Making a living as an artist in Canada can be tough. The country is big, and the population is spread across our grand geography - which makes for a stinkin’ long road trip.
Dan Moxon, vocalist and keyboard player for Vancouver prog pop act Bend Sinister, admits that musicians may need an alternative to touring in order to get their name out.
“Touring used to be the way that a band got successful, and some people would still say that touring is the way,” he says. “But I kind of disagree.”
He says that Canada is hard on touring musicians because of the sheer size of the country.
“We were just in Europe in the fall and that was just a breeze, to just drive a couple hours between shows.”
Moxon says that using the Internet strategically is an important publicity tool.
“You spread word of your music much further being savvy on the Internet than you can driving in a van 10 hours a day in Canada,” he says. “The reason we do it is because this is where we’re from and it’s something that we care about and we enjoy it.”
He talks about the music community around the world to illustrate his point.
“You could email somebody from Argentina and say, ‘Hey, here’s a press release from our band and here’s our CD,’” he says. “You could send that same message to a person who writes an indie music blog in Mexico City.”
Bend Sinister was named after a Vladimir Nabokov novel of the same name. Started as a “just-for-fun” project in 2000 with a few high school friends from Kelowna, the group played local summer gigs between university semesters.
“I started taking it more seriously and professionally when I graduated from university,” Moxon says.
The band put out their first full-length album in 2005 and began touring.
There were several changes to their lineup, but now the band stands with drummer Jason Dana, guitarist Joseph Blood and bassist Matt Rhode.
According to their Facebook page, Bend Sinister has “evolved through numerous styles and absorbed a plethora of influences to become a band so refreshingly original that the struggle to categorize them is a losing battle.”
“We have such eclectic tastes - everything from metal to super simple,” says Moxon. “We’ve just sort of amalgamated the influences. ... It’s not trying to necessarily do any sort of specific style. You just listen to what you listen to and write what you write.”
The band is coming to Winnipeg on Tuesday, March 13 to play at The Pyramid and promote its latest EP, On My Mind, which will be followed up by a full-length on July 10.
“We haven’t been out in Canada since fall of 2010, so we’re just keen to get out again and play some shows,” says Moxon.
Published in Volume 66, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 7, 2012)