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St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | SELF

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Rock





It is December 2011 and you know what that means! It is time for the fourth 'Band of the Month' spotlight to be announced! Since it is the final month of 2011, we decided to do things a little differently than the last three spotlights.

This time, you (the fans) decided on which artist or band should be given the spotlight! Voting took place from November 1st 2011 to November 30th 2011 right here on our official website. There were four bands to choose from (Alabaster, Aria, The Maddigans and The Red Threat) and after lots of votes from the fans, it was decided (by you) that Aria would be the December 2011 'Band of the Month'.

Aria, (definition: air, melody, tune; specifically: an accompanied elaborate melody sung (as in an opera) by a single voice) hails from St. Catharines, Ontario. This band has a unique sound, which they describe as, "strong, poppy vocal melodies and dance-y drum beats all the while fusing them harmoniously with edgy, intricate guitar leads and driving rhythms."

"Aria's versatile sound is influenced by bands from all over the musical spectrum and makes them appeal to a variety of audiences, but, the band manages to retain their own identity."

With lead vocalist, Bianca Martens, relocating over 2000 miles from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to St. Catharines, Ontario to pursue her dream in music, this band is blowing up the music scene everywhere. This band released their self-titled EP back on December 10th 2010 and it is currently available to purchase on iTunes.

They continue to grow and they have had the great opportunity to put some incredible experiences behind them thus far. So far they have won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands and played the Darien Center, New York date back in 2010. They have also played the main stage at Canadian music festivals such as S.C.E.N.E Music Festival (London, Toronto, etc) and KOI Music Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. On top of those accomplishments this band went very close to selling out a venue for their EP release back in St. Catharines, Ontario. Finally, Aria has been asked to be featured at Canadian Music Week 2012 this coming March 2012 in Toronto, Ontario.

Of course you are going to want to check this band out…soon. Also, Aria will be going on tour in January 2012 and they will be dropping by Kitchener, Ontario on January 3rd 2012, so make sure you check out their tour dates! - Basement Entertainment


When Bianca Dyrland left her hometown of Saskatoon to pursue music, there was a conscious artistic decision involved. It was a move from a lacking creative environment to a thriving musical culture, which Dyrland was desperately seeking.
Buffalo, NY is where she found her calling, but is also where the roller coaster of her musical life began. "After searching for quite some time for other artists to collaborate and pursue musical endeavors with in Saskatoon, I decided that I would have to move to where music was, rather than look for it in a place where it was stagnant. The Maimed happened to live in Buffalo, NY. So originally, that is where I relocated. But, being a Canadian citizen, I decided to move to the closest Canadian city to Buffalo, so that I could live and work in Canada while continuing to write and play with the band," she says. The Maimed was a short-lived effort for Dyrland before the band split. "In 2009 the band was looking for a new lead vocalist and came across Bianca's Youtube channel, which had several videos of her covering bands such as Emarosa and Paramore. Once Bianca graduated
from high school, she moved to Buffalo from Saskatoon to take the position. After experiencing moderate success in the Buffalo music scene, some of the members decided to part ways, but Anthony and Bianca still wanted to continue the band," says Aria bassist Nick Baskerville. Dyrland and fellow Maimed guitarist, Anthony Todorov decided to start their own project, and conquer the Niagara music scene. It is at this point that they recruited Damien Birdsey on guitar, Baskerville on bass and Malcolm Sanderson on drums.
The new band was formed, and that band is called Aria.
Since the band's inception, they have been one of the hardest working local acts. With the help of St. Catharines promoter Timur Inceoglu and his promotion/record label Indoor Shoes, Aria was able to tap into the local show scene. Fusing influences from such artists as Muse, Evanescense and Jimmy Eat World, this quintet of 20-somethings have put together two EPs with another on the way in 2012. "The official release date of the self-titled [second EP] was Dec. 24, 2010. We also had an official CD release show which was in the middle of [the following] January," says Baskerville. This sophomore EP was recorded and produced by Mike Hatalak, the former lead guitarist of the band It Dies Today, in Niagara Falls, NY at DWS Studios. "The reception so far has been really great. A lot of the feedback we get has been really positive, and we have really been able to expand our fan base off of this EP," says Baskerville.
The band's upcoming third album is due in 2012, and they plan to hit the studio early. "As artists we're always writing new songs, but are currently trying to put together some solid demos so we can hit the studio early in the new year," says Birdsey.
- SceneItAll


Who are you and what do you do in the band?
My name is Bianca and I sing and write the lyrics.

How was the band formed?
The band was initially a hardcore band that originated in Buffalo, NY. Anthony and Kurtis were founding members of a metal group called “A Cadence for Heresy”, which later became “The Maimed.” The Maimed was holding auditions for a new singer late 2008/early 2009. Anthony and the keyboardist at the time named Matt spotted a youtube video of me singing along to one of the instrumental tracks they had posted for people to audition to. They contacted me, and a week after I graduated from high school in June of 2009, I flew out from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to Buffalo to sing for them. As a result, the music changed to better suit my female vocals, and so we felt it was appropriate to change the name. Which is why we are now ARIA.

How would you describe the band’s music?
In terms of genres, I would say we fit into the term pop rock. We have edgier rock riffs complimented by poppy vocals. Anthony uses a lot of effects and pedals and uses programming to add that little extra something that sets us apart. And our drummer Kurtis is definitely influenced by hardcore and metal, so we occasionally have double kick and he likes to be creative with his drumming.

If someone has never listened to your band, which song would you like them to listen to first?
I think it depends on the person really. Because all of our songs have a different feel. We have poppier songs, and we have darker songs and we have more mellow songs. And it all depends on personal preference. Some people might like some songs better than others. I personally think that “Escaping the Transience” and “Cold and Captive” are our strongest songs and reflect our general sound the best. So for people to get a really good idea of our identity as a band, I think those are the truest to who we are.

What is the writing process like?
The writing process is a little different than some bands I think. We used to try and sit down at practice for hours and hammer out a song together. But it could become extremely frustrating. Trying to get 5 people to agree on a certain riff or whatever could be really challenging. But now we have a new method of doing things. Anthony does a lot of the writing, and records rough demos of it at home and sends it to us to get our input. We tell him what parts to keep and what parts to scrap. Then we’ll play it out at practice with Kurtis, and change things up some more. My melodies are usually the last ingredient. And even then, everything usually gets tweaked once we get into the studio. We start improvising and playing around until we get it exactly right.

Which Reality TV show would you like to be on?
I would say The Amazing Race just because I think it would be such an incredible experience.

What bands do you believe deserve more credit/exposure?
We know so many bands who don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve. “Tonight Tonight” for instance are our friends from Burlington and they’re doing so well from themselves they definitely deserve some more recognition.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We as a band don’t have any rituals really no. I usually warm up, pray and drink lots of water.

What are the band’s plans for the year?
We really just want to start getting on the road and reaching out to more people in other cities. We plan to tour Canada and continue promoting our self-titled EP. We’ll definitely be writing more songs too!

What is your ultimate goal for the band?
Our ultimate goal for the band is just to be able to do what we love for a living. Trying to be a musician as a career is so hard in this day and age, even with all the tools we have for self-promotion such as the internet. Firstly because there are so many bands competing for people’s attention and secondly because music is so easily accessible. Everyone can get it for free. Ultimately we just want to make our mark and see our hard work pay off. This is still a business, and we’ve invested so much of ourselves into it. We just hope it’s worth it!

“Thank you so much for the interview! You can keep up to date with us by liking us on our facebook, twitter or myspace.
Our self-titled EP is available on iTunes for only $4.95.”
- Evolve Apparel


Hailing from St. Catherines, ON are Aria an energy driven female fronted band folding no punches with everything to gain. The young but immensely passionate band’s recently released self-titled EP is no better proof that Aria has what it takes to break onto the scene. The five song release is impressively engaging with upbeat yet hard driving guitar lines and lead singer Bianca’s soaring vocals lacing it together perfectly. A criminally underrated band up to par with many of it’s more experienced counterparts that’s bound to make waves sooner than you’d think. You can check our exclusive interview with the band below and be sure to vote for the band to play at this year’s Vans Warped Tour at - Unsigned & Unleashed


St. Catherines, Ontario-based pop-rock band ARIA took the time to answer a couple of questions for us about their recent EP release, video for "Escaping The Transcience", why they think you should check them out, and what to expect from them in the year ahead. We'd like to thank ARIA for doing this interview with us.

Lara@RRR: Thank you for doing this interview. Could you please state your name(s) and role(s) in ARIA?

Nick: I play Bass
Bianca: I am the vocalist and the lyricist.

Lara@RRR: How did the band form and what is the story behind the band name?

Nick: The band originally was made up of all guys from Buffalo, NY since 2007. Bianca auditioned early 2009 and moved out east to replace the old vocalist which resulted in a name change from The Maimed to ARIA. After about a year, some of the members decided to go their separate ways but Bianca and Anthony wanted to continue the band. They decided to relocate their base to St Catharines, Ontario where they eventually recruited myself and Damian (and later Malcolm) to form what is ARIA today. As for the band name, we wanted to name our band like you would a baby and ARIA was the name we all collectively chose.

Lara@RRR: The band released their second EP which was self-titled in December. How was the writing and recording process of the EP?

Bianca: The writing was done over the span of a couple months. At this time, Anthony and I were the only official members and would record and send each other rough tracks back and forth, and then we brought them to the studio where they were tweaked and recorded.

Lara@RRR: Is there an underlying theme on the EP?

Bianca: There is not really a unifying theme throughout the EP. I try to touch on different themes and concepts for each song.

Lara@RRR: From where do you tend to draw inspiration for your lyrics?

Bianca: I draw inspiration from every person, every emotion, every circumstance, every memory of my life. I want people to relate to my music on every level. I especially draw inspiration from my own core. Because people can relate to that which is most personal to you. They identify with the things that you feel, the things you experience, your beliefs, your hopes, your fears, your insecurities. So I try to write about all of those things and convey all of those ideas in my songs.

Lara@RRR: What do you think sets ARIA apart from other pop-rock/female fronted bands out there?

Bianca: I think the fact that we use programming sets us apart and helps diversify all of our songs. They help make the songs more full and create a different atmosphere in addition to the chord progressions. Also having members from both the US and Canada and members that range from 15 to 23 gives us a wide variety of influences to our sound.

Lara@RRR: Although you reach out to fans of Paramore and VersaEmerge, do you ever get tired of certain comments/being harshly compared, or has the response to ARIA been fair?

Nick: Because we are a female fronted band with heavy guitars, we do end up getting a lot of comparisons to bands like Paramore and VersaEmerge, and we understand that. We take it as a compliment because those are two very talented bands. At the same time we try to distinguish ourselves by adding different elements into our music and I think people can identify with that. Very rarely do we ever receive negative comments, and I think that is because those aforementioned bands are so well received.

Bianca: In our experience, Fans of Paramore and Versaemerge have welcomed us openly into their music libraries and are more excited than not to have another addition to their list of female fronted bands. They often tell us our sound is a mix of their favorite ones. So generally, we have a very good response.

Lara@RRR: You shot a video for “Escaping the Transience” – what is the message behind the song, and how was that portrayed in the video?

Bianca: Escaping the Transience is based on two ideas. The first idea is the fear of growing old, and the second idea is the knowledge of our imminent death/the impermanence of our lives. It's about wanting to stay young and beautiful forever, and knowing that we could if we wanted to by living fast and dying young. It's also about how scary it is not knowing what exactly the future has in store for us. The mummy in the video is supposed to represent fear or death as he lurks about and finally takes us with him into the darkness.

Lara@RRR: Is ARIA currently writing new music, and when can we expect to hear it?

Nick: I think as artists we are always writing music, its just what we do. Currently, we are assembling some demos so that we can prepare for our next studio album. At the moment, we have a good number of songs under way and we’re continuing to expand our list of songs, experimenting with different sounds and trying to find the best songs that will accurately represent us at this time. We have no formal timeline but ideally we’d like to be releasing new material in the early new year.

Lara@RRR: Are there any touring plans?

Bianca: We are currently booking dates in eastern Canada for the next few months.

Lara@RRR: What do ARIA have planned for the year ahead?

Nick: We’re extremely excited for the next coming year. We are going to be finishing writing our album and releasing it as soon as we can. We’re also planning on touring and playing as many out of town shows as we can, so expect to see us in a town near you soon!

Lara@RRR: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview – is there anything you would like to add?

Bianca: Thanks Review Rinse Repeat for your interest in us and for thanks for the interview!

- Review Rinse Repeat


Self-titled EP (available on iTunes)
Chapters EP



ARIA is a perfect example of a persevering, hard-working band. Since 2009, this female-fronted 5-piece has been fighting to make their mark in an over-saturated and nearly impenetrable industry. Vocalist Bianca Dyrland is evidence of this, having relocated 2000 miles from her hometown of Saskatoon solely to take her place as ARIA's front-woman. Based between the Canadian city (and native home to Alexisonfire) of Saint Catharines and Cute Is What We Aim For's hometown of Buffalo, New York, this band is definitely one to watch for as their fan base continues to grow internationally. Despite the tragic loss of their band member, Kurtis Helm, and the abrupt transition from the U.S. to Canada, the band continues to thrive and bounce back with incredible resilience. ARIA's persistence and dedication is unparallelled as it appears no circumstance can slow them down. Having just finished recording their first full length album, due to be released this summer, ARIA takes Pop/Rock to a new level, avoiding the cliche chord-ridden and static-sounding music that is becoming all too common. Taking solid song formulaic structure and combining it with a vastly original sound ARIA find's itself on the artsy side of Pop/Rock, appealing to both those who desire music that requires some digestion, as well as those who like their sounds "pre-chewed". The band infuses this poppy uplifting sound with the programming of synthesizer and orchestral instruments to create their dynamic quality. All of this combined with the voice of Bianca Dyrland is ARIA's recipe, so to speak.