By: Vanessa Polojac

Matthew Angus is a Calgary native who moved to Toronto over a decade ago in hopes of becoming a Canadian household name. Being a part of many projects before his latest indie act, Angus made connections with various local musicians, who eventually came to form his most cohesive project yet: the Fast Romantics.

Matthew Angus (lead vocals), Kirty (guitar & synthesizer), Kevin Black (lead guitar), Jeffery Lewis (bass), Nick McKinlay (drums) and Lisa Lorenz (keyboardist). The Fast Romantics is the product of every band member’s separate musical journey.

All the band members have been heavily involved in the Toronto music scene for the past decade.

“We all admire each other’s talents as musicians and knew each other socially through performing alongside each other while apart of different bands,” explained Angus. “The current line-up of musicians for the Fast Romantics really happened organically. Over the course of six months, each person came into my life and made it apart that they shared similar views in music as myself, so they came along the journey that is the Fast Romantics.

Released in April 2017, American Love is the first record for this specific set of members. In 2009, with a different line-up the first self-titled LP was released. In the eight-year time span, the band has been through vast different member and sounds.

“I think since 2009 we have evolved a lot as a band and I can confidently say that this this line-up of musicians that play on American Love are here to stay,” said Angus.

This album is personal project for each member of the band. Over three years the album was made and was predicted to be a success from the beginning starting with the first single “Julia” that came out in 2014.

‘“Julia’ got a lot of attention on radio and that had never happened to us before. It has been a very long but rewarding journey with this band. I am very happy with this album and this group of people,” explained Angus. 

“We have these van rides that we take because we’re on tour and it’s crazy that out of the six of us we all bring elements of different musical styles into the band. But one group of musicians that are a major influence on the band is Arcade Fire. We’re inspired by their rise to Canadian music fame and then their international level of success,” said Angus.

Gus Van Gough, a popular Canadian producer, mixed American Love. In the past he has worked with famous Canadian bands such as Arkells, White Horse and Said The Whale.

“He’s our musical soulmate currently,” said Angus. “We collaborate with him well and he really inspires us. The most important quality within a producer is a connection between the producer and the musician. Gus understood us right away. All of the group members agree that American Love is the first and best representation of The Fast Romantics.”

American Love was almost finished during the height of the American election, a time when the band was playing many tour dates in the United States. The album was initially written as a collection of love songs and the hardships within romantic relationships but there was not yet a title. The American political situation effected the band in a direct way.

“When we arrived back to Canada, that’s when we realized our message with this album is not finished yet. A few months before the rerecorded was released we ended up going back to the studio re-writing and adding elements to the songs about the American political reality,” said Angus.

American Love is written context of Canada’s view on American politics with a lot of American imagery. The political climate became the backdrop for the stories and lyrical inspiration for the songs on the record.

The Fast Romantics are rising to Canadian fame, getting much attention since the release of their current album; American Love. Being featured on CBC radio and the Toronto Sun. While they make their way through a cross-country tour alongside the Elwins, the band plans to release new music in the near future.

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By: Vanessa Polojac

c:o cameron house recordsLocated in downtown Toronto, the Cameron House has been a famous cultural centre and venue for up-and-coming Canadian talent the past 30 years.

Back in 1981, a hotel on the edge of Queen Street West was turned into Toronto’s famed music and arts pub, the Cameron House by Paul Stannella, Herb Tookey and Anne Marie Ferraro.

Since then, the venue has received performances by the Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, The Golden Dogs and many other well-known Canadian bands, often still at the early years of their careers.

More recently, the Cameron house welcomed an act close to Anne Marie Ferraro: her own sons’ band, Ferraro.

Ferraro is a musical project composed of three brothers: Cosmo Ferraro (guitar/vocals), Gianni Ferraro (drums/vocals) and Tally Ferraro (bass/vocals). The group occasionally enlists the help of fellow Toronto performer and Jane’s Party guitarist, Tom Ionesco.

The Ferraro brothers grew up in a musical atmosphere and were destined to dabble in music from a young age.

Like his brothers Tally Ferraro balances the responsibilities of his academic career, managing the family business and the success of their band.

“We were always surrounded by talented musicians and growing up we just gained a bigger appreciation for music and musicians,” explained Ferraro.

Cosmo, the oldest of the three, was the first to pick up a guitar. Gianni followed with percussion and Tally with bass while they all contributed to the vocals.

They have been playing together covering their favourite bands for over 10 years but have just recently released their own music for the first time and began to play regularly under the band name Ferraro.

“I think that we are closer than many families and it mainly has to do with music. When you’re in a band with your brothers you can fully speak your mind and express your opinions without worrying about judgment. At the end of the day family will always be there for you,” said Ferraro.

This past year was revolutionary for Ferraro.

Their debut album Losing Sleep was released in April and gained wide coverage through the CBC. They secured an opening spot for the Strumbellas and the Sam Roberts Band just this past fall.

“The Strumbellas used to play at the Cameron House a lot. They played every Monday night for a few months when they were starting to get noticed internationally. That’s how we gained a relationship with them,” explained Ferraro.

“The Cameron House has given us a platform to meet and perform with a lot of Canadian bands.”

In addition to being a part of the band, all three of the brothers have attended university to pursue degrees in various fields. Cosmo has a business degree from the University of Guelph and now is the full-time owner of the Cameron House. Gianni has a B.A in music from Ryerson University and Tally is currently in school studying for a business degree at Ryerson.

“You’ll always find time to do what you love. Working at the Cameron House, going to school and being apart of the band can be tiring at times but is never a chore because I love doing it all,” said Ferraro.

In 2014, the Ferraros decided to create a record label to bridge the gap between performing and recording artists and to help fellow Canadian bands like themselves.

"The Cameron House has given us a platform to meet and perform with a lot of Canadian bands."
Tally Ferraro
Bassist/vocalist
Ferraro 

“There are a lot of artists at the Cameron [House] who are great songwriters and have a great sound but just don’t have the funds to print records or record their music. This was our way to help some of those struggling musicians,” explained Ferraro.

The Ferraro brothers have greatly contributed to the Canadian music scene in recent years, and 2017 will be another year of touring across Canadian university towns with their old-fashioned rocker attitude and sound.

“It’s all about the music. We hope to bring guitars back onto the mainstream media and just keep on creating more content along with fellow Canadian musicians to share with the world.”

By: Vanessa Polojac

With a new EP, Another Life out on Nov. 22 Jakarta-based Indonesian indie-rock/ dream-pop quartet Lightcraft transport audiences through their soft melodic instrumentations and melancholic lyrics.

Formed in 2004 when they were still studying in Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia, Lightcraft was originally a quintet but recently lost a band member. Now the band consists of members Imam Mbudz (vocals and guitar), Safarilhag Febrain Kiaidemak (lead guitar), Enrico Prabowo Siek (piano/keyboard) and Yopi Santosa Sasmita (drums).

“We went to the same university in Maylasia and we’re all Indonesian. I accidentally rented the same place as my future guitarist and he introduced me to the others so we formed Lightcraft,” explained Mbudz.

Over the past 12 years, Lightcraft has released two EPs, three albums, a mini-compilation cassette tape and is currently writing a fourth album set to be released in 2017. From their 2006 debut EP, The Modern Seasons, the band has evolved both lyrically and instrumentally since their debut.

“We have matured as a band but not as people,” joked Mbudz.

Despite being more than halfway around the world, North American indie acts such as Mac DeMarco are extremely popular in Indonesia while also having their own set of successful bands.

Lightcraft is heavily inspired by early 2000s Coldplay and is nostalgically bringing back acoustically based tunes with keyboard instrumentation.

“I am heavily influenced by bands like Snow Patrol and Coldplay and even electronic music but when we mix it all together it comes out as Lightcraft,” said Mbudz.

Lightcraft has plenty of experience playing live. They have performed on stages and festivals in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, America, England and South Korea. The band members have experienced the world and have noticed differences in their audience across continents.

“They’re all quite different in terms of how they show their appreciation. In Asia they’re more reserved. When we play in the United States, Canada and Europe, when people like us, they will approach us and tell us how much they like our band and in Asia they don’t do that,” explained Mbudz.

Back in April 2016, Lightcraft wrapped up their North American tour, which encompassed two showcases at Canadian Music Week 2016. They made a return to Canada this month to play shows in Toronto and Hamilton.

Being an international band causes many difficulties for Lightcraft but also gives them many advances as well. Another Life consists of five mesmerizing tracks. The EP opens up with broken piano chords from the instrumental track titled “A Perfect Kaleidoscope” which sets the mood by creating a hypnotizing and hazy atmosphere. From lust to heartbreak, Another Life covers a wide range of lyrical topics and is described as by the band members as “music to sooth your heart.”

“The EP is a reintroduction of Lightcraft I suppose. I hope that the listeners will enjoy the EP and take to the heart the messages that are trying to come across in the songs.”

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