Earlier this month I was invited to the video release party for ‘About Us’, I have never seen this band live and just heard their track on the radio a few days earlier. What does the future hold for these four young Canadian larries of NEVEREST? Watch and see, Much Music is spinning them on high rotation, this is the first new Canadian band I have heard of to get heavy rotation. Here you are introducing…NEVEREST
As their name suggests Neverest are absolutely relentless in the pursuit of their musical goals. “We all have our own Mount Everest,” says frontman, Spyros ‘Spee’ Chalkiotis, “and we’re never going to rest until we accomplish the things we want to as a band.”
For a unit that only solidified their lineup a few months ago they’re already well on their way and are now preparing for the October 2010 release of their first single, About Us, which was co-produced in Toronto by internationally acclaimed producer/songwriter, Anthony M. Jones (Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly). But while it may seem Neverest have covered a fair amount of ground in a short time, the development of their unique blend of hard rock and harmony heavy pop actually dates back a few years.
When Spee first began putting together the band that would ultimately become Neverest he intended it to be a blindingly heavy rock outfit. “Crazy progressive rock with heavy riffs and melodic vocals over it,” he says, a vehicle to challenge the limits of the chops he was developing as a drummer studying jazz percussion at York University. And though the original band drifted apart, Spee’s efforts to keep the project alive led to a lasting musical partnership with Mike Klose (guitar/keys) that ultimately would form the core of Neverest.
A talented bassist, guitar player and classically trained pianist, Mike, like Spee, had big dreams and substantial formal musical training. “It’s always been my dream to play music for a living,” says Mike, “but it was only when I started getting into composition at U of T that I pinpointed what I wanted to do, and I’m using a lot of that knowledge and discipline now.”
After joining forces in 2007, Mike and Spee recruited two additional members and began working with producer Mike ‘MK’ Kiofos of Vic Park Productions, (Keshia Chanté, Aleesia, Snow, Massari and Dan Talevski); honing their songwriting skills, gradually developing a uniquely collective writing and recording process and re-evaluating their sound. “If you don’t have songs you have nothing. That was priority one,” Spee says bluntly. “The eight-minute metal odysseys had to go.”
With Mike’s help, Neverest began applying their ample talents to more compact arrangements; blending big guitars, massive pop/ R&B beats and insidiously hooky melodies to create their own signature brand of heavy rock infused pop. It was a dramatic change of direction, but one rooted in Mike and Spee’s broad palette of shared musical influences; from heavy metal, hip hop, reggae and soul, to the music of pop icons like Michael Jackson and the irrepressibly hooky pop of 90’s boy bands like Backstreet Boys.
Rather than work in isolation the two invited others to join what was becoming an increasingly inclusive process, enlisting the talents of Kiofos’ Vic Park partner, Angelo ‘Levi’ Themelkos. “When he came in, the chemistry was unbelievable and the songs started becoming unbelievable,” Spee says. As the project gained momentum Neverest also began to attract the attention of Vic Park’s managers, 3 Street Management, ultimately winning them the combined expertise and support of CJ Huyer (3Deep) and Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys).
When the band began booking and playing local shows, Mike and Spee decided to make changes to the lineup. “By mid 2009 it was just the two of us again,” says Spee, “but that’s when things really started rolling.” On their own Spee and Mike proved to be a powerful and agile creative force and both took on new roles to fill the void; Spee stepping out from behind the kit to sing lead and Mike moving from bass to lead guitar.
With 3 Street on board and their creative energy at an all-time high the songs started coming thick and fast. Once again Neverest went on the hunt to complete their lineup with a new rhythm section.
First to join was Timmins based drummer, Brendan Colameco, in March 2010, after coming across Neverest’s Craigslist ad by sheer luck. “It was completely random,” he says. “Honestly, it was the first time I’d been on the site in a year and their ad was the first thing I saw.” Nineteen-year old Brendan had already spent two years working as a session drummer, building up a list of studio credits that run the gamut from hard rock to jazz and hip hop. But what he initially imagined would be a chance to add another credit to his name as a hired gun soon turned into an invitation to join Neverest full time and put his own stamp on the band’s evolving sound. Within a month Brendan left Timmins and moved into the Chalkiotis family home in Maple, Ontario, which doubles as the band’s rehearsal space.
Last in; Paul Loduca, an accomplished self-taught guitarist who was then the driving force behind another band Kiofos was producing; a project Paul was actually laying guitar tracks for when he first heard Neverest’s demo. One song, he says, and he was hooked. “When it finished I was quiet for a minute. Then I said ‘Why don’t you throw me in there?’ I met them and we clicked immediately.” The energy in the room felt so natural he exited his existing band, put away his guitar and picked up the bass in May 2010 to complete Neverest.
A rare mix of raw talent, finely honed musical chops and unrelenting drive, Spee, Mike, Brendan and Paul approach every aspect of their craft with single-minded dedication. The truest measure of a band’s potential, however, is their music, and the truest measure of a good song is one that comes across as well on an acoustic guitar as it does with a full band and full on production behind it. And that’s what truly sets Neverest apart – A seamless fusion of hard rock, R&B and pop that somehow channels the somber introspection of bands like A Perfect Circle and the tight vocal pop of the Backstreet Boys simultaneously. Songs so compelling, and hooks so instant and universal, they will be thoroughly entrenched in your mind on the first listen.
Since completing their lineup in May 2010 Neverest have continued writing and recording tracks to add to what is already an impressive catalogue of material. About Us hits radio in October 2010 in tandem with a video directed by RT of The NE Inc. Additional singles, exclusive material and online only content will follow in the months leading up to the Spring/Summer 2011 release of Neverest’s, full length debut.