CMW shines light on indie bands coast to coast
From Australia to Israel, the international indie front was extremely well represented also. Toronto has always been known as the hub for the Canadian music scene, and during this festival bands from the east and west coasts of Canada come together to put on one of the largest and greatest music festivals the country has to offer.
From conferences to panels, celebrity interviews to genre specific showcases – this week had it all.
Martyr had the chance to meet and greet with some amazing new bands on the scene this year, and we want to share some of our findings with you, and we’ve added a little personal touch by getting to know the people behind the music as well. Here are some groups that stood out that Martyr had the chance to sit down with during CMW.Stellar Lane (Israel)
Hailing all the way from Tel Aviv, the largest metropolitan area in Israel, these guys have a hugely international sound that can be appreciated anywhere in the world. Had I not told you where they were from, you’d think they were another great American rock band.
The band members are Yonatan Fogelzang (lead vocals,) Udi Fogelzang (vocals, keyboards), Dotan Kalmar (lead guitar), Nadav Kaftzan (rhythm guitar), Adam Younger (bass) and Eyal Golan (drums).
During CMW, their first time playing in Canada, Stellar Lane had sets at Bovine Sex Club on the first day of CMW and at the Wrong Bar on the last day.
“People are really responsive here,” said Kalmar. “The biggest difference for us, is the appreciation for the do it yourself kind of way, people are coming out, they respect what you’re doing. It’s a community here.”
The group comes from a variety of backgrounds, but joined together on the similar taste of post-grunge melodies.
“We all met in the Israeli Army, we just started jamming together during recess, we used all our free time,” said Younger.
“I saw on Facebook that they were looking for a guitarist, and I’ve been in the band ever since,” said Kalmar. “We started working on guitars and vocal harmonies, and it just works.”
Stellar Lane’s music and style have many western influences from several music genres including grunge, alternative rock and metal. From Alice and Chains to Incubus and Soundgarden, you can hear a little bit of everything you love from the 90s era in these guys. It’s refreshing and nostalgic all at the same time.Pigeon Park (Vancouver)
Named after a prominent hang out in the downtown east side of Vancouver, Pigeon Park is a unique brand of indie rock. Their non-structured system of sonic synergy resonates well in their local scene, and after years of hard work and sacrifice, things are starting to look up in a big way for these B.C. boys.
The group has been together since high school, and just after they closed their lockers for good, they came together to make something bigger than high school, bigger than anything they had done before, and they became Pigeon Park.
“It felt like it came together overnight,” said lead singer Nick Weber. “We just came out with our EP Black Widow, and this is different than the rough around the edges stuff we did before.”
Not long after the release of their latest EP title Black Widow, Pigeon Park won the highly competitive 99.3 CFOX “Seeds” competition. Some serious Canadian heavyweights have been winners of this prestigious radio station contest, including Nickelback, Matthew Good, Bif Naked, Default and Theory of a Deadman. As the Platinum Award winners, the band will be touring with Sam Roberts in 2014 and have received $10,000 in tour support and $10,000 in gear.
“It was crazy,” laughed Weber. “It refocused us and made us commit a whole lot more. Now we have much more to prove.”
Begin their first time at CMW, this was a huge opportunity for Pigeon Park to reach out, meet more people and see more bands, an opportunity they always use to see great music and reflect upon their own at the same time.
“We’re meeting a lot of people and seeing a lot of great bands,” said Weber. “We’ve grown a long way since we played Rancho Relaxo years back. We’re here to show people what we’re about.”Xprime (Niagara Falls)
Coming from small town Ontario in every way, Xprime just want to express themselves musically. That’s where the name was born. In French, to express yourself is “t’exprimer,” and that’s where they drew the inspiration for Xprime.
If you can imagine an amalgamation of doo wop, pop, barber shop and acapella quartets you might be able to get a grasp on the sound that comes from Xprime. But realistically, there is no way to classify them
“We’re a party band,” said Phil Taylor, the drummer. “Being a cover band to start hugely influenced us, we just love to play music that makes people happy.”
The group all has their set instruments when it comes down to it, but they’re all multi-instrumentalists. As opposed to doing things democratically like most bands do, they do everything by consensus. Their ambidexterity gives them the ability to add input to any aspect of the songs’ creation, making their song writing process more unanimous and cohesive.
“We’re all kind of different, but that’s what brings us together,” said Gab Sid, frontman of the group. “We each respect each others’ instruments. Each person gets the last word on their instruments, but everyone has to agree.”
They’re very objective in their album creation process, only choosing songs that really fit the bill. That’s what made their new album, aptly titled The Album, flow so tightly.