Baseball Hero is a relatively new band to Winnipeg, but their laid-back, honest approach to songwriting has brought them quickly into the spotlight.
After being asked to open for Urban Vacation’s album release show, Allegra Chiarella, who plays guitar, began writing for what would become Baseball Hero.
“It’s a name I came up with about a year ago and thought ‘oh if I make a solo project, I should call it Baseball Hero’ because I played baseball as a kid, and it was the only sport I have any degree of success in,” Chiarella says.
The band quickly turned out a tight set that caught the ear of many hunting for a slick take on “sad guitar rock,” after Chiarella recruited roommate Mirella Villa (bass) and fellow Joko Tea bandmate Lino D’Ottavio (drums).
Since their formation, the band has released two singles and played several more shows, tightening up their set and expanding their sound.
Inviting newest member Sam Sarty to the group allowed the band to add a new dimension to their sound, with beer bottle slides and a baritone guitar which provides “ominous” character.
Each member also shares vocal duties.
Villa says one of her favourite moments was “when Sam, Allegra, Lino and I all harmonized. (Everyone) is just so talented.”
“Or when we all harmonized and started singing like Elvis,” D’Ottavio says.
Despite their success, the band has maintained a light-hearted tone.
“Baseball Hero is so fun. It’s a different dynamic. It’s very laid back and chill … It’s an escape, a vacation,” Villa says.
This laid-back approach is due in part to each member of the band having other projects they are involved in.
“We’re all in more serious bands. I think Baseball Hero is where we all get to blow off some steam,” Chiarella says.
Although formed by Chiarella, the band maintains a fairly egalitarian approach to songwriting.
“I feel like it’s fairly collaborative. I write the bare bones. I’ll write my guitar part and then my vocals, and then everyone else (adds on to it),” Chiarella says.
“We also always try to get other people to play their own songs,” D’Ottavio says.
Baseball Hero is excited to be debuting a song written by Villa at their next show.
“Lino being able to master and mix our stuff adds another layer, allowing us to be collaborative in a different way. It’s very interesting and cool,” she says.
“Being able to have good-quality recordings to put online (has helped us). We are really fortunate and probably wouldn’t otherwise have the money for professional recordings,” Chiarella says.
The band is excited to be included as a part of the Uniter Fiver but is adamant that it won’t change the atmosphere of the band.
“I think keeping this project fun and light is necessary to its survival,” Chiarella says.
In terms of the future, Baseball Hero has plans for an album release and, more immediately a music video.
Find Baseball Hero's music online at baseballhero.bandcamp.com.
Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)