The Caribbean vibe comes from Canada today as we visit with Toronto-area band StereoKid. The band talks about their unique blend of genres, playing the same historic stage as The Rolling Stones and The Police, and more.
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hi guys! So tell us a little about Stereokid! Who's in the band, and what are each of your parts?
StereoKid: Hey dudes! Greg here from SK! So, StereoKid is Greg Neal (vocals, rhythm guitar), Danny Dylan (bass), Kenta Aoki (lead guitar), and Roger Lambert (drums). Each of us also add some keys, percussion, vocal harmonies, and all that type of extra stuff in the studio as well. We are an alt-rock/pop group with tons of influence from reggae, hip-hop, and soul. Danny and I are brothers. We come from a big Trinidadian family, so we definitely can't help but inject a Caribbean vibe into our music, and when you get a mix of Kenta's unique style of lead guitar and Roger's hard hitting drum beats, we feel like it blends nice!
TFC: Nice! There's always a special type of talent in bands who have a few siblings thrown in there! How did you all meet and end up playing music together?
StereoKid: We were (and somewhat still are all) huge skaters growing up, so we all knew each other for years through that scene of friends. My dad played piano and sang for a living when we were kids, so guitars, pianos, and drums were always around in my household growing up. I would dabble here and there but we never took it too seriously. I was more into writing hip-hop, lyrics, and poetry, but one day Danny managed to convince me to start singing some of my lyrics over a few simple guitar chords and it sounded pretty rad. Kenta was teaching Dan music theory at the time so we asked him to jam with us a couple of times and the chemistry was undeniable. Roger was drumming in a different band, but he was one of our best friends so it was only a matter of time before he joined the party. I don't think we ever really planned to start a band, but the vibe was too good to not continue with, and here we are today!
TFC: Your hometown is listed as Oakville, Ontario. Are you still based out of there?
StereoKid: Half the band is in Toronto, and half the band is in Oakville. Oakville is about a 30 minute drive west of Toronto.
TFC: Tell us a little bit about the music scene where you're from.
StereoKid: Well Oakville doesn't have much of a scene at all. Basically none. Haha. However, the Toronto scene is awesome. Many historic venues, heaps and heaps of different artists with thousands of different styles, and it's full of music lovers in search of live music. Toronto is a cultural melting pot with many different flavours and vibes. Danny and I do brick work all around the city and it's super inspiring seeing every corner in our giant city. We love it.
TFC: You guys are very fortunate to have a scene like that so close to you! Do you have a favorite or most memorable show?
StereoKid: That's a tough question! I have 2 favourite shows. Haha, I'll be quick I promise! One...the first time we played the Horseshoe Tavern (or the 'Shoe as locals call it). It was our first headlining show in the city and we sold the place out. The building is legendary. Built in 1861! The Rolling Stones, The Police, Etta James, & The Talking Heads are just a few examples of the legends that have graced the stage. Two...opening up for The Sam Roberts Band on New Year's Eve 2015 at a free outdoor party in Brampton. Sam Roberts has been one of our favourite musicians for more than a decade. It was truly an honour to have shared the stage with such an iconic Canadian band.
TFC: THOSE are some seriously impressive answers! (TFC is now bowing down, LOL). What's your favorite song to perform?
"There's always something special on stage between the band when we play that song. It reminds us all that we've been through a lot together, and are all just brothers on a crazy journey".
StereoKid: Wow, another tough one. Hmm... I'd have to say "I'm So Gone". It's an oldie, but it's all about life on the road playing music. Being away from your family and friends in cities where you don't really know anybody. Not to say being on the road is a drag, because it's not. It's super fun and we make friends everywhere we go. But it's definitely got it's downsides. There's always something special on stage between the band when we play that song. It reminds us all that we've been through a lot together, and are all just brothers on a crazy journey.
TFC: Would you also say that's a fan favorite?
StereoKid: I think so! Every time we play a hometown show you can hear the crowd singing along to the chorus more than you can hear me!
TFC: Has StereoKid toured together as a band yet?
StereoKid: Yes, we've done a few tours. Nothing crazy extensive. We've only played outside of Canada twice. Both times being upstate New York. We can't wait to do more travelling.
TFC: We LOVE tour stories here. Next time we interview you guys we'll be asking for them! Is there anything we should be on the lookout for in 2016?
StereoKid: Definitely! We're currently in the studio writing and recording, and are crushing out a crazy amount of songs. I've recently been a little freakishly inspired to write as much as possible, so we're just making as many demos as we can right now. So far we're all really excited about how the songs are taking shape. It's definitely a new sound for us, for the better in my opinion. But I don't want to give away too much, I'll let the fans decide!
TFC: If there was one thing you would ask of your fans to help you reach your goals for the year, what would it be?
StereoKid: At some point this year we wanted to do a pledge music type fundraiser where we sell the album, merch, private shows, swag, etc., before the album is released. Almost like a pre-sale, and we use the money to get the most out of our recording process and video shoots. As I'm sure you guys know, it's not easy financially being in an indie band, so we could use all the help we could get. And besides they'll be getting a wicked album out of it! So be on the look out for that!
TFC: OH yes...the biggest hurdle for all of our bands is trying to stay afloat financially. Make sure you let us know when you set that up and we'll do what we can do on our end to help promote it for you! If you didn't already know, The Fan Connection is rolling out some amazing things throughout this year. Such as a new mobile site, a new custom music player with radio-like capability that will have live interviews, commercials for our bands and more, professionally run Fan Clubs that your fans can join...complete with yearly membership packages mailed to them, contests for fans AND artists to win prizes, merch stores, and more. Of those few things I mentioned, what would you say would be most beneficial to you?
StereoKid: Thats amazing! For me, new mobile site is key! My laptop is messed so right now I'm all about the iPhone! Haha.
TFC: It's been great talking with you guys! We look forward to keeping in touch and seeing what's next!
StereoKid: It's our pleasure! Thanks a lot for having us. We look forward to chatting again!
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