Relatively new band LABS (the abbreviated combination of their names) containing singer song writer, Lindsay Bryan, former top twenty contender at Peak Performance project, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Adam Sutherland, formerly of Armchair Cynics, identified during a few short recording demos that they could create their own band. And they wasted no time. Right out of the gate they pulled together their first ever live performance on stage at major local festival, Rifflandia, with members Matt Longpre and Keenan Murray. “We have a focus off the island as well with this new EP. It was all about timing and contacts.” Bryan writes much of the lyrical content and draws on some of the tiers in their past along with Sutherland’s draft melody looped to test out her ideas and refine what works together. There are endless possibilities to their Electronic Indie Pop sound in the marketplace which is inspired by bands such as Phantogram. Now their EP “Down,” also the title to their latest single, caught the attention of The ZONE 91-3 FM as Band of the Month. LABS' focus is on future tours and performances such as Tall Tree on Vancouver Island.
After gaining industry advice at Peak Performance 2014, The Wild Romantics set out this spring on a cross Canada tour with a new EP and newly formed vision. Powered by sheer determination, their plan is to deliver an unforgettable live show. Aleisha K. and Evan M. say they aren’t going to suffer for their art as if that is the only option; they are going to appreciate and act on opportunities. Their 5-piece band gives a loving Rock n’ Roll slap in the face should audiences expect another generic “Folk/Rock” sound, which they describe as “a honky-tonk band covering The White Stripes in a western saloon, with a lady outlaw and tweed-clad poet cuttin’ a rug Pulp Fiction style, all while an antique chandelier sways back and forth catching the wandering eyes of everyone in the bar.” Game for anything, their wildest tour included a propane guzzling 15 passenger van, driven to non-existent fuel stops and a grandma named Turbo who saved the day. Success or bust, they’re doing what they love.
Ashley Opperman closely watched her mother at young age and went on to study two years of visual arts at Camosun college building a portfolio to display in a group art show. The idea of implementing all the areas of her studies from graphic design to water colour unravelled with her love of capturing emotion drawn from observing natural west coast beauty. Thrown into learning video, performance art, clay and welding Opperman walked away with from her classes with an affinity for textiles. Her wild vision for raw marble interpreted as painted fabric became a collection she has build over the last year. She challenged herself to echo the small details on large scale pieces of canvas. Torn or shredded, painted or draped she worked the canvas in new ways to play with the elements of acrylic and the behaviour of the fabric as her way of recording her experience with natural elements and with her love of art. Ashley walks the peaceful path of emotional truth in her work.
Rarely an eleven piece band surfaces in the Victoria Rock scene blended elements of Jazz. It's hard to ignore the Nu-Funk sound of The New Groovement who were selected for August’s Band of the Month at The ZONE 91-3 FM. Their scale of live music is a cool, refreshing change. On the heels of their first live album, the band was scooped up for Jazz Fest and after the next three songs they were asked to perform at Rifflandia and Tall Tree. Coming out of the recording studio this year, six more songs completed their album that was two years in the making. Their organized, forward vision to always move on to the "next thing" helps in today's age when it's expensive for a band of their size to travel and be paid for smaller gigs. With several schooled musical geniuses, a rapping MC, a doctor of philosophy, killer horns and savvy vocals they are skilled at compromise - everyone is free to contribute, cohesive elements align with an understanding they give their best in everything they produce.
Guys, cars and Rock and Roll. It’s a lifestyle and it’s best kept simple when real life steps in, so that’s exactly how The Stockers are keeping it real. They work hard and jam each week regardless of what’s happening, tour outside of Victoria as often as possible to get new juice playing for audiences who love to discover them, and they know playing live and selling merchandise makes coin. But that’s not what drives them. It’s the rich genuine passion and deep roots loving cars, bikes and music that has keeps them going. The Stockers are well known in Victoria’s sub-underground music scene. As Band of the Month with The ZONE 91-3 FM their song Run Johnny Run will give listeners a taste. Live, The Stockers give the same show whether 40 or 400 people show up and with crazy amounts of energy. “We are simple dudes making what we want. It’s turned on, or it’s turned off.” With five members they keep it tight and uncomplicated producing sounds fans peg high-octane rock and roll.
At a young age, James Eke began his studies of Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Silat with master martial artist, Dan Inosanto who learned at the foot of Bruce Lee. Eke has become one of Inosanto’s few trained Canadian pupils and one of only a few in the world. At it's core martial arts is about community and cultivating community. It stems from humility and compassion and love — not hurting someone. Eke follows Bruce Lee’s message, “Equality will make us better people.” Two years ago, Eke opened his studio where he offers students a three month volunteer Archangel Program challenging them to think outside the box about ways to give back to community. One group gathered donations and filled backpacks with necessities of life for a local shelter. Archangels are modernizing the old philosophy “the lowest of us can rise to great levels.” Their success appeared in the faces of those who benefited and the hopes one day the Archangel Program can be initiated in schools and other teams nationally.
Stories about places and moments, in the songs by local band Hawk and Steel, allow anyone to fill in their own idea of where that is. Much of their music could be really easy listening blend of Rock and Country with great lyrics, however the way they prefer to play it is - the louder the better. “It’s difficult finding and creating meaty content that you can be proud of, that’s not political and it’s not horse——,” says singer songwriter Peter. “There’s a fine line between preachy, and not.” The band is four years old and recently selected as the band of the month for June by @The ZONE 91-3 FM for their great sound of Rock, Country and Folk mixed with some genres of music they call an awkward shade of brown. Their first record about relationships was Danger Road in 2012 and Anywhere But Here, their new album, is due out June 2015 with their punk song, Maps. Peter says, “This album is more conscious about stories and less about my emotions or misery.”
A five time championship career in body building sculpted Sandra Froher’s body; now, in addition to her work as a personal trainer she is revitalizing a lifelong passion with "her other art" few have known about. Since she was a teenager, Froher has delved into every medium and style of art from contemporary to realism. Now Froher is transforming bold colours of acrylic into intuitive expression. Her paintings are juicy and full of colourful energy created by a different level of physical commitment. This rebirth with her true love has become an incredible form of finding freedom without judgement. For Froher there is no logic. “It’s allowing myself to be the child in the mud puddle - confident and playful,” she says with shear joy. The spirit of Froher and the underlying reason to expand, is to spread the energy out. "This youthful interest in life is how you keep your spark.” It’s freeing to make a huge mess and not care and get authentic with yourself.” Show dates: June 26th-28th.
Relationships are key to growth for the local band AZTEC as they shape their sound and latest works. The band has morphed over the last few years to focus on producing some solid rock - Indie as a genera. Listening to their previous recordings it’s easy to see just how far they have come. They also know they have a long way to go. With a touring' van and a five year plan outlining their goals they will do what it takes while conscious of not creating just another “west coast band.” AZTEC is patient and taking their time to reach particular contacts. Chosen as Band of the Month with The ZONE @ 91-3FM was one of those goals. AZTEC plans to work with Nathan Hussey (of All Get Out) to record their latest songs. AZTEC’s merchandise is also going to receive some artistic touches from well known keyboard player Chris Freeman.
As a young girl, furniture designer Christina Hilborne was once fascinated by a contractor and his tools while the bathroom of the family home received a facelift. Then in university, she built a rough but serviceable recycling bin and found it far more enjoyable to work on than her English degree. And so her passion was born - the process of creating functional art with her hands. A pre-apprenticeship program at BCIT led to a job in a cabinet shop and after hours she produced her own furniture projects. Hilborne also attended workshops in Colorado and a collaborative artists' event in Saskatchewan. Then landed in Newfoundland where she learned metal smithing and mould making. Settling in Victoria, Hilborne’s desire for the art and design took over reason and financial concern - like many artists. Concrete formed around metal and conscious materials such as Kirei board (pressed byproducts of grain crops) are the mediums she shapes into furnishings that suit her conscious construction.