Members: Tom Heuckendorff, on vocals, Hammond organ, sax, and
flute, Brendan Ladner on vocals and guitar, Derek Stembridge on bass, and Benny
Schuetze on drums and vocals.
Pique: Where did the name come from?
Brendan Ladner: The Release is the state of mind that we’re
trying to achieve within the music, when your mind can be free enough to be
lost in the moment; then there is nothing left but the release of the music.
Pique: What are your musical backgrounds?
B.L.: While Tom was listening to punk music, Derek was
listening to Fear Factory and Rush, Brendan was listening to The Beatles and
the Black Crowes and Benny was listening to Pink Floyd and Radiohead.
Pique: Where are you all from, and what brought you to
B.L.: Tom – Aurora, Ontario. Snowboarding
Derek – Toronto. The mountain life.
Brendan – Vancouver. The pow
Benny – Vancouver. The Release
Pique: When did you form your band, and what inspired you to
make music together?
B.L.: It really began on the road with Kostaman and the
Vibrations — Tom was playing sax and Brendan was playing bass in
Kostaman’s band. We would play guitar and flute on ferry decks and beaches,
getting to know each other’s material. We shared the jam band connection. We
found ourselves some acoustic shows around Whistler and it was after an evening
on Merlin’s patio that Derek was asked, “What’s in the case?”
Pique: How do you describe your music?
B.L.: Original funky jam rock/psychedelic groove rock. It’s a
full spectrum of music — mellow to intense, inspired by all genres. It’s
an unintentionally unique sound — it’s not jazz but hints to it —
that is simply the music that we write. It’s not always clear where the songs
or melodies appear from. We allow enough freedom to allow musical exploration
and uncover deep grooves. We have played some sets that were more that 50 per
Pique: Do you play covers, or original material?
B.L.: All originals. Until we run out of our own new ideas when
are we supposed to find time to practice other people’s music?