Space is for Stars lit up the Reverb.Yeah it’s a cliche title, but what are you going to do about it

Live Pic of Space Is For Stars By: Sheena Lyonnais
February 26, 2008

There were several things that set Space Is For Stars apart from the other bands at the Reverb on February 24.  The most obvious being that every other bands were metal, and I mean hard, fast, heavy I’m-going-to-kick-your-ass metal, where as Space is for Stars are a nice melodic fusion of indie rock and dance with a dash of pop. 

The second would be the fact there are twins in the band!  Guitarist Brian Ellis and drummer Gary Ellis are identical twins.  Thirdly, Bassist Brayden was the happiest person I have ever seen once his bass started working after two songs of technical difficulties.

If that’s not enough, Space Is For Star’s stage presence, and more specifically, vocalist Ryan Sheppard’s impeccable dance moves are enough to win anyone over.  Initial technical difficulties aside, Sheppard alone was amazing to watch.  A simple chorus would explode into a vast array of sudden movements, crazy rock star pelvic thrusts mixed with cleverly choreographed dance moves that would disappear back into the song almost as fast as they appeared.  It seriously blew my mind.

Space Is For StarsThe show was interesting in itself because it was an industry showcase.  These gigs are always weird, not too many fans show up, the bands are typically nervous and the bar is littered with industry execs hiding in the shadows.

“We’re not so much interested in trying to get signed automatically to a record label because we don’t have pipe dreams or whatever,” Sheppard said.  “However, Feldman and Associates are here and they’re like the main booking agency in Canada.  We’re trying to woo them.  Our main agenda tonight is to impress those guys.”

Feldman and Associates is home to tons of Canadian artists such as Avril Lavigne, Hedley, Die Mannequin and Hello Operator, to name only a few.  The three parts Newmarket one part Toronto (formerly Newfoundland, until Sheppard moved here years ago to pursue school and art) quartet might just be a perfect addition to the agency.  Space Is For Stars has mostly been playing shows around the GTA and Ottawa but are hoping to expand their horizons soon.

“We’re working on a five song EP right now, once we get that done we’re going to start playing a lot of shows, selling a lot of EPs, trying to build our fan base, then look for a label,” guitarist Brian Ellis said. 

Tim Oxford, the drummer of Hamilton/Toronto band the Arkells, is recording SIFS’s EP, a relationship that was formed thanks to a mutual love of flatbread.

Toronto Band Space Is For Stars“We met him because he had his business card in the Pita Pit in Newmarket where we eat like everyday,” Sheppard said.  “We saw it there and we were looking for someone to record.  We had previously recorded two songs at the Pocket here in Toronto, which is owned by Mike Turner formerly of Our Lady Peace.  It was a wicked studio but a little bit out of our price range, so we were looking for someone who could do the same quality but do it for cheaper.  We found Tim and he’s actually awesome.  He has a studio in his farmhouse, so there is a super cool vibe.”

Space Is For Stars have been asked to partake in a few upcoming charity shows including the Relay for Life run in Oakville, which they also played last year, and a benefit show at Dundas Square for Habitat for Humanity.  More details regarding those events will be posted on their Myspace once everything is confirmed.

Until then, the band is continuing to work on their EP and play shows.  They have already played both the Live Lounge in Ottawa and Edge 102’s Steamwhistler Indie Club in 2008.  Recently, they posted the lyrics to their songs on their Myspace, which seemed to suggest a sadder side to the band cleverly hidden behind catchy beats and indie hooks. 

Rock band Space Is For Stars“I guess they are disguised, but I feel it’s more a light at the end of the tunnel thing,” Sheppard said.  “They’re trying to make the best out of sad situations.  I’m actually not even sad.  I guess lyrically I’m never inspired unless I’m feeling angry, pissed off or sad about something.  Then when I’m writing I’m like why I am I writing this sad song when I’m not really a sad person.” 

This is a band that is determined to work hard.  They all have respectable day jobs and practice two or three times a week.  They’re live shows are fun and it sounds like their practices are too.

“We’ve got a phrase of the day board in our basement where we practice.  The phrase of the day is something stupid that someone in our band said,” Gary Ellis said.  “The most recent one, Brian here came out with the good phrase ‘it’s got a weird like fucking midrange like fucking.’  That’s our latest phrase of the day.”

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