Project Mars – Emerging Artist Spotlight CMW 2013 Edition

Project Mars
March 22 2013Canadian Music Week 2013 is almost here and we can’t wait for hundreds of bands to invade the bars and clubs of our fair city as part of the festival’s Canadian Music Fest program. Admittedly the names are slightly confusing but Canadian Music Week is the master name of the festival that is composed of a film program (Canadian Music Week Film Fest), a comedy program (Canadian International Comedy Fest), a conference, awards shows, a trade show and a kick ass music festival called Canadian Music Fest that runs between March 19-24 2013.
In 2012, T-Mak World initiated extensive coverage of Canadian Music Fest and we saw a total of 34 bands/artists and interviewed the following 10 bands as part of our Emerging Artist Spotlight series:
Beta from Puebla, Mexico (Alternative,Grunge,Rock)
Breaching Vista from Kitchener, Ontario (Alternative,Pop,Rock)
Floor Thirteen from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Alternative,Rock)
Grain from Edmonton, Alberta (Blues,Classic Rock,Rock)
In My Coma from Toronto, Ontario (Alternative,Progressive,Rock )
Last Bullet from Toronto, Ontario (Classic Rock,Rock)
Matt Groopie and The Bandits from Thornhill, Ontario (Blues, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock )
One Bad Son from Vancouver, B.C. (Rock)
Louder Than Love from Vancouver, B.C. (Rock)
TimeGiant from Toronto, Ontario (Rock)
Our wrap up article from 2012 is here and we are excited to be back in 2013 and to add even more bands to our Emerging Artist Spotlight Series. Today we focus on a band from Ottawa, Canada and their CMF profile reads:
Hailing from Ottawa, ON, alt rockers Project Mars are back with a vengeance to unleash their most powerful material to date into the musical landscape while simultaneously lending their talents to help a worthy cause. What began as some plain good ol’ banter on the job between two coworkers at a restaurant, soon became prog rock band Sound Addiction, morphed into a power trio and eventually evolved into alt rock band Project Mars. After purchasing all the necessary gear to record a demo cd, tackling the learning curve that followed and playing a number of successful shows, a mix of unforeseen factors led to the dissolution of Project Mars a year later. But not too long after that is when, in 2010, a reunion between high school friends Jason Connolly (Guitars/Vocals) and Ron Henry (Vocals/Guitars) resulted in the beginning of the resurrection of Project Mars. 

In October 2012 Project Mars released their debut EP Don’t Hold Back. With the title track an ode to the band’s former bassist who left to join the army, the record deals with everything from war and politics to more personal struggles. Packed with in-your-face rock and tons of attitude from track to track, Don’t Hold Back’s first mission is to grab listeners’ attention and its second is to help raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis research, following a 2011 diagnosis that hit close to home. 
Here is what they had to say to us:
1. Hey Project Mars, 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? 
PM: Hey T Mak, I’m Mars on drums, Adam rocks the bass, Ron is on vocal/guitar duties and same for Jay.
2. How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
PM: Well the band started out in 2005 like most projects I guess, you know jammin’ with some musician friends from who we were introduced by a mutual friend. Basically 2 guitarists who could sing, myself on the drums so we had to put the call out for a bass player and before you knew it, the seed was planted. Fast forward 7 years, 1 member change, 1 member added, 200 some shows and 1 cross Canada tour later, here we are playing CMW and looking forward to it!
3. Who are some of your musical influences? 
PM: The big guys- Zeppelin, Beatles, Pantera, Nirvana, Neil Young and Black Sabbath to name a few.
4. Congratulations on being selected to play at Canadian Music Festival, what does the opportunity mean to you?
PM: Thanks and from the looks of it we’ll be bumping into some old fellow musician friends who are also playing. We’re probably gonna meet some interesting and important industry folks so for PM that’s gold since we’re always trying to surround ourselves with good people.
5. When and where is your CMF gig? And more importantly, why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them at that time? 
PM: It’s all going down March 23rd at the Hideout for us 8pm and from the looks of the line up, it’s gonna be loud and crazier as the night goes on, so if you like heavy catchy tunes come out and see us, you won’t be let down.
Project Mars


6. What’s it like being on stage? Do you get nervous or are you thriving on the adrenaline (or somewhere in between)? 
PM: Being live on stage for PM is what we’re all about, we play hard and we play fast, chalk full of energy! We always stay true to album cutz but we often add just a little more oumpf!
We try to make it memorable.
7. What does 2013 hold for you? 
PM: Hopefully a follow up album to our debut ep “Don’t Hold Back”. Perhaps a new music video and some kind of tour.
8. 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. 
PM: To have played Woodstock 1969 opening day with all the pioneers of Rock. Maybe sharing the stage with Tool wouldn’t be so bad.
Project Mars


8. How important is the performer/audience connection? Can you rock a show as hard for 10 people as if you could playing an 80,000 person festival?
PM: An audience of 1 is all it takes for PM to do it’s thing. At the very least it’s always a chance to practice well.
9. Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere? 
PM: Our debut cd is available at iTUNES, Bandcamp, Amazon and other fine stores ha-ha ! . All the links are up at as well as other sites.
10. At the end of 2012 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2012. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it? 
PM: AC/DC’s – Live at River Plate, The Black Keys – El Camino(2011/2012) and Muffler Crunch – Little Things.
Project Mars
11. Any closing remarks for our readers? 
PM: Come and see us at the Hideout March 23rd @ 8pm it’s a little early but if you wanna have a glimpse of an Ottawa/all original unsigned emerging band come have a couple of pops with the boys from Project Mars. *Recommended PM tracks HEY, I Can Change, Don’t Hold Back. Cheers T- MAK! We appreciate your time.
Thanks so much to Project Mars. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing The Hideout March 23rd @8pm Toronto, Canada.
The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and PM Facebook. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.
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