EMQ’s with Toronto Blessings
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Barnsley, South Yorkshire Noise Rockers Toronto Blessings! Huge thanks to Vocalist/Bassist Rik for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hello I am Rik, I sing and play bass in Toronto Blessings. We formed when our previous band Cavorts went on hiatus. The core three members which were left formed Toronto Blessings. We wanted to try something new musically and have tried to move on from our heavier straight forward past. We wanted to make this band have a more unorthodox sound, but still keeping it hooky. We can still sonically smash your face in when needed, it’s just gets there a different way.
How did you come up with your band name?
Dale (guitarist) got the band name when he was reading a live review for the band Sleaford Mods. It said it looked like the singer was having a ‘Toronto Blessing’ he messaged us about using it for our name. It got three thumbs up!
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
We’re from England and to be honest I am not sure what the metal scene is like. I don’t really follow it. Local to us though you have While She Sleeps doing really well, but metal is a world away from what we do now.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?
Our latest single/video is for a track called ‘UvU’. It was written when I was in a dark depression and was struggling to tell people how I was feeling. I put everything into this song. We’ve had such a good response from it and people talking to me about similar feelings they’ve had too.
We have an EP called “Asleep” coming out later in the year. We’re looking forward to getting this out and people to hear tracks such as the title track ‘Asleep’. We’ve got plenty of new songs ready to record, which we can’t wait to track.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I think mainly my fellow band mates. We all seem to bring out the best in each musically. Bands we’re inspired by are Metz, The Jesus Lizard, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the banshees, Daughters, The Cure, Sonic Youth.
What first got you into music?
I’d say Guns n Roses. My mum bought me “Appetite For Destruction” when I was 8 years old. It totally changed my life! Before that I was listening to MC Hammer ha! Bands like Nirvana and Sick Of It All made me feel like you didn’t have to be amazing at your instrument to make good music. It became a more reachable goal for me to get into a band.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I would love to do a track with Robert Smith (The Cure) I just think he’s got the best voice. I can listen to The Cure all day every day. It would be interesting to hear his voice on one of our tracks!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Glastonbury, it’s the best festival I’ve ever been to. It’s so diverse and I think we’d go down a treat there.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Hmm! Not had a gift yet, let alone anything weird. I say bring it on.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you for supporting us. Much love!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Lemmy!! Who else?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
It’s just good to get in a room with your friends and turn up your amp. It’s the best release in the world playing and writing, just being creative. I don’t really hate anything anymore. Life goes so fast so I am just trying to enjoy every moment in this band.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
It is what it is really. It’s a complete mess in one way, but also music is the most available it’s ever been. I love finding new bands through Spotify etc. Music really is at your fingertips.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
I would say “OK Computer” by Radiohead. I was only really into heavy music before this album came out. It really blew my mind. Nothing was the same for me after, it expanded my musical taste and I haven’t stopped trying to listen to everything. I don’t care for genres, if something is good it’s good!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl of course! Well it really depends where you are. If you’re in your car or on the go I’d say downloads. If you’re at home Vinyl win every day for me.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The first one was really important for me. It was the first time that I sang a full set of songs. I’ve always just been the bass player! Toronto Blessings is the first band I’ve sung lead vocals in. It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I am an accidental front man/singer. But after this gig was done it proved that I could do it and I’ve not looked back.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Probably exactly the same but not being as creative! I still work 9-5 now, so I’d still be doing just that. I’ve made loads of friends for life playing in bands, so I guess I’d have a lot less friends too.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Thom Yorke, RuPaul, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry David and Lemmy!
What’s next for the band?
We’re gearing up to release our first EP “Asleep”. It should hopefully be coming out in October. At this stage it looks like we’ll be self-releasing it. We might put another single out before its release, we’ll see.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We use all the usual. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
A mini cake
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If you’re suffering with depression or anxiety, speak out. You have more people who’ll help you than you know. All is Love.
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