When I was first introduced to Lowlands by Spencer Shewen of Fortnight Music, it was one of the first times that I was really surprised by the quality of music coming out of Guelph. I don’t get surprised as much anymore as I’ve come to know some of the amazing musicians from around the area, but I am always blown away by the level of professionalism from certain local bands, and Lowlands is no exception. If you’re looking for a great Guelph act, you need look no further. Lowlands is playing at the end of the month on March 28th at the eBar and it’s a special event to help them fundraise for their next album. I caught up with Gord to get some info on the band as well as the event.
Music Lives: Can you give us a brief history of Lowlands? How did the band come to be and how have you grown over the years?
Gord Auld: Back in Toronto we were playing covers at art openings, backyards etc. One day I brought a song I had started writing into the mix. Everyone was into it so we started writing and playing originals. The song was Black Mask if I’m remembering correctly. I would say that was the birth of the band. Lowlands has been a revolving door of really great musicians. The current line-up is Myself, Abe Del Bel Belluz, Joseph Gallo Jr., Matt Monoogian, Mike De Paola. Back in Toronto we had Tamsen Fields (Dentata), Matt Buckberrough (Invasions), Hugh Mater, and Nima Navab. We moved to Guelph and released our first record. Around that time we had Dan Beeson, Zac Macarthur, Brian Schirk, and Dave Riedstra in and out of the mix. Around that time Huron was recorded. I would like to say that touring and making records with these people has been the best part of my life for a better part of three years. The things we have done with this band and way the music has changed baffles me. To listen to our record or see a live show now is such a far cry from hammering on an guitar outside of a Toronto butcher shop for beer money. But it feels the same.
ML: Lowlands has been a core part of the Guelph music scene over the last few years. How do you think the scene has changed? What is working well and where is there room for the scene to grow?
GA: So many factors come together to make Guelph such a good place to live in for music. I’ve only been a part of it since I’ve been back here. The last few years I’ve been just getting to know the ins and outs. I am always amazed at people’s dedication and creativity here, along with the mixing of music and visual art. Like right now I’m looking at Marc Bell’s amazing poster and the killer line-up of Kazoo Fest this year. Alternative venues, new bands and music, collaborations, labels, festivals etc. – so much is happening. There are always great promoters, organizers and other people stepping up to keep things interesting and support the music and art here. I can say I’ve never had a bad experience working with anyone in this city. As far as room to grow I think it all comes down to getting involved. It’s easy to feel excluded in any small music scene but what it really boils down to is that you have to support the scene to be a part of it. Any music scene is just a group of people, you have to BE the scene. I think I’ve sufficiently overused the word scene.
ML: You’ve got a fundraiser show coming up at the end of March. Can you give us the details?
GA: Yeah! Friday, March 28th at the Ebar. We’re going to play a big set. Maybe two. We’re trying to raise funds for our new record so if you want to be a part of that and support, now is the time! I’ve got some really special posters lined up for this too.
ML: Where can people learn more about Lowlands and connect with you?
Well our website is lowlandsmusic.com but here is the full rundown:
Don’t forget to check out Lowlands and help them by contributing to help them record their next album! They’ll be playing a fundraiser show on March 28th at the eBar.