Bassist Alex Braun and guitarist Nick Lavich played in a band together in high school. That band was called Cataract.
“Which is an awful name. We opened a dictionary and picked it out. We were 15 and playing grunge covers. We didn’t know what we were doing,” Lavich says. “It disbanded after like four months, and then we didn’t play music together at all for a year. And then Sky (Parenteau) came into the fold, (and) it just worked.”
Currently operating as a trio, the three share the responsibility of vocalizing guitarist Parenteau’s lyrics.
For Parenteau, lyrical inspiration tends to strike in the suspended, nowhere-moments of riding the bus.
“Wherever I need to go is usually a 20-minute car ride or a half-an-hour walk or an hour bus ride away. It gives me a lot of time and room to think,” he says.
Parenteau likens Jamboree’s sound to “sitting in the shower.”
With several online releases under their belts, the band is focusing on creating a fan base from the ground up.
“It’s really hard to self-promote. It’s such a weird feeling. I feel guilt when people come to a show, and then I ask them to come (to) see us again,” Lavich says. “I want people to want to come! I don’t want to probe them into it. Reaching people that like our music that aren’t just our close friends (is a challenge).”
In spite of this, they feel that Winnipeg is a good place for artists to be.
“It’s a really inspiring and unique (place), and I think the winter isolation for six months a year promotes lots of creativity and introspection. The local scene is really great and diverse … (It’s) a pretty strong and supportive community,” Braun says.
“And our climate has a profound influence on how I’m feeling and, in effect, a profound effect on the music I write,” Lavich adds. “I think there’s something so special and inspiring about Winnipeg and its people. I see it in a very positive light.”
When asked which song Jamboree wished they had written, Parenteau and Lavich each cite a different song by Seattle low-fi band Car Seat Headrest.
Lavich settled on the 16-minute indie rock epic “Famous Prophets (Stars).”
“I don’t think there’s a millisecond wasted on that song. It’s so emotional and beautiful, and I hope to someday be able to write something on the same wavelength as that masterpiece.”
Find Jamboree’s music online at jamboree.bandcamp.com.
Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)