Band of Rascals giv'er at Whistler Village Beer Festival 

The Vancouver Island band headlines a weekend of music and sudsy good times

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - High energy Band of Rascals is releasing its second EP Tempest in October.
  • PHOTO submitted
  • High energy Band of Rascals is releasing its second EP Tempest in October.

Band of Rascals proudly declares on its website that the band is all about "nuts and bolts rock 'n' roll."

With a love song like 2015's "Giv'her to the River," and a video that has two of its members in drag, playing the love interests of the other two with hilarious results, they aren't wrong.

Band of Rascals came about thanks to four Cowichan buddies who were into blues-infused rock 'n' roll, says drummer Marcus Manhas.

"We all live within about 20 minutes of each other," he says.

"Our bassist Sean (Marcy) and I have known each other since high school, and Malcolm (Owen-Flood, on guitar) used to play covers in my garage when we were 11 or 12, which was pretty cool. And Sam (Trainor, lead singer and guitarist) had known Malcolm for a long time. Malcolm was Sam's guitar teacher for a while."

But proximity doesn't always result in music. Band of Rascals came together in 2013, because Owen-Flood was in an acoustic band and wanted to find some guys to go electric with.

"He messaged me on Facebook and asked me if we had anything going on. I'd just gotten out of another band and we decided to jam. We started for fun — we went into it with no expectations, just for the love of music, and this is where it has taken us," Manhas says.

Their eponymous first EP was released in 2015 and the guys are excited by the fact that their next one, a seven-song EP called Tempest, is due out in October.

The first single "Holler" has already been released.

"It's a very personal song for Sam, who wrote it. It's about a past relationship — I think he gets a lot of inspiration from that," Manhas says.

"He writes most of the songs and then comes to us and we collectively finish it off or change things. A lot of the time, he has a story that he wants to tell."

They spent 18 months on Tempest, and recorded it at Vancouver's Warehouse studio last winter, with help from the BC Music Fund and Juno Award-winning producer Eric Ratz.

Band of Rascals is headlining the Whistler Village Beer Festival at Whistler Olympic Plaza, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17. The festival itself runs from Sept. 13 to 17 and promises a weekend of music to accompany the hopheads.

Around 60 breweries are taking part, with over 120 beers and ciders to choose from.

"It's exciting to get the chance to come up to Whistler, it doesn't happen often enough," Manhas says.

"We'll be bringing classic rock 'n' roll with a bit of a modern edge, for sure — a lot of drums, a lot of guitars, you know? It'll be fun for sure. High energy."

The next few months means a lot of touring for Band of Rascals. The pace is one they are used to, he says.

"It's been pretty intense. We've just been finishing the summer circus of festivals; the beer festival, performing with Frank Turner at the Commodore (in Vancouver), and Rifflandia in Victoria are our last shows of the summer, and then we will be going on the road in the fall," Manhas says.

"That will carry on into next year. Basically for a rock band it is all about the shows, so we are touring as much as we can. Hopefully, we can make a splash. We want people to look out for us."

Other performers at the Whistler Village Beer Festival include Saturday's lineup of DJ Billy the Kidd, The WhiskeyDicks, Big Love Band, and JennaMae and the Groove Section.

Sunday performers include Case of the Mondays, The McQuaid Trio, and Red Chair.

For more information on the Whistler Village Beer Festival, visit www.gibbonswhistler.com.

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