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"Review: BIGIDEAS Live @ El Mocambo"

BIGIDEAS is a local Toronto band that plays music I would describe as Adult Alternative, with good song structure and vocals...

Mills definitely anchors the band with the strength of his piano and vocals, but it's worth tuning your ear to Daniel Truderung (guitars), who is responsible for the licks that pull the songs forward. And over the year the band seems to have developed a fuller, tighter, more upbeat sound. Mills mentioned that they are in the middle of recording a new album, and from what I could hear, some of the new material has more depth and is a little louder than their currently recorded tracks. Even the previously recorded tracks sounded a little faster and/or louder on stage.

There was a point where it sounded like Mills' voice had been a little overworked recently, but it was short-lived and he seemed to be back in form for the final two songs Almost and Bullets. I've always thought Almost was their strongest song, but I have to admit that Bullets was definitely the better closer. I think some of the guitar work was a little different than in the recorded version on MySpace, so the song came across with more power. - Pete Nema (

" Reviews BIGIDEAS 'Steady State'"

Considering the small size of Halifax West in the mid to late 90s, there are a surprising number of people we went to school with making a go of it musically. Obviously, the Thrush Hermit alumni are the most well known, but when you start looking at the some of the other artists (Ruth and Gabe Minnikin, Andy Patil, and David Christiansen), the list starts to get long and impressive.

The thing that binds these artists together is the fact most play songs (or in bands) that give off either a classic rock or beautiful back porch vibe. When it comes to Halifax ex-pat Bob Mills and his band BIGIDEAS, they aim high and write songs that are more suited for radio waves and arenas than smoky clubs. The new record - Steady State - is full of piano driven anthems and you get the distinct impression the Toronto based quartet isn’t ashamed of the fact they write songs for the masses instead of the people in used clothes and horned rimmed glasses.

Mills is a confident front man, and without question the band prefers to build soaring arrangements. In Line offers up a bouncy bass line, keys and gentle strums of an acoustic, but it’s the power packed in the chorus that makes the song stick. Like another Toronto band that got some heavy airplay a few years back – Pilate Speed – BIGIDEAS manages to blend the line between their Anglo influences and the popular sounds of Canada’s biggest urban centre. Patching Holes booms out of the speaker with some nice electric work and a driving rhythm section but Mills is just as comfortable stripping back the layers and slowing down the tempo (Vanishing Point).

I’ll be completely honest. I’m not really one for arena rock and I only listened to the record because I coached Mills in basketball many, many moons ago, but after a few songs the image of a Junior High kid missing layups vanished and was replaced by one of talented, radio ready performer. I think once people starting hearing this band playing shows in Toronto, they are going to make the jump from big ideas to big crowds and even bigger things. -

"SoundProof - Album Review - BIGIDEAS - Steady State"

SOUNDS LIKE: UK-esque, nocturnally ethereal, orchestra-backed rock from (gasp!) a Toronto band.

WHY/WHY NOT: It's good to see a band keeping the tradition of nocturnally ethereal, orchestra-backed rock alive. You'd think the Brits have the market cornered on this sound – but not this time. BIGIDEAS are Canadian, and have created music which suits me not only at 3 a.m., sitting in the dark, thinking of ex-lovers, having a hard drink.

Toronto boys, BIGIDEAS have put out a unique gem in Steady State, and deserve credit for their ability to move away from the mainstay indie sound that, while we all love it so, has come to envelop their city's music scene. This is big-stage stuff. You'll feel what I mean on the yearningly dark "Vanishing Point" or the subterranean-yet-redemptive "To An End". You're sure to enjoy the highly addictive "Walk Of The Girl". With a big and lush sound, it builds into various satisfying crescendos throughout.

If you dig the likes of Keane or Doves, then BIGIDEAS' Steady State will float your boat. These boys already sound like they could easily play in front of a huge stadium-packed crowd. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen in the near future. - SoundProof - Karolina Rous


Sir Richard Branson and The Tragically Hip’s Johnny Fay among judges that send online contest winner to Toronto’s Virgin Festival

Toronto (ONTARIO) September 4, 2007 – and mobile partner Virgin Mobile Canada are sending Canadian ContraBand winner to the gig of their dreams at Virgin Mobile’s Virgin Festival at Toronto Island Park this weekend…

…twelve finalists in the online contest on, vying for the most online streams to make it to the top three. After three months and an unprecedented 6.6 million streams Crowned King ranked among the top 3 with BIGIDEAS and Amber Room. An all-star panel of judges included Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group chairman and Virgin Mobile Canada founder and The Tragically Hip’s drummer, Johnny Fay voted Crowned King as winner. Joining Branson and Fay on the judging panel were Alan Cross, program director for 102.1 the Edge/Toronto; Jeff Woods, content director of Splice Interactive Media; Ian Danzig, president of Exclaim!; Jacob Smid, president of Emerge Entertainment; David U.K., Vice-president and general manager of Heavy Canada and Sunday Mensah, producer for Heavy in New York.

"Indie acts compete online"

CREDIT: John Kennedy /
EXCLUSIVE! Johnny Fay of The Tragically Hip and Andrew Black, president of Virgin Mobile Canada, in the screening room of The Spoke Club in Toronto.

Twelve independent Canadian rock acts have been chosen to compete in an online battle of the bands for a cash prize and a spot on the Virgin Festival stage.

A panel of celebrity judges, including Virgin mogul Sir Richard Branson and The Tragically Hip's Johnny Fay, picked the finalists from about 60 entries to Canadian ContraBand at
The finalists are: The Amber Room, BIGIDEAS, Brian Byrne, Crowned King, Dearly Beloved, Eden Ants, The Februarys, Dee Montreal, The Populars, The Salads, Social Light and Stereomovers.

Video submissions were screened for the judges June 28 at Toronto's Spoke Club - and was the only media outlet allowed to witness deliberations.

The quality of the videos varies from simple performance-driven clips shot on home video to professionally-edited works of art.
Dee Montreal's "Filter Factor" and Crowned King's "One in a Million" earned the most points from the judges - although there was some debate about whether the latter should be considered since the band performed at Vancouver's Virgin Festival in May.

West Coast band Prox missed making the top 12 by just one point, trailing Eden Ants of Toronto. Judges were split on the Eden Ants video, which mostly shows members of the band visiting the Virgin Festival site to sacrifice a fish.
"I want to hear the song," complained Fay, who admitted the band wasn't among his top 12.
"I liked the concept," said Alan Cross, program director at radio station 102.1 The Edge.

But the judges agreed on the retro look and sound of The Amber Room's "No Expression."
"It's reminiscent of the '80s," said Cross. "It's cool. It's new. It's fresh again."
"Yeah, it's fresh," said Fay.
Other judges include Ian Danzig of Exclaim!, Virgin Festival producer Jacob Smid of Emerge Entertainment, and vice president David U.K.
Branson said the competition gives Canadian acts a valuable opportunity to get noticed.
"The Internet opens the doors for young bands to create their own content and increase their chances of being heard," Branson said. "We've seen some great talent so far and I look forward to seeing the winning band perform at Virgin Festival in September."
The finalists will be allowed to upload additional videos to the site in the weeks to come. Judges will pick a winning band from the three whose videos receive the most views. The winner will receive $5000, marketing support from Warner Music Canada and a performance slot at Toronto's second annual Virgin Festival on Sept. 8-9.

"BIGIDEAS live at The Horseshoe & Album Review"

So Friday was fun…

About a month ago I’ve been invited by somebody to BIGIDEAS debut album launch gig at The Horseshoe and it was one of those dates in my calendar that I was really looking forward to (much like my bi-weekly pay-cheque and monthly “screw all, I’m getting obliterated” day). The reason being that I heard a couple of their songs (and really liked the sound) but never seen them play live. So there I was - standing in a dimly lit room of the renowned Horseshoe with a bottle of chilled (yeah, that’s right “chilled” not “ice cold”) Steam Whistle (yeah, that’s right, Steam Whistle, not Heineken), waiting for BIGIDEAS to take the stage while watching moderately tipsy people going ape-shit on each other’s ears (what? it’s loud, you have to yell!).

But enough about me, what’s new with you? Wait… never mind, I always forget that I’m not that interested.

It’s 11 30 (or something like that… and yes, I know - smooth transition) and BIGIDEAS play their first song, which I think they could’ve done so much better, but then… they play a second one and I think that I shouldn’t be thinking anymore because boy, do they exceed my expectations?! There are a lot of bands out there that sound good on the record but can’t quite pull it off live, there are some bands that excite your feelings both on stage and through your speakers, and there are few that fcuking rock live and make you want to hit re-play every time the album ends. Enter BIGIDEAS…

So I’ve got only two words to summarize their live performance AWE-SOME. The bass is tight, the guitar is sexy, the drums are freaking nuts and the vocals make you wish you knew the lyrics to be able to sing along. That’s all I have to say about them. And yet… I’ll talk some more (because we all know how much you enjoy reading my stuff).

So, if you by any chance went to the Horseshoe this Friday - you got your copy of their debut full-length Steady State. If not - you can check it out as soon as it becomes available… and you really really should. According to their MySpace it’s March 24th.

BIGIDEAS began working on this album in March 2007 with their friend and audio engineer Andrew Noakowski who’d done one hell of a good job making this record. It took them two years to shape this thing into what it is now - a great sounding album that will set the mood for your day, I promise.

This is where I disagree with people from Herohill - while I couldn’t really find any songs that I would consider being huge radio hits (and for all I care - thank whatever deity you pray to for that) - the album in it’s entirety feels VERY thought-through and whole. The drums deserve some special mentioning because man, they rock! Every instrument is in it’s rightful place and even though an occasional guitar jumps out at you, completely grabbing your attention with it’s tonality and musicality (see what I did there?) - everything sounds just as it should… and is very very good.

Here’s an interesting observation that I made while listening to this album for the third time today (on my way to work, back from work, and right now) - it made me lose any perception of time. I don’t know why or how but Steady State managed to wrap me up inside of it’s melodic fabric and didn’t let me go until the very last song. And yes, melodic fabric. You’ll see what I mean if and when you get yourself a copy.

I can’t really put my finger on WHAT exactly do I like so much about this album but I really do like it. Check it out for yourself and then if you are kind enough - leave me a comment saying what you think about it and what are your thoughts on songs not being radio hits.

All in all - Steady State is a beautifully produced and great sounding album… and that is all that matters, right?

Upcoming shows:
Apr 6, 2009 20:30
The Hideout “UNPLUGGED FOR MS”, Toronto - no excuse for not attending
May 8, 2009 21:00
Jun 12, 2009 20:00
Forest Hill Memorial Park/ Cancer Relay for the Cure, Toronto -


"Steady-State" - 2009
"The Great Escape EP" - 2006



When BIGIDEAS was conceived by four friends in the summer of 2005, their vision was simple; create a fresh new spin on the music they loved, and perform it live to as many people as they could. Built upon driving rhythms and sprawling soundscapes, the band forged a sound which was familiar to their audience but distinct.

In 2005 the band was approached by Toronto producer Brian Moncarz (Pilate Speed, The Junction) and together in 2006 they would complete their first EP entitled "The Great Escape". In June 2007, BIGIDEAS was chosen as one of twelve finalist for the Virgin Mobile Canadian Contraband Contest. After their videos received over a million votes on the internet, the band was chosen as runner-up.

In March of 2007, BIGIDEAS re-entered the studio, only this time acting as producer with the help of good friend and Audio Engineer Andrew Noakowski. Over the span of two years, tracks were built up and painfully stripped down as the quest for their perfect studio album was underway. Upon hearing one of the bands lead tracks from the album, senior mixing/mastering engineer Stephen Stepanic (Pilot Speed, Major Maker, Destiny’s Child) was brought onboard to carefully mix and craft Steady State. The final touch would be done by no other then one of Canada’s foremost mastering engineers João Carvalho (Billy Talent, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Hawksley Workman).

Now, with a brand new album under their wings, the band is brimming with confidence and ready to take on the national and international music scene. Based in Toronto, Canada, BIGIDEAS is Bob Mills (vocals, keyboards), Daniel Truderung (guitars), Michael Deacon (bass) and David Yoon (drums, percussion).