Benefit Show

Today at 12 there is a benefit barbecue with live music for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. Details linked below!

https://www.facebook.com/events/968782150136074/?ti=as

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A Chat With: Sinful Ways

Today we chat with our pals in Sinful Ways! The local metal act sat down and gave us some insight on how they operate and what they use as inspiration for their music!

How would you describe your sound?

Brad – Fresh and unique, a mash of multiple metal genres.

Andres – Same, old school metal crossed new school metal.

Dave – Heavy, fast and melodic with classic metal influences and modern scream vocals.

Georgio – Heavy and melodic in all the right places.

Who are your influences?

Brad – Motley Crue, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, A7X, Trivium.

Andres – Metallica, As I Lay Dying, BFMV, Dream Theatre, Lamb of God, Misfits.

Dave – Drummers: Dave Lombardo, Travis Smith, Alex Bent, John Bonham, The Rev, Chad Smith, Mike Portnoy, Chris Adler, Bands: A7X, Trivium, Slayer, Metallica, Parkway Drive, Rammstein, KSE, Korn, Slipknot, System of a Down, Lamb of God, Sum 41.

Georgio – BMTH, Architects, Parkway Drive, The Devil Wears Prada, Alexisonfire, Crown the Empire, We Came As Romans, Muse, NOFX, Bad Religion.

What’s on the horizon for 2020?

More music (new singles and another EP), and more shows.

What is your creative process?

Brad – Whatever clicks in my head.

Andres – Anything that comes to mind, record it as fast as I can and send to the band.

Dave – Guitar riffs come in, then rhythm section and vocals last.

Georgio – I usually start with guitars and drums, melody and lyrics come afterwards.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Brad – Other music, environments, mental state.

Andres – Social problems, politics.

Dave – Always looking for new music and inspiration to listen to constantly. Doesn’t even need to be metal… could be funk, jazz or even pop music sometimes.

Georgio – Everywhere, whether its different musical genres or politics.

How do you deal with nerves before a show?

Just sit back, take a deep breath, and relax, the only way you stress over things is when you spend too much time thinking about what could go wrong. Just sit back and have confidence in what you’ve practiced.

What is your favourite venue in Ottawa?

Brass monkey by far… nice big stage and a very cool dark atmosphere.

Craziest thing you’ve seen at a show?

Clammy from Exciter flashing the crowd at our EP Release show while wearing a kilt. Dave’s family friend asking to get her boobs signed. A wall of death.

If you could tour or play with any act or line up, what/who would it be?

B – Trivium.

A – Download 2006 lineup.

Dave – Metallica, Parkway Drive and probably Slayer…3 huge bands, I couldn’t imagine how big and wild the crowd would be.

Georgio – Parkway Drive, Architects, and TDWP. 

Any advice for new artists?

Just start and be super dedicated. Practice as much as possible, get tight and play as often as you can at shows. Play each show as if it were your last and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing for 5 or 200+ people. Make it a truly unforgettable experience. Learn theory, practice chords, and just jam chord progressions to find what you like and what sounds good to train your ear.

Any shout outs you would like to make?

Scepter, Ivory Knight, Lyncanthro, Rebel 101.7, Pandamonium, Joe @ Dark Moon Productions, Ken @ Fuzztone Music.

Show me the links!

https://www.facebook.com/SinfulWaysBAND/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVbrrz6r8jIevyhnmIp-EXg

https://open.spotify.com/artist/72a27p7PXze5XWMIIQihBa

We’re also on Apple Music and iTunes.

Fun In The Sun | Gland | Album Review

Welcome to our second musical adventure with local pop rock sensations, Gland. The band released their EP, Fun In The Sun, today and we had the pleasure of listening to it, and now you get to read our opinions on it.

Pecker Wrecker

Our delightful sonic induced adventure begins with the ballad Pecker Wrecker. With its fast paced guitar work and blistering drums, the EP starts off just right. The mixing is great, guitar work is on point and the blast beats are, in the words of Wayne Campbell “Excellent”. The transitions between parts are executed nicely and don’t feel forced. The second riff had my head moving. The shredding solo was great. 9/10

Shit Faced

Second up is the beautiful song Shit Faced. The lyrics are very well written, with my favourite line being, “home made drugs straight from my ass.” The Guitar work was great, the tone used was damn near perfect. The drums are fast, but not overly complicated, which is great. The ending is abrupt, but it fits the song. 9/10

Jabba The Butt

Next on the shit list is Jabba The Butt, a biographical tale of the obese twin of Jabba The Hutt. I love the guitar work, the drums are again, not overtly difficult but fast paced, which is exactly what is needed for the song. The mixing game is still on point. What they did at 1:21 is pure perfection, trust me. The double kick and blast beats are on point. 9.5/10

Mouthful

Off the bat I love the use of stereo at the start, well done. I love it when artists and producers make use of switching between lanes. I love the tempo change at around 55 seconds in, and the instrumentation fits together beautifully. The transitional riff at 1:55 is, in the words of Borat, “Very Nice!” After that transition can be described in one word, brutal. It’s loud, pounding and not too slow, then you get back to the main riff in another well executed transition. 9.3/10

Fun In The Mung

Our adventure comes to a close with the masterpiece, Fun In The Mung. It starts with a nicely executed four beat snare, and then launched into an epic riff. The intro is a little long for me, but that’s just personal taste. The main riff is probably my favourite on the album. The slow part is sick. Drums, are consistent with the rest of the album and not too complicated but still well done. Everything meshes together very well. 9.7/10

Overall

This is the best pop rock album ever released. Go buy it.

Free Naloxone Training & Kit

With back to school in full swing,  Ottawa Special Events feels it is incredibly important for those going back to school, especially university and college students, to receive training on how to identify a possible overdose and administer Naloxone in an emergency.  

On Tuesday, August 13, Ottawa Special Events and Ottawa Public Health have teamed up again to provide free Naloxone training.  Each attendee will receive a free Naloxone kit as well. 

Please download your free tickets here that Ottawa Special Events and Ottawa Public Health are using to gauge the number of attendees to make sure they bring enough Naloxone kits to the event.

Date And Time:
Tue, August 13, 2019
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Location:
Ben Franklin Place (Chambers)
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7

Google Maps

Misanthropy | Salem Trials | Review

Welcome back to our humble blog. Today we are going to take a look at local metal act, Salem Trials and their debut EP, Misanthropy. I would dare to call this band a super group of Ottawa’s most talented metal musicians, and trust me it shows when listening to the EP.

Misanthropy

The atmospheric tremor at the start of the song gives you a sense of worry and anticipation. You sit in wait for the massive riff, you know is coming. When the vocals and drums come in the tension keeps building. The tension peaks with intermittent guitars and then the song launches forward with epic riffage. The vocals are damn near perfect, and the mixing and guitar tones are flawless. This song is the perfect opening track. The guitars cut off suddenly and bring you into a nice melodic section of instrumentation that then goes into a nice chuggy part, with the atmospheric tremor sitting in the background. The transitions between parts are beautiful. The bassline is nice. The djenty parts are not over done and fit nicely. This song is a great introduction to the band. 9.5/10

Carousel

Bouncing in at second on the album is Carousel. With the way the opening riff is written I can see where the song title came from. The bassline is sexy and they again add some atmospheric guitar in the background. The tempo changes are smooth. Guitar tone, mixing and vocals again near perfect. The blast beats are sick and the double kick is impressive. The main riff popping in and out throughout the song is catchy. 9.5/10

Bad Blood

Starting with an aggressive and powerful bang, is Bad Blood. the third installment on our journey with Salem Trials. Love the riff. Drums killing it again. Sudden drop off of instrumentation to an atmospheric riff and vocals, nicely done. The atmospheric leads are beautiful when used. The dissonant chords are used effectively and not over done, leading you back into the atmospheric leads. This song feels like you’re on a terrifying journey in a fever dream. I love it. The guitar solo is beautiful. I love how the song ends with the instrumentation dropping out and the vocals roaring the title, to then have the song fade out with atmospheric sounds, then into the starting riff of the next song. I’m a sucker for atmospheric stuff so this band is just perfect for me. 9.7/10

Grief

Your fourth sonic adventure is Grief. Now this song started out weird for me, I think due to the streaming service I was using. Because the intro for this song is the outro for the previous song, it jumped on me, which I think was Tidal’s fault, not the band’s. However, the song does start with a big bang. Guitar work on point. Vocals nailing it. Drums just killing it. Probably my favourite song so far. Transitions are flawless again. Bouncy at parts, had my head bobbing. Love the main riff, fits very well. Love the plucky, palm muted part with the sexy bassline over top, bass build tension beautifully until it breaks with the drums and main guitars coming back in. Ends nice and suddenly. 9.8/10

Rotten Path

Vocals starting immediately with a nice plucky atmospheric guitar is very well done. The guitar work is masterful. The drumming is damn near perfect This band exudes confidence and strong instrumentation. The plucky riff hopping in and out throughout the song adds a nice feel to the song. The transition is flawless heading into the djenty part. The basslines are sexy…again. Love the slowed down part. Mixing and tones on point again. I don’t think I’ve picked up on anything that seriously detracts from the listening experience. 9.8/10

PoundCake

I am loving the use of atmospheric instrumentation in the background of the songs. It adds a nice fullness to the sound. The songwriting is very strong, not only in this song, but throughout the album. You can tell they took their time to craft a piece of art, not just a song. The main riff is very good. The guitar work is masterful. The drumming fits perfectly, transitions are great. Vocals on point. I love how the guitars cut in and out at points and the atmospheric sound rolls in and out. The chugs are beautiful. I love the leads, they fit perfectly where they are placed. This one had my head moving while I was writing. I just wanted to start hardcore dancing at points, even though I was sitting in my living room typing on my laptop. 9.7/10

Overall

Overall this is probably one of the best metal albums to come out of Ottawa in years. If Salem Trials continues what they’re doing they are going to go places. You can tell they took their time to craft the songs, these are some of Ottawa’s best musicians, and it shows. The production work was amazing. I’m excited for the future of this band. Their description on Facebook says they want to take the world by storm, and wholeheartedly believe they can.

Music As A Healing Tool

Music is a wonderful thing. It can help you get over a breakup, help you get through a bad day, keep your spirits up when you’re sick, and many other things. Artists put their souls into their music and often leave the true meaning up to interpretation. But can some songs can be used to tell the story of a struggle and help communities heal from a devastating event or tragedy?

When you make a new friend, one of the first things that you talk about is more than likely what music you listen to. If similarities in musical interests can help you make a new friend, why can’t it help end a conflict and help a community heal? If two people hate each other because of their differing religions, but they both listen to the same music, they may end up seeing each other as not that different, no longer an other. I personally remember that when I was in elementary school, I was being picked on by a group of kids. When one of them found out that we both liked Slipknot, he started talking to me more often and ended up not bullying me anymore. Eventually, we became really good friends until he moved away.

There are also songs that are written for the purpose of healing a community or nation. The Cranberries wrote “Zombie” after an IRA bomb killed two children. The song shows Dolores O’Riordan’s frustration with the Irish Troubles that to her, appeared never ending and in her own words, she wrote the song in order to show that not all Irish people supported the terrorists and that many people in Ireland were tired of having to deal with IRA and UVF/UFF.

“September’s Children” by Rise Against was written to help gay teens know that they are not alone and suicide is not the only option. One story circulating about the song is that Tim McIlrath’s nephew had a best friend who was bullied because of his sexuality and ended up committing suicide because of the relentless torment; after his friend committed suicide, McIlrath’s nephew wrote some of the lyrics to the song as a way to deal with his grief. When McIlrath read the lyrics he decided to make it a Rise Against song. That is just a story that I read and I don’t know if it is actually true, and even if it isn’t, I still think it still conveys that music is a good way to deal with stress and tragedy.

There are many anecdotes of communities coming together and putting on concerts so that they can cope with a tragedy that hits or to raise money to help those affected by a catastrophic event. After the Newtown massacre, communities across the U.S put on shows to raise money for the survivors and victims of the shooting; Tim from Rise Against wrote a song about his feelings with tragedy, which as a father of young children, the massacre must have hit close to home for him. After a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma. the town came together and rebuilt while also bonding through music.

In July of 2015, a study was released that showed how music therapy and music, in general, were great at helping people and communities dealing with stress. As an emerging field in therapy, music therapy has been used to help young children who have survived tornadoes and other natural disasters, sexual and physical abuse, and also bullying. The study also showed that when veterans who were suffering from PTSD started doing musical or other art based therapies they showed reduced amounts of stress and started to gain confidence in themselves.

During my research for this article, I stumbled across an amazing organisation called Musicians Without Borders. The idea behind MWB is to go into communities that have been affected by war and other forms of violence or trauma and set up sustainable music programs to help create a healing process for the members of the communities. MWB will also help you set up a benefit show! All you have to do is register your event with them and they will send you a care package and exclusive access to their online community. You can also donate to them to help those in vulnerable communities. Lastly, if you are a writer or artist and would like to draw attention to MWB, all you have to do is go to their website and download a logo for free and you can put it on your social media pages, videos or website!

There are many benefits from listening and playing music, especially when dealing with physical and mental trauma as an individual and a community; however, if you think that you are suffering from a mental health issue you should always go and talk to a medical professional and seek the proper treatment for you illness, and remember that you are not alone. Your loved ones will not think any less of you for asking for help, they’d prefer you to be alive and getting the help you need.

How To Grow Your Fanbase

When you first start out in your local scene, you may realize that you don’t draw a big crowd at your shows. This may be disheartening to you and your bandmates, but you shouldn’t worry about it. Just by playing a show, you’ve taken the first steps towards growing your fan base.

When I was taking my entertainment marketing class, one of the things we learned was how to use social media to your advantage. Social media marketing is one of the best ways to inform people of your existence and engage with the fans that you have. 

You should post on your Facebook page or Twitter profile at least once a day. If you stop posting, you will lose the interest of your followers and they will either unfollow or just ignore your posts. Now you should try and keep your fans engaged by posting things that are somewhat relevant to your music. 

Memes are fun but if you know that the majority of your fans just come to your page to see videos of you performing or look at pictures of your shows, then don’t waste your time making the memes. Try and find a way to engage your fans on a regular basis that works for you.

If you have a YouTube channel, great! If not, you should stop reading this article and go make one. I’m serious, do it! This is one of the best ways to make fun and engaging content to share with your fans. 

Manchester Orchestra made a short video series on their YouTube channel to help promote their album’s Cope and Hope. They would make funny skits, an acoustic performance, interviews and give fans some insight into their daily lives, this was a great way to engage with their fans and get some new ones too. 

You don’t have to make the same content as Manchester Orchestra, but you should post something on your channel as a way to inform your fans on what is happening with the band. On my band’s YouTube channel, I post videos of my guitarist writing new riffs, quick videos from our practices and videos of our shows. If you have recorded audio, why not make a fun DIY music video? 

Neighbouring, a small band from St.Catherines, Ontario made a music video by sitting on a couch outside and eating cake together.                   

TL;DR version: Make any content you can and post it on your channel.

Now, another thing you should do is record something and post it on a music sharing site. It doesn’t have to be the perfect recording, just make something and get it out there. If people don’t know what you sound like, they won’t come to your shows. 

To grow your live audience, you need to grow your at home audience; to grow you at home audience, grow your live audience. One affects the other. The more people at your shows, the more people will download your music; the more people who download your music, the more people at your shows. 

What I did for my band was I took the video from our previous show, converted it to an MP3 file and made a live album on Bandcamp, this way if people see our name on a bill and want to look us up, they can find something that we made on the internet.

When you’re selling your music you should make it available for free, with the option to donate. This will encourage people to get your music. Obviously, if you use music as your only source of income you should charge people, but don’t make it an extortionate price. Most people are only willing to pay $0.50-$1.00 a song. 

If you make a 5-song album price it at $5.00 with the option to pay more if it’s on Bandcamp (only if you use music as your only source of income). If you have a physical copy of your album, bring it to every show you play and keep a couple in your backpack when you’re going out and about. Price the album at $5.00 or more (gotta account for those pressing and printing costs).

Two good books I read about growing a brand is Marketing For Dummies and Social Media Marketing For Dummies. They teach you the nitty gritty side of the marketing world. Just remember to keep your fans engaged and always post your shows and social media. You should also message your friends and family personally and ask them to show up to your shows.