Live and interactive with Exithiside 

By: Dana Michell

What: Back to Back Ballot Box

Who: Exithiside

Where: Crab Shack

When: March 7-8

It’s not often the fans get to choose the songs to go on their favourite band’s new album, but Exithiside are leaving it up to you.

The Vancouver-based high energy punk rockers compiled their own wish list for album number three with new songs and previous live favourites, but they want you to give them the thumbs up or down to create the best ETS album ever.

The unique Whistler workshop is intended to create an album with basically a beer in one hand and a pen in the other.

"Ballots will be handed out during the shows," said bassist Craig McLaren. "The crowd will vote on three sets at 10, 11 and 12 o’clock. We’ll play some old songs we know get a good response in Whistler, some new originals and some modern covers in between."

So why Whistler for the brainstorming session?

"The Crab Shack’s regulars have always been so good to us and the management is really supportive. We also get a new crowd each time that are always ready to party and hear new music," said McLaren.

The other driving force behind the test concerts is to better plan their radio releases. McLaren said while their second album fared well with the fans, it didn’t do so well with radio stations, who claimed it lacked focus.

"Our writing style was very diverse last time. We’d write the song without really thinking about the market so this time we wanted to include the audience, find out the genre of music they like us doing best and stick with it," said McLaren.

"We want a more unified sound people can identify with this time around. We’re not really changing what we’re doing so much, just focusing it more to what people would want to hear on the radio so we can make the play lists."

If all goes well, album three will be due for release in about six months.

"We plan to record a few of the songs immediately on the back of the ballot comments and we’ll take those demos to the radio stations to get some feedback and find out if we’re on the right track. That was the problem last time, we just recorded the album all at once. This time we’ll just do a few songs at a time and once we figure out what everyone likes the most, we’ll then cut the rest of the album," said McLaren.

Whistler, this is your chance to make musical history and be a contributing factor behind one of Canada’s hottest rising talents. Support these great guys from 9 p.m. at the Shack.

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