October Sky consists of Karl Raymond – guitar and vocals, Alex Racine – drums and Yanik Rouleau – Keyboards. The have literally been taking the world by storm with their progressive rock sound. Friends and band mates for more than 10 years, they have 2 full length albums as well as 2 EPs to their name. Their latest LP The Aphotic Season is making waves all over the world. I had a chance to ask the band’s sexy drummer Alex Racine a few questions about their music and their success….
Cat: Hi Alex! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. You guys have been making music for 10 years now…actually starting as teenagers. Can you tell me how you met and what inspired you to start playing together?
Alex: Karl and I met during high school. We were in a big band with 25 other musicians. We had fun and it was a great experience but the only thing we wanted to play and talk about was rock. So we started jamming rock music with a couple of friends in my parent’s basement. It didn’t take long before we decided to work full time on the project. We spent a couple of years to find our own sound and that’s when we decided we wanted a keyboard in the band. Later, Yanik joined and October Sky was born.
Cat: Your sound is so professional. Have you, Karl and/or Yanik had formal training in music, or has it been something you’ve developed as a group?
Alex: We all played music during high school but none of us had formal training. We’ve spent so much time all together jamming or even alone rehearsing. We’ve always taken our musicianship very seriously and I think that’s one of the reasons why our live show has always been the best thing about October Sky. After each show we have a debriefing, we talk about the mistakes we made and the things we could improve. We are not afraid to be honest with each other even when it’s harsh. We are like brothers and we all care about this project.
Cat: Your music is so progressive with such a mixture of styles, I have to ask…do the three of you share the same musical influences, or is it the differences in your tastes that bring together such an original and full bodied sound?
Alex: We all listen to different music styles and we all have different influences. Karl listens to a lot of post rock/ambient music such as Sigur Rós and Radiohead. Yanik listens to a lot of techno and classical music and I listen to a lot of heavy rock. The writing process is always a long one because we all try to bring something different to each song. We want to let the song live for a while, we think it’s the best way to find out what is good and what is wrong about it.
Cat: October Sky lyrics have quite a dark connotation…and Aphotic meaning dark or lightless….is this due to a personal reflection of the band, a particular member of the band or is it based more on a reflection of our times?
Alex: All these questions are good! We always write about personal stories and the way we see things. We are not negative people but some of us went through hard stuff and writing songs about how you felt during these experiences helps a lot. It is kind of a therapy also. When we go on tour we spend a lot of time with our fans after the shows. Many of them told us they went through similar stories and the fact that they feel they are not alone, helped them a lot. The reason we called our last CD ‘’The Aphotic Season’’ is really simple. We all go through rough times during our life and even when it’s crazy hard, we still all grow up and move on.
Cat: That's true of all of us…it's no wonder that so many can relate to your songs. As a band, October Sky recently spent some time in the UK. Can you tell me a little about that experience? How long were you there? Is the music scene there much different from the North American music scene? And if so, how is it different?
Alex: We did spend a lot of time in the UK. We had a blast and we met so many wonderful people. We released our album with Rocksector records and we toured all the major cities. The music scene is not that different but it is way bigger. The small venue circuit is amazing and the promoters are great. I was really impressed by the amount of good bands we shared the stage with. You can feel that there is something special about the UK and its musicians.
Cat: Sounds like a blast! Now that you’re back in Canada, what are your upcoming plans? More touring? More writing and recording?
Alex: Definitely more touring! You guys have to stay tuned because we are about to announce a big Canadian tour. We haven’t toured Canada since 2008 so it’s about time we jump in the truck and play for all of our fans across the country. We wrote a bunch of new songs in the last few weeks so we might even play some live in 2013. When the tour will be done we’ll hit the studio right away and keep the ball rolling. There is a lot to come and we are so excited about the future!
Cat: That’s great! I will definitely stayed tuned. I look forward to being in the crowd at one of those shows and you know I'm crazy about new tunes!! With the obvious success of October Sky, you guys have earned ‘Rock Star’ status. Do you have any wild rock star stories you can tell me about?
Alex: ‘Rock star’ status? Nahhhhh…we don’t like that (laughter). We are just musicians who like to be on a stage. One thing I remember is when we toured France in 2010. We played a show in Nantes for a huge student party. We had access to a lot of champagne backstage and we decided to randomly bring about 25 people in our private room. We got all of them crazy drunk and it was just over the top. It lasted about 2 hours until the security kicked us out…one the security guys told us: Go back home! You Canadians are crazy!
Cat: (Laughter) Oooooo!! Something else for me to look forward too! Thanks again for taking the time to talk to me Alex! October Sky rocks!!
Well, rock fans….you heard it here – October Sky may be coming to a venue near you AND those boys know how to party! Keep an eye out for them! Please feel free to check out their website at www.octobersky.ca to preview their music, check out their links and buy their tunes. And in the meantime, check out their video of Green and Beautiful……