After a year of touring, travelling, recording and releasing music on the road, the eagle has finally landed in our new home: Toronto. The idea for the move came about as we were recently vagabonding in the sweltering Australian summer. We both agreed it was time for a change, but because most of our gear was already in Canada, we chose to move to Toronto rather than stay in the land of Oz. It would have been great though, they’ve got a real love for music down undah. So, having travelled nearly 9,000KM around the continent, we thought, what’s another 3,000 across our native land? And with that, we flew home in April and by the beginning of May we were back on the road.
Touring as an indie band is already usually a pretty cramped affair vehicle-wise. But moving as well as touring, that’s a whole new level of fun. Packed to the roof and with our travelling-troubadour cat Buddy Ollie, we played 15 shows across the country. Notable shows were at Shakman’s Bar in Invermere [news article here] and a week long stint at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Here’s a snap of us enjoying the superb mountain destination:
Yes, it was a splendid time. Which kind of leads me to addressing something awesome in our lives: we’re fortunate enough to be making a living playing music. Yes, some of these gigs require us to play more cover material than the average artist is inclined to perform, but then, we’re not the average artist. Taking these gigs has enabled us to get work all across the country, pay for our living expenses and most importantly gives us more time to devote to writing, recording and rehearsing our original music than the average job might. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting new fans, friends, and fellow musicians through these gigs. And personally, as a drummer, it has improved my musicianship learning different styles, playing low volumes, and working on my singing voice.
Here’s a photo of one of our more regular gigs in Downtown Toronto, the Shangri-La Hotel:
On the other side of things, following our most recent E.P. release in July [available under ‘Compassion Machine’ on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and for free / pay what you want here on Bandcamp], we’ve already begun writing our new full-length album. A lot of this writing has been focusing on developing a cohesive, huge sound; decidedly a duo, we’ve got big aspirations to play loud, up-tempo, psychedelically charged rock music, which means we need a big sound! We’ve been busy finding effects pedals, splitting guitar signals through all sorts of different amps, and experimenting with strange tunings to achieve a nasty, beautiful, bruising sound.
Another aspect of our writing has been distilling our influences into something uniquely us. This means taking our love of the blues, punk rock, psychedelia, and things like the concept albums / rock operas of the 70’s and 80’s, digesting all of that, and, well, becoming Compassion Machine. Some of our new material has even been taking on a industrial / electronic twist as Char explores more with her looping pedal and as we express some of the darker aspects of our writing. Fear not, there’s light to be found. But you gotta have both for a balance.
Here’s me behind my new Gretsch Renown drum kit recording some demos:
We’ve pulled out all the stops: we’re full-time entrepreneurs. Between booking, practicing, gigging, writing, recording, and sometimes eating, we’ve got a full schedule. We’re thrilled to be here in Toronto, diving deeper into our creativity and starting to plan a bigger execution of our artistic and musical vision. We’ve selected a single from the body of songs we’ve been writing (around 15 since moving to Toronto) and are getting ready to produce our first music video. So look out for that in the coming months. Also be sure to check the list of our up-coming shows in the GTA here, and follow us through pictures on Instagram.
Before you go, here’s some new artwork we’re playing with. One is a lino-cut print by yours truly, another a gift from a good friend in Vienna. Salivate – this is only a taste of what’s already on it’s way.
Loui & Anneda