Local band hunting for national exposure through Canada-wide contest
Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 12:58 pm
Airdrie-based rock band STORM will be chasing votes to become Canada’s best new band as it competes in CBC Music and CBC Radio One’s Searchlight 2015 contest.
Band members (and brothers) Brad and Ryan Fleischer, along with drummer Brandon Alberts, are hoping the contest will help propel the band forward into the Canadian music scene.
“(Music) is my thing,” said STORM lead singer and guitarist Brad Fleischer. “I know that it’s my brother and Brandon’s thing too.”
“For me, it’s pretty much family, STORM, and then work.”
The band has had its fair share of members come and go, but the Fleischer brothers have remained consistent members of STORM in its seven-year history, and Alberts has remained the band’s drummer for the past three years.
The band members believe they have been able to separate themselves from the rest of Canadian music through their distinctive sound and their songwriting skills.
“Music lately has been spontaneous,” said Fleischer. “Country music scene is beer, trucks and girls, while hip-hop is more about drinking and finding a new partner.”
“We don’t write (music) that way, I’m very proud that our songs are inspirational, upbeat and make you look at things just a little bit differently.”
Fleischer added STORM’s sound is influenced by musicians such as Meatloaf, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and some newer acts as well. He said there really isn’t one genre you can put the band under.
“We were joking around last band practice and said we should make up our own genre called STORM-rock,” he said.
“There is definitely a consistent sound in all of our songs, but it is a little bit unique.”
More than 3,300 acts have entered into the annual contest with hopes of becoming Canada’s best new artist.
Voting began on March 30 and closes on April 13. Fans and listeners are able to vote for up to 10 musicians or groups per region per day. To vote, visit music.cbc.ca and click on the Searchlight 2015 tab. There is also a link on STORM’s Facebook page.
The band is currently competing with 125 other music acts in the Calgary regional group. Winners from each region will be announced on April 14 and will go on to the national contest, which includes another round of voting.
Of the 23 regional winners, five will be selected as finalists by way of votes from listeners across Canada while another five will be selected by the judging panel. The judges include Montreal-based rocker Dan Boeckner, Prince Edward Island singer-songwriter Jenn Grant and hip-hop artist and producer Saukrates from Toronto.
The final four national picks will then be announced live by the judges on May 12 during Q on CBC Radio, and the overall winner will be named on May 15.
The winning act will receive $20,000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha Canada Music, and an opportunity to perform at the CBC Music Festival in Toronto.
“Obviously (winning) will help us because we get a bunch of new equipment to put to use,” said Brad. “On top of that you get to travel and spread the name (of STORM) in a large city like Toronto and shake the hands of some big professionals in the industry. The more hands you shake, the more of a chance you have of shaking the right one.”