Backstage Winnipeg Archives


Interview with Projektor

By: Kristie Allen

BSW: Who is Projektor? And tell us the story on how you got together. Projektor are: Jahmeel Russell, Vocals/Bass Guitar. Darren Achorn, Drums/Percussion. Jeremy Gillespie, Guitar/Keys/Vocals. John Stewart, Guitar/Vocals.

It all started back in 2000. The line-up was Jahmeel, Vocals/Guitar/Bass. Chris Harder, Bass/Guitar. Dustin Leader, Guitar/Vocals and me on drums. We played shows, recorded a record together "Red Wolf Glass" and toured Canada. Dustin left the band and pursued his passion for photography. After some searching we found Jeremy and continued to play shows, touring with Moneen and Eric's Trip. Chris and the band began to have musical differences and he was replaced by Sean Stevens. Projektor recorded "Young Hearts Fail" in 2003, it didn't see daylight until 2004. In early 2005 Sean left the band to devote more time to Novillero. John joined the team shortly after, which brings us up to date.

BSW: For someone who hasn’t seen one of your shows, describe what one can expect.

A wall of sound.

BSW: I must ask, how was playing The Collective during Juno weekend? It must have been insane! The show was packed. Our monitors blew up. It was awesome.

BSW: You were recently involved in an episode for Much Music “Going Coastal”, how was that? And when did it air? Do you know if it will air again? (Sorry but I missed it!) You can watch the entire Projektor appearance on our website -

BSW: You’ve played at Canadian Music Week, Western Canadian Music Week, New Music West and The Halifax Pop Explosion. How were the crowds, and which one was your favourite to play? We enjoy playing all of those shows. The crowds can vary from playing for a packed house to playing for tables and chairs.

BSW: Speaking of “favourites”, you have been all around this country and then some. Which city do you feel has been the most receptive to your band?

I think we have had the best response in Quebec and Edmonton. I will always remember playing in this living room in Quebec a couple of years ago. The band was surrounded by people. The energy was awesome.

BSW: Tell us abit about your new c.d. and what we can expect when we hear it.

Stylus Magazine said..."The dark lyrics and spot-on rhythm section remain from Red Wolf Glass, and the band’s atmospherics are as plaintive and expansive as ever. Many of the tracks feel more grandiose this time around, retaining the introspection from the debut release, yet with a bit more of a kick."

BSW: You have been asked to play on Freq 107’s “Rock for a Reason”. How did that come about? And when can we purchase a copy?

We have a great relationship with Freq 107. They are a wonderful supporter of the music scene here in Wpg . I guess they kept us in mind and contacted our manager. Keep your eye on Freq's website - for all the info.

BSW: Any shows coming up that you want to tell us about?

Freq107 presents Projektor - Saturday, April 30, 2005 @ the Planetarium FREQ107 Presents Projektor at the Winnipeg Planetarium

BSW: Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks so much for your time!

Interview with Red Blanket

By Cindy Massey

BSW: Who is Red Blanket and where did this name come from?

DK: Red Blanket is 4 dudes from Winnipeg who share a common belief in good tunes. We are an instrumental quartet that write songs without boundaries.

BSW: Where is your next show going to be?

DK: May 20th @ the Collective Cabaret (Winnipeg)

May 21st @ City Centre (Brandon)

May 22nd @ Wasagaming C.C. (Clear Lake)

BSW: What was your first musical experience?DK: Guns and Roses, Old Metallica, my first CD that I bought with my own money was Blood Sugar Sex Magic by the Chilli Peppers.

TW: Stealing my mothers "Appetite for Destruction" on tape.

BSW: Take us through your writing process eg. Who writes lyrics/riffs etc?

TW: Myself, Dan, and John come up with riffs and bring ideas to Dustin. Dustin comes up with the beats he wants to use, so sometimes the riffs have to change a little to match the structure of the song..

DK: Write-Revise-Write-Revise-Throw Away-Revise=Keep

BSW: How would you describe the music scene here in Winnipeg?

TW: Great on some levels and Stale on others. I think there are better bands than the ones that get the most attention.

BSW: The description of your CD states that you know when the bag of tricks is done. What tricks do you have in store for our readers?

DK: Consistency

BSW: It was also stated that you had a top notch production team. Who are they and how did you find them?

DK: right now we are in negotiations with some good production teams, we are about to go into the studio to record a full length, but right now all the details are top secret.

BSW: With the new Arena that we have in Winnipeg, what concerts do you think you will be going to this year?

DK: Motley Crue, Green Day, Blue Rodeo, anything that I enjoy.

TW: I'd like to see Radiohead come here, but they're not booked

BSW: If you could leave our readers with a message about your project what would that be?

DK: See our live show and pay attention, if it ain't your thing, so be it. Try everything once if you don't like it spit it out.

TW: Listen close if you get the chance to hear us, cause you could easily miss something.

BSW: Anything else you would like to add to the interview, please do that here. I look forward to seeing you in the future! Thanks for the opportunity to interview you.

DK: Be happy and stay positive.

TW: We are hoping to release the full length album sometime this summer. Hope to see some new faces at the shows.

Check us out

Interview with Sick City

By Cindy Massey

BSW: Who is Sick City?

SC: Sick City is a project that has been in the works for about 2 years, we just completed our lineup about 4 months ago with our sexy singer Josh and are now starting to play shows and take over

BSW: When might we expect to see a CD released by you?

SC: We plan on getting into the studio early May to record a 5 song EP at studio 11, if thats released or who its released with is still a question.

BSW: What venues do you usually play at in Winnipeg?

SC: We've played the Collective Caberet, The Albert so far, but we have shows planned at the West End Cultural Center and some other small clubs around Winnipeg

BSW: Does your band mostly tour and if not why?

SC: All the members collectively have toured all of North America in bands we've played with in the past, but Sick City hasn't yet, we plan on putting our show on the road sometime around July.

BSW: Could you describe your writing processes for our readers?

SC: Usually one of us has a small idea like a chord progression or a riff, and we work off that, sometimes one member does more writing to a song then others but we all usually try to put some imput in a song so its more creative.

BSW: What can our readers expect to see at one of your show?

SC: Lots of moving, we like to really get into our music, Jumping, throwing our bodies, throwing our instruments, its mayhem on stage, personally i've hit Dave (our guitarist) and Josh (our singer) with my bass multiple times during a live show.

BSW: Do you have a site that has your band bio and more information about you?

SC: Right, we have been working on one and it should be up within a couple weeks, it will be but as of now you can read more at and

BSW: If you could leave our readers with a message about your project what would that be?

SC: We want to show people a new sound, something that leaves them in awe, a type of music they can't really comprehend at first but then quickly realize all the catchy hooks and epic chorus's, with a live show that knocks them off their feet.

Interview with Off Your Bike

By: Cindy Massey

BSW: Who are Off Your Bike and where did this name come from?

OYB: We are: Ryan Buchanan- Bass, Vocals

Kevin Linklater- Guitar, Vocals

Gordon Templeton- Guitar, Vocals

Brett McCormac- Drums

We were debating/ arguing over a name for about a half-year, and for the first little bit we called ourselves “Deep Freeze.” After about 3 or 4 months, we all agreed that it was a lame name and that we really needed a change. Then we found this website with all sorts of cool British quotes, expressions, and slang, and we finally settled on “Off Your Bike,” which we found out later means ‘F’ off.

BSW: Where are you all from?

OYB: Brett, Ryan, and Gordon were all born and raised in relatively the same area of Winnipeg. Kevin lived in Michigan for 4 years, lived in Brandon until Junior High, and we met him when he moved to Winnipeg in grade 7.

BSW: How does it feel to be the new kids on the block so to speak?

OYB: Aside from the fact that it is sometimes difficult to get gigs, and that we can’t play bars for another year, it really isn’t so bad being new. We have an amazing group of friends who support our band 100% no matter when or where we are playing, and they keep us from getting discouraged.

BSW: Where can we expect to see you play next?

OYB: Most likely at an upcoming “Battle of the Bands.” As well, we play at a talent show at Fort Richmond Collegiate some time within the next month or so. Check our website for the dates of any upcoming shows.

BSW: Could you describe your writing processes for our readers?

OYB: Well, our writing process has come a very long way since the early days. Back then, Ryan didn’t even know what a ‘rest’ was, and it took forever to learn new songs. Since then, our musical skills have greatly improved, and we have a relatively solid writing process. First, Kevin or Gordon comes up with a solid riff, one that we all like. Next, Gordon spends about 2-3 hours trying to teach Ryan the bass, and Kevin and Brett discuss the drums. Then Ryan writes the lyrics and we all spend some time arranging the song the way we think sounds this best. This consists of lots of trial and error. It usually takes a couple of weeks to play a new song perfectly every time, but we all have a good laugh watching each other screw up.

BSW: Who are your musical influences and why?

Brett: Bryan Adams, Blink-182, The Sums, Jimmy Eat World, The Used

Ryan: Blink-182, New Found Glory, Green Day, Something Corporate

Gordon: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Sum 41,Van Halen

Kevin: Pantera, Dimebag, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy

We all have respect for the talent and effort each of these bands puts into their work.

BSW: With the new Arena that we have in Winnipeg, what concerts

will you be going to this year?

OYB: Kevin and Brett just saw Alexisonfire and Rise Against, and we are all super-pumped for the big Green Day show. Earlier on in the year Kevin and Gordon went to see Van Halen. Overall, the new arena has been great for the whole city

BSW: If you could describe the sound of your music, how would you define it?

OYB: That’s a good question. As you can see from our favorite bands, we are all over the map. Brett and Ryan like pop-punky, emo style music, and it really shows up in the lyrics and the drums. Gordon and Kevin were influenced more by the heavy metal, old-school rock and roll 80’s bands, and a lot of our riffs contain metal elements. We’ve never really had a problem arguing over what type of songs to write, and we take pride in the fact that we can play upbeat punk songs one minute, and then break out into a huge metal riff the next.

BSW: How do you like the music scene here in Winnipeg?

OYB: It’s very strong; excellent for upstart bands. Kevin is very involved in the local scene, and has met so many people that are passionate about their local bands. If you have the right people helping you out, giving you a chance, you could go far.

BSW: Do you have any advice for the new bands that are just starting up?

OYB: A lot of band’s get asked that question and they all say “Don’t do it unless music is your life.” We think that’s only part true. The one thing a band needs more than anything is friendship, inside and out of the band. The fact that we were all friends before our band has helped us to have more fun practicing and playing shows, and our friends are what keep us going. The people that make Off Your Bike signs, and where Off Your Bike T-Shirts to school make it 200 times better to play music. Start a band to have fun with your friends. If we weren’t playing music, we’d still all be hanging out together.

BSW: If you could leave our readers with a message about your project what would that be?

OYB: We are a band that loves to play live shows, wants to improve our music every time we play, and has fun with our buddies. We appreciate our friends and the people that take an interest in our project, and we know that being in a band is something we always want to do, even if we’re wrinkly old men. Life’s good.

Interview with The Hearse Men

By Cindy Massey

BSW: Who are The Hearse Men and where did this name come from?

HM: The Hearse Men are: Jordan (Liqurd, The Fabulous Fat Band) on Drums, Reed (Redneck Zombies) on Guitar and backing vocals and Paul (Speed Demon, Wazookaa, Gingersnap, Frog) on Bass and Vocals. The name came up in the same way that a lot of bands get their names…at the last minute. We had a show to play and no name. Our first show was at The Church of St. Bilsky’s, (which is a church in Garson, MB that a friend of ours bought and lives in). The ‘church warming’ last summer (’04) was a zombie party that we were asked to entertain at, so we did a lot of brainstorming for names and ‘The Hearse Men’ came up and stuck. It seemed an appropriate label for entertaining a church full of zombies… The Hearse Men… driving the dead.

BSW: I see your playing Apr 14, 2005 8:00 at Red River Community College. Apr 15 2005 10:00P. The Royal Albert Arms Hotel. Apr 29 2005 10:00P The Zoo. Sounds like a blast what can we expect at these shows?

HM: Yeah…so this question is a good reminder of my procrastination since two of these shows have already happened and by the time I get this back to you and you get it posted, the other will have likely passed…hilarious. Umm, what can you expect…well, we deliver an energetic set with quick changes and we keep you moving.

BSW: You have a vast variety of musicians that you like can you give us the who’s and why’s?

HM: Not sure I know how to answer that exactly, but I’ll give it a shot…we listen to large varieties of music from classical and jazz to super heavy punk rock and metal. I’d be writing a novel if I had to list them all and I still don’t think I’d be getting all of them… so I won’t list any... Music is art and good art moves people in one way or another... Really there’re only two kinds of music, good and bad, and we go for the obvious choice for listening and do our best to portray that in our writing and performing.

BSW: The Hearsemen, do you guys have a hearse yourselves? We own a white one and enjoy taking it out on Sunday’s for the weekly ride. On occasion we use it to take us to a gig.

HM: No, at the moment we don’t have a hearse but are willing to accept rides to shows any time.

BSW: Could you describe your writing processes for our readers?

HM: Well usually if we have a couple of parts that don’t already have homes in songs, we toss them together and figure out how to make them work together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Starting off I took somewhat the same approach for lyrics when we were scrambling to get the songs together and presentable I used a lot of writing that I just had laying around and made it work as well as I could. On the other hand, some of our songs are written around the lyrics then improved upon from there. It's different every time. As far as lyrics go, in some of our songs, I rant and shake my finger at ideas and ideals and at ‘this and that’ that I think...or thought should've been changed or give insights on what I know of life thus far, then in others it's just about telling a story.

BSW: If you could describe the sound of your music, how would you define it?

HM: Damn…I guess it’s Punk-Rock-Horror-Metal or something of that sort. It’s full of quick changes and good riff-based melodies.

BSW: How do you like the music scene here in Winnipeg?

HM: I’ve always liked seeing shows in Winnipeg. It just seems like an exciting time for music here. There’re a lot of great bands in this city and I think Winnipeg should be proud of that.

BSW: With the new Arena that we have in Winnipeg, what concerts will you be going to this year?

HM: Not sure...who’s coming?

BSW: If you could leave our readers with a message about your project what would that be?

HM: Well I guess the deal here is that we started this band to just play whatever we felt like playing with little or no boundaries. Then we played and people enjoyed it. It's as though liking your own music comes across when you play it...hmm...light what you like....seems like a good idea doesn't it? Just come and hear it for yourself, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

BSW: Anything else you would like to add to the interview, please do that here. I look forward to seeing you in the future! Thanks for the opportunity to interview you.

HM: Hmm…..well, we’re hoping to hit the studio in the next couple of months to record a handful of songs, so keep an ear out for the results of that. You can find out about what we’re working on and where we’re playing at and you can get a hold of me there for anything and get my email address there as well. Thanks for the interest, it’s much appreciated.

Interview with KNUCKLEDUSTER

By Cindy Massey

BSW: Hey guys, so I hear you’re recording #3. How do you all feel and have you decided on a title yet?

KD: We feel great, thanks for asking. The title is Drown.

BSW: How is this CD going to differ from #1 Epidemic and #2 Brand New Combination?

KD: It will be #3 and have a different title. Probably different pictures and different songs. We're very proud of the material and it sounds very good. If you liked the other ones, you'll love this one

BSW: You guys sure get around, where’s your next show?

KD: Our Cd release party is at The Zoo on June 11th with The Rowdymen and Wazooka. It's a MUST SEE!

BSW: Troy give us some background on the orange track suit, where did it come from and why are you wearing it?

KD: Like beer from the heavens it just appeared one day, and it felt right.

BSW: Where were you all born? Do you feel your nationalities bring the personality to your band?

KD: Winnipeg, Thompson, Cambridge, and hallway of the Women's Pavillion Hospital in Winnipeg with post natal care in Gimli

BSW: After being at your last promo shot premier, how many times has Bjorn made funny faces?

KD: What funny faces?

BSW: Describe your writing processes and please include you’re unique ways of starting a song?

KD: Tune the guitars, take a sip of beer, count to four (sometimes three) then rock. Repeat

BSW: Paul where did you learn to drum like that?

KD: Self taught. The "aggression" comes from the fact that I suck at playing guitar so I had to do something more primal in order to purge myself of the six string suckness. Anything that sounds remotely interesting or technical is a total fluke.

BSW: Darren do you ever get dizzy from going in circles, how do you keep that chord from getting wrapped around you?

KD: Well, let me tell ya. I always go in the opposite direction of the gravitational pull of the Earth, and when you have an exceptionally large Penis like myself, as long as you go in the right direction it all evens out.

BSW: What do you feel, is your band bringing to the scene in Winnipeg?

KD: An illuminated "K", and some smack 'yer lips riffs to a driving beat.

BSW: Back of the Bus is an awesome tune, where did the lyrics for this song come from?

KD: Well, the lyrics came from a growing intolerance of the way things are done these days. Folks seem to elevate very unremarkable people to superstardom and celebrity, and still mutter under their breath when people from different backgrounds or nationalities occupy their personal space. How can we sit through a Letterman interview of Kato Kalen ( I hope I spelled it wrong) or watch 4 hours of unibomber biographies on A & E and still have a problem with the neighborhood grocer because he has an accent? Why does this happen? It's a real stumper.

BSW: Is there any other message or words that you would like to give our readers about your project?

KD: When it’s time for rockin' it’s time for cool rockin'. Buy it! Buy it Now!!

BSW: Thank you for the interview, I look forward to seeing your next show and taking photos for another issue.

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This issue Interviews with:


Red Blanket

Sick City

Off Your Bike

The Hearsemen


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