This One Time At Bandcamp is a musical journey into the Forest City’s discovered and undiscovered artists on bandcamp.com.
Keeping up with all the acts, tracks and albums that come out of London is a tough gig (pun intended). In the spirit of discovery, LondonFuse has posed the ultimate question:
What comes up when you search London, Ontario, on bandcamp?
Answer: A lot of local talent, ranging from punk to experimental to rap and metal.
Sometimes, the results even showed artists who have songs about London, Ontario, but do not live in the city. Some are new releases. Some have been around for a few years.
We reached out to all the bands we came across to ask about their music and their connections to London. For the sake of avoiding duplication, artists that have already been featured on LondonFuse were not included.
Time to get comfy, put your headphones on (earbuds don’t do anything justice), and discover the sonic side of the Forest City.
Beta is a psychedelic rock band consisting of members Jake Jackman and Joe Way Danielski. Their January, 2017 release Diseases was recorded in six hours in a house that Jackman was evicted from – more on that later.
The six-song EP is a short one – the first three tracks are all under a minute thirty. Even so, it’s enough to get a taste of what this band is about – BETA offers a blend of faux-Beatles trippiness with bursts of Motorhead-style riffs. It sounds a lot like an early Ween album.
All the vocals on Disease are soaked in effects, which adds to the psychedelic feel but makes it hard to understand the lyrics. It’s too bad, because there are definitely some intriguing song titles that require an in-depth listen.
Knee-Knocker, the EP’s shortest track at just 1:12, is full of fuzz and delay. It is a promising track, but somewhat incomplete as it abruptly stops right when a beefy pre-chorus should be kicking in. It’s not the tightest recording in the world, but it’s a fun listen.
LondonFuse was able to reach Jackman by email.
Q: When and how did the group form?
Joey is an old best friend of mine from back in high school circa 2011. We were brought together by a kid who went to the same school as Joey. We started a group in Grade 12 and we’ve been writing together ever since. This is an iteration of us as we lived together in 2015/2016.
Q: Where and how did the idea of fusing punk and psychedelic rock come from? (also, what effects did you use on the vocals?)
Full transparency, this project didn’t have a lot of thought go into it. There wasn’t a deliberate idea of doing punk meets psychedelic, there were only a lot of songs I wrote that didn’t fit into my other bands. We both just thought drowning distortion on the guitars and a filter matrix/echo combo on the vocals sounded really cool, so we ran with it.
Q: You mention Disease was recorded in a house you were evicted from. What is the story behind your eviction?
Like most things in my life, I’m truly not sure what happened. I went to renew my lease on the house, and then got a phone call a day later telling me I had 12 days to vacate the building with no reason given (super illegal, and the company ended up settling on giving me first and last for my new place to avoid going to court). My best guess is they saw the drawings on the walls and decided I wasn’t fit to live there. Either way, eff those guys.
Q: Where do you play around town? Any shows in the works?
We have only played one show over a year ago. Shortly after finalizing the songs for the album, Joey had to move away to Toronto; making band practice really difficult. In lieu of the move, I recorded all the songs on my own so there would at least be some memory of what we did. Right now we have no gigs or records on the horizon, but rumour is Joey may be returning to London; so keep those eyes peeled.
Q: Any recommendations for London bands to check out?
Three cool London projects: Shelf, Lazar, Klazo
London metal group Kavara is as tight as they are fed up.
Their four song EP Overthrown was released in April of 2016, and features plenty of chugs, harmonized guitars, thundering drum beats and crazy instrumental breaks.
Kavara’s lyrics are reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s – offering a harsh critique of a world ruled by greed.
It’s a theme that is common throughout the EP, which was recorded at Fanshawe College.
The band consists of Serena Dorton (vox), Chris Strange and Mike MacGibbon (guits), Spinny Guilault (bass) and Chris Fraser on drums. In addition to axe wielder, Strange is also the band’s main lyricist.
While they are a relatively new outfit, Kavara is as tight or tighter than many established acts. Overthrown manages to showcase each member’s talents throughout the EP, from Dorton’s forceful growls, to the locked in drums and bass of Guilault and Fraser and the perfectly synced guitars of Strange and MacGibbon.
The EP’s opening track, Ready Set Go! is a kick-to-the-chest, heavy on guitar harmonies and rolling drums, while Oppression relies less on harmonies and more on straight thrash metal.
All told, Overthrown is definitely worth a listen not only from metal fans, but also fans of classical music who enjoy well-crafted arpeggios.
Q: In regards to your guitar harmonies – are there any classical composers that influence your melodies?
Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. Mostly the first 4 & Spinny likes Schoenberg, but he doesn’t matter. He’s just the bassist.
Q: Why is the theme of destruction so evident?
“In a decaying society, art reflects decay.” – Ernst Fischer
Q: What is your experience with London as a metal band?
London has welcomed us into their hearts with open arms. We always have an awesome reaction from the crowd, people talking to us after we play, moshing, and just genuinely enjoying the music we create. It’s amazing to have the support of our hometown and we’ll never forget our London metal family since we’d be nothing without them.
Q: How did the band come to record at Fanshawe College? Is that where Kavara formed?
Yes, we formed in Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program. Being in MIA, we get studio time so we took advantage of that and used it to record our debut EP “Overthrown”.
Q: What is the band’s favourite venue to play in London and why?
Rum Runners! We opened for a few well-known bands there (Skeletonwitch & Beyond Creation). It’s a fantastic venue overall – the sound guys actually know what they’re doing and it’s a great team of people that put together the shows there.
Recommend three London bands for readers to check out.
Like this? We already have Part 2 ready for you to to slay! Check it out here and never forget to rock.