Introducing Gentlemen Spectres
While Scott Marsh (vocals, guitar), Dean Caldwell (guitar), Mitch Szitas (bass), Vic Carreiro (drums) grew up on local stages their newest project seems them introducing a new sound and conviction to the music they want to make. With their debut CDEP being released this weekend, Gentlemen Spectres is introducing themselves to the world.
“I went through a couple bands, starting at the ripe age of 14 including Sauce Rock-it and Radiosilence,” recalls Marsh. “Dean played in a band called Deveaux for a short while before he saddled up into Wentworth for some years. Victor’s main claim to fame was through the band Animal Farm with Dean’s older brother. Last, but not least, Mitch found his voice by taking the microphone as the singer of a band called Faultline. He also was part of The Beautiful Souls Orchestra for a time, too.
“I learned what I wanted out of music — I learned who I wanted to be in a band with,” offers Caldwell on his previous projects. “We’ve all been around the Hamilton music scene for a while now so there’s no drama we just really love to play music and have fun. Scott and I came together a few years ago and started jamming and writing songs. Scott’s always been the songwriter who brings the ideas to the table and it felt great to be able to add my own parts to his and create these songs together.”
With a cousin looking for an opening act, Marsh offered his band’s services before Marsh and Caldwell had fleshed things out but with the addition of Carreiro and Szitas, Gentlemen Spectres was born.
“The name Gentlemen Spectres, for me, represents the experience of being in other bands or relationships and taking what you’ve learned and making something of it — the Spectres referring to us as ghosts from these past lives,” offers Marsh. “We wanted a name that sounds intriguing and appropriate for our style and overall vibe.”
Musically, Gentlemen Spectres debut is a competent and cohesive collection of songs. It’s modern rock with pop elements ripping a page or two from the Weezer, Sloan or the Foo Fighters.
“We have probably ripped more than a page or two from those books but to be honest, who hasn’t?” quips Caldwell. “I feel like we’re influenced by many different bands individually, but when we come together as a group we have our own voice. We have all recorded with other bands before and with that experience, I think this album has a more focused light. We were looking to create a great album that anyone could listen to.”
“We were looking to write songs that people can really rock out, dance, and party to while having real meaning to back it up so listeners can really connect to the songs as well,” adds Marsh. “We write music that we’d enjoy hearing. I really enjoy heavy rock riffs but I also love when there’s great melody and harmonies. That mixture is gold to me — killer melodies, harmonies, big rock guitars and slamming drums.”
Recording with Mike (Money) Monson at Rattlebox North Studios and mastered at Joao Carvalho by Brett Zilahi, Gentlemen Spectres introduce themselves, their influences, their collective pasts and their love for driven rock music with a melody — or perhaps solid pop with an edge — on their new collection of songs. It’s thoughtful rock that you can easily chin stroke or dance to — although Gentlemen Spectres would probably hope for more of the party atmosphere for their CD release party this weekend.
“I feel like this is a band of history and roots,” muses Carreiro. “We have all come from different paths, yet have found a way to connect around some great grooves and fun performances. The best part about this band is that not only do we have a great following of music loving fans but also we have a solid support group of extremely talented musicians. That type of support means a lot to us and drive us to become better with every show.”
“This is the most work and effort we’ve put into a show,” adds Marsh on this Friday’s official CD release. “This album is huge for us so that should be reflected in this show. Performance is really important to us and it’s called a show for a reason. You need to give fans an experience they won’t forget. We want to show that this is just the beginning of something truly amazing and special. We’re pulling out all the stops and letting it all hang out and showing everyone what we’ve got.”
Gentlemen Spectres play this Friday January 31 at This Ain’t Hollywood on January 31 with Still Life and the Human Orchestra. Doors are at 8pm and $10 gets you in. Click on gentlemenspectres.com
Ginger St. James’ Bands for Boobs
Rae-Lyn Mudryk was diagnosed with breast cancer last October while 34 weeks pregnant with her third child. Chemotherapy treatments were delayed for three weeks until her son was delivered by emergency C-Section but now a growing family struggles to continue on. As someone who grew up with Mudryk, local singer/songwriter Ginger St. James immediately decided to spearhead a musical concert to help.
“Rae-Lyn and I met 20 years ago in the bathroom of the Donut Diner on Stonechurch Road while getting revved up for a night out at the Roller Gardens,” recalls St. James. “We have been friends ever since, along with Sasha Richter (nee Sheehan). At the time of us meeting, she had just lost her mother to breast cancer. Along the way, we became sisters, and we took her into our home.
“When I heard the news that Rae-Lyn had cancer, I just wanted to help in any way I could and I had faith our community would be willing to step up,” adds St. James. “We wanted to hold a fundraiser for her because besides the insane amounts of treatment; this disease has an overwhelming cost financially. She needs to focus on her recovery, not to be worried about paying for parking, medications, childcare, diapers, food etc... It wasn’t until I posted about it online that I realized the extent of our community’s passion and willingness to help with this cause. Within minutes I had responses from people both in the music business and not, offering to help us. It was really an emotional thing for me to see such support, as it always is when a community can come together to support someone that they don’t even know. It was overwhelming. We are forever grateful.”
The event dubbed with St. James wit is called Bands for Boobs and gathers a wealth of musicians including Harrison Kennedy, Lori Yates, Tim Gibbons, Shawn Brush, Mark Wilson, Dave Gould, Samantha Martin, Dan Walsh, Alfie Smith, Nicole Christian, Duane Rutter, the Boogie Infection, the Squids, the Silhouettes, Jaret Koop, Dave and Craig Nicoloff, Ian Andrews, Frankie and Jimmy, Bradley Harder, Sean LeSage, Gary White, Courtney Hrach, Tommy Gunn, Maggie Ciere, Brenda Lennie and comedian Shelley Marshall. Tickets are $20 for an all day/all night concert beginning at 2pm featuring raffles and door prizes including a one-year gym membership, a hotel package and even a 39" flat screen T.V. If you can’t make the concert, you can still purchase tickets to donate online.
“We are looking to raise money so Rae-Lyn can be focused on her well being and recovery,” says St. James. “She is a hardworking single mother, and has three beautiful children aged 10, 5 and 2 months. Cancer voids you of everything; energy, time, money and even faith at times. A big lesson I have learned since we’ve discovered she is faced with this challenge is to be grateful for every day and moment, and be willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference in someone’s life - even if it is offering a smile. I feel this event will put a lot of love into her heart which is another huge part of recovering from this Illness.
“We’d like to think of this concert as a good ol’ time for a good ol’ cause,” smiles St. James. “I hope this concert with not only fill up people’s hearts with positivity from the performances, but also to increase the awareness that this disease is something that affects people far more than just the hospital visits. Anything that can bring people together despite the circumstance is incredible to me. The response and support we have got from people let me know that we can band together in times of crisis which is such a relief. You never know when you yourself can be faced with something like this. I thank to everyone involved. I have no words to express how grateful we all are for the generosity. Rae-Lyn always had a fear of contracting cancer, and unfortunately now this is a reality for her but we are here to support her, care for her and, with everything we have combined, will fight the good fight and save this beautiful woman.” V
Bands for Boobs happens this Sunday February 2 at the Casbah. The event runs from 2pm until 2am, $20 gets you in with proceeds going to Rae-Lyn Mudryk. To learn more or to donate click on http://www.gofundme.com/donations-for-rae-lyne