Anything but ill 

Juno-nominated rock-reggae group, illScarlett, to get World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s outdoor concert series started out right

Who: illScarlett

Where: Skier’s Plaza

When: Friday, April 11, 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Organizers of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival (TWSSF) are bringing in some rising talent with an upbeat, energetic sound to help kick-start their 10-day entertainment extravaganza.

The Mississauga born-and-bred band, illScarlett, is powered by the lyrics of frontman, Alex Norman, with Swav Pior on drums, John Doherty on bass and Will Matt on guitar.

Norman called from Sunshine Village in Banff just days after the Juno Awards, where the band went head to head with Dragonette, Faber Drive, State of Shock and Wintersleep for the title of New Group of the Year.

While they didn’t walk away with the award — Wintersleep did — Norman says they were honoured to be nominated, and the experience of being up for a Juno was a target for the band this year.

“And sure enough, we made it,” said Norman.

Goals are an important part of the band’s game plan.

“I think it’s important to set goals because that’s how you get things done,” said Norman. “I mean, we don’t set crazy goals, but it starts with just getting a gig, and then getting a CD, and then getting a CD that’s actually wrapped in plastic.”

A lot of milestones in their career have been reached through the initiative and drive of the members. They actually got their first big break back in 2004 when they set up shop in the parking lot of the Warped Tour, hoping to sell some copies of their independently released album. The next thing they knew, they were being asked to perform at the nightly post-show party by Warped Tour organizer, Kevin Lymon.

“We did not expect that, but it was really cool,” recalled Norman. “It was one of those sort of magical moments when we just felt really good about ourselves and proved to everybody that we’re a real band and we can do it.”

But illScarlett isn’t all work and no play — they know how to party, too, and it sounds like they did just that at the Junos.

“It was great — it was really cool to see all our friends who we don’t see all the time because we’re always on tour and doing stuff… The Juno Awards is like a giant boozefest. I think I slept five hours in five days,” Norman said with a laugh.

It doesn’t look like the party is going to stop anytime soon.


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