The Sea to Sky experience, Brother Twang style 

Busy Whistler band releases its third album

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Shout it out Brother Twang Is Todd Vague on drums, Derek Stembridge on bass guitar, Jason Romany on vocals and guitar, and George Skoupas on lead guitar and backing vocals.
  • Photo submitted
  • Shout it out Brother Twang Is Todd Vague on drums, Derek Stembridge on bass guitar, Jason Romany on vocals and guitar, and George Skoupas on lead guitar and backing vocals.

George Skoupas and Jason Romany are cutting in and out.

The lead guitarist and lead vocalist for rockers Brother Twang are on their way to Pemberton for a Friday night gig and as the car they're in negotiates the contours and elevations of Suicide Hill, it is clear that this is going to be an interview dependent on the goodwill of the mountains.

"We're playing at this new place that our buddy bought. It's called the Whiskey Jack BBQ joint," Skoupas says.

"He's committed to doing live music every Friday and we're it tonight."

Brother Twang bounces up and down the Sea to Sky Highway like boomerangs.

"When we first started in 2008, we tended to go our more to the Southern Gulf Islands, places like that. Now, with families, we're happy to stay in the corridor — there's so many gigs," Skoupas says.

"There are 25, 30 bands that are regularly busy.

"We recently ran into Greg (a.k.a. Grateful Greg) from the Hairfarmers and just when you think you're busy, you hear how busy they are and you imagine how busy you could be."

Though they've kept up day jobs in Whistler, the opportunity to play remains essential. Along with Romany and Skoupas in Brother Twang are Todd Vague on drums and Derek Stembridge on bass.

"We need the music in our lives and we can do as much as we can give it," Skoupas says.

And to prove it, Brother Twang is just releasing its third album of original music, Here Comes the Melody, its first in five years. Skoupas says they took their time to get it right, and it was completed in April this year at the Recording Room in Vancouver.

"We wanted to make sure we had the best songs possible, but another thing is that we're all busy," he says.

The band also had guest performers, including Ian Cameron, the Grammy Award-winning fiddle player for Celt-rock band Ruckus Deluxe.

There are six songs on Here Comes the Melody and Skoupas wants the six-song album to become an annual project for the band.

"Our sound has always been ever-evolving, a combination of the four of us. Todd has always been a rock drummer, Jay has is a folkie and Derek and I are metalheads. Our first album was combination of country and metal, and then I think our sound in the new album is rock, with some songs like aggressive country."

Brother Twang's songwriting has become more aggressive, Skoupas adds, thanks to the pitter-patter of little feet.

"Jay and I, the two key songwriters, have small children. There is a time constraint and that is reflected in the urgency of the rock and the songwriting," he says.

Here Comes the Melody launches on Friday, Oct. 21. The CD will be available at Brother Twang shows. The band's next show is the final Mountain Top BBQ of the year, at the Roundhouse Lodge, on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m.


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