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Q & A with Wise,
Young & King
Joel Bedford (left) & Scott Penner (below)
Wise, Young & King's self-proclaimed mission to "create a new rock experience that echoes the heyday of rock'n'roll" is well under way: the Ottawa rockers have been catching the ears of the capital with a modern rock sound flavoured with serious vintage influences.
Currently polishing their full-length debut after three years together, Wise, Young & King are sure to make an impact in 2010.
The four-piece band consists of Myles Bell (guitar), Alan Charlton (vocals), Alex Scott (drums) and Chris Terkuc (bass). Ottawafocus caught up with them for a chat about rock, recording...and the origins of their mysterious band name!
_______________________How did Wise, Young and King originally come together?
We started out as a bunch of friends who went to high school together. The band formed in our basements - it all stemmed from a general distaste for what was going on in popular music. All of us grew up in the suburbs of Ottawa: Stittsville, Osgoode, Manotick; but we now live in a crooked band house downtown.
How did you come up with your band name, and what exactly does it mean?
Our band name confuses people all the time. It can mean a variety of things, but it definitely is not our last names! It is meant as an attitude or a mindset: to feel wise, young and king of your own world. We enjoy the confusion, it means we’re on to something.
You draw a lot of influences from classic 70's rock. Were you captivated by your parents' music, or is your appreciation for classic rock something you came into later in life?
Growing up, all of us listened to our own music and had our own influences. We listened to the radio - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, all that nineties rock - but classic rock is the common ground where we met in the middle.
Behind closed doors we listened to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Zeppelin, Hendrix - it was all being explored. Some of us explored the classic rock side later than others, but we were all definitely bonded to it through our parents.
How do you combine your vintage rock influences with a more modern sound to create something original? Do you think there is any truly 'new' music left to be made, or is today's music all about remixing and reinventing genres from the past?
We try and take the best elements of all the genres that influence us. We don't play songs that all of us can't agree on. It is hard to make anything truly 'new' in today's rock music. I mean, really if you think you are the first to do it ...someone else probably already has.
When and where did you play your first live show?
We played our first live show together in October of 2007 at Capital Music Hall just sneaking in on the Headliners bill. It was a rush. We ended up closing the night. Playing live is the reason why you get in a band in the first place!
Tell us a little about your new album!
We recorded our album at Audio Valley Studio with Steve Foley, who helped with the production and some of the arrangements. This album was the product of several different band members and tunes we've had for years. We had to get these down first before we could move to our new stuff. It's a rockin' album that gives you a little taste of everything we are capable of.
When will the album be available and where can we find it?
We plan to release it online as well as local CD outlets. We are more concerned with getting the music to the people and we openly encourage free downloading. We don’t have an exact release date but it should be very soon.
You already offer some of your music for free download via your website. How do you feel about music sharing in general?
Filesharing has both liberated and oversaturated music for the listeners. It's a great way to get music out there and its the easiest way for people to get instant access. There is more music than ever before, but you have to get your music past the rest.
We see it as a positive tool overall, but there are negatives to it as well. More people hear your music, but when downloading is free ... it's not the most lucrative business! But then again, you don’t go into music for money in the first place. Today, if you’re going to survive as a band, the money is going to come from your live shows and your merchandise sales.
What's your dream venue to play?
We will play anywhere, anytime! In the end it’s all about playing live in front of inviting audiences. In Ottawa, we’re really hoping to play Bluesfest this year.
On the whole, do you find that the Ottawa music scene is a supportive one?
The Ottawa scene has been supportive of us and we love all the people who come and check out our music. It’s not the liveliest scene for new music, though. You can go hear a cover band at all the major bars downtown, but new music doesn’t quite flourish the same way. There are some good people here trying to start a music scene, though, and hopefully we can build from that.
What are your favourite places to play or see live music in Ottawa?
Bluesfest is the be-all, end-all of the Ottawa scene. Its an incredible atmosphere and there is a band to see every night. The venues we play the most are Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Rainbow and the Live Lounge. We’ve also seen some great acts play Capital Music Hall over the years and of course you have Scotiabank Place to see the heavy hitters.
In 10 years, you'd like to be...
Traveling around the world, playing our music for people...as long as we are creating and playing music, we’ll be happy. But we’ve definitely got some big aspirations. Why dream small?
MORE FROM WISE, YOUNG & KING
WISE, YOUNG & KING, AFTERPARTY & HOT DAMN
Friday March 19th @ Zaphod Beeblebrox
$6 cover / 8:00 pm
Facebook event page
April 9th @ Cafe Dekcuf
w/ The Gospel + Junkie and the Spider
Wise Young & King will also be rockin' out in Toronto at The Underground Garage during Canadian Music Week!
Past Spotlight features
- Bars and Nightclubs
- Fine Dining
- Fresh Fish