Enter The Blurrr – CANADIAN MUSIC FEST WEEK 2011

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

ENTER THE BLURRRR…..

By: Fridae Mattas

There is a need for some sort of structure when planning coverage for Canadian Music Week / Canadian Music Fest whatever they choose to call it. There must be at least three bands you already plan to see or the festival will swallow you up and spit you out leaving you dazed and confused staring at the ceiling of the Royal York hotel where you can find the hallways loitered with passed out musicians drooling on the carpet beside their own vomit…If you think you can manage twenty five bands a night as media, go ahead and try I did! When I first started doing these festivals I killed myself trying to cover as many bands as I could, now I have come to the conclusion if I bust my ass I can cover sixteen bands a night but that leaves no time for partying which is how you network in this industry. I still stress out, make my schedule far too ambitious and then feel guilty for not filming and seeing more bands. What you always have to remember is you can’t catch them all, so don’t feel guilty about missing that band and I keep telling myself that every time a festival comes around.

Dush and Dissension

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

First night launched with the Montreal Metal showcase at the Opera House which was east of all the action where some pretty serious metal was shred! Of course where there is the good, there is also the ass and that just ruins the flow of the night. You know the kind of band I am talking about, the ones that think they are so amazing yet their whole set sounds like one long really shitty song. There was one of those bands between these two that intrigued me. Dush and Dissension are both very different bands with different sounds and genders, one band “Dush” is fronted by a Female and the other was Dissension your usual all male metal band. Both these bands were not phenomenal but have tremendous potential, Dush front Woman Mira Soloman has a spectacular voice but needs to work on her pitch but otherwise very powerful. The songs need work some sound identical, even the ballad type track they played had comparable sounds to the other songs in the set.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The larries of Dissension rocked out hard; the growls were fantastic as was the playing of the instruments. There were moments when Vox Nathan Afilalo would talk to the crowd trying to get them all riled up with his angry face, it was comical to me I didn’t take him seriously because it all came off too contrived. I stayed for a few more tunes to tell you the truth I decided to call it an early night because Nikki Sixx’s interview was before noon the following day and I was still trying to free myself of this nasty cold. The one thing that I will never forget about the Montreal Metal showcase is the dude who was moshing in a grey suit. As I headed to the streetcar a friend called and begged me to join the festivities at the Horseshoe. I did get on the wrong streetcar because I was too preoccupied with the phone to notice until I passed where we should have turned, obviously it was meant to be. Recalling all of the next events…No idea! The band rocking the Horseshoe when I arrived I am guessing was ‘Chasing Amy’ who didn’t sound too bad, it’s all a blur after that. Five A.M and I finally make it home to unload and recharge everything and maybe catch a power nap…So much for my early night!

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Next day was buzzing, literally I was still buzzed from the night before yet surprisingly I was early and made it to catch Nikki Sixx have a little discussion with Jeff Woods about his current projects and the new Motley tour which actually has a Toronto date, I would hope so after all the noise the people made during the interview after he announced that Motley is touring this summer. Sixx had many relevant answers to Wood’s questions about various topics from his music, photography and the soon to be release ‘This Is Gonna Hurt” which is a book hitting shelves April 12th and Record by the same name with Nikki’s band SIXX: A.M dropping May 10th. The first single off the ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’ album is “Lies Of the Beautiful People” available on iTunes. I have to give Jeff Wood’s much respect because he delivered an informative interview actually getting to some really interesting discussions in the hour long interview. You can find the links to the full Explore Music interview at the bottom but here’s a little conjoined clip I filmed of Nikki discussing Photography.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS)

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

That night I decided to check out Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) at the Phoenix which is another outskirts venue, why I decided to trek all over the city this year is beyond me but I just wanted fresh spots you know! I love USS their energy is like nothing else you’ve seen! Two larries who entertain like there are more than just them on the stage, the crowd was insane! USS is their own entity; the fan base this Indie band has come to acquire proves they have something special. Once I reached the venue it was packed, completely impossible to get feasible video footage or photos but I did film a few clips and they will be in the CMW highlight video coming soon! The people love Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons and Ashley Boo-Shultz the dynamic duo that is USS, they will be dropping their new record May 3rd and set to embark on a Cross Canada tour in support of the record with Ashley MacIsaac on the fiddle! It’s weird to me I’ve never seen two male Ashley’s on one stage together should be interesting fun times if I can catch the Toronto show! When USS swings by your city go see them, they are spectacular.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Canadian Radio Music Awards and Troy Carter

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Friday I checked out the CRMA’s (Canadian Radio Music Awards) last year I missed them and so I tried my best to make it to these ones and that I did. There were performances by a few of the nominees Ash Koley, Hollerado, JRDN who also won awards; you can find all the winners at www.CMW.net.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

I kept seeing JRDN all over the place and he was always with this one guy who is seriously too hot! From what I remember of the presenters Melissa Etheridge was one but I missed her all together at CMW. This particular event was a super challenge the performances and awards were so close together no time to catch them all, I had to run all the way around to get back into the media room from the award room for some press shots. It was crazy! I had to work this one on my own but later was joined by my longtime friend Designer-Photographer Mikey Sin who came just in time for the Troy Carter interview. He took the shots and filmed a clip while I listened intently thinking there would be that golden piece of information that we can apply.

Photography By: Mikey Sin

Photography by: Mikey Sin

The interviewer Larry LeBlanc (His name actually is Larry!) didn’t have any questions pertaining to any formula used with Carter’s artists he focused more on what it was like meeting Troy’s most popular artist Lady Gaga for the first time and what she is like. Who cares, if you have to try that hard to be “Different’ clearly you’re just like all the other sheep! When you are too legit and absolutely born this way, there is no need to be so desperate for attention! I think someone has something to hide! The girl is obviously completely lost in the hype of the character she portrays and doesn’t know what’s real anymore. Think about it and watch Troy discuss a few things, the best response was “Canada is the Music industry’s best kept Secret” duh! That’s the only interesting thing I picked up as I was dozing in and out; Larry talked way too much and asked too many irrelevant questions there was no meat! Unlike the Jeff Woods interview with Nikki Sixx, this one had way too much lettuce! The coolest part was after the interview local Toronto band ‘Courage My Love’ played some acoustic songs in the hallway!

Seventh Rain and Chris Assaad

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Prior to manager Troy Carter’s interview I did an interview myself with a band from Calgary “Seventh Rain” who were in town to perform at the festival, I could not make it out to the show unfortunately for me but they did give me their current record “The Ghost In Me” and I have to say when I listened to it I was pleasantly surprised, they are so good! The band is Ryan Williams, Rich MacFarlane, Luke Sheppard and John Byskal watch the interview below, I loved their personalities! When they come back to Toronto will most definitely cover the set!

Photgraphy By: Mikey Sin

Photography By: Mikey Sin

Later that night I was to hit up Good Charlotte’s set at the Phoenix but I was told FridaeTV was declined media access so I didn’t go but then I checked my email a few hours after and I was approved. If they told me sooner I could have made it out! Instead I saw a few artists at The Royal York, like the fabulous Chris Assaad who has such a smooth voice and totally wowed everyone in the Library Bar at the Hummel Entertainment showcase, myself included. He needs some work on the vocals and some catchier tracks but the talent is unspeakable, it was too small a stage for such a great talent in the making. Carter was right about Canada being the best kept secret but we Canadians already knew this and everything else that was said in the interview. Chris Assaad has an extremely bright future, he plays the Guitar well the construction of his songs are fitting to him he doesn’t try to be anyone else. Looking forward to seeing more of his live shows, this set was long overdue but definitely worth the wait.

Indies

Photography By: Mikey Sin

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The Indies!! I wasn’t able to hit up conferences in the afternoon prior to The Independent Music Awards (The Indies) as I planned. The days prior I was literally running all over the place in my new boots while fighting a virus, it was not exactly a pleasant experience but as always I was a trooper and made it to the Indies! I am extremely glad I did because I managed to film a Hollerado track which I failed to accomplish at the CRMA’s the day before and I also managed a few shots of Sammy Hagar but Mikey was able to capture more when Hagar presented with Much More Music’s Matt Wells, winning! The headliner for the evening was Janelle Monàe but setting the stage a blaze prior to her set Juno winner Shad threw down a few rhymes hyping the crowd even more than they already were, with tracks like ‘Telephone’ and ‘The Old Prince Still Lives At Home’. The turnout at the Indies was amazing so many more Canadian artists came out this year like  Die Mannequin who are an amazing female fronted Canadian band that can shred harder than many male fronted rock bands, they presented an Award and had a set later that night.

Photography By: Mikey Sin

Not quite as many bodies in the actual concert room as last year but definitely more enthusiasm and lots of fabulous energy from the people. Once Janelle hit the stage the crowds screams echoed, one directly to my right was literally making me deaf

Photography By: Mikey Sin

and  you can hear her scream in one of the tracks I filmed, it’s all silent then she lets one rip, too funny I love Teenies! Miss Monàe was a little behind getting on the stage and once she was on it, the whole production drowned her out. The intro was her on screen as a futuristic Alien lady jibbering about Dancing or Dying the song about to be played and some other stuff.  Once visible on stage she still seemed to just blend she did not stand apart from her dancers the stage was not commanded! She just needs to relax a little you can tell her nerves were in full force and her outfit needs to be different than her dancers otherwise she just becomes background in her own performance as she did here. Vocally the girl turned it out, she has talent that is versatile and I like that, I wish her mic levels were up a bit there were moments when the live instruments were drowning her out. I would recommend checking her out if you can!! That my friends, is CMW 2011 festivities in the shortest possible way I could adapt it! I didn’t even have a  chance to check out any films but you can catch some tunes filmed on FridaeTV Youtube and FridaeTV Facebook! As promised here are the links to the Nikki Sixx interview with ExploreMusic’s Jeff Woods! Part 1 and Part 2 see you next year the week after SXSW, weird but true they are flipping the script for Canadian Music Week next year! A  huge Thank you goes out to the wonderful people of Planet3 Communications for all their hard work and help.

COPYRIGHT ©2011 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved.

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