The Vancouver-based foursome can boast one of the most unique stories as to how they first formed. Frontman Josh Ramsay and guitarist Matt Webb were in a highschool choir together in 2000, untypical to say the least. “As uncool as that is, it’s worked out pretty well so far,” Ramsay joked.
After recruiting Mike Ayley on bass and drummer Ian Casselman, the band honed their chops and cut an independent self-titled EP in 2002, “Primetime,” “Push” and “Far From Here” were indicative of the EP, full of grit and attitude with a scorching beat. Several tours around the country over the next few years helped them refine their sound and build a following.
Ramsay says that putting the band together was the fun and easy part, and getting the record deal was, “The Holy Grail” for the band, with persistence and tenacity the key. “I was phoning label execs everyday, sometimes twice a day for months, practically begging them to sign us … waiting in their office for days on end just to talk to someone. Finally they did let us in, probably just to get rid of us,” he laughed.
Practically born to be in a rock band, his father at one time owned Little Mountain Studios, where AC/DC, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith (to name only a few acts) have recorded, and his mother was a vocal teacher who toured and taught some of the best in the business, including Canadian legend Leonard Cohen. He commented his own natural influences help direct the band’s sound. Still, he describes their punk/grunge sound as unique in the sense they’ve been able to combine their individual tastes into a cumulative effort, and very vocally driven. “I think it taught me that a good song is a good song, regardless of genre. Too many musicians get caught up in thinking their genre is the only on that matters. I don’t believe that, and hopefully that’s rubbed off on the rest of the guys, too. I think every musician takes away something they listen to. Because of where I was growing up, I took in a lot of very eclectic influences,” he said. For Josh Ramsay, that means everyone from Queen and The Beach Boys to Jellyfish and Green Day.”I just kind of started writing all those styles together, just because it’s what I knew and it seemed natural.”
They were signed to 604 Records in ’06, and busted out later that year with their first full-fledged album, FIX ME. Along with the lead off “Say Anything,” their pull no punches attitude in songs like “Decided To Break It,” September,” and the mega-hit “Shake Tramp” all helped propel them to the upper echelons of the new wave of Canadian grunge. Their touring was non-stop, and the band found themselves on the road with Social Code, Matt Mays + El Torpedo and Tupelo Honey, among others.