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Stereos fine-tune their success

One local band is following their own version of the yellow brick road all the way to fame and fortune. Stereos, formerly known as Turn It Up! and Stand By Me, is leading the life most bands only dream about.
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One local band is following their own version of the yellow brick road all the way to fame and fortune.

Stereos, formerly known as Turn It Up! and Stand By Me, is leading the life most bands only dream about. Following three years as struggling unknowns, the five-piece band is packing venues and they’ve signed a record deal with Universal Music Canada.

The catalyst was an appearance on MuchMusic’s talent show DisBand on May 28 where they premiered their video and performed a new single Summer Girl.

“It went to No. 1 on iTunes in just under three days. It pushed Black Eyed Peas out of No. 1 spot,” says lead singer/songwriter Pat Kordyback describing the R & B influenced pop-rock song.

The Bellerose High graduate says the band, which plays a mix of rock, hip-hop and doo-wop, sent a demo tape to Sum 41 manager producer Greg Nori who passed it on to MuchMusic. “We were the only band outside the Toronto area.”

The series taping occurred during a three-week period in August-September 2008. “We performed for a panel of judges who would tell you to disband or not. We were told to stay together.”

Several major labels immediately perked their ears in hearing the radio-friendly rhythms, however only Universal made a full commitment. Although the Stereos signed a record deal months ago, an embargo was placed on disclosing information. “I always knew we had something, but you don’t know what until it happens.”

In a whirlwind of activity, the band moved to Toronto. Kordyback, Robb Chalifoux (guitar), Daniel Johnson (bass) and Miles Holmwood (guitar/keyboard) had met several years ago in Edmonton. As the tightly knit band known as Stand by Me, they lived in a now condemned house rehearsing and writing every spare minute. Their first three-song indie release was at the humble Elmwood Community League in April 2008.

After moving east in January, they hooked up with Aaron Verdonk (drums), also an Edmontonian, and continued the tradition of sharing a house. “It’s a bungalow with a loft and it’s much nicer than the one in Edmonton. I have a floor all to myself. I’d say that’s a step up,” chuckles Kordyback.

No longer are the band members working full-time jobs squeezing in rehearsals when time permits. “We’re happier now. Every single day I get up, I just worry about my music. Sometimes it doesn’t even sink in. My job today could be shooting a video or writing music or having a meeting.”

Producer Gavin Brown, who received a 2004 Juno Award as Producer of the Year for Billy Talent and Three Days Grace albums, is recording the Stereos’ first album. As yet untitled, it has a planned release for the fall.

“It could all end tomorrow. We know that. We’re just happy to be here.”

The band is scheduled to perform at Montreal’s Virgin Festival on June 19 and ironically will share the stage with Black Eyed Peas. Rumours are swirling that Stereos will appear at Capital Ex, however Northlands organizers refuse to comment.

For the latest band news, check out www.myspace.com/stereos.


Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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