The Bloodshots are learning from success

Local rock band discovers thrills and challenges of levelling up

The Bloodshots became more well known after opening for Finger Eleven.

Photo by Kaitlyn Roth

Creating music is a whole new game when you start getting big. At least, that’s what Manitoba’s modern grunge-rock band The Bloodshots have experienced.

“When you get in with a real, acclaimed producer, it’s a different process, eh? Where he might offer up ideas like, ‘Let’s cut this part of the song out, and let’s try doing this part instead and maybe try this note,’” CJ Loane, member of The Bloodshots, says. “You’ve got to be able to roll with that and not take offence to somebody kind of Frankenstein-ing one of your songs.”

He says The Bloodshots were open to producer Dale Penner’s feedback and have now released their first single with him, called “Liability.”

“Having that super professionally recorded and produced single out for people right now is great, and we’re getting lots of positive feedback about it,” Loane says.

The track became Song of the Week on the Manitoba Music website and is being played on FM radio stations in Regina and Saskatoon, Loane says.

The band formed in 2013 and started to get more recognition after winning a contest to open for Finger Eleven in October of 2015.

“It was cool. We got to the venue early, and we got to see them do their soundcheck, and then they watched us do ours, and then we talked about music with them,” Loane says.

He says that opened doors for them, including being asked to go on tour with Australian rock band The Lazys, which they did.

Loane says when they opened for the band in Regina, a promoter came up to them and said, “You know what you guys sound like: if somehow Rise Against, Billy Talent and Nirvana had a baby, and then that baby really liked Guns and Roses.”

With increasing success has also come a lot of lessons, Loane says.

“We had a higher-profile manager for about a year, and we were getting on some shows that he was doing the work for.”

However, because they weren’t a big enough band, Loane says they didn’t feel like they were getting enough attention from their manager. After an amicable breakup, Loane has taken over the job.

“It’s been like a full-time thing, trying to contact venues and contact promoters and everything, but it’s gone really well,” Loane says.

He’s secured some high-profile gigs for 2017, but nothing’s been announced yet, so he can’t divulge the details.

What Loane says The Bloodshots have been struggling with most is getting into Manitoba festivals and onto mainstream radio.

“We would love to get into the active rock charts of Canada, but it’s all a process. That’s tough,” Loane says.

Despite not having widespread play on mainstream Canadian radio stations, Loane says their music is accessible. It’s available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

Published in Volume 71, Number 20 of The Uniter (February 16, 2017)

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