Discovering new galaxies 

In search of a label, sunlikestar garners following

WHO: sunlikestar (with Monochrome and SuperJaded)

WHAT: Alternative Concert Series

WHERE: The Boot

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 21

It’s a story that’s becoming more and more familiar: promising Canadian bands seeking success south of the border.

Vancouver vets, Nickelback, who were featured on Whistler stages not too long ago, are perhaps the best example of what awaits Canuck bands eyeing up the US market. Nickelback has skyrocketed up international music charts this summer, selling over one million copies of their latest CD, Silver Side UP , since focusing its efforts on American audiences.

The Vancouver rock group, Goya, (featured in last week’s Pique ) has almost completely forgone the Canadian market in favour of striking out in the States.

"I know a lot of bands don’t think about starting that way, but think about it: there’s almost as many people in California as in Canada," said Goya drummer, Cam Belter. "You just think about the American money and go holy cow! You can go down there and just make really big in one state."

Belter brings up the very valid point of quick accessibility to large numbers of people. It’s much more difficult for a band to tour in Canada due to the kilometres between major cities.

"And Vancouver venues aren’t what they used to be. Actually there just aren’t as many places to play," adds Belter.

That sentiment is echoed by many on the Vancouver music scene, including Sunday’s headlining band at The Boot, sunlikestar. These relative newcomers have started a little northern spark, earning a spot on CFOX radio’s coveted Vancouver Seeds 2001 compilation disk. Two bands from the same CD, Default and ShoCore, have gone on to sign with major labels and while sunlikestar is still independent, American management, some Toronto buzz and a strong independent debut CD could lead to that elusive record contract.

"Canada’s sort of a weird country. It’s fairly reactionary. I think the labels are reactionary too," theorizes sunlikestar lead singer, Jonathan Hetherington. "A lot of bands that are doing really well are the ones that signed American record deals. Canada could sign these bands first, but they don’t take the chance."

Sunlikestar is hoping a label will follow their decision to go with the California-based Triune Music Group (of Hanson fame). Their debut CD, Inverse , is over a year old now and the group is itching to lay down new material. A record contract at this time would be welcome, rather than scraping together the cash for another independent release.


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