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Festival CityBusty and The Bass Puts the BIG in Big Band

Busty and The Bass Puts the BIG in Big Band

Busty and The Bass Puts the BIG in Big Band

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RBC Bluesfest
Black Sheep Stage
July 15, 8 pm


Making big band big again, Busty and The Bass have been making a splash worldwide since their humble days in university. Nine members strong the band tours through Canada and Europe alike, bringing their high energy stage show to equally ecstatic crowds. Working with legendary producer Neal Pogue on their latest record, the band fine-tuned themselves and is learning just as much now as when they were earning their degrees. We talked with the band about focusing nine members for writing, earning school credits as a band and how they get their live energy.

Ottawa Life: How did you initially come together and when did you know you had something substantial on your hands?

Milo: We met at school and started playing together, just gradually picking up shows outside of the city. When we graduated, it was just another date on the calendar, cause we had shows booked for the next three months after. Each person would see a different vision for the group as things would happen. We'd play a bigger show outside of the city and they would see what it would take to get fan-bases out there. When we started writing and doing production in studio, people started to see the potential there.

I've also read you managed to get school credits with your band?

Not as much as I would've liked. We had a couple of schemes our last year because we were touring a lot, and we figured we'd taken the performance degree to the end that you would want it taken. We were performing and aiming to make a living as performers. We only got one credit for a small ensemble performance though, as much as we tried.

How do you keep the writing tight with such a big band?

We're always pretty good at making our recorded material and writing a central think-pot. The band is always the biggest consistency, so regardless of what we write it has a consistency that you wouldn't get from people and their computers. Our chemistry as musicians, synthesizing that and putting out keeps it focused.

How did the vocals join the mix?

It was a product of working with more singer-songwriters and our singer Nick started taking more of the frontman role. We never had a need for vocals but when we started working with them it was something we wanted. It's been a process since then of working to support a vocalist and how to work in all the different elements and honing it in.

How did your deal with Indica come about and what did it mean for your careers?

Our manager worked for them for a while, so we had an in with that team. People generally tend to overstate the significance of a record deal. I remember telling my parents, and people were saying we'd made it. Not that the Indica relationship hasn't been amazing, their resources and relationships has fueled our growth as a band. On the surface the deal doesn't mean that much but it's how you work it that defines it. 

How did you end up working with Neal Pogue and what did he bring to the record ?

Our manager met his manager and set a batch of demos. Neal liked what we had done, and had some calls with him. He came down three times to Montreal so we'd work with him for four days and then some time between and work again. He just really brought a confidence and experience that none of us had. It's easy to be insecure as a band nowadays, because everything you see is solo or electronic. We can do that too but it didn't highlight the unique aspect of who we are. Neal was able to come in and bring this confidence and vision for the recorded sound. Since then he's shown us different approaches for the studio and different approaches to song writing and production that come from his experience. He really has a vision for the project. He has six kids himself, so he's used to the different personalities and how they interact, so it's a fun process, he's the guiding force in the studio.

Looking towards your live show, where do you pull all that hectic upbeat energy from?

We couldn't do what we do with fewer musicians, it's definitely a product of numbers but also the musicianship. That's just one aspect of the group that we're very lucky to have. Everyone is an incredibly talented musician, we speak the same language and come from the same place of performance for an audience. Having so many people on stage sets the vibe for a high energy and powerful experience and we feed off that.

What's the next step for the band?

We've been doing a lot of festivals in Canada and America for now for festival season. We're starting record release activities in September. Right now it's fest season so it's a lot of on for days, off for a few.

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