Today is Family Day, a day when some folks pull out their photo albums and reminisce about long forgotten bad haircuts and first birthday cakes. Well, I already saw my awesome mum and dad (#DaveBates) yesterday, so I’m free to muse about my past bands and the current bands/bandmates that are family to me.
At this moment, I’m listening to the first and last album by Hope, Your Shattered Envy. This LOUD hard/post rock band was the high school brainchild of guitarist Luke Robertson, completed by myself, Julian Hacquebard on drums, and Will Petker on bass. We used to shake the light fixtures in my parents’ basement. We won a battle of the bands competition which granted us our first/last recording session, and a slot at the Ovation Musical Festival where we opened for Sum 41, Simple Plan, and shared the bill with Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, and Sloan. Regrettably, this album was never released and this is my fault. I had just started my jazz degree where I had a shocking realization that I knew little about improvisation and theory. My musical and personal self esteem plummeted. I set my delay pedal aside to gather dust for a few years* (the 1st edition of the Deluxe Memory Man by Electro-Harmonix of course) and I sold my other effects pedals. Upon receiving the Hope,Your Shattered Envy tracks, I had little knowledge as to what mastering was, and no desire to complete the album so I put those in a hard drive to gather dust too… until today:
These two tunes are unreleased and nearly a decade old from the days when I used to scream into my violin pick-up, and when fast tremolo was my version of shredding. (ok, OK!, I still bust out both of these tricks at times)
click to stream:
Glockenspiel by H,YSE (2005)
Peach-With-a-Hue by H,YSE (2005)
[Perhaps I should release this album on Bandcamp for that handful of folks out there that may remember being in a mosh pit in the Curry On days in Stratford, Ont.???]
One of the foremost reasons I’m in this crazy business is that I love the musical and personal interaction I get to share with my bandmates. The mock VIP clubs that you get to form with your buds under the guise of a band name, the inside jokes you gain after long car rides, the task oriented hangs, and the joy of sharing in and completing artistic visions with others etc. Hence, if I could learn how to properly stop, I think I would be a mean hockey player.
Each band I’ve worked with has sincerely impacted me. I won’t dwell on them all, but I’m game to revel in a few:
I have to give a preeminent shout out to The Boxcar Boys. I have never played music with four other bros who listen so meticulously, and who have the ability to cue a tempo change with the raise of an eyebrow. I never thought I would develop such a love for working on and for writing old time/Klezmer/New Orleans and Dixieland style tunes, but after being sonically spoiled over the last four years, I don’t know how I could exist without these boys and our mad hatter jazz. You can catch us on March 1st as we celebrate Mardi Gras at the El Mocambo.
The inception of Trent Severn, aka myself, Dayna Manning and Emm Gryner, has had the most tremendous influence on me. I can’t believe we’ve only been together for just over two years and I’m glad for all that we’ve already accomplished (singing the national anthem on Parliament Hill, playing with Chris Hadfield, our CBC Q interview, our Maclean’s article…) but I’m the most excited about the songs we’re writing right now (the next album will slay, I promise) and our shared vision of hard work and longevity. This band is my formal debut as vocalist and as a songwriter, thanks to the support of Gryner and Manning.
Volür, the doom creature I recently created with my MVP Lucas Gadke (of Blood Ceremony/ Rucksack Willies/Happy Pals fame and glory) has at last found a drummer, Jimmy P Lightning from DoMakeSayThink – a band that deeply inspired me over 10 years ago, and largely influenced my first band (see paragraph 2). I have a good feeling about this project, and you can hear us at Cage 292 (a real classy joint at Spadina and College) on Feb. 26.
*My mind still has cobwebs, but my Memory Man is now dust free.