WORDS: Kalisi Luv
It is no secret that being in a successful musical group takes a lot of effort and dedication from all its members, but what exactly is it that makes a group band together through the difficult times? How can members settle their differences and put their success before their egos, push through fatigue and reach their goals? Illvis Freshly, voted Vancouver Island’s “Band of the Year,”and Victoria’s favourite rock-band-in-tights SpaceBoots, shared some of their insights with me:
1. Connection. Any good relationship begins with a genuine connection, so choosing band members should be no different. “We all have a ton of love for one another, so we are pretty comfortable with discussing pressing issues before they become problematic. We all want what’s best for the band and we have each other’s back no matter what,” said Phil “Phillionaire” Lyons of Illvis Freshly. Deriek “Dirty” Simon, on behalf of SpaceBoots, explained, “For us, I believe that the perseverance that has kept us going is that if you took the music out of the equation (not to say that music isn’t our driving passion) we would still be hanging out, getting into trouble and being the knuckleheads we’ve always been”. Partnerships can be created, but it is authentic affinity that keeps people together.
2. Commitment. Responsibilities can easily become obligations, but these two bands have found the golden ticket. “You can tell early on if it’s not gonna work. If you can’t sit in a car for 10 hours with the people you make music with, then it’s gonna suck and become a chore,” shared Lyons. Therefore, it’s important to watch for and respond to the red flags that may come up when assembling a band or during practices. Additionally, commitment to weekly meetings and group chats appear to be what has held Illvis Freshly together, “we deliberate a lot, and it can get frustrating keeping four dudes on the same page but we somehow manage to pull it off.”
3. Staying Relevant. Music trends are just that, always changing in accordance to popular demand from shifting fan bases, so it can be difficult to keep up. Illvis’s advice? “Keep your name on people’s tongues and when you get a big booking or opportunity, Crush It! Make them never forget.” To keep their name in the headlines, bands can engage with their audience through media outlets and identify what it is their fans enjoy the most. For example, monitoring facebook page likes, download tallies, general comments and the size of the audience at live performances. Interestingly, music videos appear to be the newest craze for those in the Victoria Music Scene and with excellent filmography from local companies like Rebel Cause Films and Rossignol Creative, who wouldn’t want to make their auditory art, visual?
4. Take Chances. “Don’t be afraid to come out of your comfort zone for the betterment of the band, chances are it won’t matter months or years from now so don’t stress the small stuff,” advises Lyons. Be fearless and don’t be afraid of change. Experiment with different sounds, instruments, group members and even costumes, because when a band is diversified it makes the ordinary, extraordinary. My favourite part about watching live shows is seeing the performers in their element. Whether they are fixated behind turntables, titillating their guitar, or exposing their deepest emotions through the microphone, each band member’s authentic personality gets to shine. I marvel at how exposed each person is to an anonymous audience, and how they allow themselves to be vulnerable while sharing their passion with the crowd.
5. Keep It Fun. Whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun. “As soon as it’s not fun in any way shape or form, fix it, or try something else,” says Lyons. If you’ve ever seen the men of Illvis Freshly hit the stage you can tell they are having a good time – Phillionaire can be seen flipping his luscious locks while Dan “Danimal House” Howse and Jesus “Doc Zoo” Estevez cheer Justin “Mt.” Doyle on behind the decks. On the other hand, Simon shares: “it can get very disheartening being a part of the entertainment industry and [the fact] that pretty much all of your art is being judged. As far as egos go, we make way too much fun of ourselves to get caught up in any of that. I’ve called it the 8-mile principle. If we lay out all the garbage about who we are, then what is there left to take us down? All in all, it comes down to the fact that we have the best time in the world being together and sharing that vibe with whoever wants to join our herd of elephants.” And who wouldn’t want to join their herd? With their signature helmets, long hair and tight pants, SpaceBoots really knows how to put on a show and make the experience unforgettable.
This Friday, October 21st at Sugar Nightclub, Illvis Freshly along with SpaceBoots and Kytami, will be showing us exactly what these five principles look like in action. Make sure to head down to Lyle’s Place or meet up with one of the SpaceBoots studs to pick up your tickets for the show. Advanced pricing is set at $15 while door prices go up to $20. Come and help support your local Victoria talents and get an earful of exceptional and eclectic music styles; from rock-and-roll to hip hop to drum and bass, this evening will have something for everyone. See you on the dance floor. #Spreadingtheluv
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Kalisiluv