NXNE Preview: Topanga

Topanga band photo By: TJ Liebgott
June 13, 2011

The best way to describe Toronto band Topanga can be summed up in just one word, fun.  Sometimes you listen to a band and you just know that it was formed on the basis of a group of good friends that just want to have a great time, play music, drink beer and get laid.  All of their songs have quirky hooks, are soaked in energy and seem like they would be the perfect backdrop for a sloppy drunk kegger!  Just check out their video for “Lionheart” released today to see what this band is about. I guarantee it’ll be more fun than watching season three of Boy Meets World.  To tell us more is lead singer Stefan Babcock.

How are you doing and where are you right now?
I’m at home sweating in my room, wearing as little clothing as possible and wishing I had A/C.  Other than the sweat, I’m doing pretty well.

There are a lot of bands playing NXNE, what makes yours stand out?

ENERGY.  We’re really tired of bands who are ‘too cool’ to rock out. We’re all best friends, and have so much fun onstage, its impossible not to jump around. If you’re not having fun playing shows, what’s the point? Oh, aside from all the piles of cash we make, of course…

Have you played NXNE before?  If so, tell us about your experience, the things you learned and how your performances went down.  What are you planning on doing differently this time?  If not, tell us how you’re preparing for the festival and what you’re hoping to get out of it.

We played our first show only five months ago, so this is definitely our first NXNE experience—though we’ve all played the festival as a part of different projects before.  We’ve been prepping by training our livers for extended service hours. Joking (sort of). Mostly, we’re just stoked to see tons of cool bands.  We’re looking forward to a great week, making a bunch of new friends, and eating burgers.  Its kinda like summer camp for us.

What is your band working on at the moment?

We’re going into the studio next month, so hoping to have a new 7" out in September. We’ve just finished editing our new video for our single "Lionheart" – that’ll be out on Monday, and we’ve got a bunch of sweet shows lined up this summer.  We like to stay busy.

What other acts are you hoping to catch at the festival this year?

We’re really lucky that our showcase is in support of one of our favourite live bands, PEELANDER Z! I saw them at SXSW 2010, and they destroyed my mind – they scaled a three-story building in the middle of their set. Awesome. Also, a bunch of our pals are playing, so we’ll be out supporting them: Wildlife, Grounders, Cavaliers, Bella Clava, The Darcys, Heartbeat Hotel, Metz.

NXNE is finally starting to receive international recognition for its stellar lineups and workshops.  What do you think this means for Canada and Canadian music?

We’re really lucky to be a part of a scene that is really starting to get some real international attention.  Even on a local scale, things like the Wavelength Series are keeping bands afloat and are encouraging new people to get involved in the music community. This sense of community is rad – bands support one another, and challenge one another.  Most of our favourite bands are Canadian, so it’s really exciting to see some of these guys start to take off in America and Europe.

Any last parting words for us music-hungry Toronto folk?

We’d love for you guys to download our EP for free.  You can do it from www.musicoftopanga.bandcamp.com.  We think it’s pretty cool. Or at least, its definitely worth the $0 you need to invest. And hopefully we’ll see ya at a show soon. It’s usually a sweaty, rowdy mess. You’ll have fun. Come say hi, we’re pretty nice dudes (except Nestor).

Topanga NXNE Shows:

The Comfort Zone, Saturday, June 18 @ 10pm
For more information on Topanga check out: www.myspace.com/musicoftopanga

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