The studio isn’t just about creation. It’s also a refiner’s fire. It is where you set the immovable bar. There were two wildcard songs left on this album when we entered studio, and today was decision day. How do you decide a song’s fate? First you explore. You pour your time into giving that song the best chance possible. It is innocent until proven guilty. You discuss, debate, agree, disagree and hug it out. You manufacture friction in hopes of creating a spark, because in the end, spark wins. Today, one song failed to spark and fell by the wayside. The other burst into flames and drew us like moths into the wee hours of the morning. The journey continues. #StudioLife#StudioLove
For me, these past two years have been filled near to the brim with both heartache and hope, and throughout my journey, I have continued to write, because songwriting has become my most faithful companion. I have written songs of which I am extremely proud and to which I am eternally grateful.
I’ve heard that anytime you head into studio you want to feel like you’re bringing the best songs you’ve ever written, and I certainly believe it for this album, especially with what the others in this group bring to them. These are songs that want to be shared. So together with this incredibly gifted family I have found, we are growing them, shaping them, and capturing them to the best of our abilities.
The other side of being a musician – the pushing, performing, marketing and competing – can be a tireless and noisy beast. While some artists are adept at striking a balance, I haven’t yet learned to marry these two worlds. So things are growing a little quieter on the surface, as we silence the beast to search for new sounds.
I’d like to stay in this mode until we have a new album to release. It’s tough to say exactly how long the process will take, especially since this passion project is still something we currently squeeze into the cracks of our non-day-job lives (another topic for another day), but the goal is to complete a new album by the end of this year, with a single ready for early release.
It’s such an exciting time! I’ve had a vision for this album for well over a year now and it’s finally coming to fruition. We’ll endeavour to keep sharing as the pieces come together.
Thanks for your ongoing love and support!
Adrian and the T&T fam
We’re very excited to announce that this April we’re hitting the road with Vancouver’s the River and the Road for the aptly named Landmarks Tour!
- April 17: the Queens, Nanaimo BC (w. Gold and Youth, presented by Got Pop?)
- April 18: Upstairs Cabaret, Victoria BC (w. Mike Edel, presented by the Zone @ 91.3)
- April 19: Cobblestone Pub, Cobble Hill BC
- April 20: Media Club, Vancouver BC
- April 21: Kamloops/Kelowna TBA
- April 22: the Last Drop, Revelstoke BC
- April 23: Rockwater, Golden BC
- April 24: Broken City, Calgary AB
- April 25: Brixx Bar & Grill (@ the Starlite), Edmonton AB
Towers, Trees, Rivers, Roads… there will be no shortage of these and other landmarks as two of BC’s most exciting emerging indie acts wind their way from Nanaimo, BC to Edmonton, AB this April!
Towers and Trees (Victoria) and the River and the Road (Vancouver) first met on yet another landmark: a mountainside in Port Renfrew where each was wowed by the other’s set at Tall Tree Music Festival. Not a surprising turn of events when you consider that both bands share similar strengths: profound song-writing and an exceptional, high-energy live show.
These strengths have also earned both groups accolades in the broader community as well. Both are recent alumni of BC’s prestigious PEAK Performance Project, placing them amongst BC’s best and brightest indie artists, and both have passionate, dedicated fanbases that continue to grow with each dynamic show, new video, song, etc.
At the conclusion of the tour, T&T will return to the island to continue work on their debut full-length album, while R&R will forge ahead Eastward, eager to make a mark at Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2014!
Here’s a bit about The River and The Road if you’re not familiar with them:
Broke (live video)
The River and The Road is a band built on risking new beginnings and telling their stories along the way.
After crossing an ocean, leaving a hemisphere, and a long stint hitch hiking across the American Southwest, singer/guitarist Andrew Phelan made his way to Chicago with the looming need to cross into Canada for work. He had two flight choices – Montreal or Vancouver – and flying west was cheaper. Once there, he found a healthy contest in singer/banjo player Keenan Lawlor, who had been playing around Vancouver for the previous eight months. In the beginning the two butted heads, seeing in each other the greatest competition for the attention of an East Vancouver open mic audience. Competition turned quickly to collaboration, and after several months as a duo, they recorded their debut eponymous twelve-track album. In the spring of 2012, the band emerged as a dynamic four-piece with the addition of drummer Cole George and bassist John Hayes.
Five months ago, we were given the biggest opportunity of our musical journey: a place in the PEAK Performance Project Top 20. Tomorrow, November 5 at 3:15pm, we’ll find out whether we’ve placed in the Top 5, or (hopefully) even the coveted Top 3. I won’t pretend that tomorrow’s outcome means little to us. Trust me, by this time tomorrow we will be either extremely elated (I hope!) or quietly disappointed (I not-so hope.). And why not? It’s been one hell of a journey and we all feel so damn proud of how far we’ve come since June!
No matter what happens we will be grateful just to have had the chance to participate, but giving ourselves license to be invested in the outcome also seems like the fair thing to do. The outcome won’t be a deal maker/breaker. It can’t. Because really, we need to see the PPP as one more stepping stone along our path, as it is for all 20 finalists, including the 15 who won’t get a cheque. But it is an awfully big stone that we’ve been carrying for nearly half a year. So yes, let’s be allowed to care about how we do, even if it’s just for one day!
Phewf. Now that that’s out of the way, tonight I’m reflecting on everything we’ve gained regardless of the outcome, because some of this stuff is far more lasting than the 18-month prize period.
Richer for the Journey
First off, we have to give mad propz to the peeps who make this thing happen. Honestly, to Music BC, 102.7 the PEAK, Nimbus, Quinn Best and his production crew, the faculty, EVERYONE: y’all have put together one HELL of a program! The PEAK has been an eye-opener, ego-crusher, confidence-booster, door opener and capacity-builder all at once! I give a special thank you to Bob D’Eith as the man who brings this vision to life. Bob’s authenticity and passion are lost on no one, and I definitely look forward to working with him more in the coming years.
Also, mad propz to the class of ’13 for being such a sexy, funky and ridiculously talented group of homeboys/girls. Every one of you has earned a shot at top spot, and I have so enjoyed learning about you, your art, your hearts and what makes you tick.
We’ve formed some beauty-full relationships through this program, starting with the 19 other fabulous artists, but also extending into producers, media, industry pros and more. Folks like Lydia Hol and producer Winston Hauschild, who we were thrown in the washer with and came out the other side with a pretty kick-ass original song! Folks like Alex “Condor” Aligizakis, who mixed that song down and became the dude we hope to make our next album with! And of course how could we not mention our #YYJBromance with the Dougal boys? Friendships formed over long drives and the BC Ferries Pac-Buff are not easily broken. #truth
We’ve learned the value of true fans. For us that begins with our home base in Victoria. Yeah, I mean you #TeamYYJ. When we came back from our PPP Showcase show to play Rifflandia, it felt like a homecoming! Sure, it was a packed, noisy, sweaty, sticky room, but to us it felt like the warm embrace of a kindred lover Honestly, I can’t describe how amazing a feeling it is to know that we don’t have to prove ourselves here because you already believe in us! That feeling gives us the strength and confidence to want to play more shows in BC and beyond, until we have that same feeling whenever we play in Vancouver, then in BC, and then Western Canada, and then Canada, and then…. well yes, that’s where the dreaming begins.
But taking a step back to Victoria again, we honestly couldn’t have got to this point without some of our true fans and peers in the community: the Zone @ 91.3 (Jon, Dylan, Tindy and the rest of the crew), Alan and Teresa from Vic42, Daniel Pender and the Seen, and so many more. These are relationships that have brought us so, SO much and will last long after the PEAK ends. THANK YOU for believing in who we are and what we do!
Eye to the Horizon
Finally, being in the PPP has given us such a clear sight-line on our path forward. A strong finish will definitely make this path seem that much more attainable, but it’s still one we can follow regardless of how we place.
We’re ready to make a world-class album: As a songwriter, it’s always been a goal of mine to write and record a full-length album, and I have never felt so ready as with this group around me. Some of our most popular live songs are ones we have yet to record. Nearly all the songs for the next album are written, and I am so excited about the prospect of creating a beautiful new body of music that we can feel proud to share and perform.
We’re eager to hit the road: touring can be one of the toughest logistical things to work out for a late-twenties/early-thirties band like Towers and Trees (with all our ‘real’ jobs and even ‘realer’ debts). But dang it are we eager to get out and play some shows! Our live show is one of our biggest strengths, so taking it on the road is an obvious next growth opportunity, and one we’re really excited about!
We’re excited to grow: This year has been all about growth. Growing our fan base, diving headfirst into firsts (festivals, music videos, etc.), becoming better musicians, artists and entrepreneurs. All of this is only making us more excited to keep growing.
We believe: I don’t say this lightly, because I have stubbornly refused for most of my adults years to get stars in my eyes or dream big about ‘making it’ as a musician. So when I say “we believe,” that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that right now in this project we believe in each other as musicians; we believe in the music we’re creating and why we’re creating it. It’s a beautifully simple thing, and one I’m sure that will be tested through time, so I think it’s important to celebrate the times when it’s alive and well. This is one of those times. The future is bright indeed.
… and now we play the waiting game
Are you ready for this #TeamYYJ? The numbers are in, and you helped us raise $5,700 for the Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative (WIN) during our #WINtober campaign!
Wow! That exceeds our goal of $5,000 by 15%! Congratulations and THANK YOU!
Anyone who came to our “#TeamYYJ Sings to WIN” Event knows that it was a massive success, credit to all the volunteers, our host Canoe Brewpub, the other talent that night (Annie Becker, Scotty Hills and Electric Timber Co.), all the local businesses who donated goods and services, and of course the 250 of you who showed up with big ol’ smiles on your faces.
Really it went so well that we can’t help but think that we should do it again! … Annual event maybe?
For those who missed it, Leanne Green and Lindsey Blane both captured some fantastic event photos, while Teresa and Alan from Vic42.ca kept the smiles coming at the photobooth. You can check out all the photos by following these links:
We’d also like to give a special shout-out to the more than 30 #TeamYYJ businesses who stepped up and donated goods or services either directly to WIN, to the running of the event, or towards things like the raffle (which raised nearly $1,000!), door prizes, centerpieces, gift bags and more. They are:
- The Zone @ 91.3
- Canoe Brewpub
- HMR Employee Benefits Ltd.
- Linsey Blane Photography
- Leanne Green Photography
- the Cloth Castle
- Smart Screens
- Metropol Printshop
- Influence Hair Studio
- Flowers On Top
- Habit Coffee
- Bubble Tea shop
- Delta Whistler Village Suites
- Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa
- Lab Salons
- Victory Barber and Brand
- Frackson Chiropractic and Massage
- Freedom Enterprises
- Cobs Bakery
- Cineplex Theatres
- DAVIDS Tea
- the Noodle Box
- Bliss Spa
- Bon Macaron Patisserie
- Parlour Hair Salon
- Island Detail
- QV Cafe & Bakery
- PIG BBQ Joint
- Nandos Chicken
- Starbucks Coffee (multiple locations)
What #WINtober means for WIN
We have fallen in love with WIN over the past couple months as we’ve learned more about the positive impact they are having on the lives of women and families in our community. We were so pleased to receive the following letter from Shoko Sato, WIN’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator explaining how the funds raised will help them continue their great work:
I had the privilege to work with Towers and Trees on the “#TeamYYJ Sings to WIN” Benefit Event. We are so appreciative of the money that Towers and Trees was able to raise for our Transformations Program through both the event and their #WINtober download card sales. #Team YYJ Sings to WIN Benefit Event raised $5,690 with an additional $1,000 in donated goods and services from Cloth Castle and Victoriamom.ca magazine. The response was outstanding. The whole community came on board for this event, thanks to the efforts put in by the band members and the support team.
The money raised from this event will be used to run one of our programs called Transformations. The program is for women who want to make healthy changes in their lives. The women who participate in Transformations have often experienced abuse or trauma. Through the program they learn how to communicate effectively, realize their full potential, embrace self compassion and explore opportunities to make positive changes in their lives.
$5,690 is enough to run one full Transformations Program and cover the cost of facilitators and group space. 16 women will be able to participate in this life-changing educational program thanks to the event. WIN is very grateful to Towers and Trees for their incredible generosity. The success of their fundraising campaign will have a tremendous impact on the lives of women in our community.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Visit www.womeninneed.ca to learn more about WIN.
For the entire month of October, Towers and Trees are partnering with the Victoria Women In Need Cooperative (WIN) to raise funds and awareness about the services WIN offers to help women and families progress towards empowerment, independence and success.
What does that look like? For starters, for the entire month we’re donating 100% of the money we make from music sales to WIN. That includes all digital sales from our Bandcamp page, and all sales of our album download cards available at shows for $5.
Our “#TeamYYJ Sings to WIN” gala event on October 19 (at Canoe Brewpub) will be the crown jewel of our WINtober campaign, with an exclusive dinner event featuring private performances, followed by a full-scale rock show.
We’re hoping this event, combined with our WINtober sales will help us reach or exceed our goal of raising $5,000 for WIN. With your help and the help of our #TeamYYJ community, we feel optimistic that we can do it!
Your Chance to Win During WINtober!
No WIN campaign would be complete without a chance to WIN some free stuff, so we’re launching our “Win During WINtober” contest!
How’s it work? Easy. Just make as much noise as possible about our WINtober campaign on social media, and make sure we know about it. From now until October 10th at 8pm, get your tweet on, share our Facebook content, tag the Towers and Trees Facebook page in your posts about WINtober, use the #WINtober hashtag. As long as we can see your activity, we’ll enter your name into a draw for 2 tickets to our exclusive #TeamYYJ private dinner event at Canoe Brewpub, a $200 value!*
On Friday October 11 from 3-4PM, we’re partnering with The Zone @ 91.3 for a Towers and Trees live My Turn broadcast! During the show, we’ll conduct the big draw for the dinner passes LIVE on the air! For everyone who tunes in, we’ll also do an on-air giveaway of a second pair of tickets, this time to the rock show portion of the #TeamYYJ event. (a $40 value!)
* Contest limited to Vancouver Island Residents (ie. people who can actually attend the event). If winner has already purchased tickets, value of tickets will be refunded in cash.
Finally, we don’t want to lose focus of the real reason for WINtober, which is to draw attention and support to the incredible work WIN does every day in our community. So expect to see WIN featured in our content this month because, well, they’re kind of the point!
Happy WINtober everyone! Let’s make some NOISE!!!
Outside the rain is pouring. Let it rain. Inside, my feet are snug in my slippers, my mug of tea is piping hot, and my heart is aglow thinking about the incredible summer we just came through. Here at Camp T&T, we called it our #SummerOfAwesome, for obvious reasons. Highlights included:
- FESTIVALS! After losing our “festivirginity” to V.I.C. Fest, the sunny festival good times rolled on at Khatsahlano, Tall Tree, VIex and Rifflandia.
- BABIES! Our band family grew by one with the arrival of beautiful Baby Juniper Lubberts (*fingers crossed* future key-tar player).
- PEAK! Starting in June, we dove headlong into this crazy whirlwind called the Peak Performance Project (Bootcamp, music videos, showcase shows and more!), with 19 other world-class artists we’re honoured to call our bros/sistas.
In the end, #SummerOfAwesome was a whirlwind experience that pushed us to learn, grow, grow closer, and of course smile. The good times have been too many to name, and I can assure you that every smile in every photo is 100% genuine.
Behind the smiles, the thread that connects every one of our #SummerOfAwesome memories is the hard work and persistence it took to keep the good times rolling. I think of Day 6 of our video shoot, in those smelly, sweaty clothes, singing the chorus of Montreal for the 200th time. I think of Ben leaving his brand new family at home for a full week to attend PEAK Bootcamp. I think of An staying home with Junie so the rest of us could attend PEAK Bootcamp.
Every member of this group made sacrifices this summer to allow us to experience the things we did. In the end, the hard work payed off because those moments were just so damn worth it, and we’ve been rewarded with the amazing support of our fans and community. From festivals to video shoots, you folks have been with us at every step. The amount of strength and energy we draw from your support is irreplaceable!
Looking ahead to the coming year, the hard work will continue and hopefully so will the #Awesome. The PEAK Performance Project wraps up in less than a month, and then it’s on to the next chapter, which begins in the studio with plans to record a full-length follow up to our debut EP. Expect something deeply personal yet equally anthemic at times. From there, we want to give that album the best chance possible, which means touring, more shows, more videos, more memories!
My hope in all of this is that we continue to pursue our smiles, our joy, in the midst of the work. We have a tradition before every show where we huddle as a band for a few moments. People often ask what happens in the huddle. “Pursuing our smiles” might be a good way of putting it. We pause. We remember why we’re here, how we got here, and how blessed we are to share it with each other. Almost inevitably, the huddle ends with, “let’s have some fun up there,” or “let’s remember to have a good time,” and you know it usually works.
It certainly worked this summer, so with my mug of Earl Grey raised towards the grey Autumn sky, I say, “#SummerOfAwesome, here’s to you!”
On October 19, we’re heading back to Canoe Brewpub for the third time for the biggest event we’ve planned yet! Ladies and gents, Towers and Trees is very proud to present…
#TeamYYJ Sings to WIN!
RSVP to the Official Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/545794052141287
The Show (pub side, 9:30-Midnight, $20/adv. $25/door)
Towers and Trees w. Electric Timber Company. Expect ample energy, smiles and plenty of dancing as Towers and Trees and local groove masters the Electric Timber Co. team up to bring you a packed night of soul-filling, foot-stomping, booty-shaking music!
The Dinner Event (7-9pm, $100 advance, limited tickets available!)
For those looking for a full evening with romantic flair! Chef Gabe Milne is preparing a gourmet 3-course meal featuring local ingredients that will run in the intimate upstairs dining area. Dinner guests will be treated to private performances from some of Vancouver Island’s best talent, including Towers and Trees, Annie Becker and Scottie Hills! Even better, the $100 ticket includes admission to the rock show after!
Our goal is to raise $7,000 to benefit the Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative (WIN)!
We are passionate about the Victoria community, and believe that strong, empowered and valued women form the core of any vibrant and healthy community. For more than 20 years, WIN has been supporting women along their journey between crisis, financial self-sufficiency and wellness.
Their programs – from the New Start Program to the Self Sufficiency program – span a full spectrum of life challenges, and we’re proud to support an organization that touches lives across so many classes, ethnic groups and other social divisions.
For an example of how WIN is impacting lives, just read Jennifer’s story: http://www.womeninneed.ca/
It started as a hashtag for a collaborative video we shot as part of the CBC Searchlight Competition, but has quickly grown into a sort of a rallying cry for us. We’re damn proud to be making music on/from Vancouver Island. Why? Because the depth of talent and community here is incredible! Victoria is home to world-class people: artists, entrepreneurs and everyone in-between. #TeamYYJ is our way of giving mad-propz to the city that brought us to where we are today. While YYJ is the airport code of Victoria in particular, #TeamYYJ still somehow has an island-wide feel to us, and our line-up for the night is truly a showcase of VI’s brilliant talent!
We are very excited to announce that Towers and Trees have been selected as one of the Top 20 artists in the 2013 Peak Performance Project!
We will now embark on a five-month long journey of showcases, challenges and an intensive artist “boot camp” aimed at developing us into the best musicians we can be! We’re joined on this trip by 19 other artists who collectively make up some of the best unsigned talent in BC!
At the end of the road, the top 5 artists will be rewarded with prize money to help further their music careers:
- 1st place: $102,700
- 2nd place: $75,000
- 3rd place: $50,000
- 4th place: $10,000
- 5th place: $5,000
We are so thrilled to be given this opportunity, and are looking forward to sharing in it with you every step of the way!
Towers and Trees