CMW is one of those events that’s guaranteed to reoccur at least once a year, like herpes, but unlike it’s venereal disease counterpart, CMW features parties and a schmooze and booze fest with bands rather than painful and annoying sores. What they do have in common though, is that they’re both exhausting, expensive to deal with and, usually, when it’s all over and done with, you’ve had enough of it and you are just fine with the idea of not having to deal with it again for another year. This year was no different. The sore feet, lost voice, ringing ears and the devastating effects of a cumulative multi-day hangover were all present in the days following CMW, but in some sick twisted way, they served as a reminder that you’re still in love with your small morsel of involvement in the music industry.
I suppose, seeing as I’m a Montrealer and all, I shouldn’t openly admit to being a fan of Ontario, but it is home to some wicked bars (think Hideout and Bovine Sex Club), kickin’ music festivals (CMW, hint hint), and rockin’ Canadian bands like, let’s see … Finger Eleven!
Having put out their fifth studio album, Life Turns Electric , last October, Finger Eleven recently wrapped up a Canadian tour in support of the Juno-nominated release and were getting set to kick off CMW 2011 at The Mod Club when I caught up with drummer Rich Beddoe and bassist Sean Anderson in the middle of a torrential downpour. The duo talked about recording in New York City, discovering a new sound and going to bed at 10:30 (when not touring, of course).
Want to know one of the best things about one of Toronto’s biggest annual music festivals? Well, CMW, which stands for Canadian Music Week (for those who may not know), is not (thankfully!) all Canadian at all. Instead, CMW seems to agree with a fact I have always found to be true – international artists add wonderful diversity and truly help mix up the musical flavors at festivals. During CMW 2011, one such standout band was Copenhagen’s Alcoholic Faith Mission. Releasing a new EP, The Running With Insanity EP, on March 29th, the band has been busy charming North American audiences throughout the month of March and during their stop in Toronto, Morten Hyldahl took time to speak to me about new members, new tunes, Denmark and why the band is training to become cage fighters (?!).
Q: The Running With Insanity EP is coming out March 29, what should fans expect? Any surprises?
A: We’re very excited about it. Once again, we try to change the style a bit, so this time the fans can expect more vocals, more acoustics, percussion and a bit more lyrical bite. But it is only an EP, mind you, and just a taste of what will come in the fall.
This was by far the most memorable and most fun Toronto music fest I’ve been to in a while. Going on my second Indie Week, I have to say that when you mix talent with great venues, plus an amazing party atmosphere and cheap booze thanks to sponsors – you’ve got yourself one hell of a shindig!
Kicking off my Indie Week was my own Blankfest Toronto, co-organized with Indie Week and Serving Charity. Blankfest is a charity show I first brought to Montreal two years ago that began in NYC in 1997. It was founded by Kenn Rowell of The Baghdaddios to help collect blankets for the homeless during the winter months.
This was an amazing event as bands from all across came out to support Toronto’s homeless and Indie Week. The lineup was just phenomenal and had a great mix of punk, hard rock and my personal favourite genre of balls-deep metal!
Hey there, sports fans! I haven’t written in what seems like forever and it feels good to be pounding a keyboard instead of a drum kit for a change. I’ve basically been hibernating lately, isolated from the rest of the world, trying to get an EP done with my band. Every so often though, the lure of something like one of Canada’s biggest music industry events can get even my lazy ass out of the studio. All to get shit-faced with some really cool people and then write about all my adventures. I’ve actually tried a half dozen times now to put together an interesting piece of writing, detailing the highlights of CMW like I did last year, which mostly entails a four day industry schmooze-fest and a heavy drinking binge. On my last attempt, I gave up around 2000 monotonous words and realized that a typical overview of my CMW experience would simply be futile this year. Instead, I’m going to rant about a few things and hope I don’t get blacklisted next year.
Last week I had the opportunity to be at Canadian Music Week 2010 and to scope out some of the showcases that took place from Wednesday to Saturday. One of the nights I was anticipating the most was the Metal Blade & Exclaim! Magazine showcase being held at the The Bovine (rumour has it that it may close down soon, what a shame!) The lineup announced for this night was just incredible and when I heard one of my favorite Toronto metal bands, Titan, was closing the night; I made a deal with the devil and had to be there!