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INTERVIEW: Across The Board

How would you classify your music?

Across The Board is an indie pop rock band with a rootsy electric guitar vibe that leans toward classic rock mixed with catchy layered harmonies that push into the pop genre.

2. Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Although we all agree that our musical influences as band are so varied, it’s difficult to pinpoint three specific artists, bands like the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo and Fleetwood Mac in addition to more contemporary acts like Imagine Dragons and Metric certainly make the list. As a band we seem to find our groove and vibe from each other, as we write collectively-and each of come from such a varied background-world music, gospel and jazz, classic rock, reggae and pop-the end result is often tough to classify as a genre.

3. What do you want fans to take from your music?

We hope our fans take away not only the desire to hear more of our music, but something in the track that rings a chord in their lives-a memory, a feeling, a dream, a desire. We would love to believe that our choruses get stuck in their heads forever and leave them wanting more.

4. How’s the music scene in your locale?

Toronto is a vibrant live music scene with many iconic clubs along Queen Street, College and Bloor that have hosted some of the most iconic acts in modern time-from the Rolling Stones to U2 to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Toronto has several festivals each year to celebrate various genres of music and you can find multiple live shows to attend any night of the week. Competition for venues can be fierce, and bands have to promote their music and market their brand successfully to book gigs and draw a crowd. Torontonians are a willing live music audience, ready to come out in a blizzard or a rain storm to see their favorite bands at iconic venues like the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto’s Hard Rock Café, Mod Club, Cameron House, and Revival to name a few.

6. What is the best concert you have been to?

Two concerts come to mine-the most recent Pearl Jam concert in Toronto last summer – always epic to see Eddie Vedder come out on stage pre-show with an acoustic guitar and warm up the crows–and when we sang on stage with Walk Off The Earth when they opened for Marianas Trench last Spring-amazing experience!

7. What do you like most about playing live?

The best part about playing live is the energy of the audience. If we give a lively energetic performance, they give that same energy right back to us. It’s such an incredible feeling to connect with an audience and have them live the moments in each song right along with us-like an adventure in music.

8. Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

We have two songs that tend to stand out: “Take A Minute”-a Bon Jovi-esque classic rock ballad that build into an anthem of taking time to turn off the world and just enjoy the moment; and “Sad Guitar” – a song that lyrically tells a story of overcoming the ruts and banality of life to break away and pursue your dreams. We love playing these two songs and adore the audience response to them -clapping, dancing, singing them back to us…it’s fantastic.

9. How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

The band has caught it’s stride as a live act. For three years we built up our Youtube catalogueto over 130 videos, and wrote over 20 original songs before we stepped out of the internet box onto the live stage to perform in front of fans that to us, were social media profiles. Finally those same profile pictures became real faces shouting back at us from the audience! We have managed to increase our live game with each performance-connecting more quickly and deeply with each show.

10. If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Wow! Here is the list from the all the ATB band members: John Lennon, Buddy Ritch, Paul Simon, Jimmy Hendricks and Jim Morrison. We would invite them over for a backyard jam and throw a big BBQ and pool party-just to chill out and hear their journey first hand.

11. What’s next for you?

ATB is priming up for the completion of a new EP on the tails of our debut album “Jane On Fire”. The first release, “Don’t Drag Me Down” was released March 8th in conjunction with International Women’s Day and we played a huge show at Toronto’s Opera House which we all agreed was our best show yet. We have some festivals coming up in the summer and fall, album #2 in the works and we are hoping to invite other Canadian artists to collaborate with us on the new album to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017-an amazing opportunity to celebrate Canadian music and musicians!

Our ultimate goal is to write one song that everyone on.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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