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Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Alternative




"Astoria with Amberwood - Van Gogh’s Ear, Guelph – June 9, 2014"

Over the past four decades the Canadian rock and roll scene has given birth to some of the biggest underdogs in the industry. And in the last few years we have seen bands breaking the curse of stalling as hometown heroes to embrace the popularity of being nationwide names. Look no further than acts like City and Color, Monster Truck or the Arkells, all of whom have made a name for themselves with an international audience.

Every band has to start somewhere.

With that mind, two Ontario bands that have begun to make their sound heard and could easily and soon make the jump to mainstream Canadian airwaves are the GTA’s Amberwood and London’s Astoria. Both bands refrain from using crazy costumes or tacky gimmicks onstage and simply let their music do all the talking.

Amberwood is currently on the road in Ontario as they support their sophomore EP Now & Then, which follows their debut recording Event Horizon. As a live act the band creates a lot of abstract intros of feedback and loose beats before they burst into their alternative rock anthems that are wound tighter than a tourniquet. Amberwood opened their London set with their latest single “Out of This Place”, with driving bass lines, bombastic drum beats, an array of guitar hooks, and lyrics about escaping the trappings of everyday life. The band brought out extra tom drums during the percussive intro to the title track from “Now & Then” before blasting into the up-tempo jangling chorus.

Directly following was London’s latest alternative group, Astoria. The band has separated themselves from other acts on the rise like The Unreal and Traumahawk by playing rock and roll with no strings or sub-genre titles attached. Their stripped down approach in the studio, and as a live act, is accurately crystallized on their newest single “So Far Gone”. Astoria sounds closer to being cut from the same cloth as the Foo Fighters or Oasis rather than the quirky hooks Queens of the Stone Age or the blues explosion of the Black Keys.

Jay Bartlett’s straight forward drumming is akin to Dave Grohl’s style of rhythmic percussion in the sense that it is simplistic enough to fit the song writing but still technically proficient enough to stand out. Tracks like “Dead and Down” and “Save the Day” won the audience by the opening chorus and had them scratching their heads as to why they’d never heard of Astoria before. Don’t be surprised if word of mouth, online exposure, and college radio rotation has Astoria painted on the tongues of rock fans across Ontario any day now. - Lithium Magazine, written by Alex Young

"Interview with Amberwood's Colin Briscoe"

An Interview with: Colin Briscoe of Amberwood
By: Kyle Wappler
What is the name of the new EP and why did you choose the title?
The main reason we named the new EP ‘Now & Then’ is because we collectively thought that the title track was an accurate display of the direction our band was headed in. A heavier rock, guitar driven tune with a more ‘poppy’ chorus. In addition, we felt that the phrase ‘Now & Then’ was quite appropriate in the sense that we had grown so much musically and as individuals in the time between having recorded our debut EP and this one.
What’s the story behind the new EP? What does it mean?
Now & Then was written, mainly, during the last few months of the 2 year lease we had on a house. I think this EP is coming from a point in time were we had made it through a lot of the growing pains that early bands must go through. Finally really dialing into our sound being an example.
Living together took us to a new level in terms of professionalism and creativity and this EP is, in a way, a look back at all the experiences we had (good and bad) and how they had an effect on who we are now.
Take a song like ‘Out of This Place’ and the name does explain a lot when you put into context the fact that we were living in a house that we didn’t keep in good shape and was in pretty rough condition from the start.
'Confessions' on the other hand reminisces about all the great nights had at our old house and the tremendous sense of brotherhood that was formed over that time.
What are the major influences behind the new EP?
Again, we think that living together for the last two years had a huge impact on the overlying message of the EP. Musically, I think that as we progress as a band, like any other, our personal influences keep evolving all the while keeping a consistent sound that is true to our band. That’s the beauty of making music – however different our individual tastes in music may be at the time, all of the parts we write for songs come back around to what we believe make our sound. That being said, we do all share common musical influences such as the Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon as well as a number of older, more ‘classic’ groups including U2. Some of these bands’ songwriting choices definitively shine through in our music but we of course try to put our own spin on them..
Describe your writing and recording process?
I always like to sum up our writing process in one word, sporadic. We can spend weeks coming up with nothing good or spend a few hours coming up with a bunch of great material. We are generally pretty picky when writing songs, so we throw away a lot of incomplete ideas, but by the time we had the track list for the record we were very proud.
Recording was pretty great. We worked with a producer named Ross Hayes Citrullo in Toronto. He’s really chill and did a great job of making our record sound huge. We crashed on his living room floor for a weekend, he showed us some cool pubs in the city and before we knew it we had tracked the EP.
What are some of Amberwoods goals for 2014?
We have two main goals for 2014, both of which are super straight forward. Firstly, we want to continue getting the Amberwood name out there. Play in as many shows in as many different cities as we can, get our music to places where people are going to hear it and find the people who we can work with to help us navigate the industry.
Secondly, we want to work towards being able to sustain ourselves with income generated from the band so we can put more time into writing, performing and promoting our music.
If you could play with one band who would it be?
There are so many amazing bands that we would love to play with, but if we had to pick one it would definitely be Kings of Leon. They were the band that brought us four together to play music. We bonded over their 2008 live at the 02 arena dvd and from there decided that it was our goal to play stadium shows one day. From a business standpoint we also feel like KOL fans can appreciate our genre of music and you couldn’t get better exposure than playing alongside such an international phenomenon. - Breakdown Magazine, written by Kyle Wappler

"Amberwood become BEAT100's Newest Ultimate Musicians"

Toronto based band, Amberwood, have been named as BEAT100's newest Ultimate Musicians! The four piece band (made up of childhood friends, Oli Duguay, Cam Weber, Colin Briscoe and Wes Martin) impressed the BEAT100 team with their own special brand of Alternative Rock. All members of the band are big fans of stadium rock and name The Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters as their biggest musical influences, they tell BEAT100 'We have always been such fans of live music and the lifestyle that comes with being a musician, so for us it was always about the band first... Any success we have earned thus far has been from our motivation to fill stadiums.' The Amberwood boys are no strangers to success, after releasing their debut EP 'Event Horizon', Amberwood can name many huge achievements including being named one of the Top 20 unsigned bands in Canada and performances at The Hard Rock Cafe, Canada's Wonderland and the Scotiabank Awards 2013.

Amberwood, who write and perform all of their own music, hook their listeners with their addictive and emotionally charged performances, the like of which you would expect from a much more experienced group. They certainly impressed the BEAT100 A&R Team, earning three Gold Awards for their Original song 'Coming Home', which finished in the Top 10 of the World Music Video Chart this week. 'Coming Home' is the newest release from the band's brand new EP 'Now and Then' which was released on June 5th. Bass player Colin Briscoe tells BEAT100 that their second EP is 'the epitome and culmination of our bond, song writing, dedication and musical vision.'

Over the next 6 months, as well as promoting the new EP, Amberwood plan on developing their live shows on the course of their Canadian Tour. Excitingly, they have also been offered the opportunity to play the Big Music Festival in Kitchener alongside the likes of Aerosmith, Slash and Bryan Adams. They told us 'It will most likely be the biggest crowd we have ever played for. Just to be part of the same festival as such legendary artists s a privilege and we couldn't be more stoked.' We can see big things on the horizon for Amberwood and we wish them all the best of luck on their Canadian Tour and at the Big Music Festival! - Beat 100


Emergency - Single (March 23rd, 2013)
Event Horizon - EP (April 23rd, 2013)

Out of This Place - Single (October 11th, 2013)
Now and Then - EP (June 5th, 2014) 

Rollerskate King - Single (January 22nd, 2016)
Lovers - Single (June 15th, 2016)



"Amberwood is one of the best bands to play here in the last 10 years." The Toucan Management 2016 (Kingston, ON) 

Amberwood is an arena rock band from Waterloo, ON with aspirations to play venues that match their sound. Formed fresh out of high school in 2012, the boys have dedicated their lives to this pursuit. 

Putting on a high energy live show is what Amberwood does best, and they have spent the last few years touring heavily in Canada. Most recently they embarked on a Western Canada Tour spanning Sudbury, ON to Tofino, BC. 16 dates in 21 days and a total of 13,000km driven. Some notable festivals Kitchener Big Fest, KOI Fest, Voodoo Fest, CMW and NXNE. Amberwood has shared the stage with bands like Sloan, Dear Rouge and Pop Evil (Michigan). 

Amberwood has released two singles in 2016 'Lovers' and 'Rollerskate King', the later having landed high chart positions on several campus radio stations as well as placements in outlets such as Sunglass Hut and Coach. Additionally, the boys have released two EP's in 2014 and 2013. 

Band Members