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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Alternative EDM


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




Toronto’s BABE are a band with a sound that is as electic as the city they call home. On their self-titled debut album BABE marry elements of rock, electronic, and funk with a strong pop sensibility to create a soundscape that is as light and energetic as it is dark and brooding.

Formed in late 2010 the band has spent most of the last two years working on their debut album in the basement of their Toronto home which they bought specifically to work on their music. Eventually the band moved to DNA Recording Facility ( to work with sound engineer Steve Chadley, who’s worked with such diverse acts as The Wu-Tang Clan and Neko Case. Frontman Michael Silvestre worked as producer.

The album was released this past summer and BABE seem poised for bigger and better things in the months ahead. BABE’s Michael Silvestre talked to AWEH this month about the band, their album, and the city that inspires them.

AWEH: How did BABE come into being?

Michael: Marcel and I met in high school and since then we've spent most of our days sharing music, writing songs and building up the courage to commit to a musical perspective. We had a project about five years ago called "Graphisme" that was really the beginnings of what we call BABE now. It's been hard because for some it seems that picking a style of music comes very naturally. We want to write a song for any occasion and with every instrument. We have commitment issues but we're happy with these ten songs.

We met Chris (our drummer) around that Graphisme time. He played with a few other bands in the city until we got these recent songs going. Percussion is such a big part of our music and Chris has always been such a big part of that. Marcel met Tom off of Craigslist. They decided to get together to play Radiohead covers — Tom knows them all and it's beautiful to hear him play them during rehearsals on our downtime.

AWEH: You've been compared to The Rapture and Interpol as well as The Knife and Fela Kuti. How do you view your music?

Michael: It's always been the hardest thing to answer; as far as how you hear your own music — I usually find other peoples descriptions to hit closer to the mark.

AWEH: You bought a house specifically to work on this musical project. Paying rent can be tough for any musician. What made you guys make the big move?

Michael: Marcel and I were living in the suburbs and that had run its course. I was struggling lyrically because life wasn't happening and I could pull what I needed from the city I was in. We needed a place where we could play and not bother anyone so we moved into this eight five year old bungalow with thick walls. It used to be a cottage back in the ‘30s and ‘40s and Torontonians would come out here on horse and buggy to lay on the beach. Now our beach is huge chunks of concrete and rebar from buildings torn down in the ‘60s.

AWEH: Where does the band name come from?

Michael: A few years back I was delivering bread for a bakery and at one of the local supermarkets someone had written "BABE" in all caps on the wall of the back stocking room. I would always see it on my way out and after a couple of years of repetition, along with noticing the word used as a term of endearment in songs that I loved, it seemed like that right word. We were looking for something simple after playing as "Graphisme" for a couple years. Getting asked what "Graphisme" meant and how to spell it seemed like an unnecessary distraction. We also liked the ambiguous meaning of the word. After you rule out the literal or ironic interpretation, there is no clear indication of what type of music the band plays.

AWEH: How was the process of recording your first record?

Michael: The recording process was great. The engineer was Steve Chahley. Steve is a great friend and the best at what he does, so that was an easy decision. He works out of DNA and in the past that studio has been very kind to us. It's like a second home to us and for this record it was the obvious choice. The album definitely has elements of our live show and we tried to keep some of the human mistakes that can make a record feel personal.

AWEH: Is the song writing a collaborative effort or is there a clear band leader(s)?

Michael: Marcel and I are the primary writers. Somehow in this band we've not had any of those hierarchy related issues. Besides taking the lead on the writing of songs, this has always been a group of four friends and we all do our part to get to where we need to be.

AWEH: You also worked as producer on the album. Was it a creative decision or a decision based on practicality? Did you have a reservations taking on that role?

Michael: As far as production — I produced the album because we hadn't met anyone at that point locally and based on some demos of these songs early on, the reaction was good so w -

"Meet the band: BABE"

We've got a soft spot for Toronto bands who play on streetcars. It started, of course, with the Toronto Streetcar Sessions, which we covered a couple of years ago. Now, we've come across BABE: a Toronto-born quartet who recorded their very first music video by climbing aboard the TTC with a cheap keyboard, an acoustic bass and a video camera. But even more exciting than that is the band's sound, which leaps all over the map in a kaleidoscope of influences that has won them comparison to everyone from The Rapture to Fela Kuti. As their website puts it, "When you’re a musician growing up in Toronto, a dynamic and diverse city where your senses constantly stand at full attention, it’s likely that the music you enjoy and make will also be eclectic."

We recently caught up with the BABE's frontman, Michael Silvestre, and got him to answer a few of our silly questions. You'll find them below these MP3s — a couple of tunes off the group's new self-titled debut:

MP3: "Yellow Gold" by BABE
MP3: "Face Down" by BABE

How do you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you before?
I guess our music finds it's roots in rhythm. We usually start there. That being said, I think this album has pulled from world and electronic music. We tend to lean grimy and an overall danceable haze is where we try to end up.

If you could play one venue you've never played before, what would it be?

Your all-time, all-star supergroup?
James Jamerson - Bass
David Chase (YYY'S) drums
Johnny Greenwood - Guitar
Karin Dreijer Andersson - and Freddy Mercury - Vocals
and Miles Davis doing whatever the fuck he wants.

What's the worst album you own?
Buckcherry. I won it off the radio.

What’s your favorite solo ever on your favourite instrument ever?
That one's tuff but for the last few days i've been listening to David Gilmour's " TIME " solo. It's the soundtrack to a place I wish I could visit...but maybe for only a few minutes - I don't think I could handle more than that.

If you were going to be a roadie for one band, who would it be?
I'd like to say Radiohead based on the countless hours I've spent with them already, but LCD Soundsystem would be more fun.

If you could switch places with another musician in some type of "Freaky Friday" type incident, who would you want it to be?
Tom Waits.

If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life?
Alladin Sane. David Bowie's face on my face. - The Little Red Umbrella

"Earshot Charts - Top 200" - Earshot


Toronto electro-rock quartet Babe – while obviously sporting a name connoting a title of endearment to a loved one, and also serving as the name of a certain pig – had the fitting distinction of being the meat in this “love sandwich”… pulled pork, then? I dunno… One thing’s for sure though, the members of Babe don’t pull any punches when it comes to their live show. First off: the drummer rack-mounts his kit and assaults the skinned surfaces like a kamikaze attack whenever he’s delivering a beat.

This stool-removal (pardon this tangential imagery you may have just experienced) allows the drums to rise to the frontline as the four men of Babe stand proudly in a row across the stage like a military platoon ready for the onslaught…. or rather to deliver one. Trying to envision what Babe sounds like through all this? Depeche Mode + house/trance = one crazy night of rocking. Keep an eye out for these guys if you’re looking to catch a killer live act because they will destroy your eardrums with volume and intensity, along with any dwindling perception you might have had that dance music couldn’t rock your socks off.


"THE iNDiE MACHINE - The Weekend Sequence vol. 15"

We recently asked Toronto’s BABE to curate The Weekend Sequence and they decided to come up with a theme for their mix: WORD FOR WORD – how lyrics change a song.

The result is an interesting and eclectic mix of songs that are sure to carry you through the weekend. In their words: “We put this list together based on lyrics. After already being a fan, you look up a song’s lyrics and everything changes. The song becomes something more, it becomes one of “your” songs. This is not to be an authoritative or definitive list of the best merging of words to song, but rather a personal list, that has some rhythm and gait to it, cuz it’s the muthafukin weekend.”

Stream the mix at the bottom of the page and be sure to visit BABE at the websites below.

Myspace / Facebook / Vimeo / Soundcloud / Twitter

Sometimes writing a truly original love song from a new place seems next to impossible. When it comes to love and real connection, it’s all been said, yet in this song (like no other), I get lost in whirlpools of tenderness. It’s become a general stereotype that men can’t often give themselves emotionally by throwing caution to the wind but Avey Tare does just that, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of instrumentation that leaves me in the breeze. It can be hard to dig that deep but Animal Collective do it time and again with songs that have no ancestry….ok maybe a little Beach Boys. – Michael Silvestre

2. tUnE yArDs – Bizness
Although the lyrics in this song are definitely up for interpretation, there is a general sense of pursuit and conquest. It could be political but seems to lean on the personal side. Some of the songs on the latest “who Kill” album often carry descriptions of struggle, which work well with the overall afro-beat inspired rhythms. Don’t get me wrong, this music doesn’t just get lathered with an afro-beat brush; it’s also her magical loop pedal along with a voice that can rock you to sleep or just rock you. This album is special. – Michael Silvestre

3. CAETANO VELOSO – Tropicalia
A young Caetano Veloso describes planes overhead and trucks by his toes while he organizes movements and orients carnivals. This song is full of everyday descriptions, the details we catch while the young blood boils and shit gets done. A Brazilian mover and shaker. By the way, it’s in Portuguese. – Michael Silvestre

4. RADIOHEAD – Bloom
” Open your mouth wi-ah-a-AH-ide ” (wide) Thom Yorke sings not only to start the song but also to catapult this record into a transcendental free for all. Thom writes the melody surrounding the word “wide” as if he wants us to imagine our mouths opening with the ease and flex of a python, while taking all that is good and pure back into our lungs. He goes on to assure us that in doing so… a universal sigh…”Don’t blow your mind with why” he says. If given the opportunity, give this beautiful song a listen when in close proximity to a salt water beach. – Michael Silvestre

5. THE FOUR TOPS – Bernadette
Levi Stubbs. James Jamerson. A inspired twinning of singular soul voices. Levi a powerhouse, singing with such pride of his woman, a love that other men long to possess. Jamerson, with one of the most iconic bass lines of all, deftly supporting him at every turn with equal flair. Moves me to give the track the highest compliment – that it is just so damn musical. – Marcel Strohmeier

6. DAVID BOWIE – Breaking Glass
Not necessarily Bowie’s most accomplished lyrical outing, but these scatter shot phrases of anxiety and paranoia, over hedonistic art-funk really scratch a peculiar itch for me. - Marcel Strohmeier

7. BEE GEES – Love You Inside Out
While the playful arrangements and melodic brilliance of this track charmed me at first listen, it was only when my girlfriend called my attention to the lyrics that the song gained new, ambiguous depth. To her, this was a tug-of-love song with an emotional vulnerability and resolve that spoke to her as a women. Maybe Feist perceived the very same thing. – Marcel Strohmeier

8. TWIN SHADOW – I Can’t Wait
This song is divided into two verses, the first of which a girl describes a night out with a boy. She looks back at the discomfort she was feeling, his horrible dance moves and his roaming hands as they danced. She views him as a fraud and asks herself “is it over?” Knowing how she feels about this night out makes me an embarrassed voyeur when I catch wind of the boys perspective of the night in verse two – in a completely different tone he also asks himself “is it over?” – Michael Silvestre

9. WILD BEASTS – All The Kings Men
These guys are GANGSTAS! We’ve all been sixteen and bobbed our heads in half-time to Snoop while he rhymes bitches & bubble baths but these four have a different take altogether. They speak (with english accents) of hand picking women one by one while asking them to leave their shoes behind. “You won’t need them where we’re going”. They dream of “girls who feed th - THE iNDiE MACHINE


I arrived at Rancho Relaxo a little prior to BABE’s 1am set to chat with frontman Michael Silvestre. The little run down place was already packed and buzzing as Secrettes finished up their last few songs. Michael & I stepped outside of the chaos for a few minutes.

Why the name BABE?

We had a really complicated name five years ago when we first started getting something going. It was ‘Graphisme.’ It means French for some sort of an art form where people would listen to music and scribble out what that music represented to them… so we came away from that, we’re like we need the opposite of that, something more simple. My parents have a bakery; I used to deliver bread to Highland Farms about 3 years ago. Somebody wrote “BABE” on the wall in all capital letters and I would walk out and see it, and it just looked simple. Everyday I would see it, and I said that should be the name of the band. It looks iconic… and we have a designer who happens to be our best friend, and he made up this logo for us and it just looks right, you know?

So about 5 years ago is about when this all started?

Yeah, 5 years ago we started playing music. It’s me and Marcel who write all the stuff … it’s been a long process to get it to where it is now. But really the band has been around since November of last year.

LP – when is it being released?

August/September of this year.

What should we expect song-wise from the record?

It’s going to be this set plus another four songs. This set is about six songs, tonight we’re playing a cover too, and then four new songs we’re working on now.

Any plans for future tours outside of local Toronto gigs?

We’re working on that for the fall. There are a few bigger bands that we have befriended that are interested in us touring with them as their opener. Everything is kind of contingent on our record being done. Because right now, this is what we do, we just play live. We’re kind of waiting to push a little bit more as soon as the record is done.

Why music? Why this specific sound?

Marcel and I first started writing together it was about 10 years ago. One thing that has always remained is that it’s a little bit eerie. I like to think it’s a little bit sexy, a little ominous…kind of like Yeasayer meets Radiohead. It’s danceable but kind of under a shadow, in an alley, kind of grimy… that sort of a thing.

As BABE took the stage, everyone scrambled in anticipation of the noise about to hit them. Rancho Relaxo seemed like the perfect place for BABE to perform. The tight and grubby feel of the space only bettered the intimate performance the band put on. BABE delivered their sound with the bodies on the stage and on the dance floor in constant motion. All of the tunes played were obnoxiously loud and danceable, with harsh rock/electronic breaks along with Michael’s unique yet unforced vocals. Songs such as “In Dreams” and “Making Piles/Burning Cars” were most widely recognized with an overwhelming response from the mob of fans. Song after song was quite the striking performance and anything but bland. Even as sweat and beer covered the floor, the crowd called out for more of BABE’s infectious beats as they announced their closing song to be a cover of “Guns of Brixton” by The Clash. The 70’s Clash tune was transformed into BABE’s underground dancey feel, yet it still held onto their jagged edge. BABE is a band overflowing with perpetual bass, beats, and vocals that come together to make a beautiful mess. Be sure to experience BABE for yourself this coming July 10th at The Garrison!

Written by: Julia G.

Edited by: L. Philip

- Mizrebel Records

"Guide to CMW Dark Electro Pop – Friday Edition"

Put The Rifle Down, another former Silent Shout headliner, will be going on first at The Baitshop around 8 pm. Followed by Freedom or Death and BA’BE, this early show is an excellent way to get your night started. - Slint Shout

"The other CMW - Finding Music around Town that you don't need a wristband for"

“Vinyl” Art In Curation Party

AUX TV is teaming up The Bonus Track to present an tribute to vinyl, both as a material for recorded music and visual art. The party, Friday at the Baitshop (358 Dufferin), includes music from Freedom or Death, Babe and Put The Rifle Down (a band that includes NOW writer Jordan Bimm) and live video accompaniment from artist Dawn Grant. - NOW Magazine

"Vinyl Art in Curation"

Tonight, TBT and AUX TV Present: “Vinyl: Art In Curation.”

7PM tonight, if you foolios are in Toronto, make your way down to the Bait Shop to come chill, listen to some great live music, watch some live painting and throw back a couple beers or shots. We’ve got a great three band lineup consisting of Put the Rifle Down, Freedom Or Death and Babe. We’ve got live SFX visuals from Dawn Grant. We’ve got Nixon Continental and The Soul Proprietor [Eon Soundclash] spinning that hot wax throughout the night too! - This Bonus Track

"The Untold City: Boat Dance Party"

Boat Dance Party - The Untold City

"BABE: Yellow Gold rehearsal"

Plain and simple, what immediately struck me about BA’BE was the vocal ability of project co-creator Michael Silvestre. There’s some amount of production that has gone in to the recorded tracks I’ve heard by this group so far, and though they benefit from it, these guys take it up a level when live and unplugged – a testament to their musicianship. The Yellow Gold video, what is really just a nighttime jam sesh, is a fantastic example of what this talented group can do with just their instruments, a couple monitors, and some pedals/vocal effects. Making Piles/Burning Cars on the other hand, is a more concerted effort at maximizing their sound, successfully mixing bluesy sounding rock with cross-genre production sensibilities. - Salacious Sound

"BABE - "The Only Way""

Toronto band “Babe” takes to the TTC Streetcar to perform an impromptu version of their song, “The Only Way”. I love live music, especially in public places that catch people off guard. Take a minute to check out this emerging band, and let us know what you think? -

"NowTube: BABE At Drake Underground"

Babe @ Drake Underground
Toronto upstarts Babe perform their well received track Yellow Gold live at The Drake Underground as part of the What's In The Box? festival. - NOW Magazine

"This week's must-see Toronto shows"

Powers, Lightwork, Babe, Digits
The Boat (158 Augusta), tonight (Thursday, February 17)

See Powers Q&A. And here's a video of Babe performing at the Drake Underground last month. - Now Magazine

"BABE: El sonido de Ontario."

Su servidor tuvo la oportunidad de sostener lo que convenientemente se denominó como una “ciberentrevista” con el bajista de la banda BABE. Una gran agrupación que está empezando a dejarse oír en la hermosa ciudad de Toronto en Canadá. Me abstendré de intentar poner calificativos u etiquetas a la música que estos finos caballeros hacen, al contrario, invito al lector a que los descubra como yo le he venido haciendo. A continuación la conversación a base de misivas cibernéticas con el amable ente llamado Marcel René Strohmeier.
JF: Porqué no me platicas un poco sobre cada uno de los integrantes de la banda, ¿De qué viven? ¿Al igual que tu gozan de un mosaico cultural más allá del canadiense?
Marcel: Estoy yo, Marcel René Strohmeier, quien se encarga del bajo y de las programaciones. Trabajo en una compañía que se encarga de importar y exportar mercancías. Paso mis días resolviendo cuestiones logísticas relacionadas con el comercio internacional y escuchando música. Yo sostengo que los contextos multiculturales a los que pertenecemos cada uno de los integrantes son relevantes ya que somos una banda de Toronto, y esta ciudad es plural y multicultural.
Todos nacimos en Canadá. Mi papá es alemán y mi mamá argentina. Soy el único de la banda que tiene sangre hispánica. Hablo castellano pero no lo escribo ni lo leo con facilidad. He estado en Buenos Aires varias veces y siento que la cultura latina definitivamente tiene sus huellas en mí.
Luego esta Mike Silvestre, el se encarga de los vocales, la guitarra, teclados y programación. Mike trabaja en su propia compañía esculpiendo bellísimas figuras de piedra para la gente. Tanto su padre como su madre son de Portugal y este chamacón fue concebido la primera noche que sus padres arribaron de Portugal. El es mi hermano y trabajamos muy bien juntos porque nuestras personalidades son harto diferentes, sin embargo compartimos la mayoría de nuestras creencias y opiniones.
También está Tommy Kobayashi, el está a cargo de la guitarra, los teclados y coros. Tom trabaja como mesero y tiene un combo genético bastante cool; su madre es lituana y su padre japonés.
Finalmente esta Chris Ryan, él es el percusionista. Se tituló del Humber College como programador musical, es músico de tiempo completo e instructor. Chris viene de la costa este de Canadá, cerca a Halifax, él es quien tiene más raigambre canadiense dentro del cuarteto.
¡BABE tiene apertura a todas las razas! -

"BABE: The Only Way (Streetcar Sesh)"

BA’BE is the project between childhood friends Michael Silvestre (vocals, guitar, keys) and Marcel Strohmeier (bass guitar), who play, produce and record from their basement studio. They started BA’BE this past Fall and recently enlisted the help of Tommy Kobayashi (keys, guitar and backup vocals) and Bob Deveau (drums) to complete their heavily rhythmic and danceable, yet somewhat ominous sound.
Their two most recent efforts, The Only Way and In Dreams (Oi) are a both good showings for the band, and I’m excited to hear more from them now that they have enlisted the help of Bob Deveau. If Bob can keep up with Marcel and Tommy on rhythms, and also Michael’s demanding, passionate voice, then the four will have something very special. Between the two releases below the boys show their range, putting forth a strong production effort on In Dreams, and at once show quality performance sensibilities in the ‘Streetcar Sesh’, despite lacking a drummer. - Salacious Sound


BABE S/T (released August/2012)

Slow Vessel
Blood on Beach
Yellow Gold
In Dreams
Your Daughter
Making Piles/Burning Cars
Face Down
The Only Way



When you’re a musician growing up in Toronto, a dynamic and diverse city where your senses constantly stand at full attention, it’s likely that the music you enjoy and make will also be eclectic. In the case of BABE, their sound mixes an array of elements and has drawn wide-ranging comparisons from, ‘The Rapture’ and ‘Interpol’ to ‘The Knife’ and ‘Fela Kuti,’

Formed in early 2010, BABE have spent the last two years making their self-titled debut LP. A good portion of that time was spent playing/writing in the basement of Michael Silvestre (lead vocals/guitars/keys) and Marcel Strohmeier’s (bass) bungalow, a place where the two childhood friends turned band-mates bought to specifically work on music.

Stepping into DNA Recording Facility in November 2011, BABE spent the three months recording their album with lead-singer Michael Silvestre as producer and Steve Chahley (Wu-Tang Clan, Neko Case) as Engineer/Mixer. The album was then mastered by Phil Demetro at Lacquer Channel.

"Kaleidoscopic electronica accented by soulful vocals, pulsating beats, smoothed-out by ambient soundscapes, taking elements of turntablism, world music, hip-hop, jazz and trip-hop" - Lonely Vagabond

*** Check press section of bio for videos.***