A&E » Music

A party of nine

Montreal's Busty and the Bass perform at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival on April 9



Sometimes, you get an education when you're at university — and a career.

For Montreal's Busty and the Bass, this was definitely the case, as trombonist Chris Vincent explains.

The nine musicians met at a party during their first week in McGill University's Schulich School of Music in 2011 and never looked back.

That must've been some party.

"It was at our guitarist's place," he says. "It was, like, 'That was fun, let's do that again.' We connected after that. For a couple of years it was really casual, playing the school bar. In fourth year, we started writing songs and it picked up. When we graduated, we kept doing it. We've been in the business ever since."

Vincent adds that the six years they've played together "has gone by fast."

Their music has been described as "a lovechild between jazz, hip hop and electro-soul."

The band's most recent single is "Up Top."

"We recorded it in November," Vincent says.

"It's one of nine tracks that are being produced for our upcoming record, our first full-length album. We don't have a name for it yet; we're deliberating on it. Our next single from it, 'Memories and Melodies' is coming out soon."

The album is due out at the end of the summer.

Musically, Vincent says there is no hard-and-fast rule for the band.

"The writing is very democratic. Everyone contributes in their own little way, here and there. The music goes over the place; we do a style that is unique to us. We just want to let ourselves go and see where it takes us," he says.

The show Busty and the Bass is bringing to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival — their first-ever Whistler show — will be filled with original music.

"We have about 20 or 30 songs always at the ready and they we say, 'What else do you want us to play?'" Vincent says.

"When we arrive, we get a vibe, see who we are playing for and build the set onsite."

They perform as part of the Free Fido Outdoor Concert Series onstage at Skier's Plaza on Sunday, April 9. Alternative musician Grandson opens the concert at 2 p.m.

Busty and the Bass is just coming off a glorious week of performances at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

"It was ultra cool to be a part of SXSW. We had five shows there and it kept us very busy," Vincent says.

"It is completely jammed with people everywhere. Every bar has got music in it. It's just anarchy, musically, and in every way possible.

"I would say one of the trickiest things for SXSW is to make sure you plan right so you can see the music you want to see."

The experience was a showcase for the band, a chance to be seen by fans and American labels.

"Oh for sure. We gained so much, just performing for five nights. The atmosphere is really supportive of new artists and it was our first time there, so it meant a lot," Vincent says.

The band is now taking a week off, with some members spending time with family and the rest in Los Angeles making music.

This allows Vincent and Busty and the Bass drummer Julian Trivers to work on their smaller project together. In fact, they are just heading into the studio.

"We're working on a subsidiary duo project for the band called Ringo's Starr. Myself and Julian are making hybrid electronic and acoustic music. We're both singers. And, yeah, we're also recording for the first time," Vincent says.They aren't the only ones with a Busty and the Bass cottage industry. Trumpet player Scott Bevins has a modern jazz project, while keyboardist and vocalist Alistair Blu has his own rap project.

"Being able to branch out as musicians, we learn so many other things that we wouldn't in the context of the group. When we bring it back, our collective pool of knowledge is infinitely better," Vincent says.