t.

SSR: Name the members of Pink Floyd, What is the name of William Shatner’s Character on Star Trek? Name the members of the Beatles?

CTP: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Star, John Lennon.

CTP: What’s your favourite top 40 band right now?

SSR: Yukon Blond right now, There are many good artists out there I can never remember the name of songs. Jack White’s new stuff is awesome!

CTP: What’s the one question you have always wanted to be asked but haven’t been asked yet?

SSR (Chris): Have we ever swore in a song? And the answer is yes, but you have to figure out which one.

SSR (Aaron):Do I wish I had Chris’ hair? And no, no I do not, but he pulls it off well.

Laughing about the misconceptions of Rock and Roll Chris and Aaron are very down to earth reminiscing about 80’s and 90’s cartoons and laughing about being on Sana Monica beach less than two weeks ago, which was welcome vacation from the cold snap in Ontario. They play a hell of a show live demanding your unwavering attention from start to finish, even covering Classics including, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, which had the crowd on their feet. Currently writing for their next album, their first full length French release. See Spot Run can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seespotrunband , Twitter (@seespotrun) and regularly update their website with tour dates and blogs at www.seespotrun.ca

The Method creates Great Drama

Hard work and sweat are words Kingston natives, The Method know well. Receiving a rare inside look to what goes on in the life of the band; four guys who are individuals who come together share a single purpose of creating music and entertaining others. Entertaining to watch on stage, Dave Hewitt (lead vocals, guitar), Adam Simkins (guitar, vocals), Adam Sweet (guitar), Pat Ziegler (Bass) and recent change in the line-up, Brock Jamieson (Drums) did not disappoint in the transition from seeing them in the brightly lit acoustic environment of Starbucks to the somewhat dark, rustic Red Dog Tavern in Peterborough, Ontario. On this special night when hockey returned to Canada, I spent most of my evening on a road trip and ate at a very interesting restaurant where they brought the food from other establishments while serving drinks and watching hockey waiting for the real show to start.

Through late night practice and with the understanding of family of home, the four original band members have worked hard to hone their craft since their original inception in 2007. Life events separated them shortly after, but since coming back together in 2009, they have worked hard rebuilding a following. I took some time to catch up with Dave Hewitt and Adam Simkins from The Method, Shortly after their show at the Historic Red Dog Tavern, Where they opened for See Spot Run on February 09th, 2013. When asked about the name, Dave mentioned,

“I wanted to have a band name that had sticking power, I also wanted to represent that we are a band with purpose. I thought about method actors and how they throw themselves completely into their craft, so then I thought “The Method” it had a nice ring to it. I also just bought a necklace with a tribal looking pendent and decided to use it as sort of a logo. It all just sort of made sense and worked together for us”.

Touring on the road has always been a learning experience for bands, and The Method are no exception, starting with a trusting Bass player who unfortunately lost some facial hair to a loose guitar pedal which resulted in a dead guitar that prevented a solo during an out-of-town gig that Adam Simkins was playing with a former band.

Music is the creative essence to a band and every musician has their own way of capturing it meaning. For writer Dave Hewitt teaming, up with fellow band member, Adam Simkins to write some of the band’s first songs. The lyrics would often come first with the musicality a collective band experience. “The Lyrics for “Insecurity” were written in about five minutes and based out of an impossible housing situation I was involved in a couple of years back, while living near St. Lawrence College”. Dave reminisces, while Adam Simkins had the perfect guitar part for it and the song was born.

Our influences vary but for me, (Dave) it ranges from classic stuff from the Beatles to the Stones, Zepplin, U2 to Metallica and all the early 90’s alternative (Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Big Wreck to name a few).

Proving their individuality and varying influences among the producers they would love to work with are Bob Rock or Daniel Lanios. According to Dave, “To really hone our craft as a band, that would be amazing”. The Method regularly plays Kingston and the surrounding area and can be found on Facebook/themethodcan. And on Reverbnation at www. reverbnation.com/themethodcanada

Half Way To Hollywood: an Interview with one of Canada’s emerging pop-punk bands

Thank you so much to Grant Walker from Vancouvour’s own, fresh pop punk band, Halfway To Hollywood who recently closed their second tour of Canada up to Montreal Quebec. Check out their debut EP, “Party Like its Prom Night” available now on Itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/party-like-its-prom-night-ep/id606210069

Grant Walker (lead vocals and guitar), Brenden White (bass, vocals), and Roman Zugarazo (drums) come together with similar influences to create a unique pop-punk sound. Grant takes time out shortly after the tour ended to answer some questions for us! Check out his answers below,album cover of their new EP 'Party Like its Prom Night' out now

CTP: How is tour going so far? Is this your first cross Canada tour? if yes, favourite part so far? if not, favourite city you have played?

HWH: This has been our fourth tour and our second time crossing Canada to Montreal.  Our hometown Vancouver has always been my favourite to play, but I think every town or city we’ve played has its own special something about it.   

CTP: How would you describe your sound live to someone who hasn’t experienced it yet?

HWH: High energy, positive, upbeat and catchy with meaningful lyrics

CTP: How did Halfway to Hollywood start?

HWH: Brenden I had been jamming for a while in some not-so-serious bands and eventually started writing songs.  We wanted to make a band influenced by some of our favourites: The Friday Night Boys, Boys Like Girls and Marianas Trench.  We eventually found our own unique sound which you can hear on our new record ‘Party Like it’s Prom Night.’

CTP: what is the story behind the band name?

HWH: When we were recording our first demo’s Brenden and I would sometimes jokingly say ‘we’re halfway to Hollywood now!’ anytime we finished tracking a part or whatever.  After considering a ton of different names we eventually realized the perfect name had been right under our noses the whole time!  I like it because I think it implies optimism and moving forward.

CTP: Favourite song to play live?

HWH: Personally, ‘Speechless’ because I love hearing everyone sing along.

CTP: Story behind one of the songs that is on the album?

HWH: The song ‘To Yesterday’ started out a lot slower and more melow than it ended up.  We demo’d it for our producer Danny, who suggested a more up-tempo sound.  It’s really cool going into the studio with one idea and then gradually fleshing it out into something totally different.

CTP: Any tour stories or pranks you are willing to share?

HWH: One morning after we had spent the night parked on the side of the highway a mother bear and her cubs were nosing around outside of our van.  We didn’t want to spook her and get into a confrontation but we couldn’t leave because one of the guys had left his shoes outside.  We ended up spending a couple hours waiting until she was gone before grabbing the shoes and heading to the next rest stop as fast as we could!

CTP:  who are your musical influences?

HWH: We listen to pretty much everything and it all comes into play at times.  The big ones though would be Simple Plan, Marianas Trench, Hedley, Boys Like Girls and the Friday Night Boys.  

CTP: Best and worst of spending time on the road?Halfway to Hollywood.jpg2

HTH: I love seeing the country, playing every night and meeting/hanging out with so many cool people.  The downside of touring is being away from the people we love back home.

CTP:  If you could tour anywhere, where would you like to play?

HWH: Honestly I think it would be hard to top Canada.  I’m really looking forward to branching out into the US though!

CTP: Pick the lineup for your dream festival in which Halfway to Hollywood is apart of?

HWH: We’re happy to play with anybody who is as passionate as we are about music but any of the bands I mentioned earlier would be especially rad to share the stage with!

CTP: What’s up next for Halfway to Hollywood?

HWH: As much touring as we can fit in, to as many places as we can get to (hopefully including some US dates finally).   Getting out and connecting with our fans in person as well as online is a huge part of who we are as a band.  We also have plans for another video or two, some covers, and maybe even a new single!

The guys of Halfway to Hollywood are super nice and love to interact with fans, catch them here and pick up a single or their EP “Party Like Its Prom Night”.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HalfwayToHollywood

Twitter: @halfwaytoholly

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/halfwaytoholly

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/halfway-to-hollywood

Hope to see you out at one of their shows soon! There may be a late summer tour in the works! If you want to see Grant, Brenden and Roman play live,  let them know through social media and who knows it may just get them to your city!