Misplaced Intentions, is an Edmonton based heavy-rock band that is aiming for the stars. They have a few cover songs but are aiming for more original songs in the future. The band is made up of Matthew Lindholm (vocals and guitar), Tyler Baker (lead guitar), Landon Berezanski (bass), and Keilan Thompson (drums).
The band has a way of defying expectations, says Berezanski, “Whatever the populace’s intentions were for us, we’ve kind of got our own. And it’s kind of misplaced from what they think.”
Berezanski and Alex Fedorouk started the band in 2013 when they were at Backbeat, a music school on Whyte Avenue, which they attended for 2 1/2 years. Berezanski says Backbeat taught them everything they needed to know about being in a band, beyond the music. Backbeat helps bands cultivate their style, appearance, sound, and even gets them experience putting on gigs.
Originally, the band was called Grim Bishop. That was later changed to Misplaced Intentions (Grim Bishop seemed too Christian rock-esque). A single musical genre does not easily define their sound. Berezanski describes it as “’90s nostalgic new wave hard rock.”
The band has been influenced by such similar but distinct groups as Rise Against, Monster Truck, and Iron Maiden
Baker explains: “It’s kind of a mix between Billy Talent and Metallica. It kind of blurs the lines between hard rock and metal.”
Lindholm adds: “We’re hard rock but not as hard as Avenged Sevenfold.”
As far as the band’s new name, there isn’t an epiphany origin story, Berezanski says.
“I’m pretty sure it was my idea, but I can’t tell you where it came from. We were sitting around thinking of a band name, might have been drinking. And it just kind of popped up.”
However, the name encompasses the idea of the band “not being held to what people would expect us to sound like, not being held to maybe what’s hip and in right now, not being afraid to tackle those sounds.”
Berezanski and Fedorouk were, “the first generation,” Baker says. Lindholm and Baker soon followed. Fedorouk left Misplaced Intentions to join a different band, FKB, leaving room for the band to grow and shift, and add Thompson as their drummer in February 2017.
“It didn’t really take long for Keilan to fit in with the rest of us,” Berezanski says. “Where it may have taken a little longer to get him up to par with our music because we don’t really have anything recorded, the friendship of the band really didn’t take that long at all.”
Michelle Langevin, co-owner and general manager of Yeg Music, has promoted Misplaced Intentions for over a year. She says she has noticed that shifting around the members hasn’t negatively impacted the band or its music.
“It’s collective, and the band works together. But it does seem like Landon holds the shit together, in a good way.”
Berezanski, she adds, is the decision-maker.
A long-time friend of the band, Madlyn Lung describes Misplaced Intentions as “a group of friends who use the band as an outlet for a good time. You can tell they really enjoy their gigs and are proud of their music. And that makes them a joy to watch.”
It’s more than friendship. It’s more than music. Being in a band is more than just being able to say, ‘I’m in a band,’ Berezanski says.
“It has opened my eyes to the sort of world I want to be surrounded in. It has open my eyes to the possibility for a dream that seemed like it was a little out of reach for a few years there. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for joining Backbeat, and joining what would become Misplaced Intentions, I don’t think I would have ever found that ambition that I have for it now.”
Lindholm adds: “Music, for most people, is kind of like a catalyst. It’s definitely impacted me for the better. Being able to play on stage is an experience that maybe not a lot of people get to do. But, for me, it’s really not comparable as a feeling. Well, maybe one thing is more comparable, but I’ll leave the romantic sappy crap for another day.”
The Edmonton music scene doesn’t have a huge reputation, Langevin says, and certainly is not on a par with cities like Toronto or Montreal. And that’s mainly due to venues. Live music venues are spread out in Edmonton; they aren’t focused in the downtown core.
“Musicians-wise, talent-wise, Edmonton has a pretty good grip on that. I don’t think that’s our issue. It’s just kind of the spacing of our city, and there are different things that play into it. We’re getting really close to that level of Montreal or Toronto. We just need a little bit more support from the city, and then we can get more venues up and running.”
Berezanski says, “It was getting a little spooky for a bit there. In the past two or three years. I started to notice a lot of the local spots, that were bringing in local bands to try and grow that local scene, were starting to sell their businesses,”
However, the scene is improving, “with companies like Yeg Music and festivals like the Folk Music Festival.”
Yeg Music is an artist-development company with 55 bands and solo artists. It promotes local bands and provides the bands with access to graphic designers, photographers, and, most important, gigs. Misplaced Intentions is not a direct part of Yeg Music for the time being, but the organization still promotes the group and books them for gigs.
The band is striving to get gigs in addition to the ones Yeg Music sets up for it. It’s a way for the band to get more work and different types of work. It’s also a way to scope out the venues to see firsthand their type and size, as well as their audience and management style.
“We can wait for Yeg to give us a show,” Thompson says. “But it would be nice if we could go and find our own. You kind of build it yourself, I guess, which is a very punk ethos.”
The members of Misplaced Intentions want to grow as a band, and that involves writing new songs and getting a larger fan base. “Solitary solution” is the one demo they’ve released, but more original songs are on the horizon.
Since joining, Thompson hasn’t written any songs for the band, and he says he’s wanting to do just that.
Berezanski says he wants to see the band “progressing to a harder sound and picking up the pace for a lot of our songs.”
Thompson agrees: “Landon wants to go faster, which I’m totally OK with because I usually like punk music.”
But it’s a long process, A song can take days, even months, to develop.
With more music, the band can build a larger fan base. Currently, it’s fairly localized with a small following, Baker says.
“It’s mostly just friends and people that we invite to the show that show up and that’s pretty much the only people that know us right now.”
Berezanski says “Back in the ’80s, if you were in the underground music scene, you would pass around a demo cassette you made. It would pass from peer to per. It’s completely changed nowadays, and we got to take advantage of that.
“With everyone on the Internet as much as they are, getting into all of those social media platforms is a big way to promote ourselves.”
The band members say they hope to continue making music and improving as a band.
Thompson admits that “we can continue coasting in the way that we have been, or we could try and do more.”
Regarding the future of the band, Lung says: “Many bands don’t last, but Misplaced Intentions has been through many trials and tribulations and still continues to improve over time. Every time I go to one of their shows I notice how much they have improved since their last gig.
“I’m not quite sure where time will bring them but I’m sure no matter that they will continue to make music even if it’s just for fun, and I will gladly listen to them.”
Baker adds: “Ideally, we’ll be touring the country, playing to sold-out crowds or whatever. And selling a lot of records. Realistically, it’s hard to say how far we’ll actually go. Pretty much wherever it goes, we’ll follow it.”
“I don’t look at this band as a stepping stone,” Berezanski says. “I look at it as the ship that I will sink with if it does go down that way. This is the band that I want to be in.”
Here are a few photos I took of the band, feel free to check out the rest of them here.