by the partae

What is your name and role within the band?

Erik — drums.

How did you start?

Troy reached out to the three of us with some material he wanted backed up in the studio. While we were rehearsing for those sessions, we sort of just decided to make it a band rather than a solo project.

Where are you based?

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

The band writes in a number different ways. Typically we’ll deviate from rehearsing written material if/when we’re bored or distracted. Perhaps someone picks up a different instrument — that sort of thing. Someone will say “that’s cool” or “what about this…” and we’ll catch a quick recording of it and Troy will take it home and write some lyrics around it. The second way is that one of us will individually bring something small to the table. Matt has a piano part, or Troy’s written a verse or chorus with guitar…etc. The majority of our earliest material, however, was written by Troy and the rest of the band was added during recording sessions.

What are you working on right now?

Right now we’re pretty focused on continuing to tour our first record, Dirty Rain, but we’ve got a good chunk of our next album written and demoed with plans to record in early 2018.

What is your gear setup?

We like to keep things pretty simple — no one is the band is overly complex with their gear. But here’s roughly how it shakes down:

Troy (Guitar/Vocals) – Epiphone Casino, Guild JF-30 Jumbo, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Boss Tremolo

Matt (Keyboards) – Wurlitzer 200A, Nord Electro 2, 1962 Fender Twin

Todd (Bass) – 1972 Fender Precision Bass, Ampeg V4B head/Ampeg 4×10

Erik (drums) – Ludwig 100th Anniversary Classic Maple (Black Oyster), random 70s cymbals

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

We all have day jobs — I, myself, do design and illustration, but across the group it’s pretty vast. Matt and I have been known to play squash and Todd is big into yoga. Does that affect our music? Only, if one of us rolls an ankle or takes a ball to the eye. And we’d likely still have shows booked even if that did happen.

How would you describe your music genre?

This is always a tough question to answer. Our music isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel — we play based on our surroundings — new jam space, new piece of gear, etc. Maybe someone’s heard a new record and that got them jazzed to bring something to the table. The point is we get called rock, country, americana, and everything else under that umbrella. I’d hate to be stuck playing that kind of music just because we’ve been pigeon-holed. But if you searched us on iTunes it’ll probably say rock.

Do you know any music theory?

The only classically trained member of the band is Matt. Studied classical piano when he was younger and studied jazz bass in university. He’s got great technique that pairs well with some pretty poignant pop sensibilities. Knows his Bach, but loves his Elton.

What are your plans for the future?

Lots of touring, lots of writing. Lather, rinse, repeat.

How did you get into music?

We were all lucky to have parents or older role models with decent taste in music. Todd’s dad is probably the best example of this. He had Todd on a pretty strict regiment of Tom Waits and The Clash. Troy’s got his roots in the Dylan catalogue. Matt has a pretty vast knowledge of jazz, and I spent a lot of time in the car with my parents playing Jackson Browne and James Taylor. It’s a pretty mixed bag with this crew.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Again, pretty mixed bag here — across the whole group we’re listening either individually or collectively to the newest Daniel Romano, Conor Oberst, Merle Haggard,

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

This is a tough one…there’s four of us so I’ll give you one from each of us and one that we all agree on. Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, and for the band one…maybe Jackson Browne?

When are you playing next?

The summer is pretty busy with festivals and one offs here and there, so the next big one is NXNE at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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 Featured Photo Credit: Cooper & O’Hara Photography

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