Monday, 16 December 2013

One Year

In September 2009, my good friend James Martin and I started a band called No Island. It went pretty well for 3 years. We released two EPs. Played about 40 shows. Did a Western Canada tour. We learned a lot about ourselves as humans, as musicians and as songwriters. Near the end of 2012, we realized things needed to change, and we found ourselves going our separate ways with our original drummer and bass player. Things just had to change. As scary as it much as we felt we were venturing into the great unknown...we knew it had to happen.

In December of 2012, James, Andy and Myself were without a full band, and we didn't know if we would find anyone to fill the spots. There were dozens of possible outcomes and scenarios that could have played out. The scariest of them being that it was the end of the band. The three of us didn't want that at all. We knew we had something really special. We had good songs, we had a bit of momentum, we were building a name for ourselves on the scene. We couldn't stop now.

There was only one person we wanted in the drum chair and we kind of, sort of put all our eggs in this one basket hoping that he would say yes and luckily he did. Max Ley joined the band, and we couldn't have been any happier. 

When we asked him to join, his face kind of looked like this...

But the bass player situation was pretty much up in the air. The chemistry had to be right. A lot of things had to be right. At the time, we didn't know if we'd find anyone. In hindsight, there is really only one person on this planet that can stand there and that's Jay Esplana. We were overjoyed when he said yes.

So why am I writing this blog? Well I've just returned home from our final rehearsal of 2013, and while it's not that huge a deal, I'm overcome with joy when I think about what we've accomplished this year. When we started rehearsing in January, there was an enormous amount of ground to cover to get everyone on the same page. It was seemingly insurmountable, but we did it and in March, we played our first show at the Railway Club and then it really didn't let up. The very next day we played in Victoria. Two weeks later we did a successful mini tour to the Kootenays and Jay learned how much he loves Sun Peaks. We did our very first show in a theatre to a really incredible audience in Powell River. We played lots of shows in and around Vancouver. We wrote and recorded two new tracks for an EP called Off The Floor. In the summer, we hopped in the van and did 52 day, 40 show tour from Vancouver to Halifax and back. It was the most unrelenting, fun, draining, incredible, rewarding experience of my life. That tour was unlike anything I've ever been a part of and we all came out the other side relatively unscathed and definitely closer and tighter as a band and as a family. Since that time, we've written what I believe to be our strongest, most cohesive, catchiest and most interesting music to date. We've even given the older songs a facelift and some botox here and there. 

As it approaches 2:00am, I'm feeling pretty nostalgic on what has been an absolutely incredible year. I'm having the most fun I've ever had in my life. I grew up with two brothers, and now I have four more. We've accomplished things that I used to merely dream about. I also had bacon poutine in Montreal at 3:00am which, for anyone that knows me, is something that I hold close to my heart. (Literally. Because...arteries) Now I'm just excited for what 2014 has to bring. 2013 was about the re-birth of a band and showing off that band to an entire country. 2014 is where we are going to really make our mark. We are going to be recording a full length album that I just know is going to change things for us. The music that we've written (and are still going to write) is really special, and I hope that it moves people the way I think it will.

So thanks to Andy, James, Max and Jay for this incredible year. And here's to many more.

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