|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!