June 11 2012 – For the 18th straight year, North By Northeast (NXNE) is happening in Toronto from June 11th to the 17th 2012. NXNE is a music festival, conference, and even a film festival all rolled into one. NXNE is the most anticipated summer music event in Canada and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry. Over 650 bands and 40 films converge for 7 days in Toronto and put us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Modeled after the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto is hosting NXNE and we are certain that NXNE will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has). SXSW is plagued by over commercialization and unless you’re deeply embedded in the industry you can forget about watching the big names. NXNE will also feature large free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square for four nights with the Flaming Lips being the main attraction on June 16.
After we weeded through all the bands bios found here and listened to their music, we were still left with a long list of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached some of our favourite bands to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Toronto named Dearly Beloved. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The bio on Dearly Beloved reads:
After spending the past few years touring and performing with Sloan, Mike Watt, Juliette Lewis, Franz Ferdinand and My Chemical Romance to name a few, Dearly Beloved headed to Rancho de la Luna Studio in Joshua Tree to record their most brilliant album to date, Hawk vs Pigeon. The band used the opportunity to soak up the vastness of the California high desert and used the inspirations of their surroundings to paint an epic soundscape that is tempered by love and delivered with great fury. The album features guest appearances by Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) and Patrick Pentland (Sloan).
Here is what the band had to say to us:
Hey there Dearly Beloved, 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?
Dearly Beloved: We are:
Rob Higgins – Vocals and Bass
Niva Chow – Vocals and Tambourine
Gavin Maguire – Drums
Tristan Avakian – Guitar
How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
Dearly Beloved: We are a group of friends brought together by Rob Higgins who needed a creative outlet to deal with the passing on his father.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Dearly Beloved:John Coltrane, Hendrix, NoMeansno, Blues Explosion, Jesus Lizard
We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 NXNE. Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them?
Dearly Beloved: We bring the ROCK with our live shows. Come and get converted. We have two NXNE slots with wicked bands on each bill so it will be a party!
What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Dearly Beloved: “Don’t beat yourself up brother
One foot in front of the other
This glass is raised
To better days”
from To Better Days. It’s how we roll. It’s our truth. It’s how we feel and how we deal.
What does the rest of 2012 and 2013 hold for you?
Dearly Beloved:Touring and another session in the high desert to make some new sounds. First order of business is pressing 300 numbered and signed vinyl copies of Hawk vs Pigeon. Very excited about that.
Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
Dearly Beloved:The Who
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?
Dearly Beloved:Holograms all the way. Economics is a constant issue with emerging artists, even with easier methods of sharing and recording music. At the end of the day we want you to come out and experience a live show and buy merch so we can stay out on the road and do the do.
Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?
Dearly Beloved:Hawk Vs. Pigeon is available at HMV, Amazon, and Itunes We also have our other albums on our bandcamp page (this one time, at band camp …)
At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What album do you think we should include in our top 10 albums of 2012 article?
Dearly Beloved: OFF
The Life and Times
Any closing remarks for our readers?
Dearly Beloved:We opened for Mike Watt once and he finished his set by yelling “get that hipster boot off your throat and BREATHE … BREATHE … John Coltrane!! John Coltrane!!” Kinda hard to beat that.
Thanks so much to Dearly Beloved. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing two NXNE shows on Friday June 15th – The Mod Club at 8pm and Velvet Underground at 11pm. 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.