Edmonton band Hewson Grey are eager to show off their many different influences when they play the Slice, April 14 with fellow Edmontonians the Tophie Davies Band.Hewson Grey play Lethbridge for the first time this weekend.
Richard Amery, L.A Beat writes:
“We’ve never played Lethbridge before,” said Joe Paonessa, who shares lead vocal and guitar duties in the band with Stuart Bobbin.
They are still touring in support of their EP ‘Montes et Mare” which they released is September.
“We didn’t tour much on it then because it was winter, so we’re still supporting it,” he said.
“We’re branching out from just playing Edmonton and Calgary to smaller towns and new venues,” he continued, noting numerous Edmonton and Calgary musicians including former Lethbridgian Jesse Northey raved about the Slice, so they are excited to experience it for themselves.
“ We’d love to work with Jesse. I heard some of the projects he’s worked on and as soon as I heard them, I stood up and said ‘yes, that’s the sound I want.” But he’s such a busy guy. I’d love to work on even one track with him,” he said adding they are writing songs for their sophomore effort, which they will be a full length CD they hope to release by the end of the year.
“We ’re talking with producers and studios,” he said.
In the meantime, they are releasing a new single, “Small Town” plus an unreleased live track.
“That should be out by the time we get there,” he said.
The Ep has a live version of one of their songs “17 Seconds.”
“We chose the best songs for the EP, and I happened to be the one singing on all of them. We wanted to show off another side of the band. Stuart’s singing it and he has a very thick Scottish accent. His voice is a lot softer than mine, so we wanted to show that,” he continued.
“I don’t like all of the songs to sound the same. I hate going to see an band and they play three or four songs that all sound the same and you get it,” he noted, adding all four band members which also include percussionist Ryan Crampton and bassist Caleb Bradley all bring different influences to the background, which gives Hewson Grey their distinct sound.
“We come from all walks of life. We’re not really a folk or indie rock band. There’s that, but there is also a lot of blues and country,” he said.
“And we’re a band with two lead singers. Neither Stuart or I come from a singing background. I started out playing bass in a punk band then moved into a more singer songwriter solo direction. I like U2 a lot, so my voice tends to be a little more straight ahead pop. Stuart comes from more punk,” he said.
“When we first started writing together. I’d have 80 per cent of a song, and he’d instantly be able to come up with the other 20 per cent and tack it on. And I can do the same with his songs,” he continued, noting the current incarnation of the band has been together for about a year and a half, though he has been playing with Stuart for about eight years.
“Caleb is a jazz fusion musician, but he can play a lot of different styles of music and Ryan comes from a more classic rock, jam band background,” he said.
“ It is what it is. We don’t go into songwriting with any preconceived notions of what they should sound like. Like ‘this needs to be a heavy song,’” he said.
“We always wanted to be something like Fleetwood Mac with everyone singing their own songs, and it seems to be working for us,” he said, noting they have been described as the best band in Edmonton by various Edmonton media.
“I want people to go away from one of our shows feeling it is something they have experienced something that only happened once,” he said adding they change up their set list and turn other songs in to jams and add the occasional cover into their show.
“Tophie Davies is playing keyboards with us now too, so we‘re changing up the arrangements of the songs. He’s playing that part on keyboards, so I don’t need to play it on guitar. And Caleb and Ryan back him in his band, so it worked out that we could come to Lethbridge together,” he said.
“We’re just pumped to play Lethbridge,” he said.
The Tophie Davies band and Hewson Grey play the Slice, April 14. Doors open at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor