We hear about it all too often: a group of talented young musicians comes together with big dreams, great songs, and performance flair. But for a variety of reasons, they break up within a couple years and disappear off the musical road map.
But if a band is lucky and stars realign, they come out of “an indefinite hiatus” to form an anniversary tour. Past misgivings are just that — in the past, and the band’s focus is a love of making music.
On the heels of its new six-track EP, the Juno-nominated St. Albert pop band Stereos has regrouped and organized a 2022 comeback tour. The 14-date [email protected] Canadian Tour launches March 5 in Calgary before rolling into Edmonton March 6 at Midway. From here, the band heads east to Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia before winding down April 10 in New Brunswick.
“Not everyone gets a second chance, and we realize how lucky we are,” said lead singer-songwriter Patrick Kordyback, 36. Robb Chalifoux (guitar), Mike Holmwood (guitar), and Aaron Verdonk (drums) also reunited. Fifth band member Dan Johnson (bass) now lives in the Bahamas and opted to enjoy sunny beaches.
The band rocketed to fame after winning disBAND, a 2009 MuchMusic band competition that pitted musicians from across the country. The prize was a contract with Universal Music and two albums: a self-titled debut album in 2009 and Uncontrollable in 2010.
After releasing Uncontrollable, which was less popular than their debut project, there were some disagreements. The musicians headed their separate ways to work on solo projects.
Technically, the St. Albert musicians attempted an earlier reunion. They met in 2015, put aside differences, and extended feelers. However, promoters were busy pursuing the latest flavour of the month and there were no bites, said Kordyback.
When Stereos decided to try again as a 10th-anniversary gig at Toronto’s Rec Room in May 2019, fans lit up and the venue sold out. A second gig at Edmonton’s Station on Jasper Avenue in August 2019 was equally successful.
“It exceeded our expectations. The reaction was so positive,” Kordyback said. “The one thing that blew us away was that our original fans — kids that were 13 and 14, now 23 and 24, remembered us so distinctly.”
While the industry paused during COVID, Kordyback took songwriting to a new level, recreating fresh pop vibes. As part of the new EP, Look Good delivers a dancing disco flavour. Glory Days is a laid-back acoustic piece, Hand Off You showcases 80s power pop, and Way Back Home shines as pop-country.
“I always write hook-driven songs, and I find this genre the most creatively fulfilling for me.”
In looking back, Kordyback’s one regret is breaking up so quickly after the band’s second album was tracking lower than expected.
“We worked so hard to go on that reality show. We slept in Walmart parking lots, and then we immediately became big. It was a knee-jerk reaction. I wish we would have stayed together longer. It was inconsistent with our values and hard work. But I’m thankful for the opportunity Universal gave us. Coming back and having control as an independent wouldn’t have been possible without a breakup.”
He added, “Literally without the support from fans, nothing happens. Having music in my life again — I owe it all to them. I’m very thankful. Unless you’re in sports, it’s never too late.”
Tickets to Midway are $30, and are available through www.ticketweb.ca