Three Best Friends Stop in at The Pawn Shop

The Backstreet Boys. The Spice Girls. N’SYNC. The Sex Pistols. What do all four of these groups have in common? They were manufactured bands. Which means, they were probably comprised of members that didn’t know each other very well. All of them did OK I guess, but that was the entire point of them being together in the first place.

That isn’t the case with Edmonton’s Scenic Route to Alaska. You might just notice a few differences between them and The Backstreet Boys, and not just a lack of synchronized dancing. The band is made up of three best friends, from the same town with the same creative drive. They grew up together ’round Riverdale, and decided to share their love for music onstage with lucky audiences. This trifecta of friendship has become a regular fixture on the music community in town, and across Alberta. You might have heard them on the radio, when their set at Canmore Folk Festival was aired on CKUA, or when they were SONIC 102.9’s Band of the Month. Perhaps you saw them on stage with Kat Danser at the Edmonton Folk Fest, on Balcony TV, or maybe you’ve seen them perform at local fundraisers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but N’SYNC didn’t play many non-profit fundraising events.

…Or maybe, you haven’t had the chance to see them yet! If so, it’s a good thing they’ve got an album release party this Friday at the Pawn Shop!

They don’t all like sunglasses, however.

Not only are these guys doing their fair share of work around Alberta, but they’ve been taking their feel-good musical style right across Canada. Bassist Murray Wood has been going to school in Montreal, so when the time came to play at Canadian Music Week in Toronto this spring, drummer Shea Connor and frontman Trevor Mann hopped in their ’91 Corolla and headed east. “With,” as Trevor recalls, “a full drumkit, two guitars, my amp, and a bag of bison jerky.” Obviously they had everything they needed for the journey, and once they arrived in the GTA (after overnight stopovers in Walmart parking lots), they had a great time playing venues like The Dakota Tavern and The Gladstone Ballroom.

Even after hanging out in Toronto, the band appreciates their local community back home. Trevor asserts that “Edmonton has one of the most unique and quick growing scenes in Canada at the moment. It has been such a nurturing environment for us and we feel like we are constantly surrounded by such positive support. We owe all of our successes to Edmonton and the people in it.”

The band’s opinion of Edmonton carries a legitimate weight; with Murray studying musical compositions in Montreal the past few years, these guys have a legendary musical town to compare with the City of Champions.

Montreal is also where they recorded their new album, “All These Years” last November at McGill University’s orchestra studios. They approached their four days of recording like they were playing a gig – wanting “to go for the same sound that we produce on stage.” The idea, of course, “so that people can enjoy a live sounding version of us in the privacy of their own homes and ipods.”

This is another difference between Scenic Route to Alaska and those manufactured bands. These three best friends are on stage to have fun, and they’re bringing back rock ‘n’ roll that you can sing along and dance to, with a huge grin on your face. In contrast, I’ve never heard of The Spice Girls just kicking out the jams together, and it’s a scientific fact The Sex Pistols never had any fun.

The road might carry them off to another city someday, but for now watch for Scenic Route to Alaska around town, wherever good music is performed.

They play The Pawn Shop this Friday, June 1, with Mass Choir, The Marquee, and Desiderata.

Here’s the first single of the new album, “Settle Down”

And they still hope some day to take the road to Alaska with the nice view, and when they do, they promise to send us all postcards.!/scenicalaska

Explore posts in the same categories: Edmonton Music Scene, Music from America's Hat, So Russell...what do you love about music?

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