After five-and-a-half years playing music together, Whistler rock band Red Chair are set to release their debut EP.
"It's been a long road to get this record to come out on (July) 5 because of the time we put into it," says lead singer Adam Wilson.
Wilson, alongside guitar player Cam Hyde, bassist Derek Stembridge and drummer Frankie G., have spent the last half-decade playing their favourite cover songs at venues around Whistler. Every show has been fun, every classic song has offered a lesson, but the time was right to put some of their original tracks out into the world, they say.
"I always find that, especially in this tourist environment, if you don't play songs for a tourist crowd that they're familiar with, you lose them," Wilson says. "With the original music, you've got to spoon feed it—sneak one in here and in there."
The result of that is Give It All, a six-song EP, officially set for release next month. The first single, meanwhile, will be the title track, unveiled on Thursday, June 21.
"It was this gem of a song," Wilson says. "Cam started writing this catchy little guitar lick then he started coming up with this cool, groovy bass line and we wrote a melody to it. We started toying around with names for the song and what the chorus would be and I shouted out, 'Give It All!' It was a last-minute addition to the EP."
Adds Hyde: "It's a unique one on the album too. It's got its own vibe."
Much of the song writing for the record happened this way: slowly, collaboratively and with deep thought. The group also enlisted the help of Chad Oliver (best known for his work in Whistler duo Ruckus Deluxe) for some of it.
"We sometimes sit there for four or five hours straight, tweaking things, hashing things out," Hyde says. "Sometimes we'd sit there trying to figure out lyrics and there'd be dead silence in the room for like 40 minutes and someone would yell something out and we're like, 'Yes!'"
Once they had a half-dozen songs they set out to decide how, and where, to record them. Wilson reached out to a long-time friend and producer in Ontario named Vincent Sciara for suggestions.
His idea: instead of flying the group out east to record, why didn't he just come to Whistler?
Then everything started to fall into place. A generous friend offered up his house, located on the shores of Alta Lake, and they began to rent and borrow equipment (partly from Blame the Weekend's Jason Chaulk) to haul out there.
"It was the perfect spot," Wilson says. "It was a serene, beautiful, big house and he let us record the record there ... We thought we could (finish) it in a week, but we couldn't, so we had to bring Vince out again."
It turns out, he didn't mind so much.
"He was excited that instead of being in a dark basement room in a studio with a bunch of lit-up computer screens, he was in a house on a lake and he could take a break and go outside with a cup of coffee, walk onto the dock and stand there on Alta Lake with a 360-degree view of the lake," Hyde says.
While the process was intense and gruelling the band says they would also be keen to record in the same setting again. "We're really happy with the way it sounds and the songs are really good, I think," Wilson says. "(We) bring an essence of the lifestyle we have here to the songs—fast-paced rock songs."
All of those years playing Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Beatles songs paid off. Learning a huge repertoire of tracks that have stood the test of time taught them about great song writing, but also they've honed a tight live show, Hyde says.
"The most important thing now (a days) is your live performance," he says. "Because we have so much experience as a band playing in a live scenario we have that part taken care of and we're adding our own music to that live performance."
Red Chair will celebrate the launch of Give It All with a party at Tapley's Pub on July 5 at 9 p.m.
You can also catch them every Friday at Tapley's, Saturday at the Longhorn Saloon and Sunday at the Dubh Linn Gate.
For more find them at www.redchairband.com or on Facebook as RedChairBand.