Any band that claims they’re set to “take over the world in 2017” has to demand your attention, especially when they make music that backs up their bold claim.
Canadian rockers Era 9 have taken the hip-hop and electro music that dominates their hometown of Montreal and combined it with their rock background to define their own unique Trap Rock sound.
The band has been together for around six years, but only truly discovered this sound in 2016, with the current lineup of vocalists Laurie Normandin and Anthony Lalla, guitarist Jona Dhe Paganon, bassist Joe D’Adamo and drummer / EDM extraordinaire Marco Leclerc.
We had to find out more about this exciting band, so caught up with them this week and first up asked them to describe their music style. They told us: “Our roots come from rock music and that’s how we started. Over the years we’ve grown with experience, playing shows, listening to different genres, etc..
“Coming from Montreal, we’ve learned to appreciate all styles of music. We live in a city that is very multi-cultural and has a very diverse music scene. Our city is really big on Hip-Hop and EDM and we wanted to break down all stylistic boundaries and merge all the styles of music we love, creating what we call ‘TrapRock.'”
The culmination of this coming of age will be the release of new album Gravity later this year, of which the band tells us: “We’ve been writing and recording new material and gearing up to take over the world in 2017.”
This is one hell of a claim, but we’ve had a listen to some of the new tracks released on Soundcloud and it’s certainly a shift from their older rocky material. The addition of Laurie’s vocals gives the band a whole new dynamic, while the heavy electro focus completely changes their sound – it kind of has shades of Linkin Park at their heaviest, most electric-meets-rock best.
Warrior opens up with synth noises that are gradually joined by big guitar chords and heavy electro vocal noises. Laurie leads the verse with Lalla coming in with big hip-hop influenced vocals, before the music drops out in the pre-chorus then launches into a big chorus with big beefy guitar chords. Lalla then launches into an awesome rapped verse with bursts of synth thrown in at will, with Laurie’s big voice coming in for the chorus again.
This is unlike anything I’ve heard since starting this blog, the diverse blend of rock and EDM with hip-hop influence thrown in works wonderfully. Check out the switch for yourself by listening to Warrior below, and then go and compare it to their previous music on their Spotify page.
The other two new tracks released on Soundcloud are Hero and Scripture. Both tracks showcase the crazy diversity of the band’s new approach, with huge guitar chords and eerie sytnh-infused vocals, Laurie’s vocals being mixed with rapped bursts from Lalla, and big guitars being fused with all manner of mad noises being thrown in by drum technician Marco.
We asked the band to summarise their approach on the new album, and they told us: “Usually we’ll come up with the base idea, with just guitars, bass and drums, and our drummer, who does our programming, will then add his flavour of EDM and hip-hop elements, and then lyrics and vocal melodies. But sometimes, he’ll come up with the initial idea and we’ll build around an EDM / Trap song, adding the rest of the instruments and vocals later.”
Talk of new beginnings led us onto the issue of the music industry. The band told us: “Let’s start by talking about the Internet. It has its pros and cons. It definitely becomes more positive with time as a band grows in popularity, because once you have that audience reach, your music will be shared around the world instantly – unlike back in the day where it took time for places around the world to hear bands or artists. All they had was radio and word of mouth. But it can also be negative for bands starting out in terms of making money, due to downloading of music nowadays.
“You just have to keep working harder than the competition out there, by taking advantage of all these networking platforms that exist. Create and release as much content as possible, and make it easily accessible on all these platforms. Because labels no longer want to build artists and bands, the more people you can get on your own to hear your music the more it will be shared, and that’s when success will come!”
The band tours the US a lot, so if you find yourself lucky enough to be across the ocean then do go and check them out as they’ll be on tour promoting Gravity very shortly. They tell us they’re “literally incapable” of travelling to the UK yet but did ask for our help – so here’s hoping we can one day!