We are always deep
We are always trapped
within our minds
Please be not afraid my child
You will die one day my child
Shall that day come
you’ll feel so alive
~ Blair Atkinson of Sebastian Owl
It’s been said time and time again that if you want to realize your dreams of becoming a full-time working musician, you have to go where the work is.
Folk rockers Sebastian Owl not only personify that fine line between folk and rock, they also recognize there’s a fine line between being a band that works part time and one that becomes as busy as it wants to be.
They’re one of the few Brandon bands to ever make that majorly important move of uprooting their home base from here in B-Town.
In the space of the last few years, they made their first couple of discs here in Brandon and played many a great show within the Westman region. In short they’ve really cut their teeth as performing musicians.
However, they’ve decided to make that all important collective band decision to move to the big city. In this edition of Happenings, we discuss their move to Winnipeg, signing their first record deal, what’s cooking in the new song file and their homecoming gig at The 40 this weekend.
First off, you recently uprooted from B-Town to the Peg. There’s obvious reasoning behind such a move for any band. Was it a conscious effort in order to get signed?
Brandon was the best place to start as a band. It’s a great training ground whereas there’s always places to play and loving and supportive people to play with and for. That being said, Winnipeg has a larger music scene and more opportunities in terms of furthering the band. Our friends who started I’m Trying Records live in Winnipeg and know the city, so with their help it really made the move easy.
Can you delve into the finer details of the label deal you recently signed?
I’m Trying Records is an independent management label that helps with promotion, getting your name out in Winnipeg and setting up shows. It’s really in its grassrootsw stages, but all the same, one we are proud to be a part of.
Sounds like Sebastian Owl will be right at home with I’m Trying Records.
It really is a good thing for us, being new to town and to add our name to a label that has a lot of love and support within the Winnipeg music scene. It seemed like a win/win for both sides.
Speaking of "trying", had you guys actively been trying to score a deal?
The idea of putting us on with I’m Trying was discussed before we made the move to Winnipeg. We’re fortunate in that we knew the guys who were a part of it and we were all excited at the idea of working together. For us, it meant getting more gigs and Winnipeg promotion; for them, it was getting a band who can entertain while backing their growing label.
Have you been doing many shows in Winnipeg since the move?
What started as a dreary fall/winter with a few great gigs here and there, has turned into a full schedule booked months in advance. It really feels good to have gigs lined up and something to work for. The smartest thing we have done thus far is we bought a calendar. But now we just have to rock these shows — that’s the tough but fun part.
Your latest CD "The needle is broken, the compass spins" is such an impressive effort. Were the powers that be at the label won over by it?
I’m Trying Records have known of us since the first album "Between the foxes and the wolves" and have seen us play prior to our move. But I do believe it was the fact that we had another full-length album and had ambition to pursue our music further that they really were ready to get behind us.
Any news on a followup disc that you may have in the works?
As it stands, we have 14 new tunes ready to record, we have the concept and artists in mind to work on it. We are just in the waiting game now. Recording grants are not offered until May, so until that time we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
What can folks expect when they take in your shows at The 40 this weekend?
Oh, how we’ve missed The 40. Such a big and booming stage, and it just makes you wanna bring you’re A game. We have a new drummer, Ian Clements, along with his brother Sean playing electric guitar. And a lot of new covers and originals that’ll get people moving. We also brought the piano back to our sets, but not just any piano — it’s a ’70s Wurlitzer electric piano. Needless to say, we are excited and hope to see familiar faces!
Thanks again for taking the time to do this. Welcome back home, if just for this weekend. Get out there and give them a good show! I’m sure it will be the usual Sebastian Owl gig where you get them dancing, then leave them sweaty and begging for more.
There’s a dirty joke to be made here somewhere.
@06.2 Photo Caption:Extra Happenings:
Postponement announcement from the desk of Elaine Glendinning, administrator Virden Community Arts Council:
"The Virden Community Arts Council announces that the Victoria Banks Concert (2010 CCMA Female Artist and Songwriter of the Year) originally scheduled at the Virden Auditorium Theatre for Thursday, January 31st has now been rescheduled to Monday, February 25th, 2013 - 8:00 pm at the Virden Auditorium Theatre. For more information or for tickets, please call the VCAC Office at 204-748-3014."
Frank McGwire is a radio personality and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman.