Band started as an experiment between peers
It started as an experiment about a year ago, when several like-minded musicians came together to play a show and have some fun.
After a few successful gigs, the six members of the Ottawa-based rock collective Jetplanes Of Abraham realized they’d embarked upon something worth keeping.
The logical next step was to make an album, and by the time their self-titled debut hit the street in November, they were already being compared to other acclaimed artistic Canadian rock collectives like Broken Social Scene and The Arcade Fire.
“It’s never been a goal for us to sound like those bands, but it’s definitely flattering,” explains Renée Leduc, the band’s violin, accordion and piano player.
“There are similarities between what we do and what other bands do, but our songs aren’t there to make an artistic statement other than to be good songs,” adds Rick Devereux, one of the band’s many vocalists, guitar players and songwriters.
The album credits alone will convince a person that everyone in the band is capable of doing everything — from banging drums to singing a catchy melody.
But as four of the members chat during an afternoon meeting in a downtown coffee shop, the enthusiastic conversation and consistent ability to finish one another’s sentences is proof that this band is built on co-operation.
Call it a kind of rock socialism, where Leduc, Devereux and bandmates Craig Mainprize, Caleb Abbott, Clayton Fisher and Chris Vechsler, work together on every stage of the composition and performance, and even share other indie band duties like postering, driving and assembling their own CDs.
“We have music we all feel good about and I think that comes from the fact that everyone has input,” says Mainprize.
“We all take leadership roles and pull our weight,” Devereux adds.
Leduc builds the thought further with, “If it works I think it’s because we all get along so well and respect each other.”
They also share a common desire to work hard and succeed, whether that means signing with a major label or just putting on a great show.
They’re hoping to expand their vibrant live show and musical camaraderie even more with the recent addition of a seventh member, violinist Jacquie Neville.
“We ended up recording music that’s more than the six of us can play live, so with Jacquie we can get the fullness and diversity of the album with the energy of the live show,” says Devereux.