Kevin Talbot has been making a music on the local scene since he was in his teens with bands like A Night to Remember and the Never Scene. But flash forward some 14 years later and his latest outing is taking the worldwide web by storm. The internet plays a big role in not only helping form the band but with their goal to reach as many people as possible. Now, Academy Killer with Talbot (vocals, guitar), Lucas Goldson (lead guitar), Omar Kurd (bass) and Nathaniel Schuster (drums) have only been together in this incarnation a couple of years but this strong unit offers a standout pop punk sophomore EP called Lost In Make Believe and go AWK (away from keyboard) to do some live rocking.
“Each member brings something to the table that is an integral part in making what we have,” says Talbot on the formation of the current incarnation that’s taken some four years to coalesce. “I had to take to Facebook.com and Kijiji.com and auditioned people that just weren’t quite right but I stuck it out and eventually found a group of guys that we could take the world by storm.
“We find it’s hard to get people out if they really don’t know who you are,” adds Talbot. “If people just see a poster to come out to the show, they have no idea of who you are. With the internet you can get the music, videos and the message out there to outlets that people look to for new music and discover us. It’s really easy to get lost in the mix and the internet allows us to bring the music to the people and hopefully that will bring people to the show.”
With Lost in Make Believe Talbot and Academy Killer hope to bring their dreams to reality. Recorded At Room 21 Sound in Toronto with producer Sam Guaiana, Academy Killer’s sound is polished and powerful pop punk and rock. Talbot assures a wide range of musical styles go in and come out of the music making for a wild 7–track ride but if you like the All–American Rejects, All Time Low, New Found Glory and especially Blink 182, you could just dig Academy Killer.
“We connected with Sam on Facebook and it’s really good for networking that way,” says Talbot. “We didn’t go into it with any expectations of how it should sound. We went in and wrote what we wrote and if the songs feel good it became an Academy Killer song. If it was something we dug, we held on to it. Sam is so supportive of bands and we worked well together. He was the first person that came to mind when we decided to record and we’re happy with how it turned out. Making this record had an impact on us as individuals and we hope it can have a positive impact on listeners, too.
“Our message is ‘be yourself, follow you heart and whatever it is you want to do, do it with passion and your entire being,’” adds Talbot. “There are some feel good moments but there also sad moments. The songs are based on the human experience — the things we’ve encountered and had to deal with. Music should be an expression of self and it’s almost like a coping mechanism to get that off our chest. I think we are all at times lost in make believe. Every now and again, you’ll find yourself asking is this real life and happening now. What is reality, if you want to get philosophical? There is so much more than pop punk and a whole bunch of different vibes for everyone to connect with.”
After months of Internet promotion, Academy Killer offer a live show to celebrate the release of their new EP with high hopes but perhaps tempered goals.
“All of these bands for the show are all friends of ours so we invited them to be a part of our release party,” says Talbot. “There are moments where you can get in touch with your feels but there are lots of opportunities to be lost in the moment and shake your troubles away. We’re hoping for the best and that people can connect. Why wouldn’t you want to bring your music and message to the greatest platform that you can achieve? But you can’t predict success — I’m just happy to play to even a handful of people that really connect to the music. I have no idea what the future holds, I’m just here for the ride.”
Academy Killer plays this Friday October 4 at the Casbah with Crafting Lies, Sun Kings and 30 Dollar Weekend. Doors open 8pm $10 gets you in. Click on academykiller.com