March 24 2012 – We are very excited that Slacker Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2012 is happening 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 our recap of some of the festival’s highlights here for March 21st and here for March 22nd, we also have our preview recommendations for the whole festival here.
We weeded through all the bands bios found on the CMW site 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 and Breaching Vista from Kitchener. On our bar hoping journey on March 21st we watched In My Coma. Here is what we had to say in our recap of that band:
We stayed at the Painted Lady for In My Coma. The three piece band starts their set by saying “You heard some great blues so far tonight but we hope you are ready to hear something louder” and man did they ever get loud. I tweeted “They just cranked it to 11 at The Painted Lady. Awesome” during their first song and aside from being loud, they were f*ing awesome. Jasper James has major rock star skills both with his vocal abilities and his guitar, Mike Paterson ruled the drums with great power, and LauraDoll showed us that a beautiful woman can indeed play a mean bass. I will go see this band again, and that is a promise! You can keep up with them on Twitter and Facebook.
We immediately got in touch with Jasper James and asked if he would be willing to be interviewed for our Emerging Artist Spotlight and lucky for us Jasper was very happy to oblige. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on the In My Coma page reads:
In My Coma is the brainchild of vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Jasper James. Though Jasper has spent the last several years in southern Ontario, Canada, the foundation of his musical creativity rests in his English heritage. Born in Guildford, a small city south of London, England, Jasper grew up listening to the popular British bands of the 80s, thanks to his fathers passion for the music.
IMC’s music combines the energy and loudness of modern rock with the dark and melodic characteristics of Brit-pop. Focusing on a world where so much still remains undiscovered and unexplained, the lyrical side of In My Coma conveys unusual stories with themes of death, darkness, and fear, fused with ambiguous elements of hope and human potential. The musical compositions compliment the lyrics by combining unusual chord progressions and an off-the-wall blending of notes. All of these elements fall into place in IMC’s radio-friendly songs that are constructed to be meticulously melodic .
Here is what Jasper had to say to us:
Hey Jasper, 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?
Jasper: I (Jasper James) sing and play guitar, LauraDoll plays bass and sings, and Mike’s the drummer.
Mike Paterson, LauraDoll and Jasper James are In My Coma
We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 Canada Music Week. We thought your bio sounded interesting so we came to check out your gig. How important is CMW for bands fighting to get noticed and the exposure you can gain from it?
Jasper:Canadian Music Week is great for all bands, big or small. It’s an industry party. You get to show off your chops and you never know who’s going to be in your audience.
Jasper James from In My Coma
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?
Jasper: I actually did read this article and I’ve been talking about it with a lot of people recently. I love some of the ideas presented in this article. First, it will never be uncool for a kid to pick up a guitar in high school and play something. Girls will always love that guy with the guitar and guys will always think that female guitar player is cool. There will always be high school bands and there will always be a rock presence. There are plenty of bands out there, but it’s just becoming more difficult to notice them because of how saturated the market is now with the rising power of social media. Some bands forge their way through and that’s our goal. We’ve loaded plenty of coal into our freight train. Why will 2012 be your best year ever?
Jasper: We just released our album “Magnets & Miracles” and we’ve been getting some seriously good press. We love playing live as well and when you have people like Alan Cross giving your album a positive review, momentum is on your side. We’re pushing hard and we hope that our single “Losing Sleep” starts picking up.
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?
Jasper:Difficult choice. I’m a big fan of synths and synth instruments as well as pounding heavy guitar riffs. But I would seriously be torn between the Zeps and Nickelback. Say what you want about Nickelback, but they’re Canadian and rocking out to massive crowds so they’re doing something right. Still, I’d have to say Led Zeppelin. Let’s try to give Mr. Page a run for his money! [Ed. Note:This is where we can agree to disagree, for me Nickelback is simplistic and uninspiring, I prefer In My Coma 100x more ;-) ]
Mike Paterson from In My Coma
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?
Jasper:The industry changes. Change isn’t a bad thing. I remember going to HMV and seeing cassettes for sale next to CD’s. Specifically, I remember seeing Green Day’s Nimrod CD and cassette tape side by side. The economics are feasible but you have to be intelligent about your product. I don’t know how music will be consumed in 10 years, but our stance is that you have to adapt and find a way to be unique at the same time. We’re trying that in a number of different ways. We’re all over the social media outlets and we’re planning on recording a music video for every song on the album.
How long has the band been around, and how did you guys get started?
Jasper:I consider the band as a 2010 baby. Laura and I have played in the band for quite a while but other members were cycling through and it took time to find that pivotal member that makes everything click. Mike joined just under 2 years ago and since then, the puzzle pieces have been coming together nicely. We’ve recorded and released our debut album in the last two years. It took a lot of work but it’s finally out and we’re excited to get it to people. Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?
Jasper:Our CD is for sale on iTunes. We also have the traditional physical copy available as well on CDBaby. But come on out to a show, see us live, and buy a CD at the show. Either way, we spent a lot of time on the album artwork and the tracks. It’s a concept album filled with radio songs as well as musical interludes. We’re all about imagery as well, so there’s something there for everyone.
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?
Jasper: I like the albums that you chose. I may not agree with them all, but that’s the beauty of lists. Everyone has a list and everyone has differing opinions on what is good or not good. It’s sometimes difficult to be objective based on your musical tastes. I would have probably included Adele’s 21 in the list even though I’m not a massive fan. You can’t ignore a cultural and musical phenomenon like that. Other than that, we hope In My Coma makes the next list!
LauraDoll from In My Coma
Any closing remarks for our readers?
Jasper:Thanks for taking the time to read our interview and we look forward to seeing you at a show soon!
Thanks so much to In My Coma. We really hope that you can see them live. The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.