Autumns Cannon
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Autumns Cannon

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Autumn's Canon: Hope and Perseverance"

Hope and Perseverance

That's the message that has launched Autumn's Canon, a young Ottawa based band. It is also the fuel that is helping this band take off like a rocket. When asked what their next steps to success are ... it is mainly staying true to this message. Refreshing.

Formed less than two years ago and on the heels of winning the Big Money Shot in 2010, the band is already on the festival circuit in a big way. They've recently played Westfest, NXNE and now we have them all to ourselves on the big MBNA stage July 10 at 3:30.

"You get one shot", Mark Laforest (bass player) suggested which explains the very balanced approach they are taking towards success. They could have just split The Big Money Shot money but instead, they are busy playing music and using that money very carefuly.

Instead of quickly signing a record deal or a 360 deal, they hooked up with Simkin Artist Management (SAM ) out of Vancouver and managed locally by Dayna Bourgoin. SAM manages bands like Marianas Trench and many others and is associated with 604 records. The is the label started by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback fame and the label behind acts like Thornly, Theory of a Deadman and even Tommy Lee!

The management company is helping them find an agent and a producer for their upcoming album and assisting the band with gigs and marketing. The band retains complete control of their music but get the marketing support they need to reach the next level. Smart!

Chatting with the guys, you realize the humility and group approach that probably explains why this band came together so smoothly and effortlessly. It also explains why the songs feel so powerful and complete ... as if these guys had been playing together for ever. Shaun tends to plant the seed by writing the songs and then the band "rips them to sh**t" as Marty put it. They each add their element and the songs come to life.

I urge you check them out Sunday, July 10 at 3:30 at the big MBNA stage and support an up and coming local band that is going places ... fast.

Shaun Francisco: Guitar/Lead Singer
Nick Beaton: Lead Guitar
Mike Hogg: Drums
Mark Laforest: Bass
Marty Sobb: Keys/Guitar

"At Westfest with Autumns Canon"

The summer festival season is upon us once again. With things like Canada Day and Bluesfest looming over Ottawa and dominating the focus of most of the media, it’s easy to forget that there plenty of other outdoor events taking place in town that can offer an amazing festival experience. One of these events is Westfest. It kind of gets squashed under some of the other things going on around town over the summer, but it is definitely a worthy addition to anyone’s calendar. First of all, it’s free. You just can’t beat that. Secondly, they work hard to make sure that the entertainment is not only top-notch, but home grown as well. Every band is Canadian, and most of them hail from the Ottawa area. There’s even a day dedicated to just Ottawa bands.

This year I had the opportunity to take in Westfest from the other side, on the stage watching the crowd instead of the other way around. I was playing with a new project that I’ve only recently gotten involved with, Autumns Canon. The band features the strong songwriting and vocals of Shaun Francisco combined with a cast of some of Ottawa’s finest musicians; Nick Beaton on guitar, Marty Sobb on keys, Mike Hogg on drums, Anders Drerup on pedal steel and myself on bass. It’s been nothing short of a pleasure so far getting to know these guys and work with the music. Shaun’s songs are a reflection of his personality – honest, down to earth, direct and uplifting. They are driven by loud crunchy guitars and great vocal hooks. All the ingredients that I love.
Playing at a festival instantly makes you feel like a rock star. You come in through the back gates where it says “ARTISTS ONLY” and a security guard lets you and your vehicle in. You park in the back where they have handlers ready to help you get your stuff to the backstage area and you’re given a personalized lanyard that will be your access all areas pass for the rest of the day. From there, the rest is easy. You have your own tent or trailer, free beer, a catered lunch buffet, plenty of snacks and treats, even a starbucks coffee set up just for the artists of the day. The backstage area is comprised of the other artists performing that day or people who either want to interview you or ask you if you need anything else.

We had played a couple of small gigs before this and had a handful of rehearsals, but this was easily our first “real” gig. A festival gig is very different from a club gig in a couple of key ways. For one, you get the aforementioned treatment while backstage. Most clubs these days don’t even have a backstage. It’s outdoors, and brightly lit by the daytime sunshine. When you’re playing in a dark club, most of the time you can’t see the audience that’s right in front of you because you’re looking directly into stage lights. So you can see people’s reactions immediately and what is grabbing their attention and what isn’t. You can see all the way to the back and observe whether the crowd is coming or going. The sound system is a whole different beast than that of a club. It’s way bigger, and has a totally different feel to it. In almost any club, the sound system is mounted directly to the side of the stage and you can hear it from on the stage. You can hear it hitting the walls, the ceiling and the back of the room and coming back to you and get a sense for how loud you are and where the dynamics are going. When you’re playing on an outdoor stage, you have no frame of reference as to just how hard you are hitting the poor people who chose to sit right in front. The only thing you can really feel is the omni directional thump of the bass woofers rattling the stage. The stage itself is also much larger than any club’s. As a band, you need to feel where the others in the band are going musically and dynamically and feed off them in order to put on a good performance. This is difficult to do when you can’t really hear each other and are standing much farther away from each other than you’re used to. A festival is also more of an all-day experience not only for the crowd but for the band. You show up much earlier and usually stay until the day is done (probably has something to do with the free beer). It makes the whole gig feel like much more of an opportunity to bond and network with other musicians playing that day, fans, the guys in the band, volunteers and staff, and who ever else is hanging around. It turns the whole thing into much more of an outing than your typical club gig.

We took to the stage in the mid afternoon on Sunday. There was a decent sized crowd, and the weather was spectacular. Although our set lasted about 45 minutes, it felt like 5. So much of being a musician really has nothing to do with the time you spend on stage that by the time you actually make it to that stage it just flies by. All the rehearsing, recording, photo shoots, discussions, loading in and loading out, time spent alone perfecting your craft, networking, advertising, facebooking and tweeting….. It all amou - Ottawa Tonite


Album TBD
Release date: Early/mid 2013

Single: Open Letter
Released: October 22nd, 2012



Sometimes you have to get lost to truly find yourself, and you can certainly make that case with Autumns Cannon singer-guitarist Shaun Francisco. Following the passing of his mother back in 2009, the musician uprooted himself from his hometown of Maple Ridge, BC, and headed further east to a friend’s house in Ottawa to start a new beginning. The game-changing decision set Francisco on the path towards finding his bandmates in Autumns Cannon, and ultimately to find himself through song. Now, after a near four-year journey, the act’s debut album Open Letter is set to be released through 604 Records in 2013.

The melodic rock unit’s foundations were laid in the basement of Francisco’s adopted home, but he soon found a kindred spirit in drummer Mike Hogg. The two met while working at a local music store. It was during work hours when Francisco revealed early compositions like “Lonely Streets,” one of Open Letter’s many heartfelt highlights. From there, the two assembled what was to become Autumns Cannon.

“It’s the first song that we played together,” Hogg confirms of the cut. “If you go back to the first thing that we recorded, ‘Lonely Streets’ was one of those tunes.”

Francisco adds that the song is one of his most personal, and deals directly with the whirlwind of emotions he felt after losing his mother, and landing in Ottawa. The composition of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen inspired guitar and vocal melodies is also driven by the bands distortion-driven alt-country. Initially we see themes of hopelessness and despair, but then turns into the powerful message of redemption, fully encapsulated with Francisco’s passionate cry of “Come and heal my soul.”

“At times I’ve felt extremely lonely and uncertain, leaving and uprooting myself from the place I grew up in,” the frontman says thoughtfully about the trying time period chronicled in “Lonely Streets.” “That song signified me expressing the emotion of digging deep and persevering. Lyrically, it was all there. It was my story.”

This is just the beginning of Autumns Cannon’s journey. Over the last few years, the act—which also includes guitarist Nick Beaton, bassist Mark Laforest, and keyboardist-guitarist Marty Sobb— has further refined their music, writing in excess of 30 songs for Open Letter. Working at the Bathouse Studio just off of Lake Ontario, as well as Signal Path Studio in Almonte, Ontario, producers Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip, and Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat, helped the unit trim down the collection to a tidy ten.

While cuts like “Lonely Streets” have travelled with the band since day one, the first single and title track “Open Letter” was one of four tunes on the album written spontaneously in the studio. The energetic pop-rock number juices up the tempo, and slides in some extra-crunchy riff work before Francisco lets into a tale of two souls unable to express themselves properly in person.

“That song is about a breakdown in communication. It expresses the frustration where two people want to close the distance between one another, but have lost themselves in a fight that keeps them a part” he says of the single. “The thing that keeps them fighting for one another are the memories flashing in their thoughts in the midst of their breakdown.”

The emotional palette on Open Letter is wide, though, with the band shedding just as much light on the good times as the bad. Lovelorn but hopeful ballad “Wrecking Ball” is laced with tender piano plunks and acoustic six-string strums, while the heart-tugging, steady drive of the gospel organ in “Bury the Guns” asks for peace, unity and understanding in these trying times. Elsewhere, Autumns Cannon question material things, and the hard pace of the working man on the jangly rocker“ Let the Money Run Dry,” and completely cut loose on “Shake It Off,” a fist-pumping anthem that will have the 9-to-5 folk set fire to their neckties in no time.

“Mainly, the message that seems to come out of every song is that ‘I’m not going to quit. I won’t give up. I’m going to persevere,’” Francisco states confidently. “We’re going to find hope again.”

It may have taken Autumns Cannon a few years to find their way, but the group is sure to stick around for a number of years to come.