March 27 2012 – Slacker Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2012 happened in 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. Over 900 artists from 40 countries in 60 venues converge for 5 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). You can read a recap of some of the festival’s highlights here for March 21st, here for March 22nd, here for the 23rd, here for March 24th, and also recommendations for the whole festival here.
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. So far our CMW spotlights featured TimeGiant from Toronto, Grain from Edmonton, Matt Groopie and The Bandits from Richmond Hill, Beta from Mexico, In My Coma from Toronto, One Bad Son from Vancouver, and Breaching Vista from Kitchener. We now set our focus on a band from Winnipeg named Floor Thirteen. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on Floor Thirteen’s CMW page reads:
Floor Thirteen’s song Blame It On Me was licensed to major video game company Electronic Arts near the end of 2008. Since then, EA has placed the song in top selling game franchises Need For Speed and The Sims. Both games are played by millions across 30 different countries. Since the release of their debut full-length album Mmmm!, Floor Thirteen has been turning up in more than just games. Blame It On Me popped up on George Stroumboulopoulos ‘The Strombo Show’, radio stations across North America and tons of fan made videos shared online. EA even used Blame It On Me backing their official promo video for Need For Speed: Undercover. Floor Thirteen is ready for some more success with new material and are releasing an EP “Neon Lights” in November 2011.
Here is what they had to say to us:
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 does everyone rock?
· Jeremy Koz – lead vocals
· Marc Jaworski – lead guitar, backing vocals
· Aaron Vandall – bass guitar, backing vocals
· Billy Kiely – drums, percussion
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?
Floor Thirteen: When you fly here for one reason, to put on a kick ass show and get noticed, it’s all that matters. It’s honestly like how people talk behind the scenes on Survivor. This is what you came to do so get it done.
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?
Floor Thirteen: Rock has an energy that is born in people and you either have it or you don’t. You know it when you hear that first rock song that makes you feel a certain way that you can’t describe it. For me I was around twelve and it was “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. At the time I had no idea what the song meant but the build of the song I felt through my entire body. I think my friends thought I was a little weird when I would blast it.
Why will 2012 be your best year ever?
Floor Thirteen: We have fought hard to get where we are and we actually sat around to say this is the year it happens and we are not taking no for answer. We have a great management company behind us right now and they know what we what to achieve. We are also willing to take the risks to make things happen.
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?
Floor Thirteen: JET for me. This is a hard question because this never works. Each band has their success because of each member. It wouldn’t work with someone else. JET‘s style and writing matches ours.
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?
Floor Thirteen: You have to evolve with what’s happening or get out. There is no choice. Yes things are not the way they used to be but I say quit your bitching and change with the times. There are so many ways to reach out to fans that we never used to be able to do. That on it’s own is unbelievable. People from around the world can hear indie artists the same day they release a track. Websites that support indie artists get you free exposure that five years ago you could never get. Mainly you have to stay positive.
How long has the band been around, and how did you guys get started?
Floor Thirteen: Been around for about seven years. I will never forget the first song I wrote and how that felt. It honestly was like having sex for the first time. Mind you the style was totally different from what it is now but the energy and the way it made me feel was uncontrollable. When we write a really great new song I still feel that way and that’s what keeps me in the band. If I stopped losing that feeling then I might get out or maybe we’ll just do a cover of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.
Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?
Floor Thirteen: First things first check out our website at www.floor13.ca. From there all the inks you need you will find including purchasing our songs. Add us on facebook too.
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?
Floor Thirteen: We Are Augustines – Rise Ye Sunken Ships, Hey Rosette – Seeds, Arkells – Michigan Left, Radiohead – The King of Limbs, Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin On, Lykke Li – Wounded Rhythms , The Black Keys – El Camino, The Darcys – S/T, Sheepdogs – Learn and Burn, Teenage Kicks – Rational Anthems
Wow it looks like we missed a lot of good music on our list since we only had The Black Keys in common with yours, nonetheless any closing remarks for our readers?
Floor Thirteen: I question your sanity if you do not like at least one of our songs.