So there you are sitting in some dingy rock club somewhere listening to the usual trend-chasers pound away at their post 9/11 non-offensive alt-folk-indie-country-blues lost in the loving warmth of your smartphone screen when out of nowhere you hear something you vaguely remember. A certain brand of nostalgia. What you’re hearing is rock music. Not to be confused with the generic man-rock movement led by the likes of Chad Kroeger, no. This is visceral, raw, in-your-face rock: An energy and sound that is so anti-modern-rock that it veers closer to classic punk. What you’re hearing is The Socials. Now you turn your head to witness four guys on stage having the time of their lives. Sweating, laughing, givin’-er, and so on, and so on. You finally get what all those professional sports interviewees refer to as 110%. What you’re seeing is The Socials. And you smile at the realization that not everybody in the “biz” is devoid of soul.
To date The Socials have shared the stage with a wide variety of bands including: Jane’s Party, Hollerado, Pup, Indian Handcrafts, The Darcys, Teenage Kicks, The Salads, and The Mahones.
June 2013 – Single “Fragile Minds” featured on “The New Rock Hour” on Rock 95.7
July 2013 - The Socials EP released
August 2013 - Wakestock in Collingwood.
Scott Morrison - Guitar / Vox
Noah Campbell - Vox / Guitar
Doug Williams - Bass
Shawn Moreau - Drums
MARCH 2012 - Demos
JULY 2012 - The Socials Live From North Town EP
JULY 2013 - The Socials EP
Keeping Up With The Socials
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Over the past several years, Barrie has become a mecca of truly talented musicians and bands alike. ...Over the past several years, Barrie has become a mecca of truly talented musicians and bands alike. I can reflect on flashes of REV, FLUD, and SCORCHER, just to name a few. Currently we see the sudden rise of INDIAN HANDCRAFTS and soon to be added to this list is The SOCIALS. Formed in early 2012, this band of highly talented musicians has taken their edgier, yet pop-undertoned sound to a level which can only be described as a wall of pure energy that slaps you in the face and forces you to be wrapped up in their circle of The Socials sound.
I recently sat down with The Socials for a pint on a very hot night just before their regular Monday night practice, and drilled them with a few questions. This is (sort of) how it went:
BBB - There is a lot of history in this band, from The Agency to The Adult Film Industry, so how does this gel with song writing?
Noah – We’ve found it pretty easy for each of us to play from our main influences. I listen to a lot of Hank Williams and Bright Eyes, Murray likes anything with a telecaster...
Doug – and Shawn and I are a little harder edged. We grew up listening to like Bigwig, and Strung Out but we’re all open to each other’s ideas. It’s what makes us sound like us.
BBB - What about the writing of material itself? What’s the process with the band?
Noah - Well I guess we have different ways of writing, some of it comes from jamming music and then I’ll write lyrics later, and some of the older songs Murray and I wrote together on acoustics. Mostly, it starts with jamming a few simple chord progressions and then I write lyrics afterward.
(Scott’s saying nothing - looking really Irish)
Doug – And once the lyrics are written, we’ll go through the song and use the lyrics to develop our dynamics from there.
Shawn – Yeah, as soon as know what the lyrics are I can get a better feel for the song which helps set the tempo and creates these different accents that I can play with.
(Scott’s still saying nothing. Smiling. Enjoying his beer)
BBB - Recording? What’s up?
Noah - We recently won recording time through a contest in Newmarket called, “North Town Art & Music Wars.” Unfortunately, we have to wait until the fall to get in and do that. But, in the meantime, we have a live EP out now that we recorded at the North Town battle.
BBB - Great idea! Where can we catch up with you guys?
Noah – We’ll be around. (laughs) We try to keep busy. But, we’re back at the Horseshoe on August 9th, if you’re in the neighbourhood.
(Still nothing from Scott, except huge smiles)
When you get a chance, check out the Socials at a live show. Your eyes and ears will be tantalized and mesmerized by what a pure rock and roll band was meant to be: a talented and diversified band that is both energetic and entertaining. Until then, keep up with The Socials at www.facebook.com/theesocials
Socials on Scene
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They’re a bunch of social guys who like to play music for the fun of it. Together for just under ...They’re a bunch of social guys who like to play music for the fun of it.
Together for just under a year, The Socials have already created a following for their high-energy rock and “sopping lyrical honesty.”
The four musicians are heading into the new year — Jan. 1 is their anniversary — on a good note as they were recently selected to appear at Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March 2013. In the meantime, Barrie can catch them at The Foxx Lounge in downtown Barrie on Friday night.
“We love playing the shows,” Noah Campbell said. “We just like to get together and play music. That’s what keeps us going.”
Campbell, the group’s lead vocalist and guitarist, said the four musicians are all friends and knew of each other from either playing together or from other band connections. All of them live in Barrie.
He was one of the founding members along with Scott Morrison, who plays lead guitar. Both played in a punk band, but when it “crashed and burned,” they started The Socials.
Campbell started out in Midland and after high school went to college in Sudbury to study advertising. He was hired by a local radio station as a copywriter and moved back to Barrie.
Morrison went to Barrie North Collegiate and now works in sales.
The two musicians asked bassist Doug Williams and drummer Shawn Moreau to join them and the music fell into place.
Williams knew Moreau from growing up together in Collingwood. Both came to Barrie for high school and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic High School. Moreau transferred to St. Peter’s after Grade 9.
Williams did post-secondary schooling in mechanical engineering and now works for an area timber-frame company. Moreau is a trained welder.
Previously, they have recorded a live three-song EP of original music and are also working toward a studio EP of five or six songs in the new year.
Campbell tends to do the lyrics and everyone contributes to the music. He likens their sound to Bruce Springsteen rock, only faster.
For the lyrics, Campbell often mines his personal experiences.
“I’m getting to the age where I can start to look back and reflect properly,” he said adding that subject matter ranges from nostalgia to lessons learned from past mistakes.
The band members range in age from late 20s to early 30s and they average three or four gigs a month, mostly in central and southern Ontario. On Jan. 4, for example, The Socials play The Horseshoe in Toronto. Over the past year, they have also performed at Kempenfest and Ecofest.
While Campbell maintains there’s no real significance to the name, its meaning relates more to a social event than a ‘socialite’.
“My favorite definition so far comes from the urban dictionary: ‘A gathering of drunk people’,” he said. “But, because we dress in our ‘shirt and tie’ uniforms, we have also been compared to The Socials from The Outsiders. In the end, it kind of came down to choosing something that wouldn’t stand out too much or eventually become annoying.
“So, The Socials just sort of rides the line of mediocrity, which is exactly what we were aiming for.”
The Socials play The Foxx Lounge in downtown Barrie on Friday, Dec. 14.
Local band MAPS will open the show. The Ascot Royals from Brantford will also be performing. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
Your Parents Old Place
The Weakness of Believers
Fails of History
An Organ That Never Quits
All Because Of You
Fit For A Poet
Something's Coming My Way
|Dec 27, 2013 Friday||9:00 PM||The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern||Toronto, ON, CA|
|With Rusty and The Dying Arts|
|Dec 31, 2013 Tuesday||9:30 PM||The Foxx Lounge||Barrie, ON, CA|
|Feb 28, 2014 Friday||9:00 PM||Sound Empire||Barrie, ON, CA|