They first met in 2011 at one of their classmate`s patio during a housewarming party. Everybody brought their music instruments and they could not stop playing. So that`s how the band was created. The boys found out about CBC’s Rock Your Campus McGill university band contest and decided to push their limits in music making, so they submitted the application form. The band members were gathering their material for the competition for eight months! They won among 200 other music groups and it put the spotlight on them. Who would imagine that those nine young men from Montreal would become so popular that they felt like “it`s an American school and we are the football team.” After the big win, they toured across the Northeast of Canada and even abroad (London and Paris). As one of the band members recalls, “At our first show in Europe, we played to a sold out crowd in London and 1 song in, the room was bumpin’, people were jumpin’ to beat of the bass thumpin’.”
The band consists of trumpet players Scott Bevins and Mike McCann, pianist Eric Haynes, trombonist Chris Vincent, vocalist and alto saxophonist Nick Ferraro, guitarist Louis Stein, drummer Julian Trivers, bassist Milo Johnson, and pianist and vocalist Alistair Blu. They find it hard sometimes to collaborate in songwriting due to quite an amount of people in a band, but also satisfying as everyone can bring their own expertise to the table. Furthermore, they are so close, they find it unproductive to blame each other for any mistakes.
One can describe their music as a mix of pop, hip-hop, vintage R&B, and retro funk. As the guys tell, “We do have certain tracks that fall into clear genres, but some of the more special songs are a crazy blend of stuff that people don’t know how to describe, or even necessarily how to listen to it…” Their process of creating songs can be perfectly pictured by Louis Stein, “It starts with the little melody and it sort of magic in there that needs to be explored.”
The band members released their first EP “GLAM” in 2015 and the second one “Lift” on Canada day this year. After that, they were headliners on the main stage at Montreal TD Jazz Festival this July and it was so many people during their performance so even the streets way behind the platform were full. It was over ten thousand dedicated fans who were not only cheering, but dancing and singing along the lyrics. The boys could not believe their eyes when they appear on a stage and were recognized by that crowd. By screaming the band`s name those fans created a loving atmosphere among everyone. As Chris Vincent, trombone player said,“You appreciate people with great ears, who are really listening to your music. It`s rewarding.”
Therefore, the main question is what makes them so special and why someone should come to their concert. The secret is the liveliness they give to their fans. The band describes their interaction with their admirers as “an interchange of energy.” They claim it being not just a one-way synergy which may sometimes happen at other bands shows. As Nick Ferraro said, “Energy is what we gravitate towards. Not every song needs to be a dance track, but you want the energy of a dance song in everything, even in your ballads.” Besides that, the band members believe that “…when it comes to being on stage, and playing for people, and trying to build a connection with the audience, it’s something that we talk about, and we’re very conscious of, and we make a deliberate effort to really engage the people, which is the most important thing.”
Busty and the Bass are always willing to play for charity events and school organization concerts. A lot of young musicians miss that point, but as bassist Milo claims, it may help to create the buzz. He also encourages new bands “…to really dive into their instrument and performance skills, because nowadays the surest way of building a career is by having a killer live show.”
They have big plans for the nearest future by releasing their new full album in early 2017. The boys are spending all their free time now by recording it. The band is currently on tour around British Columbia province and will move onto Quebec and Ontario. Check their songs and you will not be disappointed. No wonder their Facebook page states, “We play music, you dance, we all live happily ever after.”