Tin Bangs just might be Toronto’s next big thing

Band Pic of Tin Bangs By: Sheena Lyonnais
March 3, 2008

Everything about Tin Bangs is tight.  Their music is tight, their performances are tight, hell even their pants are tight!  They have obvious band camaraderie, hilarious stories and a ton of insight about the music industry.  It’s an old school approach to rock and roll, and one that is definitely going to help them excel into perpetual stardom.

Pretty much the Canadian equivalent of the Arctic Monkeys, the British-influenced-Torontonians are everything you wish your band could be and more.  Completed by vocalist/guitarist Ben Taylor (whose parents are actually British, he would like you to know), guitarist Bryan Dunlay, Bassist Phil Darling and drummer Robbie Butcher, the dance rock quartet are making a name for themselves without the aid of record labels or distribution deals.

Toronto Band Tin Bangs“As long as you’re doing what you love, that’s what’s important,” Butcher said. “We like to play live shows and we record music, so we exist as a band regardless of a label.  If somebody wants to give us some attention, label support or money they’re welcome to do it, but we’re going to exist anyway.”

We caught up with Tin Bangs at the Mod Club on February 23 and the show was dynamite.  The crowd was mad into it and the band played their heart out.  Apparently Rush’s label was even there to check them out.  I wish there was a little bit more banter, but otherwise it was an awesome display of true, authentic talent.

“We’re in that zone where it would be cool to get something, but we know we’re on the radar so it’s a matter of writing songs and to keep writing songs and to keep working on it,” Taylor said.

“I think the future of the industry is changing so fast right now that you can maintain some level of success at least locally by yourself and I think that’s what we’re doing right now,” Butcher added.

I dare you to take a walk down Bloor St. or Queen St. and try not to see posters advertising upcoming Tin Bangs shows.  Dunlay designs their album covers, Darling manages the band and they all take on a very respectable do-it-yourself fashion of promotion. Although according to Butcher, they “prefer to call it DIY, something we kind of made up.”

Tin Bangs LiveOver the next few weeks alone, Tin Bangs will be headlining a Canadian Music Week show at Clinton’s on Friday, a CMW after party on Sunday, trekking a few times up and down the 401, finalizing some recent songs and then hopefully recording a video for their song “White Lies.”  This is all following the release of four EPs over four months, which ended with a fifth December compilation of all the songs entitled See You in the Springtime.  And now they might possibly be playing one of the Queen St. benefit shows as well.

“As soon as I found out there was something going on to help the people who were affected by it, I asked these guys if they’d be interested in doing it and they were 100 per cent.  I told them we’re tentatively in and to get back to us with details,” Butcher said.

One of the things that I really like about Tin Bangs is they have some true rock star stories to balance their hardworking style.  They told us about one particularly crazy night after a gig in New York.

“I ended up in Hells Kitchen,” Taylor said.  “I woke up in a courtyard on a chez lounge at like 5 a.m. and I don’t know where I am, so I walk out to the street and ask someone where I am.  A Spanish guy, what was his name, Juan or Jose.  So anyway, I’m like completely lost and I’m like I need to get down to the lower east side and he accompanied me on the subway and essentially took me to the hotel.  This completely random 300 pound Spanish guy.”

Group Picture of Tin Bangs“That same night, I got really drunk and fun fact about me, I’ve never seen the ocean,” Darling said.  “I decided I wanted to see water that night so I started walking in the wrong direction for what felt like hundreds of city blocks and I ended up in Harlem.  There I am, totally by myself shit faced.  I pulled in to [the hotel] around the same time Ben did.  Then we all headed back to Toronto.”

To get your Tin Bangs fix be sure to hit their CMW dates and check out http://www.myspace.com/tinbangs , where you can download their tracks for free.

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