May 2 2015 – Another year, and another Canadian Music Week. We firmly believe that this is the best festival in Toronto if you love rock. The festival features all genres of music as well, but we only care about what we call #RealRock – great bands and hard-edged songs, steeped in electric guitars, that carry on the spirit of rock and roll. We here at T-Mak World really enjoy finding new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favourites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series, where we have featured over 100 artists so far. We set off on this mission yet again for Canada Music Week (CMW) 2015.
Today, we set our focus on a band from Vancouver named Aviator Shades. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on Aviator Shades’ website reads:
“One thing can be said about Aviator Shades: they understand Rock and Roll.
Big choruses that stick in your head for days. Massive guitar riffs intertwined with fiery, melodic leads. A rock solid rhythm section that commands it’s audience to shake their hips (and bang their heads).
Aviator Shades is the brainchild of singer / bassist Dave Gorman, whose calling to live, eat and breathe Rock n’ Roll saw him leave his native Ireland for the shores of Western Canada. Performing regularly throughout Vancouver’s rock scene with a revolving cast of talented (albeit temporary) musicians, Dave became hell-bent on assembling the ultimate army of rock soldiers.
Enter guitarists George Baker and Shaun Michael Thackeray. Having only met when Gorman brought them together, they became instant friends found an undeniable (perhaps eerie) chemistry together; swapping leads and harmonizing in the spirit of their rock guitar heroes. The addition of Kamloops based rocker Spencer Tomlinson, whose hard hitting drumming melded beautifully with Gorman’s thundering bass lines, completed the essential Aviator Shades line up.
Aviator Shades spent much of 2013 crafting new material with Default drummer-turned-producer Danny Craig (One Bad Son, Fighting For Ithica). With their songwriting and performance skills pushed to new heights, the band crafted a six song EP that greatly surpassed their own heightened expectations.
“Ready To Blow” was released in early 2014 to acclaim and excitement, allowing Aviator Shades to expand their audience throughout Western Canada. Touring and festival highlights in 2014/15 included performing alongside April Wine, Danko Jones, Monster Truck, The Lazys, The Wild!, and Dayglo Abortions.
Continuous gigging and a dedicated rehearsal regiment have moulded Aviator Shades into a powerhouse of pure rock energy. Their timeless, empowering sound and uplifting performances signal that 2015 is just the start of something big… This band truly is Ready To Blow.”
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?
Aviator Shades: We got Dave Gorman on lead vocals/bass, Shaun Michael Thackeray and George Baker, both on lead guitar/vocals, and Spencer Tomlinson on drums/vocals. One of our biggest strengths is that we all sing. We’re big fans of bands with lots of backing vocals.
• How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
Aviator Shades: Dave is from Ireland, and after some effort and false starts over there with different line-ups, he moved over to try his luck in Canada. After finding George and Shaun from the Craigslist musical classifieds and Spencer from another band, endless rehearsals, shows, and recording morphed us into the band we are!
• Who are some of your musical influences?
Aviator Shades: Well, we all come from slightly different influences, but as a band these are a few bands that are played on tour most regularly: Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, The Eagles, Deep Purple, and Monster Truck. Definitely more on the list, but those are the stone-cold basics!
• So, based on the above, how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
Aviator Shades: Basically, it’s all a mash-up of the bands we have listed above. Hard, fast, genuine passion filled rock and roll band.
• What is the significance of playing Canadian Music Week (CMW) for you?
Aviator Shades: This is our first time out east, so we are going to make the most of networking, making friends, and hopefully play for some people in the industry. It’s a great atmosphere to be a part of, and we’re all really excited!
• What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Aviator Shades: “Life is never easy livin’ at this speed” – from our song “Doin’ Alright”. It’s a simple, but classic line that speaks to people, and can be relatable to anyone in the same mindset as us.
• What does the 2015 hold for you ideally as musicians?
Aviator Shades: Well, like any growing group/artist, we’d like to move forward with more success than we did the year before. Playing bigger places, going on longer tours, moving farther out in different directions on the tours; it’s all part of the plan!
• 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.
Aviator Shades: Queen and Thin Lizzy in 1978 would have been a great one to be on! Come on, two of our biggest influences touring together? Yea, let’s run with that! For current acts, probably Monster Truck, because they are the most relevant hard rocking Canadian band, and they’re great guys, too!
• 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?
Aviator Shades: We are seeing a big upswing with rising Canadian bands. I’d like to think that Rock N’ Roll will be very strong in the years to come. And I think that the increase in vinyl sales have been very inspiring.
• Where can people purchase or listen to your music?
Aviator Shades: We’re available all your go-to online resources: iTunes, CDbaby, Youtube, check ‘em all out!
• At the end of 2014 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2014. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so take a look at our pics and tell us if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it?
Aviator Shades: Well, we’d definitely have to get AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” on there! That’s lived in our stereo since it came out. Slash’s “World on Fire” is a great one as well. Rival Sons, Ace Frehley…there was some real good shit that year!
• Any closing remarks for our readers?
Aviator Shades: Keep your eye’s/ear’s out for us in your town/city. Our goal is to hit them all! Keep Rock N Roll alive!
Thanks so much to Aviator Shades. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing The Hideout on May 5th (12am) and May 8th (2am)
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.