By Chris Doucette:
Winter City has already taken Toronto by storm, now they want to set the world on fire.
Many bands toil for years hoping to get noticed, but these five young guys from the city’s east end garnered attention from fans and industry folks the first moment they stepped on a stage.
The band’s early success can largely be attributed to their unique sound — a bold blend of alternative rock and R&B unlike anything else currently on the airwaves.
“It’s a tasty blend of things that shouldn’t work but do somehow,” guitarist Brent Gordon explains of WC’s distinctive sound. “It really sets us apart from other bands.”
The brooding 18-year-old shares lead and rhythm guitar duties with Matt Prince, 20. The talented tandem is accompanied by bass player Taylor Guthrie, 20, and laid back drummer Raymond, 21.
Together they are the perfect compliment to their frontman, Tres Chevolleau, 18, whose singing elevates the band’s sound to a whole other realm.
His voice is as angelic as it is angry — and surprisingly soulful.
So much so that first-timers at WC’s performances tend to be caught off guard initially and frozen in place. Moments later they find themselves swaying with crowd.
WC’s songs are well thought out and powerful, both musically and lyrically.
Anyone who has ever loved and lost can relate to lines like, “Leaving you was hard but missing you is harder,” from No Bad Deed, a song that gets your heart racing and adrenaline pumping long before Chevolleau even opens his mouth.
There’s also, “It takes all that I have not to go back to you,” and, “You only give me hurt to sing about,” from It Takes All.
Fans can’t help but sing along to WC’s cleverly crafted song Beast. They may even be tempted to grab their pitchforks, light their torches and follow the band into the forest.
However, it’s their cover of I Put a Spell on You that really showcases the singer’s Motown influence.
Chevolleau pours his heart and soul into every song, but it’s especially evident in the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ classic.
Other influences such as U2, the Smiths, City and Colour and Kings of Leon, can be heard in WC’s originals.
“We’re all into different types of music and we feed off of each other,” Prince said, adding WC’s sound is “still evolving.”
The group only formed in June of 2011 but they immediately began tearing it up with shows at prominent venues such as the Mod Club, the Rivoli and the Opera House.
By the end of the summer, WC had won the 2011 LME (Land Mark Event) Showcase battle of the bands competition.
Their good fortune continued into the fall as they were named the Indie Online Band of the Month, a competition hosted by 102.1 The Edge.
The currently unsigned band is working hard on their debut EP, which hopefully will be finished by the end of the year.
“Ideally we want to one day be playing the biggest stages possible and reaching as many people as we can,” Prince said of the group’s aspirations. “We’ve made a commitment as a band to stick together and take this as far as it can go.”
Band MembersTres Chevolleau- Vocals
Matt Prince- Guitar
Brent Gordon- Guitar
Raymond McTaggart- Drums
Taylor Guthrie- Bass