Grain – Emerging Artist Spotlight

Grain are Blair Charbonneau, Alex Moore, Aaron Knudsen, Glen Conley, Jason Berg
March 13 2012 – We are very excited that Slacker Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2012 is coming to Toronto from March 21st to the 25th. CMW is a music festival, conference, exhibition, and even a film festival all rolled into one. It is also billed as “Canada’s Largest Music Festival” and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry.  350 bands play in 35 venues over 3 nights in Toronto and this puts us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Having just come back from the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto will host CMW and we are certain that CMW will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has).
We weeded through all the bands bios found here and narrowed it down to the ones that were of interest to us musically. From there we quickly listened to a sample of their songs found on the same page and were left with a handful of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached those bands and offered them to appear on our Emerging Artist Spotlight feature. Our first CMW spotlight featured TimeGiant from Toronto. We now set our focus on a band from Edmonton named Grain. The description on their CMW page reads:
Grain is a recently formed band from Edmonton in the tradition of such legendary bands as Zeppelin, GN’R, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and other bands of the classic, alternative and current rock genres. Grain features the distinctive voice of Glen “Shag” Conley on vocals, the electrifying lead guitar work of Alex Moore, the precision rhythm guitar of Blair Charbonneau, the aggressive, yet elegant bass guitar artistry of Aaron Knudson and the thunderous drum technique of Jason Berg. Grain will be unveiling several new original songs this spring that are sure to rock your plimsoul. Hear them here first, guys and gals, as they will be on your local radio station in no time without a shadow of a doubt.
I am not exactly what a plimsoul is but I know that I am ready for it to be rocked!  Anyways here is what the guys had to say to us:
1.  Hey guys, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument do you rock?
GRAIN: Well to start there’s Glen Conley on the mic. Next up is the guitar duo of Alex Moore and Blair Charbonneau. Rounding out the rhythm section we’ve got Aaron Knudsen on bass, and Jason Berg on drums.
2.   We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 Canada Music Week. How important is CMW for bands fighting to get noticed and the exposure you can gain from it?
GRAIN: CMW is a great platform for budding artists, allowing bands with a particular set of talents and musical styles to connect with other people in the industry who enjoy the same types of music.  Although there are so many different bands and industry reps around for the week that getting exposure can seem like an uphill battle, you gotta go into this sort of thing with a certain level of optimism. CMW is really important for getting ourselves noticed, but probably not as important as getting out and playing for as many fans as we can on a consistent basis.

Grain rocking the house
3.   Not sure if you read the recent interview with Dave Grohl on Billboard, but the interview title was “Why Rock Will Never Die & Why 2011 Was His Best Year Ever”. So tell us your thoughts – Why do you believe rock will never die?
GRAIN: You bet we’ve read it! Dave Grohl is an icon of musical fortitude; he really sticks to his guns.  We think rock will never die because there will always be people who identify with that style of music.  It’s going to go through cycles where it falls in and out of the forefront, but it will never disappear because a good simple song with real musicians putting their energy into real instruments will always have more staying power as a recording, and more impact live, than a well-produced manufactured hit.  When people hear real music live they know it’s real and get behind the movement. Rock is never going to die, because it always gets built from the ground up, person to person.
4.     Why will 2012 be your best year ever?
GRAIN: This year has already been awesome for us! We’ve opened a lot of doors in the last couple months here in Edmonton, and it just seems to keep rolling over.  We’ve got big plans for how to help build our scene and we’re starting to get to a place where we’ll have the opportunity to follow through on them. People are starting to get behind us and making sure they bring their friends to our next show and that’s really cool for us to have fans that are that good to us.  Fans are even helping us set up for this show Toronto where we’ve never played.  We’re really appreciative of our fans everywhere for helping us like that. Being able to go to Toronto and play a showcase at The Hard Rock Café is totally the icing on the cake. I guess the best reason this will be our best year ever is because it will be our first year, ha ha.  Just excited to see where we can take things.
5.  Imagine each of you were the guitarist/drummer/bassist/vocalist in another band. Would that band be: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath or Nickelback and why? 
GRAIN: All of us have our favorite bands and individual influences, but all the bands we love: Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Guns N’ Roses, Zeppelin, they were all great bands because of the way the musicians mixed together.  They were all good musicians in their own right, but the reason they were great bands was because of their chemistry with each other.  If we had to be in another band we’d probably split up into those bands.
6.    What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
GRAIN: That’s a tough one that I think everyone is wondering about.  As the recording industry continues to struggle and the main companies continue to merge there will probably be fewer opportunities for bands to gain exposure from the promotion of a good album alone.  We think that this means the biggest music fans will continue to consume the way they always did, by going to live shows.  The economics have always been difficult to figure out for emerging artists, so I don’t think that’s going to change anything for the bands that are in it just because they love it.  We think the industry will always survive, but the overall mechanics of the industry is going to change a great deal in the next 10 years, which is probably a good thing.
7.     How long has Grain been around, and how did you guys get started?
GRAIN: Grain was formed in March 2011, with founding members Glen and Alex, but it was difficult to find other members who would fit the project. They were working on some material before Blair, Jason and Aaron rounded out the band, but once the lineup was solidified the music really took form. Grain has always been about putting together a solid rock band, and when we all got together it felt like a perfect fit.  From there we just started playing as many different places as we could, parties, bars, and smaller venues that we knew we could put a decent crowd in, while trying to write new material in between.  The shows always got a great response but just hanging out as a band doing different things was what really helped us build our chemistry together.  Playing the Supernova shows that helped us get in the door for CMW really helped us work things together.  Now we all feel like we are the first and last line up of this band and it’s a lot easier to work towards things as a single unit.

8.    Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere? 
GRAIN: For now, the only way to get physical copies of our songs is to come out to a show and pick up a CD.  We’re more concerned about people spreading the word than making money off of any of our recordings.  However extra tunes and videos can be heard  on our website .
9.     At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What albums did we miss on our list, or how would your top 10 list differ from ours? 
GRAIN: Sort of surprised that RHCP’s “I’m With You” didn’t make the cut, but I guess people either loved or hated that album.  Really glad to see that Black Country Communion 2 and Seeds We Sow up on the list.  Great albums. Really need to check out Circuital though; none of us have listened to My Morning Jacket yet!
10. Oddly enough I was never a huge fan of the RHCP’s work, but definitely do check out My Morning Jacket and especially live videos of vocalist Jim James. Anyways, any closing remarks for our readers?
GRAIN: Thanks for reading up on us, and give us a listen and a like if you dig it. We’ll be playing The Hard Rock Café Friday March 23 in Toronto during Canadian Music Week!  Come on down for a meet and greet after the show, we’d love to see some new faces and talk to some new people! Cheers!

Thanks so much to Grain, we really love their sound and hope that you can see them live. They are playing Toronto’s Hard Rock Cafe on Friday March 23rd as part of the Supernova Showcase for Canada Music Week, tickets are 10 bucks and can be purchased here! The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out the video below from YouTube and tell me if that doesnt sound exactly like Eddie Vedder singing!

This entry was posted in Canada Music Week, CMW, CMW2012, Emerging Artist, Interview, Rock and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Grain – Emerging Artist Spotlight

  1. Anonymous says:

    Grain ROCKS!

  2. Best band in Edmonton fo'sho

  3. Trish Parr says:

    man…I would kill to go see that show!!!! any dates for the Maritimes in the near future?

  4. Anonymous says:

    man this guy is a hack I have listened to some songs in one song I heard cant you see by marshall tucker band gnr and other shit thats not playing in the tradition thats ripping off and if the song writter really looks at it he will see that …you dont have to go with the grain and tahts what rocks about but these copy cats are going with the grain they are talented and skillful but thier songs are just as valuable as the abba record I have in my collection you do the math.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you man 100% but considering this editor doesnt like rhcp I see why he would like this shit some peopel are just backwards …..listen to snake song Im going to make a youtube video of me singing the lyrics over these chords to the popular songs it holds yes a lot of songs contain G C and D chords but its your rhythm technique heart and style that make something unique this is just redundant copy cat shit nickle back is peobably my least favorite band but they blow grain out of the water compared to this watered down shit .

  6. Anonymous says:


    Yeah sounds like a shitty ripp off of G n R and marshall tucker bands cant you see come on glen how can yo ueven feel good taking credit for this shit …..for one the interviewer here doesnt like RHCP and two yall make up the rest.

  7. Johnny says:

    Yes you speak truth my friends and stickly sweet is the only one I had any feelings for unti I could smell the cheap beer through the singers false teeth over the recording . oddly enough I bet you this is the most hacked song but he did a good job of covering it up .

  8. nick says:

    yeah if you listen you cant say these guys are that far away from the truth this band is lame …………….

  9. Susan says:

    This band “ROCKS” in the discustingly generic way edmonton and alberta has so much more to offer than these bottom feeders. hang up your guitars go get a real job

  10. tmakworld says:

    To our regular readers I will keep the kid who posted as Anonymous, Johnny, nick, and Susan just for fun. Sorry for bringing the quality of the site down, but this is amusing. If enough of you want me to delete the nonsense posts let me know annd I will do so.

    • penny says:

      Hey please delete this stuff its all from the same ip address. Its garbage!

    • Tracy says:

      I say leave it up, everyone is entitled to their opinion good or bad. But we all know Grain makes good music and this persons attempt to argue otherwise is pathetic and amusing.

    • Gary says:

      Criticism is healthy when it's done in a constructive manner. When comments are made in a negative manner it has to have matter of instance otherwise it's garble,jealousy or immature. These guys represented themselves with dignity and respect. Once they hit the stage it was like a bomb dropped lifting all the other acts to there feet. Grain has a magnetic aura that sent everyone up to the front of the stage to get as close as possible and Rock Out! This is truly a compliment from the soul for another musician to do. This is what Grain's effect has on the listener. Supersede all Expectations Grain!

    • Kira Knudsen says:

      I think Grain's a decent band. This person with all the hate in their heart (by dissin') should sit back and reflect on how many minutes, hours, days, years they're taking off their own life by being a Negative Nancy. Grow up! And stop the hate!

    • A Loyal Fan forever! says:

      I think Grain Is an amazing Band!! And I believe these negative comments are just pure jealousy!! Your shows are electrifying, and the crowd, your fans are always up on the feet and wanting more!! We love you and your music!! Keep doing what you doing!! You will continue to blow us away!! And to you who call them bottom feeders….obviously you have know idea who these guys are!! They are humble, loyal, honest and all have a dream..and it just so happens they are making that dream come true!!
      ROCK ON BOYS!!!

  11. Rorster says:

    Looks like we have ourselves a few R-tards. Listen Susan, Nick, and Anonymous, just because you don't like some of Grains tunes it doesn't mean the whole world doesn't like it. Sorry that Grain doesn't do Nickleback covers like you wish they did. Bands evolve fools, this is their first go. Imagine what is to come! Quit hating on this band and go listen to your Creed albums. How about some constructive criticism? Susan, how do you get off calling these guys 'bottom feeders'? Your probably the bottom feeder of society yet we still put up with you. Now clear the cats out of your house and go do something with your life you waste of skin. Gain… Keep on rockin' in the free world. You guys are awesome, right to the soul of you.

  12. Jim Bob says:

    I Don't agree with these Idiots ( Susan, Nick and Anonymous) I think Grain is sick and full of talent! Ive been to many big shows over the years from Metallica, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, The Eagle, Motley Crew, Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace, Mark Knopfler and more! The biggest thing for me is that these bands are able to produce good music and put on a great show! Thats exactly what Grain is doing, Ive only seen them play twice, but both times the energy in the place is crazy and i cant wait to check them out again in a good venue! All you haters can suck a Dick!

    Jim Bob

  13. FanGirl says:

    To Anon/John/Nick/Susan:
    1) The lack of thought that went into your attempts to make yourself look credible show your lack of knowledge in the basic principles of the internet (Did you really think that no one could trace your IP/ figure out that you are the same person?). You must be either 80 or 12 and using a computer for the first time.
    2) By using the same IP address to agree with yourself, and make the same criticisms several times under false names, you have proven that you lack the confidence in your own judgement. The fact that you refuse take responsibility for/ support your own critical opinion suggests that even you doubt its validity and thusly show that these rants are a personal attack on the bands members, rather than their music.
    3) The recurring grammatical and spelling errors in your posts make them painful to read and are evidence of your lack of ability to formulate and convey basic ideas. This has rendered your attempts at internet heckling completely invalid.
    4) While I disagree with your taste in music and find Grain to be an excellent band, I can respect another human being’s opinion. However, as your posts appear to be based on some sort of anger towards one, several, or all of the band’s members, I cannot respect your pitiful attempt to trash their name by pretending to be a different people in order to validate your own arguments.
    Hang up your laptop and get a real life. Maybe go back to school.

  14. Brandyn says:

    Grain fucking rocks fuck the jealous people

  15. Same IP "AGAIN" says:

    LISTEN TO SNAKE SONG with the knowledge that these guys listen to GNR you will hear a blatant rip off of paradise city … I know metallica ripps off jimi hendrix and so does RHCP but they do a damm good job of it ……Im not jelous at all I just get angry when artists ripp other artists off and dont have the integrity to chose different licks and chords> for example I keep running into a part of simple man when Im writting on my acoustic in Cmaj I could chose to use the lick or force my self not to and make my own descision its a fucking cheap way of writting songs I dont give a shit how good the show is and how electrifying you think it feels not jelous of your fans at all they have bad judgement .

    • tmakworld says:

      Funny you mention that. I was JUST reading Tony Iommi's biography (you know who that is right).

      Page 224 of his book “Iron Man” and I quote Tony said this “I thought 'Zero The Hero' was a good track, and apparently I'm not the only one who likes it. When I heard 'Paradise City' by Guns N' Roses I thought, fu**ing hell, that sounds like one of ours!”

      In fact Led Zeppelin (the greatest band of all time) is known for borrowing music from other artists. Have a look

  16. Anonymous says:

    Get a fucking job chris wilson. We know who you are. We will find you.
    -Sincerely, Kai

  17. Melanie says:

    Really…delete the negativity!! Everyone is entitled to an opinion…but this is ridiculous!!

  18. SameIP says:

    Really I find that interesting Tmak and thats the one thing I have against the led they never really gave any credit to those bands almost like if they did the majic would be taken away. Here I have produced a special video for everyone here and it's only negative depending on how you look at it .

  19. Glen says:

    OK…. So, under increasing pressure from Haterboy, I wrote a song last night that is completely original, and the chord progression has never once been used by any other artist. It goes something like this…. H-K-L, then a quick turnaround to an I flat….lol. Keep up the good work duder. We are all anticipating the next installment of your unique brand of hatred….. Glen

  20. Anonymous says:

    Haterboy is an idiot!! Let's see him post a link to his music so we can judge him!! I watched his link and it just makes me love Grains music all the more!! You must have a real hate on, going!! Get a life!!
    I say time to delete the idiot!!

  21. SameIP says:

    Thanks for the cretique Glen I should have used all summer long (kid rock) for the intro music for my tribiute to grain. re-vamped version coming soon .

  22. Jackson Lowe says:

    Grain is a really awesome band! I listened on reverberation and I think It's effin awesome! Keep up the good work, it's refreshing to know that bands from my era -1970 to 1990- are an influence on these guys' style! I'm from Alberta and I love where this is going.

  23. SameIP says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Umm… Technically, Grain fans are “Grainiacs”

  25. Pingback: Son of 1000 – Emerging Artist Spotlight CMW 2013 Edition | T-Mak World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • Follow T-Mak World

  • Latest Tweets

  • Featured Video

  • Latest Stories

  • label

  • Archive

  • Copyright 2016 T-Mak World. All rights reserved.