Interviews Reviews

Interview With Notedead

Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready for this? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Switching Styles has the answers you need with this interview with Notedead.

Introductions All Around!

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. The band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, despite the hardships. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning. The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since.

Q&A Between Switching Styles and Notedead!

In an interview with switching styles, they’ve opened up about their band, their process, and their goals. Read below to get to know Notedead even better!

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

 Music emits emotion. I long to feel what the artist felt when they wrote the song and kind of experience it together. Music is also everywhere, from malls to elevators. And rhythm is in footsteps and your heartbeat, it’s everything.

 The emotions a song can put you through makes me feel alive

How did Notedead start and how did the Covid 19 Pandemic impact your band?

 Early on in Covid times when everything stopped and when we couldn’t jam with our bands Trymer started writing his own stuff and asked Max to write drums along with it. We both quickly realized that our writing for our respective instruments clicked together.

We started ripping out songs super-fast, so we decided to continue writing under our own band together which is Notedead.

How is being an Edmonton-based band impacted Notedead?

 It’s funny because only half of the band (Max) is Edmonton based and the other half (Trymer) is from Lacombe so it’s almost a long-distance type band relationship.

 The local music scene in Edmonton has a great group of people who support and encourage us, and we are forever grateful.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?


 Before I got into my own music I listened to my dad’s classic rock/metal, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, ZZ Top, etc. Anyways but I’m in grade 5 I had some project to do at school and there was another classmate who did his project, but his was on Sum 41 and it caught my eye, so I got the CD “all killer no filler” at a Walmart in Manitoba, and that cd changed me.

From there I adopted my first taste of music away from my parents and it inspired me to want to play guitar, the ball started rolling from there!


Rock band. I loved the game because I was able to some of jam along to my favorite songs while simultaneously learning a basic version of the drums. I got very good at that game, and it made my transition into real drums very easy.

My music teacher in junior high band class then asked if anybody knew how and I volunteered to learn some percussion. The rest is history, between drum lessons, drumming for my high school jazz band & winning jazz artist of the year, it’s safe to say I’m a real drummer now

What bands or genres inspire your sound?

 Counterparts, Napoleon, Dance Gavin Dance, to name a few… but it’s really so hard to say what inspires our sound, so many bands growing up shaped us into the musicians we are and what our preferences are as well.

We also use it a lot! Of dead notes haha

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

 We both write our music on Guitar Pro. being as we are far away from each other, and we both enjoy the punctualness we can read. Trymer usually comes up with the first riff and then sends it to Max and Max writes the drums and then we work together from there, writing the song section by section.

Sometimes there will be a pre-discussed idea before we start on our next track, but we always write song by song and never add too much to our plates.

What’s your favorite venue for performing? Why?

 We don’t play shows as we are only a 2 man band writing songs to share with people, but if we could Trymer would want to play the St. Andrews United Church in Lacombe as he used to play local punk shows there growing up (it’s kind of odd I know, but it was so much fun!) and Max wishes we could play at Polar Park Brewery in Edmonton but it unfortunately just closed down.

What are some of your current projects?

 Currently, we have some new music in the bank but nothing to confirm aside from our new album “Separate Paths”. However, Max is in 2 other bands, Withered Days and Sol Runner.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting?

 Listen to music as often as you can. Find something that you wish you could make your own and take that drive to make your own with your inspiration and feelings

 Don’t give up, you’re going to suck at times, but music is a lifelong partner if you let it be.

Is there anything you wanted to mention that I didn’t ask about?

 Yes, our new album ‘Separate Paths’ is out September 9th

Interviews Reviews

Featuring Notedead

This content was sponsored by Notedead. Thank you for supporting local music blogs like Switching Styles!!

Are you sure you’re ready for this? Are you ready for truly hardcore music? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Notedead is one of the most hardcore bands in the province, and they’re not stopping any time soon.


The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since. They’ve been releasing music since their debut in 2021 with the release of their Best Wishes EP. Then the single “Labyrinth” was released a year later.

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. Despite the hardships, the band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic. The covid pandemic was a tough time for Canadian musicians. Venues were closed. Live performances were limited. Finances for everyone were rough. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning.

Getting Started.

Trymer started writing instrumental tracks solo during the quarantine. Channelling the pressure, uncertainty, and anxiety into the melodies, he created three of Notedead’s first songs. But something was missing, and that something was Max. As a drummer, Max had felt the impact of the pandemic firsthand. Trymer reached out and Max took to his role like a fish to water. They both quickly realized that their writing was an amazing match. That’s the exact moment that Notedead was created.

You may think you know the post-hardcore genre, but not like this. Max is a drummer, not only for Notedead but also for Withered Days and Sol Runner. His skill combined with Trymer’s artistry makes entirely unique music. This band brings something fresh to the post-hardcore genre. The band is inspired by classic rock and metal legends; Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, and ZZ Top. That’s not all. Notedead’s influences also include contemporary bands such as Counterparts, Napoleon, and Dance Gavin Dance. Notedead is breathing a new kind of life into the genre with its music.

“A dynamic, immersive, and progressive assimilation of heavy influences. Rangy guitars work that balances urgent and melodic astutely and a pummeling vocal delivery intertwines deftly with the instrumental unit”

Raves Katie from Carry The 4 PR.

Their Music

This post-hardcore Canadian band is bringing out all the stops in their music. Notedead is bringing forth impressive drums, emotive lyrics, and an emotional connection to each one of its listeners. All their music has such a profound level of depth to it. Each note, each strum, and each word have a meaning and a purpose. That purpose is to connect with the listener within that moment.

Their most recent release is an album called “Separate Paths.” This album of 11 hardcore songs has been available as of September 9, 2022. Not even one of the album’s songs is flat when it comes to emotions. The songs all tell a story of humanity and share a part of the human condition. Pain, anger, joy, rage, and misery, it’s all there in their music.

Notedead is aiming to be one of the greats coming from right here in Edmonton, Alberta. The goal was never to impress people. It never has been. It’s been about the music. The real goal is to write great music that speaks to the human heart. Find their music online on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Bandcamp.

Check them out and let us know what you think!!

National Share The Love Day; Ways To Combat Social Isolation

Photo by Elle Hughes on

Did you know that today is National Share the Love Day?

The pandemic has certainly made it more difficult to share affection with loved ones. Although the pandemic has settled down in terms of Canadian restrictions, there’s still some hesitation with folks to going out.

Statistics Canada published the Canadian social survey for august and September of 2021. They reported that more than 1 in 10 Canadians are always or often lonely. That’s a lot of loneliness for one country. That means in a single high school class of 30 kids, at least 3 of those kids are feeling lonely. In an average downtown Edmonton office of 120 people, 12 of your coworkers feel lonely most of the time. It’s a sad statistic but there are things that you can do!

“socialization is important because touching and talking to people is a natural cure for anxiety and depression,” said Dr. Asim Shah, Professor And Vice Chair in the Menninger Department Of Psychiatry And Behavioral Sciences At Baylor explains to Homa Shalchi a writer for Baylor, College Of Medicine.

Isolation doesn’t just make you feel lonely though. The negative impacts of isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, substance abuse) as well as chronic conditions (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia).

There are ways to socialize even during and after a pandemic. Here are some ways to share love with loved ones if you’re not able or not yet comfortable doing so in person.

Play Online Games Together.

Get on your headset and boot up the old computer. It’s time to play some MMOs, Jack Box, World of Warcraft, Animal Crossing, Pokemon Go, or even Facebook’s popular game Words with Friends. Add in a discord server and there’s no limit to the games you can play with your friends.

Host An Online Party.

These are great ways to socialize face to face without it being in person. There are countless apps and software that are perfect for this. Zoom, google hangouts, and jack box games are just a few examples.

Give Them a Ring.

Get some facetime with the ones you love with video calls with the help of Skype, Discord, Facebook, and Snapchat just to name a few.

Send Them an Ecard.

These lived and died in the early 2000’s but ecards can still make a comeback. According to the new York Times, they’ve already have made a comeback.

“it reflects the fact that people are wanting to show that they care, with that extra piece of effort of producing a written artifact to send, even if it’s a digital one,” Professor Simeon Yates, A Professor Of Digital Culture At The University Of Liverpool In England explains.

Send Them a Gift.

Have a gift delivered to their home! This is a fantastic way to let them know that you’re thinking of them. What about some of our very own Switching Styles Merch? It could be something small to Something that’s been on their wishlist for a long time. Even a handwritten letter will make their day.

Attend Live Online Events and Concerts.

Thanks to online event listings like Facebook, Eventbrite, Travel Alberta and many more, you’ve got options for webinars, online training, live concerts and so much more!

Share In a Watch Party.

Watch parties are where everyone is watching the same movie at the same time with the opportunity for real-time chatting. Check out for all the options.

Send Them a Personalized Spotify Playlist.

Share your favourite songs and artists with friends and family. This could be a way to show off your new favourite covers of “Numb Little Bug: By Em Beihold Or Your Top Quirky Songs By Wild Child!

Happy National Share The Love Day! Here are some love songs covers to share with your loved ones. Send them one of these songs to get the socialization started!

“Lean On Me” Originally by Bill Withers Performed by Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, John Legend

“Jenny” Originally by Studio Killers Covered By Justine M.

“Friends Never Say Goodbye” Originally by Elton John Covered By Kristo Qerama

“Anytime You Need a Friend” Originally by Mariah Carey Covered By Jo-B Sebastian

“You’re My Best Friend” Originally by Queen Covered By Heavy Weather

Share this with a friend or loved one for National Share The Love Day today!

Photo by Marlene Leppänen on

Interviews Parodies Switching styles

Disc Golf Newcomers Welcome

Edmonton, AB – Compared to many sports, disc golf has some of the lowest barriers to entry across Canada. This has contributed to its quick growth.

From 2019 to 2020 alone, there’s been a 33% increase in disc golf games according to Udisc, a mainstream disc golf scoring app and PDGA. That’s not all, according to PDGA’s Annual Report, there are over 53k members worldwide with over 70k in 2020.

There are many reasons for its recent boost in popularity. Disc golf is a wonderful game. It’s a competitive sport that has low barriers to entry, increased accessibility, socially distancing, and noncontact.

Photograph by Jeffrey of Flickr

For those that aren’t familiar with the sport, its name is spot on. Its rules are similar to golf except instead of golf balls and clubs, there are discs or frisbees. Just like golf, the objective is to get the disc in the targe, or the hole in as few tries as possible.

Disc golf has gained popularity throughout Alberta at the start of the pandemic and has exploded in popularity since. Now new and returning players are needing a course to play. There are over 8,000 disc golf courses worldwide, with more being installed every day. Finding a game of great and local disc golf can be difficult depending on your location. There are several organizations throughout southern Alberta, as well as community groups that host the games.

The PDGA has a huge database of disc golf courses with thousands of them throughout the entire globe. In terms of Alberta, there are over 60 different courses spread throughout the province.

The sport itself is low cost, minimal risk, and low difficulty. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder that the player base has increased so much in such a brief time. Especially in Alberta, this is an increasingly popular sport like golf but utilizes frisbees or discs instead.

Tim Plamondon of the president of the Edmonton disc golf association explains, “that’s how I would describe it. At the end of the day and it’s just golf and anyone majority of people know golf and understand conceptually what it is. You whack a ball into a hole.”

Plamondon explains that it’s a wonderful and open community. It’s a trait he’s certainly seen displayed on the field.

“It’s extremely common to compete with people who are also boosting you as you play. Disc golf is a sport where everyone wants everyone to succeed,” says Plamondon.

Disc Golf Parodies

Here are some musical parodies about disc golf to get you in the mood to start this new sport.

“Disc Golf King” By Bizzair (Profanity Warning)
“Winnebago” By Vally & Rocket
“I Hit A Tree Again” By Back Of The Box Disc Golf
“Sound Of Silence” Disc Golf Parody By Isadg
 “Disc In The Trees” By Discgolfmonkeys
“Paired In Dubs” A “Wicked Game” Disc Golf Parody By Montcalm Gems

Final Thoughts

Check out the Calgary Disc Golf Club Events, as well as these additional databases, Disc Golf United Course LocatorUdisc Course DirectoryPDGA Course Directory, or DG Course Review, to find a disc golf course nearby you.

Covers Interviews Switching styles

Orchestras During Covid-19

Introducing Canada’s Orchestras

Orchestral music may have gotten its start around the renaissance in the 17th century, but it hasn’t lost its relevancy as a music genre. Current research from the Canadian Council of the arts, and Orchestra Canada shows an increase in revenue and attendance for orchestra performances between 2018 and 2019. However, that’s increase has ended with the rest of the music industry since the start of Covid-19. 

The orchestra of Canada shows that income has increased by an average of 15% all across Canada since 2015. The average annual revenue for orchestral music in 2017-2018 is $210,365,000. The following year, the average annual revenue increased to $218,333,085. The total revenue increased by 3.8%.

This corroborates the projections from the CCA’s report published in the CCA’s report.

“Between 2010 and 2017, these show that revenue amounts have been increasing. Of the responding orchestras, they reported an increase of total revenue from $28.6 Million in 2016-2017 to 176.9 million in 2010-11. As shown below, orchestras make money in multiple different ways including earned revenue, public sector revenues, private sector revenues and of course other,” explains the report.

Orchestras and Pandemics

Most of Canada’s orchestras are not-for-profit organizations and registered charities.

“In 2018-19, according to OC’s comparative data from 71 of our largest member orchestras, orchestras derived 35.8% of their revenues from ticket sales and sold services, and 40.2% from individuals, corporations, foundations, and special fundraising events. Government support (from all three orders of government) made up the difference. Our members reported revenues of almost $218 million and connected with 2.8 million Canadians.”

That being said, this isn’t the first pandemic to hit orchestral music.

“While we are certainly living in unusual and challenging times, Covid-19 -19 isn’t the first global pandemic that has struck our communities and shaken the arts industry. The Canadian orchestral landscape was much younger when the Spanish Flu of 1918 hit the country, just months after the end of World War I. Much like what we’re seeing right now, many industries, including the arts, were forced to close their doors to stop the spread of the virus.” reads a report from Orchestras of Canada.

Impact of Orchestras During Covid-19

In 2020, Orchestras are facing a stressful time with up to 76% of their income vulnerable as Orchestra Canada explains.

According to the live vitality from Canadian Live Music, on a yearly basis, presenters attracted an average attendance of 38,000, with a median of 5,700. Paid attendance represents 68% of total attendance. A loss of attendance for live performances is the main aspect impacting musical performances throughout Canada.

“Depending on the size of the orchestra, anywhere from one to well over 200 people are paid to do work directly for and with the orchestra each season, and they are all vulnerable to changes in their orchestra’s financial health. Orchestras also tend to plan and market their concerts 18-24 months in advance.”

In terms of financial support, there is support for Canadian orchestras, but there is a gap as there is for all Canadians at this time. All combined, this leaves Canadian orchestras in a tough spot to be able to continue.

Statistics Regarding Orchestras in Canada

A survey from Violinist.Com showed….

  • Well-run orchestras will return to large-scale orchestral concerts, but some orchestras will not recover:
  • Large-scale orchestral concerts will return to pre-COVID-19  levels after a few years:
  • I fear large-scale orchestral concerts are a thing of the past.:
  • Large-scale orchestral concerts have already returned in my geographic area.:

But why does it matter what happens to the music industry?

“When I watched a man with dementia shuffle into one of our concerts with his wife, and he sat at the back of the hall, seemingly unresponsive to those around him…then, his eyes lit up and he asked his wife to dance, and gracefully danced with her at the back of the hall for most of the evening! The power of the arts!” Bassano Arts Council Bassano, AB from Live Vitality.


Carleton, K. (2020). Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance May 8, 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2021, from

Niles, L. (2020). weekend vote: How will COVID-19 affect the future of large-scale orchestral performances?. Retrieved 28 February 2021, from

Smith, S. (2019). OC Comparative Report 2017-18 – GUIDE to SUMMARIES EN Final.pdf. Retrieved 28 February 2021, from

Switching styles

Silence or Shouting or Singing: Canadian Censorship as Contrasted by The Moral Philosophies of Kantian And Utilitarian Ethics

Canadian Censorship

Censorship is the act of limiting expression in any media for reasons from individual safety, and corruption, to national security, and propaganda. Typically, and ideally, censorship is a way to protect people from other’s expressions. For example, there are reasonable limits to expression, “incitement to violence is never protected, there must be legal redress available for libel and slander, and governments may take certain legally prescribed measures to limit speech to safeguard national security” (Simon, 2015). Canada’s censorship laws are a legal balance between citizen’s rights and security. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures citizens the right to express themselves (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982).

Canadians can share what they think, believe, or feel in nearly any form of expression while being subjected to reasonable limits “prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982). Canadian censorship emphasizes a balance among liberties of individuals as well the society. Censorship is a complex moral issue since it has legitimate arguments on either end.

Context of Censorship in The Canadian Music Industry

Censorship does impact the music industry in terms of content, and lyrics. However, it’s a lot more subjective as an art form. Censoring music stems from a range of motivations including moral, political, and religious reasons. Within Canada, musical censorship is largely self-regulated with an overarching organization dealing with substantial cases and complaints from the public. Canadian music content is self-regulated by each creator, organization, or station as they follow the code of ethics of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters which limits the content of the music. These guidelines prohibit the radio broadcast of excessive profanity, sexually explicit material, and glorifying violence. In more substantial cases, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) can get involved (CRTC, 2020).

One case was brought to the Atlantic panel of the CBSC where CHOZ-FM aired the original version of “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits (Derek, 2017). In it, the homophobic slur “Faggot” was used. Although it is a homophobic slur typically used as a hateful insult, a national panel of the CBSC ruled that its use was intended to be satirical and not hateful (Derek, 2017).

Another case through the CBSC involved “The Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang in 2001, due to its sexual innuendo (Purse, 2011). There is a lot of subtle sexual connotations in its lyrics including the lines, “Love, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket / Like the lost catacombs of Egypt. Only God knows where we stuck it / Hieroglyphics? Let me be Pacific, I wanna be down in your South Seas” (Bloodhound Gang, 1999). As with many of their songs, the subtle sexual innuendo is very prevalent. The council found that although “the song makes several references to sexuality; the Council is of the view that such references consist mainly of innuendo. The song playfully alludes to the sexual fantasies of the songwriter without explicitly describing them” (CBSC, 2000).

The main aspect of Canadian music censorship is self-regulation. Radio stations are often the most common avenue when people consider music censorship as the name coined for a ‘clean’ version of a song is a radio version. Radio versions and clean versions are a version of an original song without any profane words or topics. For example, Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” often has the ‘Fuck’ muted or the song itself is replaced with the version of “Forget You”.  These versions exist because of the range of audiences that those stations have. Censoring the content of their music provides the positive consequence of having more opportunities to be aired or played because they’re family-friendly.

Photo by Skylar Kang on

Record labels and production companies each have their own guidelines beyond the national guidelines. Warner Bros. Records have withheld albums because of their content. Both Ice – T and Paris had gangster rap albums withheld due to content concerns (Complex, 1992). However, after moving their acts to a different record label, there were no concerns over the content.

Those past cases show that censorship can and is rather subjective within music as many of those topics that are typically censored are used as satire or an explanation. In many cases, the issues resulting from a lack of censorship are also self-regulated. The CBSC held that “most questions of potentially unpalatable material, amount to questions of taste, and, in such cases, should be left to the listener’s discretion to listen to or turn off” (CBSC, 2000).

Kant And Censorship

What is Kantian Ethics?

Kant aims to seek out and establish the supreme principle of morality, one that’s absolute and universal (Kant, 2012). According to Kant, Rationality, autonomy and dignity make humans different and thus should be the basis for moral actions. Kant separates actions into the morally worthy from morally correct, as he doesn’t want morality to happen by mere circumstance. “An action done from duty has its moral worth, not in the purpose to be attained by it, but in the maxim, according to with which it is decided upon” (Kant, & Paton, 2009). A Morally correct action is simply considered moral. Morally worthy deeds are unconditional, intrinsic, and driven by duty as opposed to reward or bias.

What are Morally Worthy Actions?

To determine if an action is morally worthy, Kant provides a categorical imperative consisting of three rules in which pure reason develops morality. Kant’s foremost rule is to “act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction” (Kant, & Paton, 2009).

The first part requires for any moral action should be done consistently by everyone by universalizing the action. Hypothetically, if everyone in the world did it, logically could one still commit the act? When it’s not possible to commit the act, there is a logical contradiction. When there is a logical contradiction, the action proves to be immoral and thus the opposite of it provides a perfect duty. If there is no logical contradiction, and no contradiction of the will, the action is considered moral and provides a perfect duty.

The next part is to question whether there is a contradiction of will, by asking whether people would want to live in this world or not. His results are one of two things a perfect duty in which there is no contradiction of will or an imperfect duty where the world isn’t ideal to live in. An imperfect duty is one that is moral but not applicable all the time.

Kant’s second rule is “act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end” (Kant, & Paton, 2009). Humans are intrinsically valuable and are means within themselves. Thus, they shouldn’t be used as an instrument without informed consent. Kant’s third rule is “every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends” (Kant, & Paton, 2009). This rule is similar to the first rule, but it expands the maxim to the entirety of the moral community. It says people should only act on maxims that the entire community can agree with.

Kant’s Thoughts on Censorship

In terms of Kantian ethics, consider the action of censoring an expression to protect society from negative, hateful, and dangerous ideas. If it were to be universalized, then everything that was discussed would become docile, beneficial and thus not require censorship. Thus, censoring everything is not logical because of the action’s inconsistency. When reversed to test it, the action becomes censoring nothing at all. When that is universalized everyone would be able to freely speak and it has no logical contradiction. Thus, a lack of censorship is a perfect duty. There isn’t a contradiction of will, as this would provide a liberal society. Individuals would have the autonomy of their thoughts and opinions. The second imperative applies if and how the action is using people as means.

Limiting individual expression halts people from being means unto and for themselves. While censored, they’d be unable to express their opinions and ideas. These expressions are extensions of the self. To limit them is to limit the individual. The third imperative brings up the idea of the rest of society. Censoring nothing allows for complete individual autonomy of thoughts, ideas and opinions. Regarding Kantian ethics, censorship is deemed immoral as the lack of it is a perfect duty.

Utilitarianism and Censorship

Utilitarianism’s goal is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. As pleasure is a human’s natural inclination, it is the only thing that is intrinsically good. Thus, reason implores the morally right act is that which maximizes human happiness for everyone involved even to the detriment of individual autonomy.

What is Utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism was accused of being the morality of pigs because it’s based on pleasures. However, pleasure is defined as not mere physical pleasure but happiness. Bentham is open and claims that different people and cultures have different pleasures. Mill argues that there is a hierarchy of pleasure resulting in two types of pleasure – higher and lower pleasures. Higher pleasures are active, ennobling, satisfying, and enduring, while lower pleasures are passive, fleeting, basic, momentarily satisfying, and simple. To decide if something is moral, utilitarianism measure and compare pleasure and pain, by applying the principle of unity. The principle of unity is to seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people by factoring any relevant impartial aspect into the equation.

Utilitarianism‘s thoughts on Censorship

In terms of censorship, utilitarianism aims to benefit as many people as is possible. Mill’s states that generally censorship doesn’t benefit the whole group (Doyle, 2001). The lack of it allows a benefit to society, “If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error” (Mill, 2010, p. 142). This means that the information that is expressed has some inherent worth even it’s originally misinformation. It is used to further educate the masses.

Furthermore, Mill writes in his book On Liberty, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind” (Mill, 2010, p. 18). Mill believes there is no justification in silencing an opinion because robs people of another viewpoint especially those that disagree with the silenced ideas.

However, Mill does understand that there can be some issues with a lack of censorship. There are some problems with the initial idea for censorship as its absence can cause harm to members of society in the current world (Doyle, 2001). Thus, Mill suggests that the harm principle is applied instead of overarching government legislation.

Mill’s harm principle is described as. “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” (Mill, 2010, p. 193). The first aspect is that the only harm to be considered relevant are social harms. This makes harm to the opinion holder irrelevant. Second, everyone should aim to have a maximum tolerance for opinions that differ from theirs, or from that of the majority.

Mill urges that the censorship shouldn’t be too imposing, as there is a “peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion, that it is robbing the human race.” (Mill, 2010, p. 142). According to the utilitarian views of Mill, Censorship is useful if only to limit harmful opinions.

Comparison of Moral Ethics and Censorship

Kantian and utilitarian ethics typically disagree within their theories. The two theorists agree in terms of the benefit of free speech but differ in their ideas of when free speech should be limited. Kant’s categorical imperative showed a lack of censorship is moral as it doesn’t have a logical contradiction or a contradiction of will. Mill’s principle of unity seemed to agree with Kant on this example initially. Mill states that censoring opinions limits the freedom and benefit to the public. Though, Mill admits, that self-regulation is required. Utilitarian report that censorship does have a use although limited. Mill provides the harm principle a guide to self-regulation.

Overall, although their perspectives are very similar, utilitarianism provides a better analysis of the use of censorship. It’s more realistic for the times. The era of instant and mass communication requires a sort of safety net against expressive crimes such as hate speech, stereotyping, discrimination, and exploiting dangerous secrets. Moreover, the harm principle is simple and accessible in its application since it meant for the public to regulate themselves instead of an institute telling the public what is inappropriate. This approach is also more holistic. It provides for subtle differences such as culture, or age. As well, it’s varied enough to be used through various cases in varying degrees of consequence and circumstance. Censorship is controversial because it requires a balance between individual autonomy and the benefit of the entire group.

Photo by cottonbro on


Abma, Derek. “CRTC asks for review of Dire Straits song ban”. Postmedia News.

“A Decade in Rap Censorship (1990-1999)”. Spin. Retrieved October 24, 2017.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, c 11.

CBSC. 2002. Code of Ethics. Available at: <;

Complex (1992) “A History of Scandalous Rap Album Covers: Paris, Sleeping with the Enemy (1992)”. Complex.

Doyle, T. (2001). A Utilitarian Case for Intellectual Freedom in Libraries. The Library

Quarterly, 71(1), 44-71.

EW (1997) “The Great Milenko”. July 25, 1997.

Kant, I. (2012). The Critique of Practical Reason – The Original Classic Edition (1st ed.). Dayboro: Emereo Pub.

Kant, I., & Paton, H. (2009). Groundwork of The Metaphysic of Morals (1st ed.). New York: Harper Perennial Modern Thought.

Mill, J. (2010). On Liberty (1st Ed.). Boston:

Purse, G., 2011. A Brief Overview of CBSC Music Censorship.. [online] University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog. Available at: <>

Rolling Stones (2015) “Violent J Gives the Twisted Stories Behind ICP’s Best LPs”. Rolling Stone. February 13, 2015.

Rolling Stone. “Canada Lifts Ban on Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing'”. Rolling Stone.

Simon, J. (2015). The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (1st ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Stanbury, R., Fockler, P., Hogarth, M., Whiting, S. and Ziniak, M., 2000. CIGL-FM Re A Song Entitled “The Bad Touch”. [online] CBSC. Available at: <>

Interviews Reviews

Covid-19’s Impact on Canada’s Live Music

Covid-19’s Impact on Canada’s Live Music has been seen throughout the industry. As the coronavirus situation has unfolded in Canada, Canadians see the impacts that it’s had on the music industry. There have been many impacts on Canada’s music industry directly and indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This impact is specifically seen in live music performances with the guidelines limiting live music being lessened in the past weeks.

Live performances are going to change immensely, even when a vaccine is available. Mosh pits most likely won’t be able to be a thing for a long time. The whole experience will be different for a while. said Heather Gunn, a journalist aspiring to write for the entertainment and music industry, I don’t see live music coming back in a normal way until a vaccine is readily available, and even then, artists and fans will have to take precautions. Concerts, as we know them, will never be truly the same again, or not for a long time at least.

Alberta’s guidelines impacting live music performances have changed as the pandemic has progressed. Currently, Alberta’s guidelines are loosening up allowing for venues to present bands to perform. Opening up the live music, sector is going to bring much-needed funds into the music industry as Covid-19 has detrimentally impacted musicians financially.

Covid-19 has unfortunately caused a huge shift in the music industry. With the temporary absence of live music, musicians are hurting. It’s quite well known that live music is the biggest source of income for most artists, and that has come to a standstill for the time being. explains Gunn.

Covid-19 Updated Guidelines

Here is a quick list of the updated guidelines to keep staff, volunteers, performers, and patrons safe.

  • Singing along, cheering or yelling is discouraged. Encourage clapping or noisemakers.
  • COVID-19 awareness in the form of signage, posters and information are to be easily accessible and visible including in different languages.
  • Using online or touchless pay options when possible.
  • Ensuring a 4-meter distance between performers and the audience by blocking off the
    front two rows of seating, barriers, or signage.
  • Encourage patrons to maintain physical distancing, follow proper hand hygiene, and
    respiratory etiquette always with signage or verbal announcements.
  • Consider adjusting spaces accessible to the public to support physical distancing including…
    • Controlling entrance and exits from high traffic areas
      allowing for staggered entry.
    • Ensuring a minimum 2-meter distance between attendants.
    • Limiting crowded or bottleneck areas with staff, volunteers, or barriers to redirect people that gather in these specific areas.
    • Using markings to encourage physical distance in lines .
  •  When possible offer alternatives to in-person attendance like live-streaming or drive-in.
  • Maintain regular cleaning and sanitation of high touch areas.

Non-traditional venues such as pop up venues are discouraged because of “difficulty of
maintaining appropriate distancing and managing the size of the gathering”. Other non-traditional venues such as outdoor events and drive up events have their own guidelines.

Survey of Audience Confidence

Audience confidence has been shaken to say the very least,  with Half of all Canadians not being comfortable going to a live performance in the states while 32% say it will take at least six months to be comfortable again.

Despite the stress and concerns over live music. It’s important to people as shown by research done by Music Canada and Abacus Data as most music lovers will really miss seeing live music.

As the pandemic continues, our research found that self-identified “live music lovers” now miss live music even more than they did in April. 90% of respondents in this group now say “I really miss going to concerts” — and 89% of this group agree that digital content will never replace the feeling of seeing live music. Erin Benjamin, President and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association.

Reopening live music venues are going to require a lot of work both from the music industry, the Canadian government and the community of music lovers.

“What we find interesting about what our research demonstrates is that live music is not going to just disappear. Canadians really miss the experience and want to come back, and we know they will return to venues and shows in time, and when they feel comfortable with others around them,” said Benjamin.

Interviews Reviews

Covid-19’s has Hard Financial Impact on Musicians

“As governments across Canada and the world increasingly shift their focus to recovery, this data from Abacus underscores the precarious position of the live music ecosystem – an ecosystem upon which artists rely for a significant, and in some cases predominant, portion of their livelihood,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada, a non-profit trade organization representing major record companies in Canada.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been difficult to do much of anything. This includes making a living. It’s harder for those that rely on groups and in-person connection. As the pandemic continues, it shows the industries that are more vulnerable and susceptible. The Music industry is being hit hard during the pandemic.

“So many artists live so close to the bone. We’re really seeing just how vulnerable our artists are in a community. I think a lot of a lot of people are panicked and that’s really affecting any kind of validity to do anything meaningful to the creativity. So yeah, just overall this is definitely sort of a real cloud of anxiety,” Explains Miranda Mulholland, Artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council.

The financial issues within the music industry are not confined to the music industry. Henderson explains that many different businesses within the economy that are boosted by the arts and by the music industry itself.

“It was amazing how it was like a village that travelled and relied on them. The managers, the managers, staff. In the touring of the artist and the putting out of the records, it was like an engine that kind of powered everything. It’s hitting a really broad cross-section of the economy,” he explains.

Artists like Cody Blakey; a local recording engineer, Leshan Masikonte; of Melafrique, and Phillip Rodda of Medical Pilot are all feeling the financial burdens.

“A lot of places have been shut down since March. A lot of bands are doing home recordings. There has been about a 50% loss for projects on my end. I’ve heard of engineers losing even more, or not losing any work at all.”

“Covid-19 was really tough and most of us lost a significant amount of opportunities and although we are okay for now, we are not sure what the future holds,” continues Masikonte.

Live performances make a huge part of a musician’s income. Music Canada commissioned Abacus Data to survey and find the impacts of COVID on the music industry. Abacus data is showing us that there is a lot of stress from music lovers which directly impacts the musicians they listen to. The majority of respondents feel as if the music industry will be out of commission for 6 months or more, even after physical distancing restrictions are lifted. This doesn’t bode well for musicians that are out of their main work. Although it’s the main source of income, live music isn’t the only way for an artist to make a living.

“Artists now are doing a lot of live streams and more are beginning to do Curbside performances. Artists are also getting money from streams of their music. Another avenue is government-sponsored events, and community development projects as well,” comments Masikonte, “Merchandise is one of the best streams of income for a musician. However, most upcoming musicians sell at their shows. For online sales, it’s been harder for people to buy merchandise because of a lack of personal connection, and everyone is struggling financially.”

With the limiting of the economy as a whole, it’s difficult to simulate things that aren’t essentials such as food, shelter, health, and so on. Government supports such as CERB, CESB, as well as Grants and bursaries, are available for musicians.

Read more about the financial aid for musicians here.

There are government supports but it may not be enough, says Angeles Joselito who owns and operates Apollo Entertainment Company, “CERB is a good start but it is not enough to help a musician with advancing their career,” admits Joselito.

“Unfortunately, it’s clear that the pandemic will cause serious and possibly irreparable harm to Canada’s artists, the majority of whom were already living in a precarious state. We must continue to think about how we can help them through this as they’ve been here for all of us in this crisis,” said Mulholland.

This is a stressful time but many musicians still have hope for the music industry to bounce back after the pandemic.

“We see it coming back with a bang however, the live stream industry is going to be seeing a spike in live music performances. That is, people have begun to adapt to the live stream culture, and now it may become an alternative to live shows,” comments Masikonte.

“The demand, however, will always be there. So no matter how long it takes to come back there’s going to be a lot of antsy people sitting at home waiting for the first opportunity to see a show. I know I’m one of them!” Says Rodda, though he admits that it may not come back the same industry as we’ve known it before.