Band of Rascals to kick off tour at the Bailey
Vancouver Island rock group Band of Rascals will were a late addition to the Rose City Roots calendar and will be playing the Bailey Theatre on Saturday. Bryan Van Wyk/ Supplied
When the Band of Rascals came together there were no lofty dreams about national tours or playing award shows.
Now, this group of four friends is set to release their second album and are kick starting a tour of Western Canada on Saturday for Rose City Roots at the Bailey Theatre in Camrose.
“I really didn’t have any expectations at the beginning … we really just wanted to play music together, for fun,” said drummer Marcus Manhas. “Now looking back to the Junos in the spring, we were meeting some pretty influential people in the music industry. We had a moment where we looked back and thought how crazy it was.”
The Vancouver Island — which includes lead singer Sam Trainor, Malcolm Owen-Flood on lead guitar, and Sean Marcy on bass — has taken a distinctly more aggressive approach to their music for Tempest, which will be available for download starting on Oct. 13. They brought in producer Eric Ratz who helped create the sound for bands like Billy Talent, Arkells, and Monster Truck. The result is a sound that merges a previously more roots rock vibe with something more unique on the Canadian music scene.
“Teaming up with Eric was really good for us and allowed us to write more of a modern rock sound, which Eric really brought out in his production as well,” said Manhas. “We straddle that line a little bit, which really works well for us. We still have that roots and blues influence, but we are able to cross over and go more into the modern rock.”
Bringing in Ratz was a bit of long shot. Through a meeting with their manager, they were asked for a list of preferred producers for their next album. Ratz’s name was at the very top but no one thought it would happen.
“We got an email back from our management, he was interested and wanted to hear more stuff,” said Manhas. “That was real cool moment for us … landing someone of Eric’s stature.”
All four members of the band grew up in a region of Vancouver Island midway between Victoria and Nanaimo called Cowichan Valley. Manhas and Marcy even worked together at the Canadian Tire in Duncan. They just had never played together in a band, until they were united for Band of Rascals, and the chemistry came naturally.
“Everyone all grew up within 20 minutes of each other and we all have known each other for a long time, it’s really nice to play music with your best friends,” said Manhas. “We started writing on the first jam and we just decided we may as well keep doing it … and it took off from there. It was fun to start a project that really we didn’t have any expectations for it other than to keep on playing and writing. That’s probably one of the reasons we’ve seen the success we have, because it’s fun first.”
Since then the band has been on a bit of an unexpected upswing, and were even invited out to play at Ottawa’s Juno Fest while also playing a few showcase gigs in Toronto.
Past tours have generally started in Victoria but they recently played the music festival Rifflandia and decided to start things off in Alberta. Manhas is looking forward to playing the Bailey.
“It’s going to be a great venue for our first show,” he said. “I always love playing theatres, they’re such a good time.”
Manhas says patrons can expect a high-energy show that they can rock out to.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our live shows, we feel it’s one of our really strong points as a band,” he said. “The live show is really important for a rock band and we definitely try to deliver an exciting, fun time for everybody.”