All of Your Friends
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All of Your Friends

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Band Pop Rock

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To the outsider looking in, it kind of seems like All Of Your Friends have one giant horseshoe shoved up their proverbial ass.

But that's really only a half-truth. The Winnipeg-based indie collective also happen to be really, really good.

They've barely been together a year, but Dana Moore, Trevor Graumann, Chris Cameron, Vicki Baldwin and Megan Turnbull have gone from fledgling outfit to full-on buzz band with a speed that seems inordinately fast, all things considered. After all, a leaked-on-purpose EP and a fortuitous contest win don't seem like the proper tools one would chart next big thing territory with. But that's exactly what happened, and the quintet are just as incredulous as everyone else.

"We've had a lot of good things happen to us in a short amount of time," says Graumann, who plays guitar.

One of these good things was landing a slot on the Mint Roadshow tour last October, opening for The New Pornographers in Montreal. It was a momentous gig that would later break down some walls for AOYF, who had trouble getting booked at home.

"It was actually through a contest through Exclaim! and CBC Radio 3," Graumann explains. "It said, 'Send in a tune from your band,' so I sent in a tune from my band. We didn't hear anything for a few weeks and didn't really think anything of it."

"When we found out, we had the house going overtime, making buttons, shirts, CDs and covers," adds Cameron.

The Pornos gig translated into high-profile shows with a myriad of Canadian indie rock cool kids, including The Awkward Stage, The Hidden Cameras and Tokyo Police Club.

"That show [opening for the Pornographers] was the opening of the gate," Cameron says. "Now we open for everyone who comes to town."

As it would turn out, taking initiative runs in the band. Just as Graumann got it in his head to submit a song to an online contest, vocalist Turnbull decided to drop off a burned copy of the band's living room-recorded EP to UMFM. Almost accidentally, the record charted on the University Of Manitoba campus station, eventually peaking at #2.

"That was really funny to us," Moore says. "We didn't even know until we heard ourselves on the radio."

In fact, the burned copies [sealed in homemade envelopes] that are circulating around town aren't really EPs at all. Some are, in fact, LPs. When AOYF officially release their debut this year, it will bear a striking similarity to the informally released copies already out there.

"The EP has been an ongoing collection of songs," Cameron explains. "That's kind of a cool theme, too. There are so many different combinations out there."

The DIY EP is certainly a nod to the quintet's work ethic. For AOYF, being an indie band has more to do with playing cast-away instruments and screening T-shirts in their basement than the kind of music they play or the circles they travel in. Perhaps luck is really only a small part of it.

"We appreciate how much work it takes to do this," Moore says. "There are so many bands that go unheard and there are so many bands in the mainstream that just aren't that good."

"Our goal," adds Graumann, "is to get heard."

—Jen Zoratti
- chartattack.com


(excerpt - full article found at http://www.thenewpollution.net/features/AOYF.html)

It’s almost like stepping back in time: the big orange house, located on a busy Winnipeg street, with no numbers on the outside. Inside…stacks upon stacks of records peek from bookshelves amid mismatched furniture straight from 1976. The dining room looks like the one from your parents’ house – except the walls are papered with gig flyers. Oh, and the table and chairs have been cleared out to make room for keyboards and guitars.
It’s a fitting home for the sociopop collective All Of Your Friends, even though only three of them actually live there. The smoky rooms double as a jam space and a recording studio. It may not sound like the digs you’d associate with a buzz band, but then, AOYF kind of won that title by accident.

(They) have only been a band for 10 months – the length of the average high school romance - but in that time, the band has managed to record enough songs for a full-length album, nab a gig opening for the New Pornographers and get their tunes heard beyond the Perimeter Highway.

“What we like to believe is that we met on a Transit bus that got stuck in a snowstorm,” Moore says.

“It’s sort of our myth”, Graumann laughs.

Actually, it’s sort of a lie. The quintet didn’t meet on a snow-stranded city bus at all. In fact, despite their unconventional rise, their roots are very ordinary.

“We just kind of found each other,” Cameron says.

“It was sort of like pick up hockey,” Moore laughs, “Then we ended up with a team.”

With members both classically trained and self-taught, the quintet’s diverse musical backgrounds are evident on their self-titled EP – which isn’t actually an EP at all. Long enough to be a stand-alone album, the record is a sparkling lesson in expertly crafted indie-pop. From blurry and spacey to catchy and bright, it’s mature for a debut, let alone one that was created from equipment that came from the garbage or Moore’s grandparents.

If you’ve snagged a copy of the EP, you will notice many similarities between the disc’s 10 songs and the soon-to-be-released record. And if you didn’t, don’t worry – the EP was never actually released.

“It just kind of got out there,” Moore says.

The few copies that are currently changing hands among scenesters are burned, sealed in self-made sleeves. The track listings differ, depending on when it was acquired.

The leaked EP is proof enough that sometimes a record that’s decidedly lo-fi can still generate some serious buzz. The disc has helped AOYF snag some much-wanted gigs.

A casual entry into an Exclaim!/CBC Radio 3 contest was equally dramatic. “It just said to send in a tune from your band, so I sent in a tune from my band,” Graumann says.

Thinking it was just to get some airplay on Radio 3, AOYF didn’t think much of the submission. Some weeks later, however, the band found out they’d won a place on the Montreal bill of the Exclaim! Mint Roadshow in October, sharing the stage with the New Pornographers.

The high-profile gig was certainly a turning point. The band also landed a gig in Ottawas opening for the Hylozoists, the like-minded multi-instrumental collective founded by musical mastermind Paul Aucoin. And Aucoin wasn’t the only one to take an interest in the Winnipeg band. The quintet has attracted the attention of a number of notable indie acts, opening for The Awkward Stage, The Hidden Cameras, and Tokyo Police Club. Not bad for a band that previously went unbooked.

“It was like the opening of the gate, those shows,” says Cameron, “Now we open for everyone who comes to town.”

It’s not hard to figure out why the quirky collective is a hit. There is something a bit different about AOYF. The ‘Peg may be as famous for its music scene as it is for its windchill, but in a hardened prairie city with even harder winters, the music tends to be, well, hard. The ‘60s-soaked garage rock revival and the gut-punching punk movement are certainly alive and kicking, but AOYF are exposing a different side of the scene – whether it’s a calculated move or not.

“When we write, we’re not going for a specific genre,” Cameron insists.

“Sociopop is just socio-political music that is accessible,” Moore says of their self-branding, “I think ‘circus folk’ was another name we were using. I have a short attention span, so a lot of it comes from keeping ourselves interested.”

Still, as exciting as the last year has been, the experience has been a learning curve for the band.

“I appreciate how much it takes to do this,” Moore says. “We do everything ourselves, from the printing to the shirt screening to the recording. Everything.”

Indie street cred points aside, hard work tends to be the great unifier between fledgling bands like AOYF, and the seasoned pros sharing the stage. “It’s weird to play with these bands,” Moore says. “You have their CDs, you listen to their music, but when you play w - thenewpollution.net


Yup, it's about time for another mp3-blog type thing, this time on a band I had the good fortune to both interview and see live last night. Winnipeg's All Of Your Friends came from seemingly out of nowhere and during the interview I discovered that the group only formed at the beginning of 2006. Already this sextet has put together a 7 song EP and they've recently applied for a MB. Film & Sound grant to record a full-length. Phew! To go from not existing to having a very strong EP and more strong material (which they showcased last night at the Academy) in two-thirds of a year is impressive stuff. So's the song I have on my profile currently - "Local Celebrities Gather At The Watering Hole For A (Pre-Show) Dance Party" is not only a mouthful, it's also an earful. This band is like a challenge to physics, with so many elements of the song flying around and coming together without quite gelling. I mean this as a compliment because the bands' music is chaotic in the very best sense of the term. There's so much going on and the music rewards a close listen. To some degree AOYF remind me of You Say Party! We Say Die! as both bands share an embrace of chaos and bountiful energy. But where YSP! WSD! play danceable punk, AOYF play danceable pop. - Michael Elves, UMFM


While I'm usually pegged as the office metal head/dour rock fan (guilty!), I've been finding my ear tilting toward some amazing pop these past few weeks. Maybe it's the festive season, all these parties and heartfelt messages of cheer. I feel a need for happy music that makes me want to dance and smile and...share.

It's not a familiar feeling, so let's all enjoy it while it lasts.

Here's an absolutely magical tune from Winnipeg's All of Your Friends (even their name is happy!). And it has a wonderful title, too (I think I've exhausted my upbeat adjectives list for now) "Local Celebrities Gather at the Watering Hole for a (pre show) Dance Party."

Let's all dance and sing together.
- CBC Radio 3


Discography

All of Your Friends EP1 & EP2 (unofficial) - all tracks received campus radio play, CBC Radio 3 internet/satellite radio play.

All Of Your Friends Were Liars won Mint/Exclaim's 15th Anniversary grand prize, UMFM's 'Single of the Year' 2006 and was featured on The New Pollution's Dec/Jan podcast and on Exclaim! magazines online publication.

Local Celebrities Gather at the Watering Hole for a (pre-show) Dance Party was featured on UMFM's August podcast, CBCRadio 3's 'Beaver Fever' podcast, The New Pollution's November podcast, and was a CBCRadio 3 'song of the day' in Dec 2006.

Dana Moore appeared with the track "No Monuments' on CBCradio3's 'Tour Diary' program.

'All Of Your Friends L.P.' - to be released Summer 2008

Photos

Bio

“All of Your Friends today, The Velvet Underground a long time ago”
-Grant Lawrence, CBCRadio3

“The record is a sparkling lesson in expertly crafted indie-pop. From blurry and spacey to catchy and bright, it’s mature for a debut, let alone one that was created from equipment that came from the garbage or Moore’s grandparents.”
-Jen Zorrati, The New Pollution

“To the outsider looking in, it kind of seems like All Of Your Friends have one giant horseshoe shoved up their proverbial ass. But that's really only a half-truth. The Winnipeg-based indie collective also happen to be really, really good.” –ChartAttack

And now, the biography (excerpted from The New Pollution New Music Review)…
It’s almost like stepping back in time: the big orange house, located on a busy Winnipeg street, with no numbers on the outside. Inside…stacks upon stacks of records peek from bookshelves amid mismatched furniture straight from 1976. The dining room looks like the one from your parents’ house – except the walls are papered with gig flyers. Oh, and the table and chairs have been cleared out to make room for keyboards and guitars.
It’s a fitting home for the sociopop collective All Of Your Friends, even though only three of them actually live there. The smoky rooms double as a jam space and a recording studio. It may not sound like the digs you’d associate with a buzz band, but then, AOYF kind of won that title by accident.

(They) have only been a band for 10 months – the length of the average high school romance - but in that time, the band has managed to record enough songs for a full-length album, nab a gig opening for the New Pornographers and get their tunes heard beyond the Perimeter Highway.

“What we like to believe is that we met on a Transit bus that got stuck in a snowstorm,” Moore says.

“It’s sort of our myth”, Graumann laughs.

Actually, it’s sort of a lie. The quintet didn’t meet on a snow-stranded city bus at all. In fact, despite their unconventional rise, their roots are very ordinary.

“We just kind of found each other,” Cameron says.

“It was sort of like pick up hockey,” Moore laughs, “Then we ended up with a team.”

With members both classically trained and self-taught, the quintet’s diverse musical backgrounds are evident on their self-titled EP – which isn’t actually an EP at all. Long enough to be a stand-alone album, the record is a sparkling lesson in expertly crafted indie-pop. From blurry and spacey to catchy and bright, it’s mature for a debut, let alone one that was created from equipment that came from the garbage or Moore’s grandparents.

If you’ve snagged a copy of the EP, you will notice many similarities between the disc’s 10 songs and the soon-to-be-released record. And if you didn’t, don’t worry – the EP was never actually released.

“It just kind of got out there,” Moore says.

The few copies that are currently changing hands among scenesters are burned, sealed in self-made sleeves. The track listings differ, depending on when it was acquired.

The leaked EP is proof enough that sometimes a record that’s decidedly lo-fi can still generate some serious buzz. The disc has helped AOYF snag some much-wanted gigs.

A casual entry into an Exclaim!/CBC Radio 3 contest was equally dramatic. “It just said to send in a tune from your band, so I sent in a tune from my band,” Graumann says.

Thinking it was just to get some airplay on Radio 3, AOYF didn’t think much of the submission. Some weeks later, however, the band found out they’d won a place on the Montreal bill of the Exclaim! Mint Roadshow in October, sharing the stage with the New Pornographers.

The high-profile gig was certainly a turning point. The band also landed a gig in Ottawas opening for the Hylozoists, the like-minded multi-instrumental collective founded by musical mastermind Paul Aucoin. And Aucoin wasn’t the only one to take an interest in the Winnipeg band. The quintet has attracted the attention of a number of notable indie acts, opening for The Awkward Stage, The Hidden Cameras, and Tokyo Police Club. Not bad for a band that previously went unbooked.

“It was like the opening of the gate, those shows,” says Cameron, “Now we open for everyone who comes to town.”

It’s not hard to figure out why the quirky collective is a hit. There is something a bit different about AOYF. The ‘Peg may be as famous for its music scene as it is for its windchill, but in a hardened prairie city with even harder winters, the music tends to be, well, hard. The ‘60s-soaked garage rock revival and the gut-punching punk movement are certainly alive and kicking, but AOYF are exposing a different side of the scene – whether it’s a calculated move or not.

“When we write, we’re not going for a specific genre,” Cameron insists.

“Sociopop is just socio-political music that is accessible,” Moore says of their self-branding, “I think ‘circus folk’ was another name we were using