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BESTiE making the most of CMW – “No Bad Days”

Submitted by on May 19, 2014 – 7:58 pmNo Comment

BESTiEWe spoke of Canadian Music Week and its ability to shine light on indie bands, well this year brought us a band that actually shined the light on CMW.

Their bio reads: “BESTiE are a band from Vancouver, Canada whose influences are summer, ice cream, the beach, girls, floating down a river in an inner tube, high fives and heart break.” I couldn’t honestly describe them better myself.

But there’s much more than meets the eye with these candid clowns, who are actually classically trained in music in all different degrees, especially their seasoned guitarist Andrew Janczewski. 

The rest of the band along with Janczewski – Tristan Orchard, Daniel Ruiz and Rob Cameron – starting playing together with the sole intention of making a fun and variable pop band – one with no limits. As the name suggests, the band was built on a foundation of friendship, and when thinking of the style of music they wanted to be, that feel good vibe resonated with them.

“We all met when I was putting on an event in Vancouver called No More Strangers,” said Orchard, the founding father of BESTiE. “A whole bunch of venues were closing, so I started my own night and when booking bands, I actually booked Andrew and Rob’s band, and Daniel was actually in another band playing drums.”

And there you have it, four best friends united by one fateful night back in 2009, although they didn’t know what it was to become then. That transpired a few years into the future.

Their debut album No Bad Days truly epitomizes what this band is all about, and really has no bad songs. Martyr reviewed this album after its release last month (April 22) and couldn’t believe the grooves we heard. So it suffices to say that when we found out they’d be paying Toronto a visit at CMW, it was time to get to know the men behind the project.

“We took a while, and a list of producers that we wanted to work with,” said Ruiz. “We worked with Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara, Mother Mother) after we produced singles with Diggory Smallz (for tracks “Asleep on the Bus” and “Pineapple.”) 

The recording and tracking has a very modern feel to it, but when it comes to the writing style, it has a very rootsy and traditional rock composure, which ties in very nicely with the thematic of the band. That’s where the expertise of Janczewski came into play, being the wisest member of the group, he knows how to draw from each members strengths and inspirations.

“I find us to have a very eclectic musical background, what with Daniel being from Columbia with his accomplished drumming style, and I think all of us that have taste in music that branches out from indie rock,” said Janczewski. “I like a lot of African guitar players and reggae, so it’s really organic that way.”

The band has grown exponentially since they started working together in 2012, especially considering their tremendously helpful $50,000 victory of the 2013 102.7 FM Peak Performance Project in Vancouver. This competition not only pits bands against each other, but helps them grow together along the way, working in groups to fine tune strengths and rectify weaknesses.

This is a huge local honour to win, and is recognized across Canada, especially for such a breakout group.

Toronto was just a stop off during their coast to coast tour, having two dates at CMW, one at The Garrison and another at the Dakota Tavern, after which they’ve now returned to the west coast to play several dates in B.C.

“We just got back from SXSE, and this is a Canadian festival just like it so we knew what to expect,” said Cameron. “It’s a great opportunity to see new bands and meet people in the industry. Canada has such a burgeoning music scene, so stuff like this is so important to be a part of.” Orchard added “And we’re here just to do what we do best, play good music. This is our first time in Toronto so we’re loving it.”

Story and photo by Devin Size

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