Canadian rockers Era 9 have no regard for boundaries in their sound, weaving strands of numerous flavours and styles in their attention demanding rock ‘n’ roll. It is a proposal drawing fresh ears and appetites with persistent success, so as the band move closer to releasing their next highly anticipated record, we took the chance to find out more….
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to its beginnings?
Hi, thanks for having us! We have Laurie and Lalla on lead vocals, Jona on guitar, Joe on bass, and Marco on drums.
Jona, Marco and Joe met in high school, all sharing the same passion for music, and that progressed to the start of a band, and lead them to where we are today.
Have you all been involved in other bands before? If so how have those experiences impacted on what you are doing now?
Yes, some of us have been in other bands before. Playing music at such a young age, you learn so much and grow with experience. Your appreciation for other genres of music grows and you become more open minded with time. We’ve matured over the years and so has our writing and composition, bringing us to how we write our music now, merging a whole bunch of different styles together that might not be very usual in the Rock scene.
What inspired the band name?
The number 9 represents liberty and positivity. We are a new era of music that isn’t just for one person, we cater to all who opens themselves to it! We value creative freedom in music and we promote open mindedness and imagination. Hence, ERA 9.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
No there was no specific idea at first, we just wanted to play music that we loved listening to. With time we started loving and appreciating other styles of music other than rock and decided to merge it all together, creating “TrapRock”.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
We still have the same goal, which is to make music we love and show it to the world. But of course, with years of experience you learn a lot by making mistakes, failing, getting back up, and never giving up on what we strongly believe in.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
Our roots come from Rock music and that’s how we started. Over the years, we’ve grown with experience, playing shows, listening to different genres, etc. Coming from Montreal, we’ve learned to appreciate all styles of music. We live in a city that is very multi-cultural and has a very diverse music scene. Our city is really big on Hip-Hop and EDM and we wanted to break down all stylistic boundaries and merge all the styles of music we love, creating what we call “TrapRock”.
Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or does the band deliberately go out to try new things?
It was definitely more of an organic movement of sound. We love Rock, Metal, Trap, Hip-Hop, EDM, and R&B. Our drummer Marco would make a lot of Hip-Hop beats and Pop songs for other artists, making us decide to try and use some of his ideas within our songwriting.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
It’s more of genres of music that inspire us most, rather than just bands. The core of our music will be hard rock, with heavy riffs, but we enjoy changing up the basic usual structure of songs to an EDM/Trap type of structure, with interesting electronic and hip-hop sounds.
Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs and where do you draw inspirations from for the lyrical side of your songs?
We are all writers. Usually, someone will come up with a basic rough song idea and send it to the band, and if we’re all vibing off it, we’ll elaborate on our ideas and all add our touch to it. Marco will then add his touch and program some electronic and hip-hop ideas.
What inspires us most lyrically is usually how we’re feeling and what we’re going through in the moment. Whether it’s struggles, love, heartbreak, anger, or society, etc., we all have emotions and stories to tell.
Can you give us some background to your latest release and an insight to its song’s themes?
We unofficially released our EP in 2016, called Warrior, and we will be releasing a full length album in Spring 2017, called Gravity. The themes vary from song to song, depending on how we’re feeling or what one of us is going through in our lives at that moment. As we’ve said, whether it’s life’s struggles, love, heartbreak, anger, or society, etc., we all have emotions and stories to tell.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop as you record?
Luckily, we have our own studio in our hometown, which makes it very easy for us to record at any time. We also record on the road, in our R.V. Everything is recorded and mixed in house by our bass player Joe. We usually like to write and record our ideas and get it to the final state before getting into the booth for the final recording.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?
The feeling we get while on stage is indescribable. Seeing everyone jump up and down and singing our lyrics while we’re up there is just amazing. We love how our music can bring everyone together, whether you’re male or female, black or white.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there the opportunities in Montreal still for new bands to make a mark?
Any type of art is a tough career to be successful in. There is so much competition out there. You have to be willing to risk it all, fail, drop everything, leave it all behind and get on the road. We are constantly working, whether it’s writing, making music videos, or networking and creating business relationships. There is definitely opportunities to make a mark if you’re talented, believe in what you’re doing, and if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to be heard. In terms of where we’ve toured and performed around the U.S., we always get great feedback on what we’re trying to do and new loyal fans. We love the support we’ve been receiving so far!
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or something a band can always use to their advantage?
It has its pros and cons. It definitely becomes more positive with time as a band grows in popularity, because once you have that audience reach, your music will be shared around the world instantly, unlike back in the day where it took time for places around the world to hear bands or artists. All they had was radio and word of mouth. But it can also be negative for bands starting out in terms of making money, due to downloading of music nowadays. You just have to keep working harder than the competition out there, by taking advantage of all these networking platforms that exist. Create and release as much content as possible, and make it easily accessible on all these platforms. The more people hear your music, the more it will be shared, and that’s when success will come!
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
We’ve been writing new material and gearing up to take over the world in 2017. Make sure to follow us on all social networks @era9official and join 9gAng now at http://www.era9.com to receive updates on upcoming tours, and release dates of new music. Thanks again for having us!
Pete RingMaster 02/02/2017