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Into The Crowd Magazine | 


Issue 18 | May - June 2014 founder & publisher winnie surya managing editor & communications tiffany lam copy editors savana ogburn karmin yu savoula stylianou photo editors winnie surya tiffany lam designers winnie surya seanzha kemal promotions & marketing kelsey barnes toni rose castillo feli langlois contributors marisa martel, hayley hasessian, daniel pryce, daniel hadfield, renee tran, pauline nguyen, chloe hoy, lauren lyford, nathan cornell, kelsey hall, jennie tan, eman el-saied, gabby mendoza, lilly nguyen, kaleb hart, dan hogan INTO THE CROWD Magazine is a Toronto and US central online music magazine dedicated to showcasing the world of music, media, and pop culture. We strive to promote and share the beauty of music and help music artists, big or small, reach out to the bigger audience, old and new, and all around the world. stay connected. intothecrowdmagazine.com twitter.com/intothecrowdmag facebook.com/intothecrowdmagazine instagram.com/intothecrowdmag issuu.com/intothecrowd youtube.com/intothecrowdtv contact - info@intothecrowdmagazine.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS BREWS WILLIS

4

THE STRUMBELLAS

10

CRIS CAB

12

THE SEASONS

18

BORN RUFFIANS

24

HOLLERADO

30

ODESZA

34

3LAU

42

BESTIE

48

NECK DEEP

54

VIRGINIA TO VEGAS

64

TUPELO HONEY

70

4 COUNT

74

AUGUSTANA

82

SLAUGHTER BEACH

84

Into The Crowd Magazine | 


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Brews Willis

Opening for SKATERS show in Toronto a couple months back, Brews Willis really caught in our attention. With their interestingly unique name, pleasurable sense of humour and, of course, high-energy music, they make a perfect summer jam. We had the chance to talk to vocalist Ross Carvelli, bassist Sammy Vipond and drummer Pare Bruce about their upcoming third album, to sinking their instrument in a pool.


Introduce yourselves and your roles in the band! Ross: Hi! I’m Ross Carvelli and I do lead vocals and play guitar. Sam: I’m Sam. I play bass and background vocals. Pare: I’m Pare. I play drums and do background vocals.

How do you feel about the music scene in Toronto? Sam: I think it’s amazing. There are so many bands coming out from Toronto now. All sorts of genres. I think people are pretty positive and like to support each other a lot.

Who are some musical influences? Pare: It’s all over the place. You do background vocals too? Ross: I mean, I like bands like Harlem… Pare: Yeah. And all the jokes. Brutal jokes. SKATERS – I’m really into it now. For the past Sam: He doesn’t even joke. He just freezes up a couple of weeks I’ve been listening to that on stages. [Manhattan] album non-stop. Pare: Yeah, that was hilarious. She’s laughing. Pare: Dave Matthews. That was good. Ross: [laughs] Pare: Do you think he really looks like Dave He’s good. Matthews? Pare: See!? Ross: Nah. Pare: He does! How did you guys actually came up with Ross: I don’t even know what Dave Matthews the band name? I’m extremely curious looks like; I just know the voice. because it reminds me of the actor, Bruce Pare: Surfer Blood and another big ones. I listen Willis. to a lot of Surfer Blood. I don’t know about these Pare: On purpose. guys. Ross: Wait, who? We’re actuallySam: Everything. Really. Pare: Tell the real story this time. That one time Pare: That’s a good one. in Mexico. Sam: All of it. For my personal taste and Ross: Which one’s that? influence, by like Mac Demarco that kind of Pare: He went to Mexico and he looked over and stuff and I really like soul-punk music, although guess who sat next to him? it really has nothing to do with our band, but bassline wise, I like to do more groove stuff. Bruce Willis? Pare: Yeah, and they had a beer together, and You’re going to record your next album in they both got so hammered that he was like Los Angeles. Are you guys all prepared for “you’re Bruce Willis” and Bruce said “you should it yet, or is there going to be experimenting use that as a band name,” and so then we did. with different sounds on this next one? Pare: Wants us to sing some of it? Did he know? Sam: I mean yeah it’s going to sound quite Sam: No, he didn’t know about the band because different. It’s kind of a mix between our first and there’s no band existed at the time but he just second album, and it’s a little bit more mature. thought it’s a good band name, so we went with Pare: It’s alt-country; with rap-country like Kid it because we think he’s a pretty smart guy. Rock…

Into The Crowd Magazine | 


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Sam: [laughs] It’ll be different. It’ll be about ten through his label, so we may have to go back and songs and five solid days of recording so we’re work out some things. looking forward to it. Is this album going to be released Only five days? Does this mean you guys sometime this year or next year? are going to be living and breathing in the Everyone: This summer. studio for five days? Pare: What day do you want us to release it? Pare: Super crunch time. We’re actually sleeping When’s your birthday? in there. To put it in perspective, we recorded the first ten songs on the album in eight hours. July fifteen! Pare: Boom! That’s our release date. How long does it takes for you guys to Ross: Is it a Tuesday? write it? Sam: To write it? Not very long. I think so! Pare: About the same. Within those eight Ross: Perfect. hours. Pare: New music Tuesday! Sam: We had two five hours sessions booked, and an hour of each of those days was setup, I saw the music video for “Great Energy!” lunch, goofing around, etc. So in about eight – What’s the story behind the concept of hours, we did our ten songs. I think five days putting all the instruments underwater? will be okay for us. Sam: Talk to the director Pare here. Pare: It’s such a luxury for us to have that many Pare: Yeah. days to be in the studio, which I’m excited about, Sam: Who wrote it and directed it and built it because we get to mess around a little bit more. – total DIY. But, like, not with sound… just goofing around Pare: We did it pretty well budget and kind of just and stuff like that… drinking and whatnot. figured it out as we went along. I based it from Pare: I’ll sleep through most of it. watching Waterworld. Learned how they shot Sam: It just going to be fun, being there that that movie underwater watching the director’s long. cut and behind the scenes making from the DVD. Took those learning, some inspiration Are you guys going to stick around L.A. from Kevin Cosner, and did the video. after the recording? Pare: Yeah, we’re moving there. [laughs] Did you guys actually ruined your entire Sam: No. We’re only there five days then going instrument? back home; going to the Kurt Vile show. That’s Everyone: Yeah. it. Sam: Everything that went down was ruined in Pare: Kinda in and out but hopefully we’ll get to the end. go back and visit soon. It’s all business for this Pare: It was weird. We had this bet – are the trip so we have to buckle down and do what we guitars going to float? or are they going to sink? gotta do. I said sink and they all floated, so we had to get Ross: The guy who’s recording us also owns a these big lead weights and screw them in the small record label so he’s going to put our album back so that they’d sink when these guys are


Into The Crowd Magazine | 


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Interview and photos by Winnie Surya


holding the guitars, and not floating up by their faces. Ross: But look how clean my laces came out after that. They used to look so filthy. The perks of chlorine. Fresh white laces now. Pare: We sunk everything down the pool and we shot it down there. We had scuba and those breathing stuff. None of us knew how to do scuba so we just had a friend who had a license to rent all the gear and lie and say that we were licensed… Then we just did it. It’s pretty scary going down for your first time with scuba gear, cause you just want to breathe through your nose.

the right take. I was done after that. I had to go splash cold water on my face. It was freezing but it all worked out. Sam: The pool was supposed to be us in the bong. It’s like a metaphor.

Why did you guys decide to give out your EP for free? Ross: I think we gave a lot of copies and we did our first album on CD and ended up giving all of those away. I think it was more about getting it in the people’s hands. Sam: Not a lot of people but CDs anymore, and on the download card there’s an option if to pay if you want, and the option to pay is on iTunes How long did it takes you guys to wrap up as well. I mean, if you don’t wanna pay, you’re that music video? just gonna rip it off anyway. Here’s a card and Sam: Three days. go for it. Pare: We shot the pool scene in two or three days. The basement scene, we shot that in one People these days seem to prefer other day, basically. All in all, pretty quick. I buying vinyls over CDs and electronic guess it’s sort of a theme with us. downloads. Ross: That video really fucked me up. It being Pare: Yeah exactly. We’ve been thinking about underwater, I couldn’t see for three days because doing that for our next album but I don’t know. it was like, straight chlorine in your eyes. We do a lot of contests – like give away shirts. I Pare: We had to have our eyes open because don’t know; it’s just fun because people get so we didn’t want to wear masks or anything. stoked when they get something for free, or in We wanted the exact same quality level as the mail. We love mailing stuff to people. We’ll Waterworld, and that’s what we got. That’s what write a note and mail, and you’ll get so stoked we did. when it shows up at your door because people Ross: And the basement scene was really don’t really get mail anymore. A phone bill is the messed up because I actually had to hit a bong most exciting piece of mail that you get. I just in that video, and I don’t normally hit bongs, so. feel that if I enjoy it, and I’m this old jaded guy, I think I hit it twice for the shot, so we could get someone else is going to enjoy it too.

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Issue 18 | May - June 2014


The Strumbellas You guys recently just won a Juno? How does it feel? What were you expecting at the Junos? It feels great! It’s a similar feeling to when you are a kid and the radio announces that it’s a snow day and school’s cancelled. Pure Bliss. I was expecting to lose, frankly.

as possible and carry the name of our Country well in our travels. (oh, and a large regular Tim Horton’s in the morning doesn’t hurt).

You guys are really in touch with your Canadian side, what’s the reason behind that? What does it mean to be Canadian? Being Canadian is saying sorry for everything, even if it’s not your fault. And i think our music sounds that way because we are genuinely small town folks who were bred Canadian. We often hear our Canadian accents slide in later on in the night. We just try to be as nice and kind to people

We are so hooked on to each song of the album! Which one do you feel the best encapsulates the album? First, thank you for saying that. And second, they’re all my babies and that would be like telling one of your kids you love him or her more than his or her brother. That being said, I’m sure my mom loves me more than my brothers because they swear a lot.

How does being from Lindsay, Ontario help you craft your music? Who inspires your music? Not to be a downer, but my demons are mostly You play all across Canada; can you tell us what I talk about in my music. Death, God, my about the different vibes from the crowds Dad. The mind can be a powerful monster, good of each city? and bad. Oh, and Sailor’s- because everyone likes All I will say is that Saskatoon knows how to party; Sailor’s. Edmonton cares a lot about music; Calgary has the best looking people I’ve ever seen; and B.C is Tell us about the meaning behind the title paradise. of your album We Still Move on Dance Floors ? What is the link between the title What are the pros and cons of playing and the album art? festivals and playing more intimate I’ve been sworn to secrecy forever. But I can tell shows? you that it’s not actually about dancing. And I Both are awesomely different. Festivals are fun wanted to album that way because while writing because you get to see the big crowd and get to this album I had just seen the Western Mountains spend the weekend with fellow music lovers in for the first time and I wanted to capture that sandals and plaid shirts while intimate venues time of my life. And surprisingly, in no way does are great because I get to play my slow songs. the B.C. mountains look like North Toronto.

Interview by Karmin Yu, Photos by Winnie Surya

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Issue 18 | May - June 2014


Cris Cab Back in Toronto from Miami to play Canadian Music Week’s CHUMfm FanFest was none other than pop-reggae-soul artist Cris Cab. Mentored by Pharell and Wyclef Jean, the young musician has gained much recognition within the last few years across North America, as well as Europe. We met up with Cris and chatted about food, Europe, cover songs and his upcoming album release, Where I Belong. Cris’ success was surely not defined by his age. Though he may only be 21 years young, it was quite clear he is years ahead with maturity, wisdom and knowledge for music. He still manages to stay grounded despite his early and continuous success, fame and traveling around the world. A young-hearted gentlemen, Cris was nothing but a pleasure to converse with and we have no doubt his future will continue to shine brightly. Interview by Tiffany Lam

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Issue 18 | May - June 2014 Rewinding back a couple years, there was the Foreword EP, then you had a couple more, and now you finally have your full length debut album, Where I Belong. How have they all progressed since the beginning?  You know the whole time I’ve just been growing, you know, I started so young - playing guitar since I was 10, started recording when I was 15 so, just from then until now there;s just been a lot of growth. Working with so many amazing producers and songwriters... The process is getting more intricate, but the music is staying the same; I’ve always stayed true to what I started doing, which is like positive and reggae. I’ve stayed true to core things that I started making my music with. 

growing... kind of working out to this point of [the] first album.

I know you like to do a lot of covers. I remember years ago you did an amazing version of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” in which you got a lot of recognition for. Do you have any songs in mind you think you might want to cover next? Hmm, I’m not really sure, I mean I guess it’s going to be a little bit before I cover something [again]. During the live show, we always pick cool songs to cover, but as far as a full production like what I did for those other covers, it’ll probably be some time until I do that. For me, covers are so cool because you learn what the other artists were thinking when they created it... each little piece to the puzzle. It’s so cool just to get inside Do you think you’ve settled into your someone else’s shoes and where they place sound and songwriting yet? certain instruments. Doing covers is such a Nah, I’m still settling. I’m definitely really happy great learning experience, you know, especially with how the album came out, but the way I am when you’re looking at some of the bigger songs. is like, as soon as I’m finished something, I’m It helps get you familiar with that catchy sticky onto the next. My favourite song is always my formula and you can throw it into your own next song. It’s my favourite for the moment, and music. For the covers during live shows, I have a then I’m ready for something better. I think I’ve bunch of Bob Marley songs we always do live... just started to [settle]. we do the Slightly Stoopid, Shaggy cover of “It Wasn’t Me”, etc. We just started doing “Return Difference between releasing mixtapes of the Mack” by Marc Morrison, so that’s a really and EPs and the full length album? old one. We’re always throwing covers in that While we were making the EPs, we were putting any given night, we have so many in our pocket aside some of the best tracks, and when we were putting together the album, we had something So you grew up in Miami, born to Cuban like 40 or 50 tracks to look at. For this, some parents, picked up music really young. of it is older music. It was hard because a lot of What do you think would have happened if them were with great producers - had so many say you never picked up that guitar... If you tracks with wyclef, had so many tracks with couldn’t be doing music for the rest of your pharell. So we released the mixtapes to get some life what do you think you’d be doing?  of those tracks [out] and keep everything going. I think right now I’d be heavily involved in art All the while, I was working on my first album, cause I’m a pretty good artist as well. That was but at the same time I wanted to stay in touch one of the paths I had, I was always drawing but with my fans and play shows. From when I was you know, once music came into my life, I kind 16 to now, I’ve been on 10-11 tours so the whole of dropped a lot of what I was doing to spend time I’ve just been growing and growing and hours and hours of doing that. I think I’d either


Photo by Tiffany Lam

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Issue 18 | May - June 2014

be into art, or movies. I really like movies and I really like writing. What is something you’re really looking forward to within the next year? Continue touring, continue staying on the road, promoting this album... It’s just the beginning of this album. It started in Europe first very naturally and now it’s kind of working its way to North America. Europe picked it up so fast and the growth was so quick over there that we kind of had to release it there first. The songs have already lived a long time over there, a few months. The single “Liar Liar” with Pharell is something like #1 in France and #2 in Germany already, so once that single started going, we were like, ‘We gotta put out the album!’. The single is just starting over here in North America, actually Canada’s first to pick it up, so what’s going to happen is it’s going to come here and while that’s happening, the second single is going to start in Europe, which is a song called “Loves Me Not”. We just filmed the video for it too. It’s kind of weird, it’s like two separate things going on in two different worlds, haha.   So you post fairly often to your Instagram and I noticed over time there’s a lot of cameos with your dog, Frankie, who also has an Instagram account (kingfranklin26). Is there a special story between you two?  Oh, you know, it’s actually an interesting story. Well, sad story. I got that dog with my ex-

girlfriend, and when we split up she took the dog because she took care of it a lot. I’m traveling a lot and I live with my brother, and honestly I really don’t trust him with the dog as much as I love him, haha. She’s with her and takes such great care so it’s the best thing for the dog. Now since this isn’t your first time in Toronto, have you gotten to explore around the city yet and what have been your favourite spots so far, if any?  I really love King St. I usually always end up staying around King St. just because it’s centrally located to what I’m doing. I haven’t really found a favourite little bar or anything yet, but I’ve eaten at so many of these amazing restaurants on King St., like Weslodge - It’s newer, I think it’s like tapas mixed with barbecue. So many good places. Biggest music guilty pleasure?  I listen to a lot of Norah Jones, I love her. Stuff like that, I guess that’s a guilty pleasure. I wouldn’t listen to that riding around with my friends, but if I’m chilling having some wine or something, I’ll listen to Norah Jones, haha.  Biggest pet peeve?  I guess, my biggest pet peeve is people who are selfish, you know what I mean. People who act superior. I hate that. Cause it’s like, we all have different roles in this world, regardless everybody’s a human being. Seeing people treat people poorly, that’s my biggest pet peeve. 


Last book you read? Oh man, that was probably in high school. I read a lot of magazines and the news and stuff, but as school. One I really enjoyed was Catcher in the Rye. It’s kind of a standard one I guess. I read a book that my mom suggested called The Road when I was in high school; I’m not going to say it’s my favourite but it’s pretty intense. It was a good book.  Best meal you’ve had this year?  Hmm, I’ve been all over Europe in the last 3-4 months... I’m a huge Italian food guy so when I was in Italy, the food was so fresh and they don’t use any of the pesticides and stuff they use in the states or elsewhere.  Do any of you have any secret talents, or a random surprising past? Well, I was a meterologist in high school, for fun. I didn’t really tell accurate weather, it was just funny and I kind of just did whatever I wanted, you know. Sometimes I wouldn’t even say the weather, haha.  And last question, any fun plans lined up for the summer? I think I’m coming back to Canada to play some festivals out here. I’ll be in Europe playing festivals as well, playing the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo, and then we’re also going to Cannes Film Festival next weekend. It’s festival time. 

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Issue 18 | May - June 2014

The Seasons

Hailing from Quebec City, Quebec, The Seasons is brothers Julien and Hubert Chiasson, Samuel Renaud, and Remy Belanger; a folk-indie band that started a few years ago The band been out on the road promoting their debut album, Pulp, that’s released back in April and we got the chance to sit and talk with them about the album, their pet peeves, secret talent and many more.


So there’s not too much information (in English) about The Seasons available online. Would you care to tell us the story of how the seasons came together? Julien: It started with me and Remy, the drummer - we knew one another played music and decided one night to play music together for fun. Remy came over to my house, and Hubert wasn’t too far since he’s my brother. We ended up playing the three of us together and it was good. We decided we needed a bass player and then Sam, who was one of Remy’s friends that we knew a bit too, joined us. Something came out of this, the four of us playing music together and having fun. We liked the sound we had, so we decided to go further with that. Now before we talk about your latest album release Pulp, let’s rewind a couple months back. So the seasons independently released an EP entitled Velvet! and it was pretty successful. Can you explain a bit about how things kind of kicked off from this point on?  Hubert: Yeah, we released that a bit less than a year ago. Julien: When the EP came out, we did it independently, so it wasn’t distributed anywhere except for a few stores that we brought our copies to. Everything really started with the people, friends listening through friends, people telling other people. That’s when things started going for us.  Hubert: And then after that, we got attention from the music industry and got signed with a record label after that. 

to the Festival d’Ete de Quebec last year and noticed the majority spoke French and not very many spoke English. Have you thought about writing any music in French, or do you prefer writing and singing in English? Julien: We’re still based in Quebec, but we spend a lot of time in Toronto and Montreal too, just because we have a couple gigs here and there.   Hubert: French is our language, but I don’t think we’ll be writing in french with the seasons. It’s an english band, but we love the french music and the music that comes from quebec. It’s really nice, but I don’t think The Seasons will be making anything in French.  And you guys are playing le Festival D’ete de Quebec this year! Being natives to the city, have you been to the festival in the past? Hubert: We’ve been to FEQ a lot. We’ve grown with that. We’ve seen a lot of bands there and we’re really excited to play there.  Julien: We learned a lot going to FEQ; you see so many shows and that’s how you can be inspired to do a show of your own. It’s great to be part of that. 

What are some musical inspirations or bands/artists you look up to when creating for The Seasons? Hubert: We listen to a lot of music so we can’t put a finger on something or one genre of music that we typically like. We’ve been compared a lot to the 60s pop. With that, we listen to Simon Garfunkel, Beatles, The Monkees, etc. I would say our sound comes from music and bands of So of course, you guys are from Quebec, the sixties. Also, artists like Beck and modern Quebec and are still based there. I went artists like Vampire Weekend, MGMT, etc.

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Music guilty pleasures? Hubert: He listens to Adele.  Remy: That’s not a guilty pleasure.  Sam:Yeah, it is. Remy: It’s guilty?  Everyone: Yes. Julien: We don’t feel guilty at all but it’s a guilty pleasure.  Hubert: I would say Cyndi Lauper... Time After Time Sam: Bruno Mars Julien: Oh I know which one’s mine! I’m a big fan of Limp Bizkit. That’s a guilty pleasure. It’s actually the first band I bought the CD, and I still love them today. Even if they’re jerks, they still have great music. 

people. What has been the best meal on tour together this year? Hubert: Ooh, good question. I think the last time we were in Toronto, we had Indian food near our hotel. I can’t remember the place, but it was really good.  Someone you’ve been listening to a lot and would love to see live? Sam: Simon & Garfunkel. I would like to see them live, but I can’t because they’re pretty much dead right now. Hubert: David Bowie. 

Any of you have secret talents? Julien: Hubert’s good at singing. Hubert: I can ski quite a lot. What are your biggest pet peeves? Remy: Sam knows a lot about chemistry and Sam: Traffic. Hubert: People standing on the escalators when stuff. Sam: In my other life, I used to be a chemical they’re supposed to be walking. Remy: People in front of you asking too many engineer. You know, a few decades ago. questions when you’re lining up to buy something   quick and you have one thing expecting it to be Thank you so much, and maybe we’ll see fast.  you at FEQ!  Hubert: Mean people. We don’t like mean

Interview by Tiffany Lam, Photos by Winnie Surya


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Watch The Seasons performing an exclusive acoustic version of their single “Apples� from their debut album Pulp at Canadian Music Week 2014 in Toronto, ON on youtube.com/user/IntoTheCrowdTV

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Born Ruffians The four-piece, Toronto-based, indie rock band, Born Ruffians, was nominated for “Group of the Year” and “Must-Follow Artist of the Year” at the IndiesXM Awards during Canadian Music Week 2014. Vocalist Luke Lalonde and bassist Mitch Derosier chatted with us about their expanded deluxe edition of Birthmarks, recording a new album, twitter, karaoke and much more.

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I was wondering which member is the so we had this collection of songs that we liked, one behind your Twitter account... and we weren’t going to hang on and put them on Luke: This guy. [pointing at Mitch] the next record because it didn’t make sense. We also didn’t want them to go into obscurity and never be heard. It was either to put together an My thought exactly! Mitch: Yeah, everybody seems to just know or EP or do a re-release of the record with a bonus remember. disc with all of this stuff on it, so we decided to Luke: The younger people just know; like at do that. We thought it would be cool to kind of shows, they say, “Where’s Mitch? Mitch!”. A lot re-release and give it a new life. We just want to of people want to know that; “Who does your show the b-sides in some way; the alternate stuff twitter? Where’s that guy?” [laughs]. that didn’t make it to the record. You guys are funny on Twitter. No wonder you’re nominated for Must Follow Artist of the Year. Luke: It’s crazy because we’re up against people who have millions of followers [on Twitter] and we have about 13,000.

Speaking of alternate acoustic versions, can you tell us about the Acoustic EP on your website? Luke: That’s kind of synced up with three release, which was this free online streaming thing with five songs from the record that we did acoustically, and four other songs that I had Maybe you guys could reveal who’s been demoed within past four or five years. We just behind your Twitter account after the put all of that into a digital-only Acoustic EP awards! which I think we’ll make free, so that anybody Mitch: Definitely going to take order to do that can download it. We’ll do that soon. I think one. what we wanted to do is to have the record out Luke: Yeah! It’s not our label just doing it for us. and then [re-release it] a little later, mostly for Mitch: Unless we lose- then you run the Twitter. fans, like, “here’s another side of the record and Luke: That’s right. here’s some songs that you might like”, and it’s nice to give things away for free too. Is the set tonight at the Indies going to be any different than usual? I heard that you guys have been demo-ing Luke: Yeah! It’s a half an hour set so we’ll do it a stuff at Hollerado’s studio. Can we expect little tighter - play only the hits. new music soon? Luke: Well, hopefully. I mean, the plan is just to What made you decide to release a deluxe do a record and have it finished by the middle of edition of Birthmarks? the year. The end of summer is our goal which Luke: We had this song, “Oh Cecilia”, and all means that it won’t be able to come out until these alternate, sort of acoustic, versions of songs early next year. Our goal basically is to have from Birthmarks. We had a few b-sides as well, a new record out as soon as possible without


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Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya


being rushed...we want to make a good record and have it out as soon as we can so that we can tour again [with] more new songs and all that exciting stuff. That’s the most exciting part for me, working on new things. The Hollerado guys have this studio right by where we rehearse, and while they were in Europe, Menno was like, “hey, you guys want to go in and do some songs?” and I was like, “yeah as a matter of fact I have a lot of songs right now that are just in my head, and it’ll great to go in there and do something with them!” We went in and just said, “here’s a song, here’s the guitar and vocal; sing it”. I actually sang about five songs, and the guys who runs it was like, “okay let’s do that one, just let it come out”; we did a couple songs that way and it was great. We’re in that phase right now, the creative phase [in regards to] how they are going to sound- it’s so exciting.

be awesome if instead of an opening band, the audience opens the show and does just regular karaoke on a big stage. Who doesn’t love karaoke? Everybody loves to laugh at the train wreck and be like, “yeah that guy is killing it!”. It’s just a fun time, so why not try to do it? [The last time], Mitch had to run a Twitter contest where people had to sign up, and it worked out really well. Mitch: I was more nervous for that than I was for the show. I was so nervous for the people who were going up, [I wanted them to] do well and for everything to go well, and for people like it.

For Luke: You’re doing a solo project- how do you balance that with Born Ruffians? Luke: I did the solo record before Birthmarks came out and that was kind of it. I just did those songs, and Paperbag [Records] asked if I want to release it, and they were nice enough to put the record out for me. I wasn’t able to go on tour Are you planning on bringing the karaoke or anything because the timing didn’t work out, machine to any of your shows in the future? but after that I was kind of like, “well, [maybe] Luke: Yeah [laughs]. We are actually...maybe I’ll do another record but right now it’s not a we should announce this officially, but we don’t focus anymore; my focus is entirely on the next have a tour coming up. We thought that that [Born] Ruffians record, so I’m not going to think show was really fun, and it worked really well- about another solo record”. I’m entirely focused it was a tester. I just had this idea - wouldn’t it on the band right now.

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Triple IndiesXM Award 2014 nominees, Hollerado, just spent some time playing music in Europe, and on their journey home they stopped to tell us some stories ranging from their amazing experience performing on Liberation Day in Holland, to people proposing during their shows. Check out what guitarist Nixon Boyd and drummer Jake Boyd had to say about these priceless memories.


You guys are nominated for three awards tonight. Nixon: I think so. Jake: I’m curious about what the awards are like; what they physically look like. Nixon Yeah, what do you get? I think we won an IndiesXM Award years ago. Jake: Was it a guitar? Sometimes they do guitars. Nixon: Do we get a sweet guitar? I think we might get an epic guitar. Jake: Like an acoustic or something. I think the acoustic guitar that I have in my apartment is an Indie.

This must be a busy week for you guys! How do the crowds differ between hometown and European shows? Jake: We try to talk a lot to the crowds at shows, but we quickly realized that that wasn’t going to work [in Europe]. Nixon: They don’t understand what we’re saying, so we talk less when we’re on stage in Germany, for example. Jake: The crowd interaction is definitely different. In Holland, everybody was going crazy, and it was fun. Everybody wants to hear something that they’ve never heard before when we’re there- sometimes I think that people aren’t How was the European tour that you that receptive to what seems new to them; they recently finished? are a bit snobby sometimes, a bit picky. Nixon: It was great. We toured in Germany and then played some festivals in Holland- they have Or they just talk during the set. Liberation Day on May 5th to commemorate Jake: Yeah or they just stand with their arms getting free from the Nazis, and they throw huge folded or whatever. In [Toronto] it seems like festivals in every city in the country. We got to people just want to be loud and just have fun; play at two of those, which is cool. drink beer or whatever. Jake: Yeah, we did a week in Germany before that, which was a lot of fun, and then we ended I really love the concept of your latest the tour in Amsterdam and then flew back to music video, “Desire 126.” I was actually Toronto. at the Horseshoe Tavern for the taping! Nixon Really? Thanks for coming! So you came straight from Holland to play a show in Toronto tonight? No problem! I saw a couple of dressed up Jake: We actually played Kingston last night. people go on stage and dance, but they

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didn’t end up in the video. Nixon: I think they cut that.

I saw you guys at Osheaga last year and I’m excited to see you guys to play more this year! How was the experience working with Jake: That was crazy shit! A guy proposed to the legend, Dave Foley, for the “Desire his girlfriend [at Osheaga], and recently, in a 126” video? place called Den Bosch, a festival we played in Nixon: He’s great! Holland, a guy tried to propose to his girlfriend Jake: He’s a pleasure! but it didn’t work. Nixon: Such a good guy! He works really hard and Nixon: He was too drunk and she had to go to can get into a character so quickly. He’s so funny. the bathroom. [laughs] Jake: All he wants to do is just to make people Jake: It was the end of the night, and we were laugh and be nice. He has no bad intentions the last band on the smaller stage- it was so whatsoever. He is the nicest, funniest guy. It’s hilarious and awkward. The crowd was just awesome. He’s a pleasure to be around. walking away, and then there’s this super drunk Nixon: We’re lucky to have gotten to work with Dutch guy proposing to his girlfriend. We were him. turning to the people who spoke English and asking, “What’s going on? What is he saying?”. The concept of the video is really cool and They were like, “Uh oh, he was trying to propose hilarious, but it’s really long; not like a to his girlfriend, but his friends are saying his typical music video. girlfriend’s not here.” It was hilarious. I felt bad Nixon: I’m glad you liked it! for the guy, but you know, it was kind of funny.


Nixon: It was priceless.

might as well get that.

It must be special to have people proposing during your set! Jake: I guess; or they just drank too much. [laughs]

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song? Jake: Katy Perry. Nixon: We were just talking about how much we love video game music. In particular, the Koji Kondo composition that scores Mario, Zelda, and all the classic Nintendo games- his music is really sweet. Jake: Barry Manilow; we talked about how good Barry Manilow songs are on the drive last night. Nixon: Then we were listening to Sheryl Crow and admitting how much we like her. Jake: You know, pop music and Nintendo music.

Are you guys planning on releasing new music anytime soon? Nixon: We’re actually going to record some new songs in the summer that we hope to release soon afterward, and then we’ll hopefully put out a full album next year some time. That’s exciting! Nixon: Yeah, we’re pretty psyched!

Have you guys gotten to trade in your van for Vespas or anything cool, yet? Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya Jake: We haven’t traded it yet, but someone offered us a Ronald McDonald costume, so we

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ODESZA

Part Clayton Knight, part Harrison Mills. This Washington-based duo put out a number of unique releases in the past few years, all free and downloadable via their website, with tracks constantly topping the Hype Machine charts. The collection of releases include NO SLEEP mixes, a remix of Pretty Lights’ “Lost and Found”, album Summer’s Gone, My Friends Never Die EP and recently, a quickly successful single called “Sun Models”. Amidst their continuous March through July touring, the electronic duo dropped by Toronto’s Tattoo in May for a wildy vibey & visual Canadian Music Week set. Leading up to the show, Tiffany spoke with Harrison about ODESZA, along with some not-so-typical topics. Read onwards!

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So I know this probably gets mentioned a lot, but I hear you and Clay met in college back at Western Washington University. What exactly did you guys study, and how do you, if you do, use that knowledge today for ODESZA? HM: Clay studied Physics, and I studied Graphic Design. I get to do a lot of the artwork for us, whether for t-shirts or flyers or something we post online. Clay did physics and math, he definitely still finds ways to use his talents when we’re using gear and stuff; everything is mathematical, so still he still uses those skills for sure. You both previously had separate music projects before ODESZA came together, which were Catacombkid (Harrison) and BeachesBeaches (Clayton). Are those still active or is it mostly just ODESZA stuff now? HM: Nowadays, we kind of just focus on ODESZA right now cause we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, we want to make sure we put everything into what we’re doing. So ODESZA was just on tour with electronic producer, Emancipator, for the second time around. I’m a huge fan of him. His music is a bit softer and mellow with the beats, though. Do you find people that come to shows for him, and who maybe haven’t heard of ODESZA before, do they still manage to get into your music before he comes on?  HM: I’d like to think that we bridge the gap between those worlds, from more down tempo to a lot of energy. We’re fans of both worlds. We try to incorporate a lot of those things when we play live. 

I really like how your music is not really EDM either, you know, it’s nice and fun but not too crazy so you can listen to it whenever. HM: Thank you for saying that! Haha.  So after Friday’s show in Toronto, the next time you guys will be back in east coast Canada is for Montreal’s Osheaga in August. That’s a pretty big festival here. Do you guys ever get to stick around for the weekend at festivals and catch some shows, or do you have to take off right after? HM: I wish we could. I think we’re playing another show or festival the next day [after Osheaga], so we’ll have to leave unfortunately. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Montreal in general and that festival separately. I think that’s going to end up being one of our top favourite shows.   Favourite aspect of being on the road?  HM: Being able to continuously make personal connections with fans at shows and and play music that we haven’t put out yet and seeing their initial reactions, immediate things like that. A lot of times we put up something online and we don’t really know how to gauge the reaction. It’s nice to see it first hand.  Do you guys have a current favourite song to play at shows?  HM: It’s weird. Every crowd is different. I would say that Sun Models, our newest track, has a really big crowd reaction when we play it live, which is always really fun.  Biggest music guilty pleasure? Maybe an


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artist you’ve been listening to or a really good song that might be a bit embarrassing or surprising. HM: Haha, I have to say I’ve always been a huge fan of Coldplay. 

Favourite artist/producer right now, or underrated artist we should know about? HM: I really like Sylvan Esso. It’s a guy and a girl. She’s a folk singer and he’s a producer. He remixed one of her songs and made it a popelectronic, darker weird song. She liked it so A lot of people seem to mention Coldplay much they made a whole album together and as their music guilty pleasure! I guess it’s really good. because they’re huge and mainstream, I Biggest pet peeve? don’t know. HM: What! They have awesome producers. They HM: I don’t like when someone meets you have people like Brian Eno and John Hopkins.  and they obviously aren’t listening to anything you’re saying, haha. I’ve definitely met people Proudest or most memorable moment so where, as we’re talking, they’re looking around far? the room [replying] ‘Yeah. Yeah’. Ah, that drives HM: I always go back to this as one of our me crazy.  favourite moments... We played Sasquatch, just before Toro Y Moi and Disclosure. That was a Last book you read? huge moment for us. When we went on stage, it HM: I read The Wolf of Wall Street recently.  started raining so everyone came to the dance tent where we were playing. It was a massive Best meal on tour this year? party. I think half the people had no idea who HM: We played The Georgia Amphitheatre and we were. Some people come up to us saying they brought us homestyle cooked barbacue and they remember that set cause had a lot of fun it was absolutely insane.  and that that was how they found out about us. Sasquatch was a huge moment for us. If you could pick 3 artists to create your dream concert lineup, who would they be? Most common misconception about HM: Ooh, that’s so hard. Electronic? I think a ODESZA?  cool lineup would be Slow Magic, Sylan Esso HM: People think there’s only one person in and Flume.  ODESZA, haha. We’ve had several interviewers will come and meet us in person, and think one Now I would normally ask both of you of us is the tour manager or something and this separately and compare each other’s only talk to one of us. Then halfway through answers, but since Clay isn’t here, I we have to be like, ‘We’re... we’re both in the guess I can only ask you... So, what band’, which is really uncomfortable. I’m kind would your mother describe you as?  of confused why people do. I guess there’s not a HM: Hahaha, that’s a great question. I love this lot of pictures of us online.  interview already. My mom is such a sweetheart,

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the next EP. Throw in a little comic in the there, maybe, haha.  If you ever found yourself running from the cops, it would most likely be for...  That’s nice. Now what would your friends Well, I’ve definitely run from the cops before... describe you? It would probably be something dumb like I think they’d say I’m a nice funny guy, probably.  smoking weed, BUT it’s legal in Washington where I’m from. So basically, you’re a nice guy.  Yeah, haha. And last question, any interesting plans for the rest of summer, besides the What’s a surprising fact or hidden talent festivals?  about yourself that people would be HM: I think we don’t have time to do anything surprised to know?  else, haha. I really want to go to Hawaii. I’ve I wanted to be a cartoonist up until I was about never been and everyone I know has been 20. I was going to school and doing illustration to Hawaii. I grew up with every kid going on and stuff, and then I switched to the design world. vacation to Mexico or Hawaii or something, But I don’t really use those chops anymore.  and I was always like, ‘I’ll be here’. I’ve always dreamed of going there so I’ll probably find a You could totally do some cartooning for way to get down there for a couple days.  she probably has the best opinion of me. I don’t know if I agree with all of it, but she definitely sees me as a polite nice young man... something along those lines, haha.

ODESZA - Interview and Photos by Tiffany Lam


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Q & A WITH:

3Lau

On May 2nd, we caught up with 23-year-old DJ/producer Justin Blau, or better known as 3LAU (pronounced Blau, not three lau) just before his set at UNIUN Nightclub in Toronto. We chatted about college, cars, Katy Perry and more. Read the full interview below!

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T: So Justin, you’ve been around in music for quite a few years. When did things really start kicking off for you... in college? F: Well it started out with basically just me making mashups, and then I came out with my first big track, “Escape”, and that was about a year and a half ago. And then since then I’ve been working on a bunch of new stuff that I’m rolling out right now. So for two years I kind of did the college mashup thing, and during that time, I was learning how to do my own thing and then I finally came out with my first one and then it took a year to finish the rest, and now I’m coming out with a ton of new originals. T: I saw a throwback photo you posted yesterday, which was your high school yearbook grad photo, and your “life goal” caption was “To revolutionize the music industry”. Would you care to elaborate on how and what you mean by this?  J: Yeah, so it’s interesting, I’ve always loved all kinds of music, but didn’t really like dance music back in the day... kind of just fell into it and now I’ve come to absolutely love it. For me, I’ve always wanted to revolutionize music and revolutionize the industry behind music. My personal goal was to revolutionize the industry first, and then start making music on my own when I was 40 or something and I could do whatever I want. Luckily, it didn’t have to work out that way. I’ve always had lots of different ideas, I think there are lots of problems on the industry side of music, I was a finance major, I was a business student, so having that background I wanted to spearhead some project to turn it on its head; I think Spotify’s in the process of doing a little bit

of that right now. But it turned out to work the opposite way and I get to do music before the industry stuff. T: Recently you did something like a massive college tour, and I heard the shows and everything got really crazy wild. What are a couple things that were absolutely ridiculous that you couldn’t believe would ever happen? J: Well, absolutely ridiculous were cliff jumping and monkey suits, and crowd surfing from a second story. We picked up some random girls along the way to film for the music video – yeah, my girlfriend didn’t like that – but we were traveling by car everywhere constantly doing different things in monkey suits. It was exhausting because we were playing shows and filming all at once; we barely slept at all but it was a phenomenal experience and totally worth it. T: And the filming was all of this was for a music video? J: Right, it’s the music video for the bootleg version of one of my new singles. T: So lately, what has been the average 3LAU kind of day? J: Lately it’s hotel to airport, airport to airport somewhere else, to hotel, to work at the desk for a couple hours, to playing a show, and then repeat. T: No sleep? J: Ehh, a couple hours in there. I sleep as much as I can. My average is 5-6 hours, which is really not bad, but when you do 5 and a half hours day after day after day... T: And basically playing a high energy show every night. J: Exactly, and doing that day after day, you’re

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not getting your 8, and you do that for three T: Alright now for a couple general weeks... you miss those few hours every day and questions. What’s your favourite track to you start to feel it. And then there’s some nights play right now, or really fun to drop? where there’s little [sleep], if any. J: My new single “How You Love Me” is always really fun to drop, there’s a new remix that I T: Now, on more of a serious/softer just got back that I’ve been playing. Otherwise, note... Your involvement with Pencils of “Mammoth” by Moguai is still to this day one of Promise. I saw there was a video where the biggest songs you can play live. It’s old but you went to Guatemala a while back for everyone knows it and sings along to it.  the completion of the school classroom you helped fundraise for. Can you tell us T: Favourite aspect of being on the road? a bit more about that? J: My favourite thing is also my least favourite J: Yeah, so I’ve been working with Pencils of thing. Being on the road forces you to be a Promise for almost two years now. We built the minimalist, which sometimes is really taxing first school, it was a phenomenal success, I kind because you don’t have everything available, of wanted to wait until I got a bit bigger as an but it also can enable you to focus more on artist to start doing more work with them, and your immediate surroundings cause you only now we have so many big plans with them for the have the stuff that’s with you and you can be a future. We’re almost done with the fundraising little bit more task-oriented. If there are things for the second school, but it’s my goal to have internet-wise, you can just sit on the computer 5 schools by the end of 2015, so that’s the goal! cause you don’t have to clean around you or do We’ll see if it happens. anything else, you just have to eat and work. So it’s the best and worst part about touring, just T: So how exactly does the fundraising being a minimalist.  come together? J: So one school is 25,000$, and fundraising T: What’s your proudest moment so far can come from a lot of different directions. We as 3LAU? sell bracelets with Electric Family, I’ll donate J: I think that’ll be happening this June. This a portion of proceeds from music sometimes, June will be my proudest moment as 3LAU. So we’re going to be doing more show stuff. We far it’s been the release of HYLM, a project I’ve haven’t done that much yet, cause when you been working on for a year and a half, but this do philanthropy with shows, to make it really June I’m playing my dream festival and on the effective you have to bring in a lot of sponsorship mainstage; I’m really pumped.  and then you can raise hundreds of thousands if *Update: 3LAU will be playing EDC Las Vegas you do it the right way, so I’d rather do it right happening June 21-23!! and wait until I’m big enough to execute it and for it to be well done. 


T: Favourite artist right now, or an underrated artist we should know about? J: I’d have to say Botnek, who I just released a track with called “Vikings”, and they just make some crazy stuff, very unique. No one’s doing stuff like they are, they’ll be really big soon. T: Biggest music guilty pleasure? J: I love Katy Perry, she kills it. T: Yeah, I’d have to agree, she’s great.  J: Yeah, exactly! I mean, is it really a guilty pleasure? T: I guess it’s cause she’s really mainstream pop so we tend to categorize her in something like that. J: Yeah, but she’s one of the most respectable mainstream artists. I mean, I wouldn’t tell you Taylor Swift is a guilty pleasure cause I don’t listen to T-Swift, but Katy Perry kills it!  T: Biggest Pet Peeve? J: When people tell you they can help you in some way, shape or form, when they really can’t. So if someone’s like, “Oh yeah, this is such a great opportunity for you working with us...” That’s not what you want to tell me, haha, I don’t want to hear that, sorry.

T: What would your mom describe you as? J: Probably really hard working, because she hates the fact that I give her no time. I also don’t do anything but this. I don’t watch television, I don’t really drink that much anymore, I don’t really hang out with my friends that much. Literally, girlfriend... music... family... music... that’s it. T: Well that’s good you can make time for your girlfriend too at least! And so how would your friends describe you as? Any differently? J: Probably the same. Everyone would probably say I don’t really leave my desk and I’m always constantly doing something – even when you came, you know, busy with a makeshift meeting right before. T: If you ever found yourself running from the cops, it would most likely be for... J: Drugs. Nah. Hmm, tax evasion... who knows. Nah, that’s a stupid answer. If I was running from the cops... it would be for stealing a car. Hell yeah, that’s what I would definitely do.

T: And last question, any interesting plans for the rest of summer – besides T: What’s a private thing you’ll admit that huge festival you’re playing at? about yourself, or something that people J: Basically working on finishing my album in would be surprised to know about you? June and July. It’s an EP so not a full album, but J: I most recently told the world I can sing, and a 5-track album that I’m really excited about.  I’m singing on one of my future records, so I’m really excited for that.  T: Awesome. Well thank you so much for chatting!  Interview and Photos by Tiffany Lam

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BESTiE BESTiE started in Spring 2012 in East Vancouver when friends Andrew Janczewski, Tristan Orchard, Daniel Ruiz and Rob Cameron started jamming with the goal of making a fun accessible pop band. Soon after discovering their array of world and pop music influences, they started crafting their unique sound. Amidst a cross-Canada and US spring tour, this quartet gave Toronto an amicable visit on May 9th & 10th for Canadian Music Week. On what couldn’t have been a more perfect sunny Saturday, we sat down with the band and sought find out all about BESTiE and their recent album, No Bad Days.


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So just to start off, in five words or one word each, can you guys describe BESTiE? Rob: Fun Tristan: Jangly Andrew: Danceable Daniel: Friendly

was over a year from start to finish, but broken up with time in between.

How long did it take to record and create this album? Andrew: It was a long process. Two of the songs – Pineapple and Asleep on the bus – we recorded first with Digory Smallz and that was a pretty quick process. We started those on Boxing Day of 2012, we recorded the bass lines right before Rob had to take a flight the next morning, and then we were done in about two weeks. Then we waited and recorded the other six songs with Howard Redekopp in Vancouver in blocks of 3 songs each. Then we both got busy so we did some live off-the-floor sessions, overdubbing, mixing... it was a very long run out process with going away and playing shows [too]. Took way too long, but we finished in February/March. It

Which song was the hardest most work/ most difficult to finish? Tristan: Afraid of the Dark. Sometimes you just start with the bare bones and then you take a listen, ‘does it need anything else?’, and then maybe you’ll add the other things or subtract just to get the right amount. Sometimes when you record it, it translates a bit different and editing it down for flow and timing makes a huge difference.

Did you find your expectations vastly changed from going in to coming out with the end product? Rob: In terms of the timeline I’d say yes; we had initially anticipated to have it done fairly quick, In your eyes, what do you think makes No but it was kind of nice to have that time between Bad Days unique? – maybe not that much time, but it did give us a Daniel: There’s many things. One thing I lot of opportunities to sit on the recordings and would say is the cover of it, it is quite unique.  re-evaluate them. We basically went over every Tristan: The collection of influences that are song with a fine toothed comb to make sure we at play in the music; there’s everything from were happy with every part of it. I think the end African music to reggae to Johnny Marr to post- result benefited from us being able to do that.  punk... soukous music, champeda, Colombian Tristan: Personally, I hate when things take too music, pop, and even R&B maybe. long. I’m just gonna say that.

Which was the easiest and most natural to create? Rob: It’s interesting how it changes as you’re going through the process. When we did the bed tracks, which was all live off the floor – Andrew


will attest to this – the song Kelly Kapowski... We did it last and by the end of the session which went pretty late, I think we all left thinking that it sucked. Andrew: I thought we’d have to redo that session. I thought it was the worst. Rob: Yeah I was on the fence about whether we’d even be able to use it, and we ended up using the live off the floor recording without any editing, so in the end that ended up being the easiest song. Andrew: Yeah, it was the most natural. Basically, what you hear is what we played in the room.  Well I’m glad you kept it that way, it’s a great song! A big fear or struggle faced as a band so far? And how did you guys overcome it? Tristan: We got our first bad review about a week ago. I was waiting for that, but it’s done now and life goes on. Opinions are like buttholes; everyone has one. So now we’re through that hurdle and what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger. Maybe it made us bond more as a band because it’s like, “nahh, that’s not right” and we’re just going to keep doing our thing and play even better.  What are your thoughts on collaborating and who would you like to collaborate with? Tristan: I think collaboration is great, music itself is collaboration. If you look at Kanye West, who brings in so many collaborators to

his album and makes such an amazing album; I love collaborating and the more absurd the collaboration, the better. Mike Will, the producer for Miley Cyrus and Juicy J... I think he’s the best producer out there right now for that sort of music. I would love to hear what something would turn out with him. There’s Chin Injeti also from Vancouver who’s won a few Grammy Awards; we’ve both expressed interest to work together. I don’t know, I’d love to collaborate with everyone! What is something on BESTIE’s bucket list that you guys hope to scratch off soon? Andrew: Touring South America. Tristan: We were just in Colombia shooting a music video for our song Sirracha. Daniel’s from Colombia and I just feel there’s a certain response that we’ve been getting from people in South America. I guess our music is sort of influenced by there, and to have it reflected to us and then come back there is a very interesting thing. I think that would be an amazing bucket list thing to do. Tour Europe as well. Rob: I’ve been crossing stuff off my bucket list recently. We were in the middle of our first Canadian tour and it’s always been a personal dream to drive across the country so, this month is just one big check mark for me. I’m excited to have some vinyl too, hopefully. I love records.

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Did you guys learn anything in general or about yourselves while making the new album? Rob: I think our roles in the band, personality wise, were maybe a bit more solidified. There’s more caution in certain parts of our band and then more ‘let’s just go do it’ – [making the album] allowed us to find a happy medium in between those two things.  Daniel: Working hard is very important. We kind of knew that, but it was kind of like a reinforcement. Rob: We learned that we can do what we set out to do if we put in that hard work.  Tristan: I think you always kind of reinforce that you should go with your gut and listen to yourself a lot. Everyone’s going to say all sorts of things and you have to just do what you think is best. 

Justin Bieber!”. So, listen to an artist’s music and don’t write them off just because their personality, because artists are supposed to be weird and have huge personalities that get under your skin. Listen to their music. Daniel: Well, when I was a teenager, I used to love Blink 182. And I still like Blink 182 for some reason, and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t share that with many people, but I love Travis Barker’s drumming. He’s amazing and he influenced me a lot when I started playing drums, so that’s a guilty pleasure. Andrew: There’s this Sting song called Desert Rose. I haven’t listened to it in years but when it came out. I thought it was great. It’s kind of a dance song with an Arabic influence. I think it’s probably a really bad song but I remember really liking it at the time and having my girlfriend making fun of me for it. I’ll have to dig it up and listen to it again. And last question, what are your biggest Rob: I’m going to stay away from music, but I recently fell into The Real World on MTV. I music guilty pleasures? Tristan: I love Justin Bieber. I played the new don’t really have good things to say about it, album in the car twice; everyone hates Bieber, but it shames me to say I watched the entire and they don’t even listen to what I’m saying season. It’s the lowest form of entertainment because he’s just a 20-year-old kid going around but it’s enjoyable and made me feel better about and acting like a jack***, which I personally also myself. probably did. His album Journals is amazing. I Tristan: Noo, MTV is the best. We just had a also work as a DJ and I played it out at places song licensed to a MTV’s show called Awkward. like the Commodore in Vancouver, and I’ve had Speaking of bucket lists, getting our music on grown men come up to me and ask like, “What MTV and being associated with MTV greatness... is this? Omg, what is this??”, and I’m like, “It’s yeaah.  Interview and Photos by Tiffany Lam

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C O V E R A R T I S T:

Neck Deep

Hailing from the UK, Neck Deep is a band that exploded with popularity following their first release in 2012, Rain in July. Since then, the band has put out a second EP, A History of Bad Decisions, as well as their first full-length earlier this year, titled Wishful Thinking. We got to sit down with Ben and Fil from the band on the Toronto stop of their spring tour, who talked to us about the new album, signing to Hopeless Records, poutine and more.

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How excited are you guys to play in Toronto? Fil: So excited. Ben: Yeah, it’s gonna be cool, it’s the last day of our US tour, we’ve got this little Canadian bit at the end, so yeah, it’s cool to take a little dip into Canada and get a taste for it. I’m sure we’ll be back in doing real tour at some point, but yeah, it’s cool. It’s always good to play sold out shows.

Fil: Yeah, we can’t say that on TV. Ben: Someone was late to the toilet. Let’s put it that way. Fil: More than one person, more than one occasion. Ben: Yeah, late to the toilet, so... Fil: We’re pretty bad for that. Ben: But nah, I mean, not really embarrassing moments, it’s been a lot just hanging out, really. Some funny stuff has happened butFil: We’re all such fucking idiots around each It’s your first time playing here right? other that we don’t really have embarrassing Fil: Yeah! None of us have even been to Canada moments ‘cause it’s like - if something stupid before! happens, it’s just like “Oh yeah-’” Ben: It’s our first time in Canada, none of us Ben: It’s just funny, because we don’t find it have been to Canada, yeah. embarrassing. Fil: It’s out first time in the US as well. Fil: Yeah, we can’t really get embarrassed Ben: Before the US tour, the only time we’d ever between each other’s, it’s just like, stupid all come over here was to play in Florida. the time. I don’t know, it’s been more funny Fil: We’ve been here as like, kids, on holiday and moments. things like that, but we never - today’s our first Ben: Yeah, it’s been fun. ever day in Canada. Ben: It’s good to be here. What’s a regular “day off” for you guys? Fil: Yeah, exciting! Fil: Depends reallyBen: Depends where you are. How’s the tour so far? Fil: Yeah, depends where you are, that changes Fil: It’s been amazing. Most of the days have everything. ‘Cause if you’re in somewhere really been sold out, which is always a bonus. Yeah, crap and boring, we’d all just rather get a really the response has been awesome, all the kids good day’s sleep and stuff like that. Like, if have been amazing, just reallywe’re somewhere awesome, we’ll go and hang Ben: Met some really cool people, made some out, walk around, see the area. We like to look friendsaround. Fil: It’s just been everyone having a great time. Ben: We had a day off in Cali and we went to Ben: Yeah, there hasn’t really been a bad show, Hollywoodso it’s been sick. Fil: All the touristy stuff. Ben: Where else have we had days off? Any embarrassing memories so far? Fil: Florida, went to Universal - no, that was on Ben: [laughs] Oh yeah, oh yeah. the show dayFil: On stage, or like, in general? Ben: What did we do on the Florida day off? Did Ben: In general - oh yeah, oh yeah. we drive... so we didn’t go to Disney? Fil: [laughing] Oh no... you can’t say that. Fil: We went to Disney in California. Ben: Yeah, we can’t say that. [laughs] Ben: I can’t remember - most of the time, it’s


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a real band now, this is a real record that we’re gonna put out, it’s not like, an EP and all the tracks are gonna be like, different vibes, and a bit up in the air. Not that the others ones were Have you guys gotten a chance to check that” but, it’s here’s us saying “Yeah, we’re doing around Toronto yet? this shit for real now. Here’s the fucking record, Fil: Not really, we only got here a couple of we’re fucking trying on this and meaning it.” hours ago, we’ve just been sort of loading in and Ben: And then we’ll do the same next time, and setting up, we haven’t really had a chance to sort we’ll come back and make another solid album. of, groove around and see anything yet. It’s just that, Wishful Thinking is literally a real Ben: Yeah, I’m gonna go and check out Tim start. Hortons. Fil: Yeah, Wishful Thinking is like us going, “Yeah, we’re gonna do this now, this is the [comment] You guys should also check starter course.” out Sneaky Dee’s, they have the best Ben: Like, everything before that was like, nachos! obviously really good for us, and it did good Fil: Sneaky Dee’s, oh man, if it’s got nachos I’m things and people still loved what we did before down, let’s do it. You’re like, the first person Wishful Thinking, but yeah, Wishful Thinking is who’s not told us to eat that ‘poutine’ stuff. us going, “Right; this is us taking this seriously, Ben: What is poutine? and we’re gonna fucking, yeah, this is us being a real band.” [comment] It’s fries with cheese and gravy. So what’s the recording process been like? Ben: Yeah, we get that, but we just call it chips Fil: It was quite a weird one, really. and gravy. But I’m gonna sample it and see what Ben: Yeah, it was quite weird. it’s like, see how it adds up. Fil: ‘Cause both our, both EPs were recorded with Ben’s brother, just in his bedroom, and You guys just released your debut album; then when it came through to the full-length it what makes that album different from was like, we really like the process we have with your previous EPs? himBen: Well, Rain in July was pretty successful, Ben: Where we can write and, it’s a comfortable people still really like that, we still play most of environment with him. that live. Play all of it live, actually. It’s definitely Fil: He doesn’t just record us like, he is part stepped up a notch since then, and I think that of our little writing team-thing that we have we’ve definitely gained a lot of fans from that, and going on, and it was like, ‘Well, we don’t wanna there are still our fans who have heard us from like, break that ‘cause it’s kinda like who we Wishful Thinking onwards, is always good. It’s are, sorta thing.” So we did a lot of the writing just proved that we can do something different and pre-production and all the tracking with as well, and I mean, it’s just shown another area him, and then all the mixing and mastering, of our game. and re-amping and stuff; recorded the drums Fil: I think it’s a bit more of a “professional” somewhere else. product, and it’s a bit more like, ”Ok, this is like Ben: But we still managed to keep it fairly similar just like a day off for us is mostly the same as just like, a day on tour except, I guess, probably more dicking around.

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to how weFil: How we write, pretty much the same as the EPs for the writing process. Apart from stepping up the professionalism and things like that, instead of just mixing it ourselves and putting it out we’re gonna send it there for re-amps and send it there for mixing, there for mastering; when it’s all done and it’s likeBen: That writing process for us has always been what we’ve been used to, so we try to keep it as - this being our first album, we wanted to show what we could do, so yeah, I think it will probably always be done, at least the writing element, it will always be done in my bedroom - my brother’s bedroom. How does it feel to be signed with Hopeless Records? Ben: That was a big turning point. Fil: It’s something that it’s like now, yeah, signed with Hopeless RecordsBen: Yeah, that’s what we do nowFil: We’d already started the process of the fulllength before labels even came in, and our plan with our manager from the start was always like, “We’re gonna do a full-length now, we’re not gonna worry about getting signed, we’re gonna do it ourselves - but if someone come knocking, we’ll see what happens, take it as it comes.” And then it came around to it, and there was a few offers on the table for us, and he spoke to us one day and was like, “We got a call from Hopeless”, and we were just like okay, yes. That was kinda like - we had even said before, that if there was dream label that we could get on for this, it would be Hopeless, and then it came to that, and we ended up Skyping with them to talk to them and introduce ourselves and there was a few backwards and forwards, a real natural kind ofBen: Yeah, it seemed like it fit, really. Fil: Yeah, it just seemed like it fit. We spoke to

them a lot and they told us what they’re doing and how they want to with us, and how they felt about us, and what they liked, and what they didn’t, and we said the same to them, and it was just like, it seems to feel really good. Ben: It all coincided, and it’s great to just be a part of a label that is there for our best interests and wants to help us develop as a band, so yeah, it’s great. It made this tour possible, it made putting the record out possible, so it’s opened a lot of doors and we’re really happy with it. Who are your musical influences? Ben: Mine, I would straight up say, anyone would say this but legit, Blink-182, New Found Glory, but anything from that like, early 2000sera pop-punk is when we all grew up and when we really started getting into music, so all of that is a big influence. Bands like Blink [182], New Found [Glory], Sum 41... who else, I’m slacking here... Jimmy Eat WorldFil: Good Charlotte, Simple Plan; just all the classics. I mean, in terms of Neck Deep, it’s kinda like that, but all of us listen to all sorts of music outside there. Ben: Yeah, you could ask each member who their favourite band is, and we would probably all say different ones. Fil: Yeah, we all vary... like Dani, he doesn’t even like pop-punk, he actually hates it, it’s hilarious. [laughs] Ben: Yeah, he’s a metalhead. Fil: When we sit in the van we’ll like, put on New Found Glory and we’re all like [singing lyrics], he’s just like”...Who’s this, never heard of it.” Ben: He’s getting into it, slowly. Phil: “Is it Blink-182?” It’s like “Dude!” [shaking head] Ben: There’s a couple of pop-punk things he’ll listen to, like he’ll get into himself. Fil: He’s more into like, the new-wave things. Ben: I don’t think he really got into it back then…


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Interview by Seanzha Kemal & Winnie Surya, Photos by Daniel Hadfield, Words by Marisa Martel


we were all into the whole new-metal by then, like Slipknot, Papa Roach... Fil: Oh yeah, Slipknot, Linkin Park... Ben: That’s kind of where the heavy element comes from; we’re all into heavy music as well, but that’s where our heavy music tastes kind of started, so that’s more Dani’s area. West likes his heavy music, but West also like very fucking obscure bands as well, he’s a weirdo. Llloyd, one of his favourite bands is Funeral for a Friend... me and Fil are pretty similar, actually. Yeah, we’re all different, but I think that’s a good thing because when it comes to writing new stuff, we can all pitch in and have all these different elements going on in our music, which is always cool; it would suck if we all just said, “Oh yeah, let’s-we all listen to the same shit.” So then everything would always just sound the same and every idea that got thrown into the mix would just be the same idea.

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Virginia in Vegas

Fresh from Toronto, ON, Derik Baker instantly stole the attention of many people; including those at Canadian indie label, Wax Records. With only one top single and an upcoming debut album, Virginia to Vegas started their career nicely; from a collaboration with fellow singersongwriter, Alyssa Reid, to opening for Canadian rock band, Hedley, on their arena tour. Check out Into the Crowd’s exclusive interview with Virginia To Vegas to learn more about their new album, inspirations, and touring plans for this summer.

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How excited are you to play at Canadian song is that it doesn’t really matter how big an Music Week? obstacle is; you can overcome it as long as you have a positive mental attitude. I also think So excited! We did the soundcheck yesterday that it’s kind of a love song, but “We Are Stars” and it was amazing. We’ve never really done any doesn’t mean that we are celebrities, it means club shows before- the first show that we ever that we’re all made from the same stuff. did was in an arena. It’s like you are the star of your own life! With Hedley right? Yeah! To me, it’s like we’re made from the same Yeah! So to do this is really cool. It’s a small things and we could do whatever we want as room and I know the people that are going to be long we’re being positive about it. here, so I’m excited for this! Alyssa Reid is featured on the song. What How did that tour [with Hedley] go, by was it like working with her? the way? Working with [Alyssa] is amazing. I mean, It was amazing. We did about twenty-six dates I’ve known her for a couple of years and our across the country, and I got to meet a lot of new relationship has been great. We’re good friends, people. The guys in Hedley are amazing and I so working with her is always so easy, because got to see the country, which was pretty wild! she’s so talented. Writing with her is super easy because she’s such a great writer, so it’s very fast I saw the music video for “We Are Stars” [laughs]. and it looks like it was shot in Vegas too! Did you guys shoot it during the tour as well? I heard that you’ll be releasing a debut album this summer, is that correct? We did half of it in Vegas! The other half is live footage. Yep! I’m pretty excited! Right now we’re in the process of selecting songs, and I think that most It looks pretty sick! Did you pick Vegas as of all, I want the album to feel like a unified body the location because of your band name? of work from start to finish; when you start off [laughs] It’s just something that we thought of. listening to the album and you finish listening to it, it feels connected. I feel like a lot of time, with Would you mind telling us a little bit pop albums, people don’t really listen to full albums, they listen to singles, and I hope that about the single? our fans are going to be interested and want to I wrote that song when I decided to do music listen to the record from the start to finish. I used full time, and in order to be an artist I really had to love doing that when I was a kid - I remember to focus on things that are positive because it’s listening to The White Stripes and Fleetwood really difficult. The important message of that Mac from start to finish, their full albums.


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Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya


I understand! It gives you this special something that I just always wanted to do. When I had a job, I was always thinking about what feeling! would I be doing once I got home from work. I Exactly! You listen to those albums and it’s such couldn’t wait to get home and write and work on a cool collection. I hope [our record] gives that the next thing. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it’s feeling to people, but I’m really proud of the just something that I’ve always wanted to do. songs on it for sure! What’s next for you? Who are some of your musical influences? There’s talk about fall tour with Alyssa [Reid] I think I draw influence from all over. When I - that’s just a rumor but it’s probably going was a kid, I used to listen to a lot of blues music to happen. I’m just playing as many shows and old school rock n’ roll; so I drew a lot of as possible; “We Are Stars” took me on a tour inspiration from Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline across the country, then to the Canadian Music and some of those artists that wrote beautiful Week, then to Scene Fest this summer with six classic songs. I also listen to bands like The 1975 more songs. and Coldplay a little bit; pop that has substance to it. I also love Top 40 pop music, like Katy Are you considering playing more local shows? Perry. What made you decide that you wanted to be a musician? I don’t think it’s a decision; it’s more like

I’m thinking of traveling the country and playing to large audiences, but Toronto is my home so I’ll play a lot of shows around here.

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T U P E L O

H O N E Y

Edmonton rock band Tupelo Honey is Steve Vincent, Daniel Davidson, Tyler Dianocky, Greg Williamson and Brad Simons. In support of their new album at Canadian Music Week, Tupelo Honey joined us in Toronto for chats about touring, writing, recording and performing.


So Tupelo Honey just recently released Brave New World. How has the recording process been? I heard a bit of it was done in Toronto. Yeah, part of it. We recorded it all over the place, actually. We did some in our rehearsal space just outside Edmonton, Alberta. Then we did some at a cabin on a lake in the middle of the woods somewhere in Northern Alberta. Did vocals in Toronto. Our house, our producer’s house, our private studios and rehearsal places. It was everywhere. But not on purpose. It was all very spread apart with months in between sometimes. 

When we started doing those shows, we were kind of starstruck and in awe. We were just a little bit giddy and maybe not quite as professional as I think we’ve become in those scenarios, but they’re still really exciting. I love playing on a big stage in front of other people’s fans, especially if there’s tons of them. Part of the fun of playing live is trying to win people over. I think we also learned a lot about humility. A lot of those big artists... it’s so great to open for them, but what you really see is that even if they’re hugely famous, they’re working very hard themselves. It’s just as hard for them and even they very much appreciate it, In addition to that, the music video for so at no point did we... you know, I think our egos “These Walls” was just put out too – can you even got lower opening for them. Years ago, when we played with Bon Jovi, that tell us a bit about the song and the video? That was one of the really cool songs on our set the bar pretty high, but I remember they were record because it sort of came out of nowhere. jumping in a plane to play Brazil the next day and We were all in Greg’s basement and just decided we were hoping in a van to go back to Cold Lake, to write from the ground up by starting to play Alberta. We were kind of bummed for a moment, instruments. A lot of the writing Dan added living but sometimes those are once in a lifetime situations lyrical ideas overtop of melodies just there, and and we’re pretty lucky to have something like that. this really cool concept came out. We just kept We’ve been really fortunate over the years, even working with it, and then when our video director recently we’ve had pretty great shows.  heard the song, he created this really great idea to incorporate with this story line about personal So this isn’t exactly the first time you guys are at CMW at all, is it? How do you think struggle and breaking through obstacles.  this time will be different from the last?  Using 5 words, describe who Tupelo We’ve probably been here about 8 times or so. A lot of the times we were recording while CMW Honey is. was happening. Last time we were here was two Greg, Steve, Dan, Tyler, Brad... [laughs] Nintendo, nerds, coffee, meat, beer. And burgers.  years ago, and that was Brad’s first time with us. We played one of our favourite shows to date You guys have performed with big names on that CMW. It was an impromptu unofficial like Bon Jovi, Three Days Grace, and Papa showcase, but it was really just a party at some Roach before. How was the experience of guy’s basement. There was 75 or 80 people being able to tour and open for such acts? maybe, all crammed in this basement, all industry Over the years, it’s been a big learning curve. people. But the basement could probably hold

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about 25 people, and there was one speaker that worked. We were playing right in people’s faces. It was mental. An old school punk show. What has been a really rewarding or memorable moment for Tupelo Honey? A fond memory was in 2005, we won Canadian Music Week’s Xtreme Bandslam competition, which was a national competition. We came in and we were lucky enough to take the prize that year, against State of Shock.  

you ever thought. When we were first working on These Walls, the original demo of the song sounds significantly different than what ended up on the record. It’s neat to see that process. It’s cool to see something start from somewhere small and build when you add production to it.

Individually, what are your biggest music guilty pleasures? Maybe some artists you guys listen to that might not exactly be expected. Brad: I just downloaded Krewella, which is totally different from our music.  What is your favourite part about being Dan: I love 90s hip-hop. LOVE. A lot.  on the road? Steve: Recently I was listening to a lot of 80s metal.  Now we’re playing a little bit more strategically Greg: I’m totally guilty of listening to some 80s with generally taking more of the big money stuff, more like Frozen Ghost or something. gigs or the big people gigs, which has been 80s power rock songs. I’ve also been known to an interesting shift for us – from being in our put on some girl pop... like Michelle Branch.  early 20s and just jumping in the van and doing Tyler’s ipod is the soundtrack to the most bizarre whatever. I think my favourite part about playing horror movies / circus. Everything from crazy shows now is that we are trying to have a plan death metal to ripping banjo solos to the Muppet instead of just doing them. We’ve been getting theme song. It’s full  of theme songs.  lots of grants to try and support ourselves with content and marketing plans. We’re being more Where do you guys hope to travel and selective and trying to pick our spots wisely. tour next?  Quality over quantity, basically.   We met with a bunch of Germans today, a couple good meetings with some German promoters. When you guys are blocked on songwriting, Maybe next summer we’ll look at shows over there how do you guys get inspired? or something. Definitely always wanted to make our It’s a pretty dynamic process. I don’t think there’s way overseas, so that would be a huge goal for us.  necessarily one set way that you can approach it. Sometimes, for example like “These Walls”, Last question, a little similar to the last, what we just got in the basement, had one riff going, are some Future plans for Tupelo Honey?  and just started playing. That was one approach Well, we gotta put out another single soon so that kind of helps. I think changing locations we’re trying to figure out what video we want is really helpful too, we went all over the place. to shoot. We also received another grant to do Sometimes you can’t force it so find a new some more recording, so maybe we’ll get some environment. The songs turn out differently than writing on the road a little bit. 


Interview by Tiffany Lam, Photos by Winnie Surya

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4 COUNT

Move on over Big Time Rush, there’s a new boyband in town! 4 Count started out as a project of Nick Cannon’s, but has expanded beyond that. Albeit their youth, it is only the beginning for this four-piece boy band. This issue, we sit down with Kieran, Adam, Ben and Aaron to talk about the band’s history, their love for Canada, the details behind their upcoming album and much more.

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How did the band form? Adam: The band actually started with Kerian and I – we’re brothers. We did a previous project with Nick Cannon a couple of years ago. So, when he was starting the boy band, he got in contact with us. We went and met with him, and he told us about his idea of a boy band. We were super stoked. About a week later, we had a closed audition, and that’s where we found Aaron and Ben. The rest is history in the making.

Kieran: Beat each other up. Take someone to a dark alley.

Adam: Yeah, take him to a back room and beat his butt. We’re very good at that. If we ever have a problem about something, I’ll just go up to Kieran and be like: “Hey Kieran, blah blah blah” and make sure that we just squash it there. Even though he’s my brother, I consider the [other] guys as brothers as well. So, I’ll treat everyone with the same amount of respect. They’re my brothers; if I have a problem with my brother, How did you guys come up with the name I’ll just go up and talk to him. I’m not gonna “4Count”? keep animosity built up. Ben: Nick actually came up with the name. 4Count is a really cool name because it’s used around the world – it’s a universal tempo. No matter what genre of music, there are four counts in a beat. It’s a rhythm too, it’s a heartbeat, it’s soul, and that’s what we’re all about. And it sounds cool!

You’re originally moved here from California. How does it feel being in Canada?

Aaron: It’s definitely a transition for all of us, coming from being close to our families, in our comfort zones, and living in LA together for a year. It was crazy to transition and hop into the For Adam and Kieran- you guys are snow without having any warm clothes. It’s been brothers. What are the pros and cons of so eye-opening, and it’s part of the growing up being in a band together? process- being on your own and figuring it out. So, it’s been a great process. The people here are Adam: I mean of course there are going to be amazing – we love Canadians! It’s going great! pros and cons; of course we all clash heads. What do you love about Toronto so far? Kieran: Don’t say anything bad about me! Band: The poutine! Adam: Yeah I know… We all clash heads a little bit and we all have our little arguments and stuff Adam: No I’m serious, I really do love poutine. like that. But we’re all man enough to come up I’m obsessed with it, it’s amazing! I never and talk to one another, or go take each other thought cheese, gravy, and fries would go so somewhere and talk about it. well together!


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Aaron: There are also other things that are great about Canada! I like the culture, like how the old buildings are mixed with the new buildings. Adam: The scenery is so beautiful. Ben: The countryside is really nice too. Adam: It reminds me of a mix between London and New York. Adam: There’s a nice, refreshing feel about it, coming from an industrial area like LA. Ben: The people are really kind, too! We’ve gone to sessions where we’re in the car and we’ll hit a little intersection and one guy will say, “You go!”, and the other guy says, “No, you go!”. We’re waiting and we’re just like, “Someone please go!” Adam: Anywhere else, you’ll just see fingers coming out of the car.

What is your song “Epic” about? Ben: It’s about making something that’s small in your life big – turn it around. If you have a bad day, make it epic. Try to look at it from a positive point of view. We just want to inspire people. That’s what we’re trying to do. You’re gonna hear that – not only in “Epic,” but in the whole album. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to go with one of our good friends to two schools to perform and surprise these young kids for antibullying. We’re trying to send out a message and that’s what “Epic” is about. I really loved the video! The concept was really cool! Ben: At the same time, you can dance to it and have a good time! Kieran: Yeah, in the video, we’re all having a good time- it’s just a good feeling song!

Adam: We wanted to make sure that the video was very fun, and it was epic! When we’re playing mini-golf, laser tag, and bowling, we weren’t acting at all! We were just reacting and You guys are pretty young, how did you being us! convince your parents to allow you to be I heard you’ll release an album this in a band? Are you in school? summer, are you recording it now? Kieran: Yeah, I’m the youngest, and I just finished Kieran: We have! We just finished up the whole up school about a year ago. They’re all really album! There’s still a lot more production to supportive of what we’re doing and of what we go into it, but on our part, yeah, we’re all done. have invested our time in. Even for Ben- he was We finish up this week, and it’ll come out late already invested in music. He actually went to summer. a music school and stuff like that. Aaron comes from a strong musical background, and me and Do you mind sharing a little bit about the Adam do as well. album? Ben: But yeah, people are really nice, and there are a lot of people from around the world here. It’s really cool!

Adam: All our families know this is our dream, Aaron: It takes you through a lot of different so they’re all very supportive. They just want to emotions. There are some breakup songs on see us succeed in our dreams. there; there are songs about missing your significant other in California; there are a lot of Ben: We’re the types who want to take care of dance and upbeat songs – there’s something for our families. We do it for ourselves first because everybody and a lot of different genres. it’s our dream, but after that, it’s our family. We don’t want them to have to worry about a single How many tracks will there be? thing; we want to take care of them. That’s how much we love them, and that’s why they back us Band: 10-11. up so much. Into The Crowd Magazine | 79


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Ben: We talk about it in interviews, but we are so excited! Our first album together, signed to a major label – Ncredible Entertainment with Nick Cannon. The feeling still hasn’t really hit us yet! Adam: It was so surreal this week! I remember us all looking at each other like, “Wow! So, we’re officially done with our album!” We can’t wait for the world to see what we’ve been working this hard on.

and motivating that we thought it would be a perfect song to start with. There wasn’t much thought behind it- this one’s perfect and epic. Like Ben was saying earlier, “Epic” is a life style for us. We want to inspire and motivate peoplethat’s what we’re all about. Kieran: We wanted to give people that first impression of us, which is being epic and us having a good time.

Kieran: And just listening back to all the songs- Who are some of your musical there’s literally not a song on there that any of us influences? dislike. For every song we’re just like, “Aw man, Aaron: We have so many and we all have a lot of that could be a potential single!” the same ones. It goes from The Temptations to Aaron: We’re very hard on ourselves too. We’re Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Beach Boys, Bob like our worst critics. It’s only because we strive Marley, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Bruno for greatness. It’s cool because we were in the Mars… studio the other day, and we cut some songs and we were like “That one’s pretty cool! It’s not my After this album, what’s in store for you? favourite, but we like it!” Then, we went back to Are you guys going to head on tour? the studio, and have been upgrading it to make it Adam: Definitely this summer when the album a little better, and throwing in some more flare on is gonna come out. We don’t have any set dates it. We were like, “That’s the same song?” That’s yet, but definitely the tour is going to happen all been our whole reaction throughout the album. around Canada. We have a TV show coming out Speaking of singles, how do you pick a on YTV. We can’t speak too much about it, but it’s gonna really show our personalities, some single? crazy things we’ve never done before, and follow Adam: We just knew that “Epic” was such a great the true life of 4Count. song and the message was so great, powerful,


Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya, Words by Karmin Yu

Into The Crowd Magazine | 81


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya


Augustana How’s the tour with Twin Forks going so far? It’s been a great tour. It’s been nothing but positive shows; just great times and great audiences. I couldn’t be happier. What was the recording process like for your recent release, Life Imitating Life? The recording process was great. I did a little bit in New York, a little bit in Nashville, and a little bit in Los Angeles; I just put the record the way that I felt fit, and I’m very happy with it.

Did you ever consider changing the band name to just your own name, perhaps? I bounced the idea around for a few months; [trying to] figure out what I wanted - to keep the name or to move forward and do my own thing, and I felt that it was appropriate to continue with Augustana. I felt that it wasn’t a tarnished thing; it didn’t have a bad name. People in the audience who listened to the new stuff felt that they would continue supporting Augustana.

If you changed the name, it meant you would have to start again from the What makes this album sound different beginning, right? from your previous ones? Sure. Starting over is difficult- in a way this is It’s a little different because I didn’t make it with sort of like starting over, but I’m able to play the same band that I had for years and years, the same songs from the back catalog (that are and I missed them during a lot of [the process]. still very important to me) because I didn’t let I moved forward in a positive direction and tried go of [the Augustana] name. I felt like it wasn’t to make the best record I could. necessary to change the direction, and I felt like I was moving in the right direction with the Speaking of the band, the rest of the band name. left in 2011. I was wondering about the pros and cons of writing alone. You’ve switched labels from Epic to Razor I don’t like to think about it as pros and cons; & Tie; how has that transition been? it’s just a different process, whether it’s better or It’s been a little different from Sony [Epic] since worse. It’s different, but I tried my best to find a they are a major label and Razor & Tie is an positive direction to get a really good experience independent label, but I felt incredibly liberated; out of it. it was a very, very inspiring process to me. We’re very lucky that Sony allowed us to make what we I really like the album title, which you wanted to make, but not everybody is so lucky. took from the song “According to Plan” Razor & Tie continue to let us to do that. on the album. What inspired you to name it Life Imitating Life? What’s next for Augustana? The album itself is a very positive uplifting I think what’s next is that we’ll continue to tour, record, and I was in a very positive place in my make another album, and just keep on going. life. I wanted to try to moving forward and find a new day.

Into The Crowd Magazine | 83


Issue 18 | May - June 2014

Slaughter Beach

Meet the Danish trio of Slaughter Beach who hit up Canadian Music Week in Toronto last month. Although they only surfaced the music scene very recently, don’t underestimate their “lack” of experience. These three guys, consisting of Nikolaj Westi, Hasse Mydtskov and Mads Emil Aagaard, have actually known each other since they were young and have played music together for a very long time. Join us as we learn more about their experience in Toronto, their new single “Spinning Globe” and a possible EP.


How excited are you to play Canadian songs and the cheering isn’t as enthusiastic. [There was] a great atmosphere when we played Music Week this year? the Dakota yesterday. Mads: We’re really excited to be here! Coming to Canada is a great opportunity for us to play in a What is the song “Spinning Globe” place where our type of music is more relevant about? than in our home country. So, we like it a lot here! Nikolaj: We wrote it half a year ago, around the time when this band started getting serious. I’m Is this your first time in Toronto? not sure what it’s actually about, but the theme Hasse: Yeah. It’s the farthest the two of us have is breaking boundaries. been from home. We live on the other side of the Mads: ...Really pursuing what you’re feeling. It’s planet. So, it’s pretty big! not about someone, but about this change. Did you guys get to explore the city? Will you record an EP/album anytime Mads: No, not so much yet. We checked out soon? Kensington Market and a bit of downtown, but we haven’t really seen anything else. Maybe we’ll Hasse: Hopefully, we have a few things to get done, which is why we’re here: to network and do it tomorrow. to get in touch with people we want to work You guys played at the Dakota [Tavern] with. Once, that’s settled, we’ll probably record last night, how was the show? an EP, to begin with. There’s no reason to put out a whole album right now. Usually when we Mads: A bit chaotic. We had some trouble put an album out, there are a lot of lost songstransforming our [electrical] power from usually it’s just two to three songs that make it. European. So, we got off to a bad start because So, for us, we’re gonna just focus on one song, of that, but when we found ourselves again, it like we did with “Spinning Globe.” was great being there. How did the band form? Will you make any changes for the show tonight? Hasse: We’re really just friends...we grew up in the same town and we’ve always known each Mads: Yeah, [we’ll be] a bit more precautious other. today because we had that experience yesterday. We’re gonna check everything twice today! What’s next for you guys after Canadian Music Week? Any more shows? How do the crowds here compare to the crowds at home [in Denmark]? Hasse: We have a show tonight and we need to redeem ourselves from [the show] yesterday. Hasse: I think people here are a bit more We’re really psyched for today! We have a few outgoing. In Denmark, people are more passive days off and then we’re gonna go back home! watching shows- they’ll maybe clap after the Interview and Photos by Winnie Surya, Words by Karmin Yu

Into The Crowd Magazine | 85


Issue #18 | May-June 2014 ft. Neck Deep  

Featuring Neck Deep, ODESZA, Born Ruffians, 3LAU, Augustana, Hollerado, Cris Cab, The Strumbellas, The Seasons, Brews Willis, BESTiE, Virgin...

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