What began as solely a studio project became a live band with an annual showcase for local musican Don Levasseur. Since he was seventeen years old — playing with Straight Reads The Line, Skynet, Anniversary and more — Levasseur made his life in music touring the countryside with hard rocking bands, slugging it out in the indie loud underground. But as time passed and more of the music business was unveiled, Levasseur grew disenchanted with the business of music and felt he had to walk away from it all. That didn’t mean that he'd lost his musical muse. In fact, Levasseur was happy to simply write and record in his newly made Atlantis Studio but friends encouraged him to take it to the stage and go from side man to front man with his own songs.
Some four years later and two EPs — their debut collection of recordings, Keep That Hope Alive was followed by The Things We Crave EP — Five Years is an ongoing project but with no commercial concerns, only one live performance a year in their hometown, and Levasseur wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The project started with me writing a couple of songs — and then a couple of more songs, I recorded them myself and a couple of good friends strong armed me into playing it live,” recalls Levasseur. “I’d toured for a lot of years and it wasn’t for me. I love making music and I’ll be doing that until the day I die but as far as touring and that stuff, I’ve grown out of that stage of my life but I still love stepping on stage once a year and just giving it my all, especially with my best friends. There’s no better feeling than that.
“The project snowballed and there was a pile of songs that me and my guitarist put together and we came up with the second EP last year,” adds Levasseur. “This year, it’s been a little more calm and you’re dealing with five dudes that are getting older, life gets in the way. I haven’t been pounding the pavement with the writing and producing this year, but it’s still there and we’ve go one really solid tune out of it and we’re stoked on that. With how well this song has been received, I think there’ll definitely be more new music in the following year.”
Levasseur (vocals), Josh “Bobby” Clayton (bass), Timothy Busa (guitar), Sky Semeniuk (guitar), and Derek Prince–Cox (drums) have recorded a new track, “Lost”, continuing in a post-hardcore, aggressive rock sound for some new music in advance of this year’s Five Years celebration. Fans of Five Years have responded kindly to the new music and assuredly will be coming out for the event that remains an anniversary party quality that’s special even after four years.
“Once music turned into a job for me, it put a sour taste in my mouth. I will always write, record and make music but I don’t want to do it as a job. I’d rather punch a clock somewhere else,” says Levasseur. “The people come out every year and it’s crazy that it’s been four years and we haven’t even skipped a beat as a band. We get in that room together and we still have the same fire and energy. When in you’re in a professional band and you’re touring and under record label scrutiny, all of that can take the fire and passion away but there is none of that here. It’s not like pulling everyone together in a room. It’s crazy and we love doing it, we meet up a year later and start pounding the pavement. I'm excited about playing again and I know everyone will come out for a great collection of bands — this show is a great spot for a good vibe and listen to some live aggressive music. Even after four years this show is still special to me, maybe even more important than we started.” V
Five Years plays this Friday November 29 at Club Absinthe with Rules, Adelleda, Colorsfade, and the Ascension. Doors open at 7:30 pm and $10 gets you in. Click on facebook.com/wearefiveyears