Kill Chicago at the East Coast Music Awards

Category: music 280

Greg Webber shares his thoughts on the band, playing showcases and what’s in store for 2016.

Kate Butler | @Butler2
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Photo: Kate Butler

Since the release of their 2015 debut album, The Grey, Kill Chicago have been on a continuous road of success and recognition. The Grey received top reviews from across the country and was featured in the September issue of Relix Magazine as well as their monthly magazine playlist. They have opened for Matt Mays, their song Count to Ten was featured in a Tourism New Brunswick ad and this weekend they played the ECMA Breakout Stage in Sydney, NS. I caught up with them before and after their showcase to get a sense of what type of preparation goes into playing a show like this and what is next for the band.

Each band member has a long list of accomplishments releasing albums, touring the country and playing some really neat gigs. I had to wonder what does a band with this much experience look to achieve in the future?

“It’s great to have goals when you are in a band and I’ve had them before in previous bands and they oftentimes make you blind to other opportunities around you,” said Greg Webber, the band’s frontman and founder. “Where most of us are almost 30 or just over 30, we are going to continue to play, get better and take advantage of any opportunities that come our way. Our goal is to make a great record, which can be a lifelong pursuit, but it’s a really fun one. We’ve already discussed the outline and nuts and bolts of the next record and that’s what’s in our immediate plans.“

The ECMAs can be a stepping stone to making connections and showing the rest of the Maritimes who you are and what you can do.  That’s exactly what Kill Chicago planned on doing over the weekend.

“Only half of us have played the ECMA’s with previous bands and we are really looking forward to it. As long as you go into it with the right mindset, its really cool to have all these great people from the Maritime provinces who rarely get together be in one place for a weekend,” said Webber.

“These type of showcases are like a date when your mom is watching.  You are going to behave and play your best but you know you’re not actually going to score.”

Due to the short set each artist is allowed at the Breakout Stage, Kill Chicago had practiced specifically with this set in mind. “Where our set is only 20 minutes, we have practiced a specific set and making sure to show as many sides of the band as we can in that limited time frame. It’s difficult for any artists to say, ‘here is who we are’ in such a short time because everyone who creates or writes doesn’t like to think they can be summed up in 20 minutes,” said Webber. “These type of showcases are like a date when your mom is watching.  You are going to behave and play your best but you know you’re not actually going to score.”

Sitting in for drummer Zach Atkinson during this weekend’s showcase was Fredericton drummer Adam Guidry. Guidry is no stranger to this type of show, this being is third stint at the ECMA’s. Guidry, who keeps a busy schedule at home playing in several bands, had been practicing with Kill Chicago for the past few weeks and said, “I love these songs and this band. It’s nice to be able to play some different music for a change and not have to worry about writing or composing.”

Kill Chicago are no strangers to collaboration and as Webber notes, “I am super thankful for musicians in this city who are willing to play our songs and contribute to them and make them their own which Guidge has done. We are extremely thankful he could sit in with us this weekend.”

The Legion was definitely the place to be in Cape Breton last weekend with 20 minute showcases happening between 8pm and 1:30am Friday and Saturday. Both nights, a lineup awaited outside in +2 weather to get in and have a sneak peek at some of the upcoming talent from the Maritimes. Due to the vast distance between provinces, it is unlikely we would ever see all of these artists in one place at one time. Kill Chicago unfortunately had the late night slot on Saturday playing second to last. Not the ideal time for any band, but a good crowd remained to see the band play that night. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Kill Chicago before, you know the immense amount of energy and passion they put into their sets. Bottle that up in a 20 minute time frame and you can picture what their set was like – a highly concentrated dose of hard hitting rock and roll.

“The set was too much fun and over too quick,” said Webber.

Afterwards, I heard whispers from the crowd that they ‘killed it’ and it’s safe to say I agree.

Kill Chicago’s video for Take this City is currently in post production with Don Levandier of The Motorleague with a release date TBA. You can catch Kill Chicago this weekend at The Capital in Fredericton during Flourish Festival and opening for The Trews May 14th in Oromocto.

Kill Chicago are Greg Webber, Dillon Anthony, Matt Bowie & Zach Atkinson.

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