Interview with October Sky
October Sky – by Mel in Toronto
The best way to get introduced to today's indieSolo band is to close your eyes, let the darkness settle in, listen to the song FOREVER LOST and see for yourself: "We composed this song in complete absence of light. It definitely gave a unique feeling to writing a song," October Sky says. This feeling translates well in this song. October Sky's music impresses with its resonant vocals and beautiful instrumentation. Their music is so colourful that it paints pictures of musical landscapes you'd be happy to get lost in.
This Canadian foursome, originally formed in the year 2000, hails from Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec, and consists of Karl Raymond (lead vocals, guitar), Alexandre Racine (drums), Yanik Rouleau (keyboards, back vocals), and Andrew Walker (bass). Even though none of the band members had technical training, they've all been playing their instruments for eight to ten years now.
October Sky had their debut performance in Ontario last October, which was also their first show outside of Quebec, at Indie Week Toronto. The band left a deep impression with their new audience by bringing their mezmerizing soundscapes combined with an extraordinary stage presence to Toronto, and making it into the finals at Indie Week. If you have the fortunate chance of catching one of October Sky's shows, you'll see how close knit this band is and just how much they love to do what they do: It will be a show to remember. "The reaction from our fans and the energy in the atmosphere gives us an unbelievable feeling," October Sky says.
Even though the band members grew up speaking French, they decided to sing in English: "We were worried that the market for French singing artists was too limited, and we wanted to be able to share our music with a larger audience," October Sky says. The band composes their music collaboratively; the lyrics are mostly written by lead singer Karl, with participation from the other band members. Their lyrics are influenced by their personal experiences and social issues. The song SACRIFICE for example was written "with the intention of reminding people about the importance of unity and not stabbing your neighbour in the back."
In 2006, October Sky released their four-song self-titled EP. Their first radio release, HIT THE GROUND, enjoyed airplay on radio stations in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The EP contains unique illustrations and graphic design. "Liam Thurston created the illustrations for the EP, and Taxi Agency made the graphic design. We wanted an image that simultaneously conveyed the beauty and hideousness of the world," October Sky explains.
Last year, the band "moved to Toronto with the intention of increasing our fan base and making new contacts. We feel that we've accomplished that, and we moved back to Montreal to pursue projects with our team, which is mostly Montreal based," October Sky says. There is lots to look forward to. In five years October Sky wants to be "wherever the wind takes us, as long as it's on a stage!"
"In your own words" – ONE on ONE with Mel and October Sky
Mel: Who are your influences?
October Sky: Each band member has their own influences that cover a wide spectrum of styles. To name a few of the bands that influences us: Coldplay, U2, Linkin Park, Audioslave, Incubus and Muse. Also, some hints of techno, classical, blues and jazz are apparent in our music.
Mel: What does it mean to you to be an indie artist?
October Sky: In terms of control over the musical creativity and the general direction the band is headed towards, being an indie artist allows for the band's vision to be better achieved. However, the workload is much higher.
Mel: Which opportunities do you see with indieSolo?
October Sky: indieSolo offers great visibility and exposure for indie bands.
Mel: What would you like to achieve with your music?
October Sky: To be more popular than the Beatles and U2 combined. (laugh) On a serious note, our dream is to make a living by doing our passion, which is obviously making music.
Mel: Which artist would you like to record a song with and why?
October Sky: It would be a great privilege to be able to record a song with Sarah McLaughlan, who is an incredible artist we admire.
Mel: What can fans expect from your upcoming album and when is it coming out?
October Sky: Fans can expect to have their heads blown off by high voltage rock n roll, as well as our heart pumping drum beats, head spinning piano riffs, groovy bass lines and refreshing guitar licks. We expect to release our next album within the next year, providing everything proceeds as planned.
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