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!!

Edmonton Music Festivals To Attend In July

Need a list of summer Edmonton music festivals in YEG? We’ve got you covered.

Introducing July’s Music Festivals

Here is a list of all the festivals happening in July. Trust us, there’s no shortage of music festivals happening in the Edmonton area. Switching styles is excited to bring you an extensive list of #YEGs music festivals from Servus Patio Series to the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival To K-Days! Don’t wait too long. Get your tickets for these events right away.

Photo by Thibault Trillet on

Servus Patio Series Concerts At La Cite Francophone – June 9th – August 11

The series is celebrating the French culture within the Edmonton area. this festival highlights local francophone artists, businesses, and musicians. Located in the heart of Edmonton’s French quarter next to the iconic mill creek ravine, it’s time for more live music.

The annual patio series concerts featuring Edmonton-based, and internationally recognized musicians is back. Every Thursday evening between June 9th and August 11th, there’s a wide variety of musical styles come rain or shine. The ambiance and atmosphere are incomparable. Hosted by Cafe Bicyclette, the café will supply a delicious patio menu that’s both elegant and unique. Whether you arrive by foot, transit, bike, or car, come on down to Cité Francophone and Café Bicyclette. For more information visit their website.

Opera & Music Theatre Festival June 5th To July 16

This year’s 2022 opera & music theatre festival features a variety of concerts, events, opera, and musical theatre performances. Each one is perfect for the entire family. There are three mainstage shows available throughout the festival. The first is the consul which is a contemporary opera sung in English at the masonic hall on June 29, 30, and July 2 & 3. The next one is the Coronation of Poppea, an early-music opera sung in Italian, with English subtitles performed at the Triffo Theatre, on July 9, 10, 12 & 14. The third is tuck everlasting, a Broadway musical for the whole family, also at Triffo Theatre on July 13, 15 & 16. That’s not all. That’s only the opera performances. There are other musical events including a grand night for singing, vocal gems, and a behind scenes masterclasses.

Visit to learn more.

Edmonton International Street Performers Festival July 8-17

Considered the flagship for Edmonton’s summer festivals, the works art & design festival and the Edmonton international street performers festival are teaming up to present this 10-day festival.

This festival has been supplying entertainment for the whole family for nearly 4 decades of variety performers, visual art, shenanigans, music, food, and fun. This festival is located in the heart of downtown at the Sir Winston Churchill Square at 99 street and 102 an avenue.

Musicians attending include Vinyl Burns, Ben Sures, The Violin Kid, And Jessa Sky. These are just the musicians as the street performers festival includes a range of talents. Attending talent includes magicians, cartoonists, storytellers, comedians, acrobats and so much more. This is a festival you don’t want to miss.

Learn more at

C’mon Festival July 14 – 17

This pay-what-you-can festival is offered at the Winspear Centre, At 4 Winston Churchill Square. Musicians attending includes various fantastic instrumental performers. Alissa Cheung and Daniel Gervais perform with violins on Thursday.

Music for string quartet including Alissa Cheung, Ewald Cheung (Violins), Ethan Filner (Viola), Nicholas Yee (Cello), Rob Spady (Clarinet), Matthew Howatt (Bassoon), And Kathryn Macintosh (Alto & Tenor Trombone) Is Performed Friday Evening. Saturday includes Violinissimo with Alissa Cheung, Aiyana Anderson, Anna Kozak, Sylvia Chow & Ehren Moser as well as the festival finale with all of the above musicians plus Mark Segger on percussion. Bring all your friends, family, and kids to this family-friendly and budget-friendly music festival.

Learn more here at

K-Days – July 22 – 31

As Edmonton’s biggest summer festival, K-Days has 10 days of exciting and eclectic musicians performing.

The musical line up Includes Marianas Trench, Ryland James, Crystal Waters, Legends Of Edmonton Drag, Party Queens And More, The Indigo-Hauz Of Beaver Hills, Steve Micheals (Elvis Impersonator), David James & Big River, Kieza, Reve, Streetheart, Toronto, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Jason Benoit, Jade Eagelson, Captain Tractor, Classified, Tyler Shaw, Steven Lee Olsen, Nate Smith, And After Midtown. For the full dates and times, check out the schedule.

Hosted at the expo centre and exhibition grounds, there are quite a bit of option for parking and for public transit. Check out more information at!

Disco At the Park July 30 – 31

Disco is coming back in a big way with this two-day festival hosted at Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. This is the second annual disco in the park right here in central Alberta. This weekend promised to be full of dancing along with a fully listened venue, food, amazing DJ sets and live music performances. Musical talent includes Jellybean Benitez, Angelo Ferreri, Kathy Brown & Taz, Hotmood, The Brasstactics, Cozmic Cat, Cyclist, Funk Hunk, Dunmore Park, Wijit, Maurice, Junior Brow, Work Party & Wax Theory, Oh-Me & Femme Funk, Back To Life DJs, Joses, St. Croix, Mae, Anzu, Ben Colmen, Dusty Grooves, Will Hempfree, Yuri, and Hatiras. Spend your long weekend full of unforgettable vibes.

Check out more right here.

Edmonton Heritage Festival July 30 – August 1

This festival is bringing you a taste of Canada’s national heritage. the Edmonton Heritage Festival is back to celebrate multiculturalism. World music week includes a range of amazing performances right here at the Heritage Amphitheatre. Performers include Neha Batra, DJ Game Girl, Punjabi Heritage & Folk, Chubby Cree, Alaine, Soji Joseph, Melafrique, Digging Roots, Billie Joe Green, Bill Birdsong Miller, Brandon Baker, and Kaely Jade.

Learn more at!

Concluding Thoughts

July is a happening month for music festivals. That’s exciting for music lovers of Edmonton! We’d love to see your music fest pics on our social media! Tag us on your favourite social media platforms!

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.


Reviewing Mary’s Wedding

Switching Styles’ very own Dylanna Fisher is reviewing Mary’s Wedding. Put on by Edmonton’s very own Citadel Theatre, “Mary’s Wedding” is a fantastic and sensory experience.

Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Excerpt From the Charge of The Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Emotional. Exhilarating. Immersive. That’s how I’d describe “Mary’s Wedding”. The Canadian classic itself was fantastic. The actors were tugging at the heartstrings throughout the entire play. Tai Amy Grauman and Todd Houseman provided a breathtaking and emotional performance.

The Cast and Crew

“Mary’s Wedding” was originally by Stephen Massicotte and adapted by Tai Amy Grauman, who also plays Mary to bring together a tale of beautifully woven woe.

Jann Rodgers directed the entire play highlighting her strength as a director. Granted, the actors didn’t’ need much directing. As a two-actor play, it was dynamic. With any play with limited cast members, there’s a high chance for a repeated and monotone performance. This was certainly not the case with Tai Amy Grauman and Todd Houseman.

The cast and crew list include so many different people. Thank you to all of those that participated and gave to this project.

The Soundtrack

There’s such a profound impact that live theatre has on the senses. This is something that can’t be replicated in film or streaming services. I promise you.

Now for one of the most impressive aspects of the play. The audio was fantastic. Each sensation and emotion were multiplied by the audio in the background. Not just the music but the sound effects and background audio created an immersive environment.

The play started with the imagery of a field full of flowers, then a storm. That storm sound effects carried a great deal of symbolism.

Thunder symbolized a flurry of emotions for both characters but more so for [the male]. “One one thousand two one thousand three one thousand four one thousand, five one thousand,” was repeated throughout the performance driving home the symbolism during highly emotional scenes. This symbolism is connected to emotions such as fear, anxiety, foreboding, and panic. This symbolism was continued within the war scenes, flashbacks, and present-day with Mary.

With Sound Design by Dave Clarke and Original Music by Kathleen Nisbet, they combined their skills to make for a beautiful soundtrack to the play.

The Context

Not only was it a quality performance thanks to everyone involved, but it had such a poignant message for Canadians. The context for this play is very sociological and political. Combining the efforts of the cast, the stagehands, and the overall crew, made for an amazing time. The team at the citadel brought forth an emotional love story with a historical context of Canada’s role in WW1.

Charlie wasn’t considered a Canadian despite living in Canada his entire life. He fought and died for a country that didn’t see him as an equal. He fought and died for a country that still doesn’t acknowledge him or his family ties. If that wasn’t emotional enough, it tied into a love story. Arguably, he didn’t fight for his country, at least not really. He was fighting for Mary. That’s what made it so much sadder.

The context of racism was very poignant. Stephen Massicotte wove together a story that won several awards: Alberta Literary Award for Drama 2003, Alberta Playwriting Competition 2000, and Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play 2002.

Logistics Of Live Theatre

The Citadel Theatre provided an amazing experience during a Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout Canada, live performances are struggling to keep afloat. Whether that’s musicians, comedians, lifestyles speakers or actors, it’s been hard all around.

Using the Shoctor Theatre specifically, this two-actor play provided a show full of wonder, sadness, and love. Performing between august 28th and September 12th of 2021, “Mary’s Wedding” was a play to view for sure.


Final Thoughts

As with many other performances from  The Citadel Theatre, this was a beautiful experience.  The Citadel Theatre is one of Edmonton’s most prominent live performance venues.

The Citadel Theatre explains on its website that it, “is committed to seeing our artistic community thrive. Learn about our many opportunities through auditions, play development, mentorship programs, and other artistic programming”.

For more information about “Mary’s Wedding” and other performances, check out




Musicians During Covid-19; Interview with Cody Blakely

Cody Blakely is a local musician and recording engineer, who has seen the impacts of the pandemic firsthand. As a global pandemic, there are several impacts. From finances to career impact, there’s a lot of aspects that have been altered by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns.

The conversation about the impact of Covid-19 and it’s context and impact in terms of musicians has been a rather hot topic of conversation. Those in the industry have been impacted as many of us have. The main downfall for musicians and the music industry specifically is finances due to a lack of live performances.

Below is an interview between Blakely and Dylanna Fisher on Switching Styles.

What’s your connection to the music industry
I am a local musician and recording engineer. I have recorded anything from local acts to international acts.

How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry as a professional for about 3 years now. Started recording bands in my basement like everyone else, but it eventually grew into a career and an obsession. I’ve been working in a commercial space for about 3 years now.

What changes have you noticed since the start of Covid-19?
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. The nice thing is that you can still work from home on most things, like mixing on headphones. But it is a different experience than mixing in a studio with professional sound treatment and rooms designed for sound.

I understand though, a lot of musicians are working in the service industry which was the first to shut down in a lot of areas. It’s tough to commit to a project when your main source of income has been gutted.

With a general loss of income, how do musicians make a living?
Well, I can’t speak for others, but I have been able to keep some money coming in from mixing.  I am holding up okay. Others haven’t been lucky.

There are some government programs, but I’ve heard some people didn’t get any income for almost 2 months. I’ve seen some bands push their merchandise and records online. Without shows that is really the only way, bands are making any money right now.

I’m also super lucky that I have had bands still want to go through with their projects. I’ve worked with these bands a few times and have been friends for years. A couple of projects I haven’t worked with yet had to bow out for a few months. That makes total sense. I’ve told a few ‘if the recording is going to mean you don’t pay your bills then, let’s just push it back’.

What kind of financial support is there for musicians, that you know of?
From my understanding, musicians can qualify for the CERB benefit, the total is around $1,000 or so. The province is doing something similar, but I haven’t had to look into it quite yet. I believe it is mostly enough to cover the essentials.

Is it enough?
No. I also have no faith in the current provincial government for helping out musicians or venues.I’m by no means a political expert, but it is crazy to me to see local venues that can hold hundreds if not a thousand people for one show have to ask for government support.

Most people that are going to shows or play in bands are not just going to the show and leaving. Restaurants, bars, shopping, etc. All benefit from this. Some of these venues are hosting multiple 500+ people in an event a week. Think about how much of a local economic boost that is, and these places need to ask for money? Unbelievable if you ask me.

In Alberta, I read a statistic that where 5.3 billion is recorded in Albertan arts annually and employs over 60,000 people. We are part of a substantial industry and to get a cold shoulder is insulting. Will this change, I am not the one to say but to ignore the producers and creators of art and entertainment is absolute bullshit.

[Context Check; According to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta employs 13,300 artists, and 68,500 cultural workers with over 726,00 throughout Canada].

Why do you think that is?
Oh, boy. That is a big one as I believe there are many factors to this.

A huge part is a remarkable amount of money being spent with absolutely no return by the government of Alberta. I could go on for hours about this topic but the biggest thing I find is people not paying for arts. It is not something you just wake up one day and are incredibly talented.

Do you think it can change?
Unfortunately, no.

What can fans do to support musicians during Covid-19?
If you have any spare money, please contact a band directly to ask to buy their merchandise. Don’t go from a streaming service or BandCamp unless they are extremely far. If you message a band and ask to buy their merch they would be over the moon! Every little bit helps.

Comment below what your thoughts are on musicians in the pandemic!!

Switching styles

Interviewing Musicians in the Midst of the pandemic; Phillip Rodda of Medical Pilot

Phillip Rodda of Medical Pilot, brings forth his experiences as a musician during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Medical pilot is an alternative rock band from right here in Alberta. Members include Dexter Twardzik (Guitar/Vocals), Jon Rembowski (Guitar/Vocals), Jesse Rubuliak (Guitar/Vocals), Daniel Blade (Bass/Vocals), and Phil Rodda (Drums).

“With stellar riffs, brilliant melodies, and an engaging stage presence, Medical Pilot exemplifies the exact kind of band that you want to go out and see,” reads their self-description.

Their music is described as alternative pop-punk alt-rock and nu-metal. Their discography includes Painting Pictures & Telling Stories (2018), Caramel Wednesday (2018), Grace, Too (2017), Medical Pilot EP (2017), and The Same EP (2016). Currently, the band is focusing its efforts on a new debut album planned to be released this upcoming September.

“Focused almost equally on both riffs and melodies, never afraid to experiment, their journey finds four members singing at one point. Their songs sometimes somber, sometimes pleading, and then other times soaring and reaching” describes the band.

Based in Edmonton, Alberta, they’ve seen the fluctuations firsthand. Below is an interview with Rodda and Dylanna Fisher of Switching Styles.

What is your connection to the music industry?

Currently, I spend most of my time playing for artists in and around Edmonton such as Jenesia, Steven Sware and Tea G. I also spend a lot of time producing for EMARRA and recording other bands out of my home studio, and my main bread and butter is my band, Medical Pilot.

How long have you been in the music industry?

Roughly 4 years now, I started playing shows as soon as I turned 18 and since then have been trying to find more and more ways to involve myself.

Why is the music industry important?

The music and entertainment industry, in general, have a lot more importance in people’s day-to-day lives than one might think.

The easiest comparison is sports. You see a lot of people tuning in every night or two to watch their favourite team play. They’ve also dedicated a large portion of their free time to keeping up with trades, lineup changes and the general day-to-day of their teams. For a lot of people that consume music, that same amount of time can be spent easily especially with how active most groups are on social media.

I know for me personally when I really get into a band, I can spend a couple hours a day digging up past interviews on YouTube or trying to find fun facts on Wikipedia. People really do care about their favourite musicians and the art that they create. With Covid-19, I believe this rings even more true based off the fact that a lot more people are stuck at home with not a whole lot to do.

With everything being locked down, how are artists making money if not from live venues?

I think that it varies quite a lot depending on the artist or group. I’ve seen a lot of people set up live-stream shows with either the option to donate or virtual tickets that grant you viewing access. Drive-in concerts are a really great option for smaller groups or solo artists.

From what I’ve seen with my peers, they’re either doing the shows on a by donation basis or charging a flat fee. Based off of the demand that I’ve been seeing for these they definitely seem like a lucrative opportunity. A lot of bands have been getting quite casual with the way they’re presenting themselves online too. Some of the funniest streams I’ve seen during quarantine have been musicians just playing video games together or reviewing weird and funny YouTube videos.

Do you think live music bounce back after Covid?

I think it definitely will but not as quick as people think. For one, live shows are usually in the area of 200-400 people at a local level, or thousands if it’s a major label artist touring arena. Even with the current plan from the Alberta government it could be all the way until the end of summer, if not longer, until we see gatherings of that side being allowed.

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!

What, if anything, will be different?

This question actually excites me quite a bit. Live music and touring has always been a great way to make money for musicians but with the whole advent of Covid-19 I think people are really opening their eyes to alternative ways to both consume and create music. 

Livestreams were always something that was just kind of “there” with not a lot of people paying attention to them. Now though, I think a lot of people are seeing how fun and engaging a livestream can be, and I can definitely see them carving their own little niche in the market once everything’s over. The drive-in shows could be another great thing that I would not mind sticking around at all.

How does music and merchandise sales benefit musicians during Covid-19?

Even before Covid-19, the music merchandise industry was worth multiple billions of dollars worldwide, and I would not be surprised if that remained the same this year. For a lot of local and regional sized bands, merch like t-shirts and CDs are the key to a band’s financial health. For Medical Pilot we actually got denied on all of our grant applications for our newest album, so our solution was to raise as much money as possible through merch. That venture ended paying for an extremely large chunk of the cost, with the rest coming from live show profits.

One of my favourite things I’ve seen during quarantine is a venue called 9910 partnering with local artists and offering beer and merchandise packages on their website. A lot of bands still have yearly running costs like rent for a rehearsal space, website and e-commerce hosting fees and distributor fees to keep their music on Apple Music and Spotify.  Even if the live shows have stopped, these bills still need to be paid and merch gives fans a way to help out as much as possible.

Does Covid-19 impact the conversation of pirated music?

Unfortunately, with streaming becoming as mainstream as it, is the actual sales of albums have dropped a huge amount with piracy or without.

I know for me personally, I’ve never really cared if people have ripped my band’s songs off of YouTube to keep on their phone. I’ve just been happy that they’re taking the time to listen!

There’s been a lot of talk in the industry about this big shift where your music is now serving as an advertisement for your brand and image rather than the other way around. With the big piracy craze in the early 2000s and now Spotify’s extremely small margins on streams, a lot of artists I know have accepted that as life and have just adopted new ways to have their music be heard as much as possible while still making money.

What financial supports are there for musicians? Are they enough?

Canada’s National Art’s Centre themselves have been producing grants for artists that live stream shows, which I think is a great help! There’s also the obvious CERB for people who are doing music full-time and fall under the qualifications. In terms of operating money for groups, I haven’t seen a lot pop up, but I might be totally wrong on that, as I haven’t exactly done a lot of research on the subject.

What can fans do to support their favourite artists?

If everyone has a much free time as the memes on Facebook are saying, looping songs on Spotify is always a great way to boost those streaming numbers!

In all seriousness, just engaging on social media goes a long way. Seeing comments from people showing support is one of my biggest mood boosters, especially when I’m stuck awake late at night thinking about how much it sucks not being able to play a show.

What advice do you have for musicians during Covid-19?

If you’re an artist, now is the time to create some amazing content. Quarantine style playthroughs where you sync up a video of each member playing a song in their homes are a great way to engage with fans during such a weird time. Everyone always talks about that one song that never got finished or that one side-project EP that never took off.

We now have all this free time to really delve into things that might have taken a back seat in the past! If you’re a freelancer or session musician, just keep in touch with your clients and co-workers. I got into this industry because I knew the people were great, and the way everyone is checking in on each other and offering support has reinforced that fact in my mind tenfold.

Check out more from Phillip Rodda and from Medical Pilot.

EPL Poster Collection

What is the EPL Poster Collection?

“Gig posters combine unique design with essential information about which artists played together and what venues they played,” reads the Capital City Records website.

Capital City Records is a digital collection of Edmonton’s local musicians.

Collecting local gig posters may seem like a weird collection but it collects valuable information that simple statistics can’t. Through the visual collection, you can tell the style, the culture, the interaction, the subtle of the music industry at the time. Even within the same year, gig posters have such a range in design. It’s a way to visually see the diversity in the music world.

This collection follows the mission of Capital City Records to include the local Edmonton music industry into the larger scheme of music archiving.

Do you have posters to donate? How do you donate posters to the EPL?

If you are an artist, a promoter or run a venue, this is an amazing opportunity to contribute to local music history. For more information see the Captial City Records FAQ.

These posters only requirements are that they are local. Genre or date doesn’t matter! If you are interested in sharing your concert poster collection, please contact

Comment Below your favorite gig posters!!



Interviews Reviews

Edmonton’s Hyper-Local Music Collections

Edmonton’s Hyper-Local Music Collections
By Dylanna Fisher

Edmonton’s music scene is bright and vibrant. Edmonton’s Hyper-Local Music Collections showcase that amazing work. Although, it’s not as prominent as Vancouver or Toronto, Edmonton is a hub for music of all genres. Taking Edmonton’s music into their digital archives, the University of Alberta and The Edmonton Public Library each have collections of local music from Edmonton artists. Through the Edmonton Music Collection, and Capital City Records, respectively, Edmonton artists are locally promoted. 

Starting in 2011, this collection, Edmonton Music Collection,  had the focus to bring Edmonton music into a larger field of music academia.  Sean Luyk the Digital Projects Librarian at The University of Alberta, was the music librarian at the time and noticed quite a lot of global works in their music library without focusing on the music right in Edmonton. This left quite a gap in the academic resources. At the UofA, their collection is an extension of their academia with several scores, recordings, videos, and so much more. 

“If somebody is writing a research paper about an inch in music between 1995 and 2005 it’s it’s hard to find the specifics for it,” Lyuk explains continues.

In partnership with CKUA radio, New Music Edmonton, Folkways Alive, Edmonton Music Awards, and Yeg Live, the UofA collects different pieces to commemorate and celebrate Edmonton’s music industry.

Launching in 2015, Capital City Records is a digital collection of Edmonton’s local musicians and is the first of it’s kind within Edmonton Public Library system. Although different from the University collection, they are very similar as they are both hyper local music collections. However, they have one major difference. The UofA is focusing on the academic aspect, while the CCR is focusing on the community aspect.

“Growing up, EPL was an essential part of my musical upbringing. Weekly visits to the Downtown branch, plus working at Woodcroft for my high school years yielded constant new discoveries.  I’d spend hours flipping through the records.  I’m excited that something I’ve helped create could now be enjoyed via Capital City Records.  There’s a crazy amount of great music produced right here in YEG that’s waiting to be discovered!” comments Bombproof Horses, a band within the CCR’s collection.

There are currently 269 albums by 233 different artists with a total of 2,277 tracks on the platform with 100 new albums being added annually. This is not just a mere collection. In fact, it’s meant to be easily interactive, as an easy way for Edmontonians to enjoy and interact with the work of their fellow Edmonton musicians.  There is an average of 1,047 streams, and 155 downloads per month.


Each submission brought into the collection was curated by the music scene of Edmonton itself. The jury that approves the submissions are made up of members of the local music community. This is done to not only improve upon the quality of the curation but to ensure a diverse and inclusive collection. This jury includes Lori Gawryluik (‎Artistic Director of Quarters Arts Society), Chad Brunet  (Program Director of CJSR), Sandra Sperounes (Music Writer for the Edmonton Journal), Chris Wynters (Executive Director of Alberta Music), Ron Walker (Executive Director of Canadian Native friendship Centre), and Jesse Toms (Edmonton Muse CEO).

These are two hyper local music collections, which means that they are exclusively collections meant to bring awareness and attention the the Edmonton music industry. The importance of this is to showcase the music right here.

“Edmonton has an astounding and very diverse local music scene, and even though I am an active part of it, I am constantly surprised to discover voices that I have yet to encounter. I am very proud that my music has been included in the latest Capital City Records collection; where I can continue to explore our city’s rich music scene, and where these voices can be heard and discovered from almost anywhere in the world,” comments John Guliak, a musician on CCR.

“We sometimes forget what’s going on culturally in our own cities,” Lyuk explains.

Check out Edmonton Music Collection, and Capital City Records for more information!

Interviews Switching styles

Live Music Venues in Edmonton

Edmonton is known more for hockey than it is for music. Music may not be Edmonton’s main industry, but it doesn’t mean that music in the prairies is dead. Geographically and music-wise, Alberta is far from the music hub of Toronto. Edmonton is 3,475.2 km away from Toronto.

Of all presenting artistic shows throughout Canada, the vast majority is music 94% while theatre (72%), young audience/family shows (71%), dance (66%), comedy/humour (64%), and school audiences (K-12) (61%) make up the rest of Canada’s performing arts.

Sourced from CAPOCOA’s Vitality and Impact report.

“The Edmonton music scene doesn’t have a huge reputation,” Michelle Langevin, co-owner and general manager of Yeg Music explains, “and certainly is not on par with cities like Toronto or Montreal. And that’s mainly due to venues”.

Within Edmonton, there are over 280 venues that facilitate live music venues. As you can see from the map below, there seems to be a lot of music venues scattered around. (Google Map Link)

To compare, Toronto has 60 while Montreal has 110 live music venues. These include performance halls that are primarily for music. Less than 20 of Edmonton’s music venues are just music venues which account for less than 10% of all Edmonton’s live music venues.

Source From World City Culture Forum

Venues are able to be a range of types and aren’t limited to the traditional concert hall. These can include cafes, clubs, halls, listening rooms, restaurants, and bars. This is fairly common across Canada.

Source: Presenters’ Vitality and Impact Survey, CAPACOA, 2018

As far as Edmonton specifically, Bars and Restaurants also make up 21% while Community Centers (8.9%), Outdoor (4.6%), Places of Worship (2.4%), Schools or universities (1%), Nightclub (0.8%), Cafes (1.9%), Performing Arts Venues (3.2%) Theatre (4/9%) lag behind each less than 10%.

“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.” Langevin said,

One kind of venue that seems to be overlooked is places where minors can attend and perform. Not many venues cater to minors. Many live music venues are 18+. Of Edmonton’s live music venues, 80 (21.9%) are open to minors leaving 284 venues where minors are prohibited.

“I find it can be quite discouraging when you see a venue and think ‘I want to play there’ and ah it’s 18+,” Admits Veronica Pineapples a young Edmonton musician, “It’s hard to find venues that are all ages.”

Veronica Pineapples has been performing music in Edmonton since she was a young girl. The limitations of all-ages venues limited her ability not only to enjoy music but to perform it as well. (Google Map Link)

“All ages shows are really really important. They are important for the lifestyle of its fans. We need to be growing our fans, we need to encourage young people to interact with live music,” Benjamin describes.

Benjamin’s sentiments are backed up by statistics. A report from culture Days found that 57% of participants said they attended more arts events and cultural activities throughout the year because of previous participation.

Music venues have a benefit more than just entertainment. Live music venues are venues that facilitate musicians by having a place for solo artists and bands to perform but also for the audience to interact. The importance of these venues, in particular, is not only for the music industry but for the quality of life for each and every citizen. The vast majority of Canadians (77%), agree that art helps them interact and connect with their community.

“The live music industry should be regarded as such. As an industry with the ability to create jobs and generate significant economic impact and draw tourists to the province.” describes Benjamin, “Live music venues are critically important to the quality of life of every city and town from coast to coast”.