The Standstills – Emerging Artist Spotlight NXNE 2013 Edition

June 11 2013 –North By Northeast (NXNE) is here and we are excited! NXNE may not be as well known as SXSW in Austin Texas but for us rock lovers in Toronto this festival satiates our musical hunger. We love discovering bands and take the opportunity of NXNE to find out more about some of them.In 2012, T-Mak World initiated extensive coverage of NXNE and we saw a total of 51 bands/artists and interviewed the following 15 bands as part of our Emerging Artist Spotlight series:

Our wrap up article from 2012 is here and we are excited to be back in 2013 and to interview more bands to our Emerging Artist Spotlight Series. Today we focus on a band from Oshawa, Canada and their profile reads:

Doing what’s most important in life and just living, The Standstills formed through their own organic artistic progression. Jonny Fox (lead vocals/guitar and principle song writer) began his artistic journey at a very young age. Previously known as lead guitar and song writer in many acts, Jonny held a dream that pushed him to create a sound that would require him to also undertake vocals. For years Jonny performed as a solo act, with his surprisingly natural vocal talent and ripping slide guitar he began to get a small following, but would soon meet another that would push him once again to achieve greater. Renee Couture (drums) grew up unlike most, at the early age of 8 she could be seen in the front row of many massive Canadian rock shows. Raised on strong musical influence, Renee did what was natural to her and pursued the craft herself. Without a second thought, at the age of 12 Renee choose drums as her outlet to the arts. It was by chance that these two would end up pursuing music in the same College program, and it was by chance that these two would become friends, but it was fate that brought these to two together. Jonny was infatuated with his passion to achieve greater songs and a bigger sound, but it was Renee one night that revealed to Jonny she too was a musician. With no hesitation Jonny would invite Renee to his place for a jam session, in what soon became the first Standstills experience. There was never a question to add another member, it was always right where it belonged, it was and is The Standstills.

 Here is what they had to say to us:

  • Hey The Standstills, 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?

The Standstills:  Jonny Fox -Guitar/ Vocals, Renee Couture – Drums

  • How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?

The Standstills: Check Bio

  • Who are some of your musical influences?

The StandstillsToo many to name, recently Queens of the Stone Age, Alice in Chains, Black Rebal Motorcycle Club and Deftones.  

  • Congratulations on being selected to play at North By Northeast, what does the opportunity mean to you? 

The Standstills: It means playing one of our favorite Toronto bars, and making new friends at the conferences as well as checking out a bunch of amazing Canadian Indie talent.

  • When and where is your NXNE gig? And more importantly, why do you suggest a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them at that time?

The StandstillsWe’re playing Cherry Cola’s at 1am on Wed.  If the music fan is looking to hang out in one of the sexiest venue’s in Toronto, and is ready to rock out and have a good time, they won’t be dissappointed.


  • What’s it like being on stage? Do you get nervous or are you thriving on the adrenaline (or somewhere in between)?

The StandstillsBeing on stage feels like home, it’s all adrenaline. 

  • What does 2013 hold for you?

The Standstills Endless possibilities. 

  • Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which past band’s tour and which current tour would be your dream opening gigs? 

The Standstills: Past Band – Led Zeppelin and Present Band- Queens of the Stone Age

  • How important is the performer/audience connection for you? Can you rock a show as hard for 10 people as if you could playing an 80,000 person festival? 

The StandstillsThe connection between performer and audience is everything, we treat every show like it is our last no matter what the numbers.

  • Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?  

The Standstills: has connections to everything from our online store to our digital releases on itunes. 

  • 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?

The Standstills:: for 2012-  Deftones- Koi No Yokan, Mars Volta- Noctourniquet, Muse- the 2nd Law, Soundgarden- King Animal,  to name a few.

  • Any closing remarks for our readers?

The Standstills:  Thank you 

Below are upcoming dates for The Standstills:

  • 13/June Owen Sound, Ontario The Harb
  • 28/ June Ottawa, Ontario Cafe Dekcuf
  • 29/ June Cornwall, Ontario Lolas
  • 01/ July Oshawa, ON Lakeview Park -Canada Day Celebration
  • 12/ July Trenton, Ontario The Port Bistro Pub

The band’s website is here ( and as you would expect they are on Twitter (@TheStandstills) and Facebook ( In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.

Article – Terry Makedon
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