Photo By: Fridae Mattas
Photo By: Fridae Mattas




By: Fridae Mattas

Canadian Music Week continued! If you have yet to read the other parts of the Canadian Music Fest coverage you can view them here and here.

This year I wanted everything to be different, told myself not to stress over anything…Yeah, now I am stressing over stupid technolgy not working as it should!  I tried Final Cut Pro on my friends computer a few weeks ago…I wanted to shoot myself in the face, don’t understand why Apple makes the simplest things so time consuming and complicated! After listening to more than half of the bands playing the festival, I concluded that there was nothing new appealing to my ears. Most of the good bands on the Toronto scene I already love, know about, have heard of or don’t like. There were a few Australian and Japanese bands I saw for a few minutes but they were just mediocre.

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

On March 21st I had a few bands to check but it turned out one of the bands was not even playing, regardless of what the book said. I thought why not just hit up a few clubs on Queen and then reach Incura’s set at the Hard Luck. Absolutely thrilled that I was able to catch their set and I arrived early!! The first time I saw Vancouver band Incura was at the Rivoli in 2009, they were so fantastic I had to check them out again but kept missing the sets in the city. This time I was determined, I even agreed to an interview with dynamo frontman Kyle Gruninger when the bands publicist reached out. To watch the interview click here or go to

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

Incura is:  Kyle Gruninger – Vocals, Royce Whittaker – Guitar,  Jono Olson – Bass, Jim McLaren – Keyboards and Phil Gardner on the kit. You cannot describe their music by genre-boxing them. They have such a fantastically different blend of artistic sounds and if anyone tries to change them that will be a sad day.Kyle is one of the best frontmen I have seen ever! His vocals and stage presence surpass many of the veteran artists out there today, if Freddie Mercury and David Bowie had a son it would be Kyle. You can see him shine by watching the band live or viewing a video on Fridae TV youtube.

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

The rest of the band did well, Whittaker was immense on the axe but there were a few tuning issues that I heard, but this time I will let it slide because they played four shows back to back in three days. When I notice mistakes at least I know he is actually playing the guitar and not “Rock Banding it” with a backing track pretending to play the instrument. (I have seen that happen far too often these days!). Phil Gardner on the Drums was tight the whole time! Most Drummers I have seen and know are always on top of their game. Bassist Jono Olson kept those Bass lines crisp , he was very energetic and not overly enthusiastic.  They all have chemistry beyond words that you have to see for yourself, keep Incura in your thought because soon enough they will have a huge following!

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

On Friday March 22nd an interview was scheduled with James Black of Finger Eleven who also has his own solo project and an Alt-Country band “Blackie Jackett Jr.” with fellow guitarist Rick Jackett. You can watch the very informative interview here. Once his set wrapped I was to run down to The Indies but instead I ran into an awesome friend as I was leaving the Rivoli and decided to check the Protest The Hero set at The Hoxton which I have never been too. I did feel a little guilty for fucking up the coverage rotation but I really wanted to see PTH kill it! Fridae TV photographer Dipan was already at The Kool Haus shooting the show, so my guilt wasn’t too overwhelming. The Hoxton looked nice, the sound system was shit up close but farther back it sounded decent, invest in your sound system people. Did not stay too long because it was getting crazy and I didn’t want to miss Matt Mays and El Torpedo I take it and go.


The Indies were held at the Kool Haus this year due to the relocation because of the construction on front street by Union station and the usual CMW HQ Royal York. Next year they should have CMW/CMF at the Sheraton Centre, after all it is a spacious hotel and centrally located. The band playing when I arrived was Diamond Rings…The bands music was good but the singer was horrible, he ruined everything, my ears were screaming! Thankfully, the set was almost over and Matt Mays was hitting the stage next. It is beyond tragic that band member Jay Smith of El Torpedo was died not even a week later. Smith was found dead Wednesday March 27th in his Alberta hotel room, cause of death is yet to be released. He was a strong influence on the band and a very talented musician who left behind a young family. My condolences to all of his family and friends, it is always hard to lose people so suddenly. When people say time will heal, I don’t agree with that saying when it comes to the death of someone close. You never really get over it, you just learn how to cope and live your life. 


The band was fantastic they were all so cohesive and I loved the guitars, always a sucker for the sound of a guitar played well. I don’t know why but the more guitars squealing the better for my ears! Mays has a soulful mellow voice and is a fabulous frontman with great stage presence. The crowd was hypnotized by his every move, see for yourself and watch “Loveless” and “Stoned” the two best tracks I filmed of their performance at The Indies.


This year CMW had over a thousand bands playing but not enough quality entertainment that I wanted to hear. Always remember it is about quality, not quantity. The headliners for The 2013 Indie Awards were Metric, the crowd was waiting patiently for the first twenty minutes and then they began to get restless because the band was still not on the stage after an hour.



The crowd forgot about the delay the minute vox Emily Haines walked onto the stage. Metric started off their set with Artificial Nocturne, followed by Youth Without You which I absolutely think sounds like “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. There were moments when it seemed as though Haines wasn’t singing, photographer Dipan even notice that, maybe everyone should lay off the vocal effects and sing normally. They were okay, I don’t get the hype but Haines does put on a respectable performance.


Next!! Six Side Die at Cherry Colas!! Prior to their set I was on a mission to find a good band! So I trekked up and down Queen street in search of new quality entertainment. Most of the good bands I have already seen and like the days before the bands playing were not mesmerizing enough to keep me. I did a new interview with Six Side Die but it is still being edited, like Kyle’s it was to be right here for you all to see but I don’t always get what I want.



Six Side Die is in the process of recording their debut record “That F’N Album” which should be out this summer for everyone to listen to. SSD’s fans raised enough funds for the band to make the record possible. Many people know frontman Bryan Crouch from his previous band “Hail The Villain” and I have noticed by the comments left on a few FridaeTV videos some of his Villain fans are not happy with the migration. People don’t understand how harsh hard rock vocals are on your chords, all of the screaming and growling damages the vocal chords causing them to deteriorate because of continual misuse. There are so many metal and hard rock bands that have had to hold off on tours because the vocalist needed some voice rest or had to get legit surgery to try and repair some of the affliction. Honestly people need to get over it and move the fuck on, he is a talented guy who wants to continue evolving as an artist on his own terms. If you don’t love it anymore, you have to let it go to truly find what you are missing because in the end the only one watching out for you is you.



They rocked Cherry Cola’s “Tiny Tim” stage to the fullest of their ability, it was so hard to get photos of everyone because there are five Larries on a tiny stage at once overlapping one another. Six Side Die is: Bryan Crouch – Vocals, Anthony Xander – Lead Axe, Kelly Voelkel- Drums, Mike Liske – Rhythm Guitar/Vox and Pat Kavanagh- Bass/Vocals.



I love Pat’s has screamage skills he sounds fantastic and plays bass pretty well keeping the moment up. Mike on the rhythm needs to relax a little bit, have fun on stage! The hardest was getting shots of Kelly he was always blocked by a Larry but shit I managed one still. Loving their sound, very eclectic and Bryan still kills it as a frontman, he brings the vibrancy needed to make this new venture a successful endeavour. It’s amazing how the band interacts with their fans on the regular either by doing random fb or twitter updates or playing video-games with them. Xander is great guitarist, he tried to do some tricks with a bottle…Didn’t exactly work but at least he tried something different. People are too afraid of risks and change but if you don’t take a chance on something you are not living. Check out all of the above bands and artists as well as the others mentioned in the previous CMW editorials and keep it locked for those interviews, that’s all for this year!

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved






By: Fridae Mattas


Amidst the whirlwind of press for her new album “Secret Sulk”, Nikki of Dolls (You may know her as Nikki Awesome.) had a few minutes to catch up and share some of her life.


Fridae: Hello, Hello! It has been awhile since we hijacked a ballroom, how are you?

DOLLS – Nikki: OMG I almost forgot about ballroom-hijacking. I mean, nowadays they just give themselves up. It’s been a while!


Fridae: What has been going on in Awesome land since we last chatted a few years back?

DOLLS – Nikki:  So much.  I’ve pretty much left the ‘Nikki Awesome’ thing behind (DOLLS website launching soon, but won’t change my Facebook fan page), relocated to the UK (three grey and glorious years this summer), learned how to produce my own music, have thrown myself about traveling, meet/greeting some of my favourite artists and making ridiculous videos.  Basically, I’ve spent the last three years regaining control of my art and having FUN again after leaving the major label game, which has definitely been a good move.


Fridae: How was Dolls created? If you could tell the world and myself a little more background information on the history of Dolls.

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS was initially an outlet for me to create music with a darker overall sound which wasn’t really compatible with The Royal Society’s.  I always listened to synth-heavy music with a dirty, raw vibe, like Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, and Joy Division/New Order.  I also really love some of the pop artists of the 80’s like Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys and Men Without Hats, all acts that had depth in their lyricism as well as wicked synth lines.  I found that many mainstream artists were not into that style when I was last living in North America. There weren’t many artists making a crossover between ‘alternative’ and ‘synthpop,’ coming from a commercial pop background (though some were crossing over the other way).  I’ve always written all my own lyrics and melodies, played guitar and keys, but I felt despite that, I was limited to one style of music by virtue of having had a hit in that genre and lacking the resources to produce music on my own.  Even though The Royal Society’s fans were wonderful and the media outlets were amazing in supporting the project, the club scene was feeling a little superficial to me.  After losing several years worth of work to a series of heavily political power plays (in case you ever wondered why there wasn’t a Royal Society album), I began learning production in order to make the music I wanted, so as not to have to take direction from people who didn’t get me as an artist.  It wasn’t the easiest transition and I probably burned some bridges, but ultimately I feel more empowered and happier doing what I want to do, and if people don’t ‘get it’ I don’t have to answer to anyone.

Fridae: Good for you! It’s seems like every artist comes to learn in their own time, that the only person who can truly relay your vision is you.


Fridae:  How did you come up with the new records title?

DOLLS – Nikki: It was little bit of a joke at my own expense. I felt like in writing the material for DOLLS, people saw me as being a bit of a ‘poor little bitch girl,’ biting the hand that had fed me. Because the songs were a lot more angry, less commercially friendly, and openly bitter about things that usually get hushed up. Dolls music is a total contrast to The Royal Society vibe which is all “let’s party, everything’s rad.”. I wrote so many songs over the last three years that chronicled some experiences pretty viciously, and it turned out that after incessant (often unsolicited) input from everyone else I was (un)surprisingly kind of pissed off.  Making Secret Sulk the album’s title seemed appropriate in the sense that everything I did musically and the way I did it was otherwise so atypical and ‘inappropriate’.


Fridae: Did you work with someone on the new album or did you create everything yourself?

DOLLS – Nikki: Millions of hours alone in my bedroom. I didn’t have any previous experience with production outside of being in-studio, so it’s been an insanely huge learning curve, which is obviously not yet complete.  The new (unreleased) stuff is a lot more refined in terms of sound quality (since I have upgraded my equipment) but it’s still DOLLS: dark cynical synth/wave with pop vocals.

1dolls_nice_high_resFridae: What separates Dolls from all the other artists trying to break the global scene?

DOLLS – Nikki: It’s no secret that the whole music industry is upside down.  Everybody’s looking to sign the prepackaged ‘next big thing,’ so I’d say it’s pretty rare to be invited in to hear the ‘flaws’ and outtakes from the onset, especially from someone who was formerly perceived as being the prepackaged ‘thing’ . DOLLS is the evolution of an artist, not the ‘delivery of a product.’  In my opinion, flaws are what resonate with people and give the audience something real to connect with.  The pitch-perfect image airbrushing that has become par for the course is not what I want to buy into or sell anymore.  Imperfections have always intrigued me; whether it was hearing a wrong note, a crack in the vocal performance – those kinds of things are so smoothed-out these days that I feel it’s tremendously different to allow fans in on a project’s development. Not just delivering a polished focus group-approved sound or image, which means releasing material that hasn’t been over-refined.  Which is unconventional in the current system.  I’ve chosen to work outside the model of recent tradition, and I will make mistakes, backtrack, change things around, have opinions that will piss people off. It’s more interesting (to me) to throw down total chaos rather than play a formulaic game, shuffling alongside everyone else, everyone crossing their fingers for a major to pick it up.  Getting signed doesn’t always benefit an artist, more often than not it just brings in a bunch of watered-down opinions on how you can best sell your music like it’s a breakfast cereal.


Fridae: Are you planning on hitting the road anytime soon?

DOLLS – Nikki: Definitely, but nothing’s set in stone yet.  I’ve had interest in the UK and Europe, but because I don’t have label support it’s a bigger deal to commit to touring, so I’m still working out the bugs and deciding who I want to work with for the live show.


Fridae: If you could work with any artist in the music world today who would you choose?

DOLLS – Nikki: Trent Reznor, David Bowie or David Lynch.  I feel like they should come as a package-deal, just so I don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings.


Fridae: Are there any other projects in the works?

DOLLS – Nikki: At the moment DOLLS is pretty all-consuming and there’s some deadly business waiting in the wings, but it’s all hush-hush, innit!  I’m just releasing my first collaboration with a Canadian artist since 2010 (On Your Lips with Toronto electro artist COINS), and have been talking with another UK indie artist (Magpies and Vagabonds) about a new concept project. He also did the Dustcover Mix of NOW NOW. Both tracks are on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud accounts for free download.


Fridae: Whose music are you playing on repeat right now that you could not possibly live without?

DOLLS – Nikki: I really like Miike Snow, Das Racist, HURTS and Paloma Faith.  I’m pretty shit at listening to new music, so I go through phases of not knowing about anything new and just snuggling into old faves, followed by frenzied accumulation of Spotify playlists.  I feel like not buying physical copies of albums combined with being so obsessive about learning production has changed the way I consume music; it’s like the line in Amadeus, about how sometimes there are just too many notes. When I (n)ever have spare time, I prefer to see plays, go to galleries, read.. Whatevs.


Fridae: Words of wisdom for aspiring artists….?

DOLLS – Nikki: Probably not to take anyone’s advice.  Nobody else knows how to develop your art better, and letting them try, almost invariably leaves you disappointed or risking relationships to maintain the integrity of your ideas.


Fridae: Where can people find your music?

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS’ Secret Sulk is available for free on my Soundcloud account ( and if people like it, it would be fantastic if they want to purchase it for whatever they think works; I’m asking for £5.00 on Bandcamp (, which allows me to continue to make music and develop the project.


Fridae: Are there any last words you would like to share with the world?

DOLLS – Nikki:  “She probably had it coming.”

Fridae: LOL!! Thank you so much Mizz Nikki Dolls!

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved




All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas






By: Fridae Mattas

This review was to be included with all of the other Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Festival content but decided to split the editorials in half to give proper feature time to the artists that made the cut. After a few obstacles I am back to expressing my thoughts on these two bands.

Not too long ago I covered the headliners Hollywood Undead at a different venue but I have never seen Abandon All Ships live. They are one of those bands I always miss and the same thing almost happened again! Arrived at venue a few seconds to camera call, did not know if I missed it. Luckily for me the girl at the door was very helpful and the fabulous Live Nation escort came to get me, thank you for that! As we rushed into the pit I was scoping out the crowd, it was pretty packed already and Abandon All Ships was the second of three bands to grace the  Phoenix stage that night. DRUMS - ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013Abandon All Ships is a five piece Electronicore band from Toronto, they have been on the scene since 2006 and will be releasing a new record July 3rd. I’ve heard two of their tracks before “Take One Last Breath” and “Infamous” which I recognized as they played them in their set. Aita’s screaming was fantastic, I love hearing growls that you can mostly understand. When Angelo Aita is not screaming he could be a little more entertaining and personable with the crowd as could Bassist Martin Broda. His vocals were decent, he has a nice tone to his voice and there is potential but he needs to work on his breathing, enunciation. The one reason I don’t listen tot his band is I am not a fan of autotuned vocals. Guitarist Daniel Ciccotelli was the most entertaining of the band, they all could have used a little more energy but overall a respectable performance…I recommend checking them out if you want a pleasant fusion of music in your ears.  MARTIN BRODA - BASS/VOX - ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CANGELO AITA - VOX - ABANDON  SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013

TORONTO CROWD @ HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013Hollywood Undead were the headliners, the house lights were dimming , the fog started to emerge and once the beat dropped the crowd was fired up and ready for the band to blow them away! HU started in with the intro “Dust In The Wind” morphing into their set with hit single “Undead”. I was expecting the crowd to be a lot crazier than they were, it was like they were fighting the urge to crowd surf and mosh. A few were brave enough to fly around but in my opinion not enough people  were surfing considering how many bodies were in the venue, I was a little dissapointed in Toronto. It was good to see more females this time around, all were enjoying themselves and some were having a little too much fun! One girl in particular was escorted by security a few times because she was too intoxicated, some people just don’t know their limit or how to handle their liquor. As much as I dislike shooting in mosh pits or with crowd surfers, I love to photograph them and look forward to these shows just to get shots of the amazing crowd. Not this time…Although they were very energetic it did not compare to the crowd when I first covered Hollywood Undead at the Sound Academy. It could be because the band always comes to Toronto in the middle of cold ass Canadian winter, when most of us are hibernating in our igloos (ha ha). As I migrated out of the pit and back into the crowd area it was pretty packed for a Wednesday night where more than 300 other bands were playing across the city for the 2013 Canadian Music Week festival. DA KURLZZ - MC/DRUMS - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2DANIEL MURILLO - VOX - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2Once the band began to play, the first few songs were strong but soon enough I could hear there was something off, it sounded like they were having some technical issues with the equipment. Messier and a little strained but then again it was not their fault, the sound system clearly needs an overhaul. If you have the option to migrate around and shoot from different angles, always take it! The more options the bettter but there were a few newer photographers camping out at the same place for all three tunes. I love shooting the masks especially the ones that light up, I have mentioned this before in prior reviews so I will skip the details. I do wonder if they can see in those things? I did see that they were sweating bullets under those masks, I tried my best to avoid sweat drops on me or my lens. last time there was no pit and this venue usually doesn’t have one, I came prepared ready to shoot from anywhere  in the venue.J3T - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX  CMF 2013HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013On with the show! It was the same setlist as the last performance covered, the fans eagerly chanted and sang the words to each song before the beats dropped. Majority of them knew the track order off by heart. It’s always cool to watch all of this transpire after I am done photographing the band, you can feel the love the people have for their favorite musical act. The Larries of Hollywood Undead are stepping their game up every time I catch a set, Funny Man is not lurking in the shadows as much anymore however, I did see him standing in a corner taking it all in. His voice is full of bass when he flows, my ears like this sound! If  keeps up the crowd visibility and confidence enhancement, he will actually embody his nickname on stage. “I didn’t expect him to sound like that, he doesn’t look like he can rap” said a girl to her friend in the crowd. How can you tell by looking at someone if they can rap or sing? Some people are seriously delayed.FUNNY MAN - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013J DOG - MC/KEYS HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013The whole band had much more energy at the January show, but they had the charisma necessary to deliver what the fans were expecting, a great fucking performance. They just released a new record titled “Notes From The Underground”, working on that review. I like their style of Rap Rock crossbreeding especially the beats, these Eminemabee’s are growing on me. J3T and Charlie had the tightest flow with the most conviction followed by Funny Man and J-Dog. Danny sang his heart out as the crowd was singing along with him. There were moments he sounded a little tired but kept his energy up throughout the show. The Drummers had a nice solo which is always fantastic to watch because there are two of them, Da Kurlzz who floated the stage even more occasionally shaking out his curly fro hair. And, there was D-Rock who kept the beats on lock the entire set! I always try my best to get shots of every person on stage but sometimes it’s hard getting a clear shot of the drummer. And with this band it was more challenging because there are nintey five band members on the stage ha ha.DA KURLZZ - MC/DRUMS - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2CHARLIE SCENE - MC/VOX/GUITAR - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOEHOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013J-Dog was rocking the Axe and Keys throughout the set as was Charlie Scene and Danny. But, J-Dog took it to the next level and jammed out on the speaker with his guitar for a few minutes, the crowd loved that! J-Dog is the most improved this time, they need to do more stage antics and work on interacting with the audience. Bringing a few fans up on stage every show is a good start.J3T - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX  CMF 2013HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013During the set in January Charlie Scene’s twin Larry was chosen to come on stage. This time, they invited two little boys both of whom looked under eleven (all ages show). The little Larries were dancing around trying to rap with the big boys, that was too cute. I love it when bands acknowledge their fans even when they have mascara tears, make them feel special and they will always come back for more. Hollywood Undead closed the set with “We Are” the first single from the new album. On that note, I suggest checking both bands live if you get the chance.

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas



All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas



By: Fridae Mattas

I had a few minutes with James prior to his set at the Rivoli for Canadian Music Week Fest. Was going to add the review in with all the Canadian Music Week coverage but decided to feature James instead. I’m really vibing his music it’s different, catchy and its real. Black has a rich solid tone in his vocals and they are a lot more versatile than I expected, definitely coming out of his shell. I cannot wait to hear the record with full production when it’s released. For those who don’t know who James Black is…Guitarist with the band Finger Eleven for over two decades, he has a side band with fellow Finger Eleven compadre Rick Jackett called “Blackie Jackett Jr.” and will be releasing his solo record this summer.


COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved