Charge of the Light Brigade
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Charge of the Light Brigade

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative




"Charge of the Light Brigade brings to International Pop Overthrow England"

The poem The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson, praising the brigade while recognizing the futility of the charge, resonated so much with a Parkdale-based band that they took the poem's name as their own.
"When you are a musician you strongly believe in what you are doing and the cause of your music but we are journeyman musicians," said Luke Sneyd, guitarist/songwriter for the band. "We have been doing this for a while so there is just a hint of fatalism about what we are doing."

Charge of the Light Brigade, an alternative band that amalgamates a punk, prog and pop sound, is comprised of Luke Sneyd, vocals and guitar; Jason Eagan, bass and vocals; Marc Koecher, keyboard; and Owen Tennyson, drums. It evolved out of Sneyd's solo music project.

"Basically the guys that I had been playing with started to evolve into a more organic thing," Sneyd said. "We were becoming a band as opposed to it being my solo thing."

The men reinvented themselves in December of 2009 to acknowledge the collective and went on to play around Toronto as Charge of the Light Brigade.

Koecher, who plays keyboard in the band, also runs MK SoundWorks, a recording studio in High Park. The band recorded their first EP, We Haven't Been Properly Introduced, and debut full-length album, The Defiant Ones, there. The Defiant Ones was released in March.

In spite of that "hint of fatalism" that comes with working in the music industry, the band soliders on, picking up steam as they go. In fact, they just returned from a trip over seas where they participated in a power pop festival called the International Pop Overthrow in Liverpool.

"It is actually a festival that takes place (in) different cities all over the place at different times of the year," Sneyd said. "But the Liverpool one is the biggest."

The festival was eight days long and featured 140 bands, the best pop acts from around the world, and it is run out of The Cavern Pub, the famed venue that gave The Beatles their start.

"It was pretty cool," Sneyd said. "There is so much history associated with it and there are plaques and pictures up on the walls."

Beyond the Beatles, there are a host of associations with the club will all manner of artists drifting through there on their way up in the industry, he said.

"(Paul) McCartney still plays there once a year," Sneyd said. "It was pretty neat to be brushing up against all of that. It has a really good energy in terms of the people who are there to support the music."

The music scene is quite different in England, said Eagan, who, along with Sneyd, live in the downtown west end.

"Live music plays a different role in the culture in England, particularly in Northern England," Eagan said. "People aren't offended by live music. If they see that a band is setting up, they are more likely to go in and sit down."

Eagan said he has found audiences in England are a little less reserved and more willing to show when they are enjoying the music.

"They will dance and yell complementary things while you are playing," Eagan said. "And they will come up and talk to you after the show."

Charge of the Light Brigade is scheduled to play at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yonge and Dundas July 8 and plans are in the works to play the Toronto edition of the International Pop Overtrow in November. - InsideToronto

"Charge of the Light Brigade - The Defiant Ones"

Toronto indie band Charge of the Light Brigade's first full-length recording has a lot to recommend it. It kicks off with Last Door Down, a jagged rocker with buzz-saw guitars and snarling vocals that wouldn't be out of place on a Clash album. Nor is it the only sharp song on this 12-tune album. Desdemona and Young Love crackle with energy. But later The Defiant Ones sounds a little too much like a Hold Steady copy with its off-kilter vocals and narrative stories - especially on Atlantic City - but to its credit, the band does it well.

- Charles Mandel - Here Magazine

"Best of 2011: best songs of the first quarter"

Following up on yesterday's best albums of 2011 so far, I have my favorite songs of the first quarter of the year to present you.

20. "Desdemona"- Charge Of The Light Brigade
19. "Oh, To Know!"- Valentiger
18. "Made For Rain"- The Good Lovelies
17. "Shell Games"- Bright Eyes
16. "Thick As Thieves"- Kalle Mattson
15. "Not Enough"- J. Mascis
14. "Down By The Water"- The Decemberists
13. "Cry Cry Cry"- Nicole Atkins
12. "Magic"- Joan As Police Woman
11. "N.Y.E."- Dinosaur Bones
10. "Losing You"- Revolver
9. "Written On The Forehead"- PJ Harvey
8. "Everybody Needs Love"- Drive-By Truckers
7. "Hummingbird"- Imaginary Cities
6. "California (Hustle & Flow)"- Social Distortion
5. "Touche"- The Barettas
4. "Apocalypse Pop Song"- Memphis
3. "My Baby's A Wrecking Ball"- Kasey Anderson & the Honkeys
2. "I Follow Rivers"- Lykke Li
1. "Peg O' My Heart"- Dropkick Murphys featuring Bruce Springsteen - T.O. Snob's Music

"Best of 2011: Best albums of the first quarter"

We're about to reach the quarter pole in 2011, so what better time to take a brief look back at the music that has struck me so far.

Out of the dozens and dozens of albums that have come across my desk, here are the twenty that I've been most struck by:

20. Carmen Townsend- Waitin' and Seein' (review)
19. The Mountain Goats- All Eternals Deck (review)
18. Charge Of The Light Brigade- The Defiant Ones (review)
17. Mother Mother- Eureka (review)
16. Only Son- Seachlight (review)
15. The Decemberists- The King Is Dead (review)
14. Dropkick Murphys- Going Out In Style (review)
13. The Joy Formidable- The Big Roar (review)
12. Adele- 21 (review)
11. Drive-By Truckers- Go-Go Boots (review)
10. Lykke Li- Wounded Rhymes (review)
9. The Good Lovelies- Let the Rain Fall (review)
8. Nicole Atkins- Mondo Amore (review)
7. Wye Oak- Civilian (review)
6. Noah & the Whale- Last Night On Earth (review)
5. PJ Harvey- Let England Shake (review)
4. Valentiger- Oh, To Know (review)
3. Imaginary Cities- Temporary Resident (review)
2. Kalle Mattson- Anchors (review)
1. Iron & Wine- Kiss Each Other Clean (review) - T.O. Snob's Music

"Charge of the Light Brigade - "Young Love""

INDIE TRACK OF THE DAY - Charge of the Light Brigade is a collaboration between Luke Sneyd (Mountain Mama) and producer Marc Koecher, with bassist Jason Eagan (Clockwise, Ryan Luchuck), and drummers Zack Mykula (Bella Clava, Inhumanoids) and Owen Tennyson (Blue Peter, Rough Trade).

The band followed up an EP called We Haven’t Been Properly Introduced with their debut album, The Defiant Ones, which is the culmination of five years of work. The thirteen-track effort features strong themes of doomed heroism and the terminal tick of relationships gone awry.

Listen to “Young Love,” right-click here to download an MP3 of the track, and click here to check out Charge of the Light Brigade’s official site. - Explore Music

"Charge of the Light Brigade: "The Defiant Ones""

The Defiant Ones is the debut full length review from Charge Of The Light Brigade. The band is the latest project from veteran Toronto musician Luke Sneyd.

There's nothing fancy on the album. You won't find much in the way of trickery or gimmicks. From the horn-fueled opener "Last Door Down", all you can expect is a solid, no excuses rock record.

The slick "Young Love" is electric, making one wonder just how good it would be in a live setting. Even stronger is "Charge!!", a song that's comprised of equal parts grit and bombast.

More than a little pop sensibility seeps its way into the mix. The chorus of "Desdemona", for example, features an extremely catchy hook. What keeps things from getting schmaltzy is Sneyd's snarly vocal delivery, which can have a Mike Ness-type quality to it.

There are a handful of songs that might make you reach for the skip button. "The Visible Man" and "All You Are To Me", for instance, are fine enough songs, but one can't help but sense a lack of spark to it. And among the rest of the album 'fine' simply doesn't cut it.

The most out there track comes in the form of the unlisted track 13. The band let some swirling effects creep into their rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City". It gives us an interesting look at where the group could potentially go from here.

Best tracks: "Desdemona", "Charge!!" - T.O. Snob's Music

"Charge of the Light Brigade release The Defiant Ones"

The vision of Charge of the Light Brigade is truly a focused one. Even the most reluctant of listeners will agree; with The Defiant Ones, this is a band that certainly cannot be stopped.

The debut LP from Charge of the Light Brigade combines intense, punk-influenced melodies with an irresistible pop sensibility yet there are no tracks that pander; instead, this collection of thirteen tracks has a vision that will leave listeners helpless.

Guitarist/songwriter Luke Sneyd has long been a fixture on the Toronto scene, originally as the guitarist for electro-rock act Mountain Mama. Two solo releases included an early demo of his track ‘The Prisoner’ that was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Contest, and the video won him a Top 5 spot in the Great Canadian Band Challenge, competing for a deal with Universal Canada. And now, with new songs and new collaborators, The Defiant Ones is an honest and earnest culmination of five years of work.

Strong themes of doomed heroism and the terminal tick of relationships gone awry abound here. They’re heard in the resilient sprawl of ‘Fastest of The Losers’, the furious early 90’s punk stomp of ‘Charge!!’ and finally, a moody but ultimately fulfilling cover of ‘Atlantic City,’ which serves as the album’s closer. Each track drives its way into your subconscious with alarming and altogether defiant grace. It’s an honest approach that fuels the entire record. Candid emotions are abundant in every song.

Charge of the Light Brigade is a collaboration between songwriter Luke Sneyd and producer Marc Koecher, with bassist Jason Eagan (Clockwise, Ryan Luchuck), and drummers Zack Mykula (Bella Clava, Inhumanoids) and Owen Tennyson (Blue Peter, Rough Trade). - Travis Magazine

"Charge of the Light Brigade - The Defiant Ones album review"

The Canadian rock sensation Charge of the Light Brigade is breaking through to audiences across North America and Europe with their bold debut album “The Defiant Ones”. Charge of the Light Brigade has a rugged flare for bringing raw yet melodic sounds of alternative rock to life alongside the boisterous style of indie darlings like The National and Band of Skulls. “The Defiant Ones” also features dynamic drum beats, punchy bass lines, jagged guitars, and haunting piano passages.

Many of the band’s songs are stories of hopeless romance, the lust for life, and finding the will to look for the light of inspiration during dark times, all told through lead singer Luke Snyed’s enrapturing voice. The song “The Fastest of the Losers” tells a classic tale of how some people take pride in being at the top of a scrap heap just to know someone in the world has it worse than they do. However, the track “Young Love” is infused with so many guitar hooks they might as well be raining from the sky, as the rhythm section blasts through rapid fire dance grooves that allow Sneyd’s voice to float overtop.

All in all, the album serves as a great throw back to the alternative sounds of garage rock legends like the Pixies, and sounding equally influenced by modern artists like The National or Phoenix. The songs on “The Defiant Ones” are held together with heartbroken melodies wrapped up in Sneyd’s ravaged vocals that will leave speechless anyone searching for Canada’s next indie rock sensation. - Lithium Magazine

"Listen: Charge of the Light Brigade"

One thing you might think of when you first listen to Charge of the Light Brigade is: “Where have I heard this before?” Not the lyrics, just the sound of it all. Lead singer and songwriter Luke Sneyd has such a comfortable vocal delivery that you’ll think you’ve been listening to his records for years. Although Sneyd himself has put out his own solo releases, Charge of the Light Brigade’s debut EP We Haven’t Been Properly Introduced surfaced this past summer. Despite its familiarity, it’s a fresh, new release.

Not super familiar in the States (but making strides in Canada), Charge of the Light Brigade formed recently as Sneyd, producer Marc Koecher, bassist Jason Eagan, and drummer Zack Mykula came together from different projects to form this collaboration. The result is a blend of rock, punk, and pop, with lyrics largely about love.

“Emotionally, I’m usually writing in the key of defeatist romantic,” Sneyd says, in regards to writing The Defiant Ones. “Love is redemptive, inspiring, and an unending source of pain. You can never really reconcile those things, but you can put them under one roof and live with them a long while. Finding what’s good, fighting the good fight, not being dictated to, those are the things that inspire us, and that’s what The Defiant Ones is all about.”

The debut LP hits streets this fall, as the band is hard at work in the studio putting on the finishing touches. Sneyd promises that the sound should be pretty diverse, too, insisting that it will “run a gamut of rock and pop, with some nods to prog and synth-pop.”

For a preview, look no further than their recent EP, which includes the snare drum stomping, “Charge!!”, where Sneyd boasts that he will ”die fast, live long, every day, gonna sing my song.” It’s definitely one of the more upbeat tunes on the album. Then there’s the rather slow yet anthemic “Fastest of the Losers” that works off this “defeatist romantic” writing style. But, you can’t ignore the first single, “Young Love”, as it’s a very radio friendly tune that just so happens to fall on the pop side of things. The chorus will break your bones, too.

Now, every band has its share of influences, and Charge of the Light Brigade is no different. Arcade Fire, Muse, Social Distortion, Joe Jackson, and The Beatles, all make up the band’s favorites. But not all. In fact, one of the newer tracks dabbles with a sound that’s very Green Day meets Elvis Costello, which should prove interesting. Then again, the future for this band is interesting enough. Judging from their EP and their critically sound live performances, things could take off for them soon. This type of success shouldn’t feel too surreal for the guys, as the entire band has been in this business for quite some time, but it’ll sure feel right. Together, with the experience they have, there’s no doubt they can continue to craft a sound that’s familiar, yet experimental, different, and polished. That’s the future, though. For now, enjoy their EP and look out for The Defiant Ones this fall.

Charge! - Consequence of Sound

"Charge of the Light Brigade Plays "Young Love""

Here’s a clip by post-punk-progressive-pop Torontonian collective Charge of the Light Brigade, led by singer-songwriter Luke Sneyd and producer Marc Koetcher, further enabled by bassist Jason Eagen and Zack Mykula behind the kit. It’s “Young Love”, the lead track off of the band’s current EP We Haven’t Been Properly Introduced, the harbinger for the upcoming full-length The Defiant Ones, to be released later this year.

In this 21st century, with a legacy of pop music of various strains behind him, Luke Sneyd’s songwriting has plenty of wells from which to draw, first starting a guitarist, then as a solo act, and with a band or two besides along the way.

With his latest project, Charge of the Light Brigade, Luke has created a BIG rock band, pulling from punk, progressive rock, Pixies-inspired hard rock, and power pop. The mix is unified with an Anglicized flavour for anthemic 80s British post punk that touches on the Psychedelic Furs, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Icicle Works, just to name a few.

I spoke to Luke about major labels, the role of the producer, and out and out heroism in putting music across in the increasingly competitive field of rock music …


The Delete Bin: “Young Love”, much like all of the tracks off of the “…Introduced” EP is packed with hooks, and yet it’s very dense, with a lot going on in a fairly short span of time, while not sounding cluttered in any way. How do you strike that balance between such an ambitious arrangement and putting across a tune that is definitively, and accessibly pop music?

Luke Sneyd: Dumb luck? No, I do all the initial writing for the band. With “Young Love”, I set out to write a song that was a bit of a roller-coaster, twisty and turny and unexpected. I wanted to surprise myself as I went through it. It’s a song about that initial headlong rush of euphoria when you plunge into a full-on head-over-heels relationship, the excitement and uncertainty of it. And it was important that the structure of the song reflect that, so it jumps from a 4/4 new wave rock vibe in the verses to an almost orchestral pre-chorus in 6/8 to a heavier full-on pop-rock chorus.

Even in the chorus, the guitar-riff doesn’t start on the first beat, throwing the listener slightly off balance as the hook comes crashing home. The song uncoils like a wound-up spring, drifting into the half-time lull of the bridge, a frenetic instrumental bit, and even a brief stretch of 7/4. And yet you don’t really notice any of that listening to it. It just flows, which the band is a big part of.

Marc’s production can be very dense, and his keys parts virtuosic, but our ideas feed off each other in a very organic way. Epics in miniature is how I sometimes describe our songs. They’re meant to sweep you up, but they’re very detailed as well. We love songs that evolve sonically as they progress, that have lots of interesting moving parts, but are still fundamentally imbued with a pure pop sensibility. You don’t want to be too ornate. It’s about young love, after all; repeat it four times in the chorus! Usually for us, the biggest challenge is knowing when to stop adding. The EP’s a good crack at what we’re setting out to do, and with the album we’re currently finishing, that idea’s gonna be even more refined.

DB: Among other influences, my ear tells me that British music, particularly from the early to mid 80s, informs this song, and many others on the EP. What is it about British music of this period that translates so well into what you’re doing?

LS: Well for me, bands like The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order have been a big influence. Their exploration of darkness and light, their experimentation with pop-forms and soundscapes, those all inform what we’re doing. Also the inventiveness of songwriters from that time like Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, writing excellent pop while delving into uneasy emotional truths. I don’t know that we’re drawing from the same sound exactly, but the underlying sensibility is right at home.

While we’re defining our own sound, we’re also at pains to let the songs speak for themselves. Some contemporary acts create a very homogenous identity for themselves. We’re more interested in going down whatever strange alley a new song might open up.

DB: Charge of the Light Brigade is one of your more recent projects, with a solo career, and other bands behind you. How does the band now fulfill the artistic momentum of what came before?

LS: It’s been an interesting progression. I started out as the guitar-player in this weird glam-electro-rock outfit called Mountain Mama. I wasn’t the driver of that band (far from it), although I did do some of the writing. The best thing I took out of that experience was combining pop sensibilities with an experimental electronic bent. When I moved onto doing my own solo material, it was much more in the vein of classic singer-songwriter. I wanted to get away from synth-rock and disco-shirts and focus on writing and finding my own voice as a singer for the first time.

The two solo releases really let me explore what I could do writing material that was much more genuine. I got to stretch out emotionally and politically, which I couldn’t do before. And I got some great collaborators in Marc and Zack as that went along. When it came time to work on the next round of material, it very much felt like our ideas were meshing as a band, and we were headed in a different direction again. So Charge of the Light Brigade was born. That marriage of classic pop and experimental sensibilities has come full circle, but the music’s got a real emotional core to it this time around. And with Jason onboard playing bass now, the album’s going to be even richer and more diverse.

DB: One of your earlier tracks, the excellent “The Prisoner” gained attention in both the Unisong International Songwriting Contest and (for the video for “The Prisoner”) the Great Canadian Band Challenge, the prize of which was for a deal with Universal Canada. In light of the rise of technology, and with bands now having a bit more control over their own destinies as a result, has the goal of ‘getting signed’ on a major changed in terms of the way bands approach that goal?

LS: “The Prisoner” was a great first foot out the door for me. It was catchy as hell, and had a very cool video from director Paul Thompson. Those contests got me a glint of recognition, but it’s been a lot of hard work after that. You do control your own destiny as an unsigned artist. You’re also out there with countless other unsigned artists, a million needles in a knitting factory. Major labels have their own pitfalls, especially in today’s digital era. Good artists need time to grow, and major labels have forgotten or lost the ability to do that.

At the same time, the wide open playing field and negligible income afforded most indie artists is hardly enviable. You can do whatever you want, but you still have to find your audience. Being entirely DIY, I’m experimenting all the time with ways to get the music in the hands of people, through music discovery, Internet radio, blogs, traditional media, you name it. There’s no one way to get a band out there, which makes for a fascinating and frustrating environment. You just have to take an approach that’s both disciplined and scattershot, striving for casual ubiquity, to allow people to stumble across you. When that happens, it’s pretty exciting.

DB: The theme of heroism is a pretty big one in this song, and in taking chances that have the odds against them. This idea is clearly important to you, even evoked in the Charge of the Light Brigade name. Is this a starting point in your songwriting process, or does it emerge as you write?

LS: One of the things I love about Tennyson’s poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” is its doomed nobility, “theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do or die”. There’s an ambiguity to it that underscores most of the band’s and my own work. Life is full of love and pain, courage and futility. These are the poles that define us. Whether or not we succeed, it’s our conduct, our actions that prove the worth of what we set out to do. The best heroes in literature and film don’t set out to be that way. They act when the moment is thrust upon them, often selflessly. Sometimes they win. But not always. Which is one idea that really stands in opposition to today’s winner-culture. A lot of heroes lose.

The song “Charge!!” on the EP strives to capture that dichotomy and invert it. “Die fast, live long, every day gonna sing my song.” We are going to question why, by defying the norm, by expressing our own individuality. And we’ll probably lose, probably be consumed by the ravenous maw of an endlessly mediated, commodified society, but perhaps that act of defiance is what’s remembered. And on a good day, you get to rock.

DB: Production plays a vitally important role in your music, with Charge of the Light Brigade acknowledging producer Marc Koetcher as not only a producer, but actually an integral part of the life of the band. How did that relationship form, and how has it evolved in the light of the EP and the upcoming The Defiant Ones record?

LS: Marc and I first worked together when he did the soundtrack for a short film I was making with Paul Thompson. Paul was a buddy of mine from film school, and after Mountain Mama broke up, I wrote a short serial-killer-thriller called Where the Wild Things Go that Paul directed. Marc did this fantastic string arrangement for the soundtrack, very evocative of Bernard Hermann. We hit it off, and as the desire to start working on my own music got going, Marc agreed to produce my solo efforts.

His creative contributions to those releases were really integral, and part of the impetus for forming Charge of the Light Brigade was to acknowledge the depth of his involvement. He is a real creative force in the studio. That’s where he focuses his energy, only occasionally joining the band on-stage for live gigs. Our sensibilities and approach dovetail perfectly, and the sound of what we do owes a huge debt to his creativity. He’s forever experimenting in his studio, building his own tape loops and amplifiers (not to mention kite-boards and photography rigs – he’s an interesting guy), fiddling with new ways to capture and treat sounds. He gives the band its unique sonic slant for sure.

DB: Toronto as a vibrantly musical city is in many ways a well-kept secret. But, now with the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Worldmovie, where Toronto, and Toronto music venues (like Lee’s Palace, where Charge of the Light Brigade are to appear on October 1st…) are named and highlighted, the city has the potential to be more widely recognized as a musical hotbed. How does that impact your band, and others coming up on the local scenes?

LS: I think Toronto’s been out there for a little while as an interesting place for music. Bands like Broken Social Scene and Metric have been very successful and done a lot to raise the stature of what’s happening here currently. I’m not sure how directly that impacts us. Maybe there’s more international curiosity for what’s going on, what interesting bands are bubbling under on the scene. Being in the thick of it, it doesn’t always feel that way.

It’s a good size city and there’s a lot of competition for attention. You do build little communities of bands, though. And when things start to grow, there’s a palpable exhilaration around that, like when Tokyo Police Club was first taking off. It is really cool seeing Toronto honestly up on the screen as itself, whether in Scott Pilgrim or the new indie flick No Heart Feelings, which is awesome. Not a faux New York or some other American stand-in, just its own precocious self. That’s something we can get behind!


Thanks, Luke!

Find out more by visiting the Charge of the Light Brigade official site. And follow them @ChargeBand on Twitter for real-time updates and news.

Enjoy! - The Delete Bin

"Music Now: Spotlight on Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade"

In this week spotlight with Canadian Indie Band Charge of the Light Brigade, our Webzine spoke to Luke Sneyd (Vocals, Guitar) about the band’s cool sound and fantastic music that music lovers will immensely enjoy. We discovered some cool facts from Luke about the band that we were excited to share with our readers. Here is the entire interview with Luke for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Isaac: HI Charge of the Light Brigade! You are living, working, and performing in Toronto, Ontario. Describe the music scene in your location and what does this mean to you as an artist/band.

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: Toronto is a great city with a lot going on in its music scene. Which can be a boon, but it's also a challenge. There are so many bands and so many other things to do that the live scene is often hard-scrabble and random. In a broad context, there are great bands like Metric and Broken Social Scene that have come out of here, so there's good international awareness of the city's scene. But also a plethora of copy-cat bands. Seeing one Broken Tokyo Stars Club after another can be wearying. Doing original work takes time to find an audience. Oddly, we've enjoyed more success with gigs away from our hometown.

We've got a strong classic sensibility. I myself love great rock and the craft of a perfect pop-song. David Bowie would top the list for me personally for his incredible creative adaptability, closely followed by Macca, just 'cause how cool would that be? Neil Finn's another who's a great writer and really still exploring what he can create today. And Tom Waits would be a gas, but I doubt we'd get much writing done. For bassist Jason Eagan, his holy trinity consists of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Graham Parsons.

Album Cover
Isaac: What’s the biggest challenge of pursuing a career in music?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: Money? Awareness? We live in a time with incredible opportunities for artists, and the possibility of overnight success is more available than ever before. And yet the ease of access makes it a million-channel universe. Finding people that like the music, identify and want to support the band as living breathing artists that have to pay the rent, and eat occasionally is a real challenge. When they do pop out of the woodwork, it's so gratifying, like stumbling across a kindred spirit.

Isaac: What do you like about performing in an intimate setting versus a huge setting and vice versa?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: Intimate environments rule for connecting with an audience. We haven't played a truly huge setting yet, some small festivals. Would love to mount a spectacle tour - the things that Trent Reznor and NIN can do with a stadium are mind-blowing for instance - but I like a medium-sized club for the direct relationship and engagement with the audience.

Isaac: What is the process you take to write? How do you go from a spark to a completed finished song?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: All the songs start with me. As a songwriter, I usually present the band with pretty developed ideas from the get-go. Most of the time, the lyrics, melody and structure of a song are already worked out, and then everyone else builds on top of that foundation. "Young Love" was like that, me fiddling and trying to surprise myself from one part to the next, till the whole epic stew was pretty much cooked up and ready to serve. Arrangements shift and evolve in the fleshing out process, but usually the songs don't change a lot. Marc's production adds a huge amount to the tonal character of the songs, adding layers of keys and guitar, and opening tangents or shifts in the dynamics. Zack's drumming brings a lot of energy and innovation, and Jason's come up with some great bass lines in the time he's been with the band. As a guitarist, my original ideas come from noodling around on an acoustic most of the time. Often though, the best ideas pop into my head away from the guitar, just a random neuron firing a memorable line or melody unbidden into my head.

Luke Sneyd and the Deed (Photo by Elena Vardon)
Isaac: When did you decide you wanted to take the DIY (Do It Yourself) route?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: When no one would sign us!? LOL! As an artist or band in the early stages, DIY is really all you've got, and the tools are out there to get yourself heard. It's a lot of hard work, but you stand to reap a lot of benefits, too. If you break through! I think most emerging artists benefit greatly from graduating to a smallish label.

Isaac: What are the pros and cons of doing everything yourself vs. working with others in the music industry?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: DIY you're shouldering all the risk and reward. Could be a windfall down the road, but reality is that music is a tremendous investment, recording, putting out material, gigging, promoting. If you can build a team to help you develop all those elements on your own, you've got a good shot. Working with a label can give you a leg up on some of those things. But it has to be a good fit and they have to believe in the music, your music, as much as you do. The best thing about DIY is the total creative freedom, making the songs that we want to make.

Isaac: What is the most difficult part about juggling family life, work, and a music career for you as a performer/artist/band?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: Keeping everybody motivated and on the same page. As a band we know we're creating some great material. The EP is a first taste of that, and we're really confident that the album will stand out as something pretty damn fantastic. At the same time, building an audience has been challenging, and for every good show we have, we've endured another playing to twenty people in a dank pool hall. Which is hard on the band, hard on family, who come out and support a lot, and hardly rewarding. You just have to be adamant you're creating something cool, memorable, and even better work lies just ahead.

Isaac: What are your plans for the future?

Luke Sneyd of Charge of the Light Brigade: Eating some leftover pizza and giving the cats a flea treatment? Oh the glamour! Seriously, finishing off our album The Defiant Ones is top priority right now. There's a bunch of really great songs we're working on, and we're pressing hard to have it out by late fall this year (you can check out a preview track "Temptation Lies" by being a fan of our Facebook page). And getting the word out to a bigger audience and pushing the live show to another level. The band's already super-solid, so the next logical step is other-worldly. Can't wait!! - Junior's Cave

"Luke Sneyd"

California's No Cover Magazine calls Luke Sneyd "an amazing unsigned artist". "Waiting" is included on the magazine's Groupies Suck Vol. 10 compilation, distributed across North America. - No Cover Magazine

"Listen to your heartbeat"

Noise Staff
Open your hearts this Valentineʼs
Day to Amnesty International and
a night dedicated to the heart of the
global community.
Torontoʼs legendary El Mo-
cambo, at 464 Spadina Ave., will
host a night of musical awareness
in association with Amnesty Inter-
national. With celebrity guests and
four local bands performing, the
main fl oor of the El Mocambo will
set the stage for fundraising and
human rights education during the
Open Hearts concert.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and cover
charges are $15, or $10 with the
donation of a canned good.
Originally from Iran, brothers
Sepehr and Soheil Osloobi, of the
group Blurred Vision, say they
have always been involved in or
around world politics and social
issues unfolding. Growing up with
a four-star general father, they left
Iran during the war with Iraq.
“We saw many human rights
violations and atrocities commit-
ted by the current Islamic regime
in our homeland of Iran and are
still seeing the devastation and
stranglehold that such a corrupt
and ignorant government has on
society and its people.”
An activity of the Open Eyes
Endeavour they began in 2006, the
Open Hearts concert is something
they have started to “spread aware-
ness to the masses and bring new
members on board to support us
and unite in this very necessary
Hoping to fi ll the El Mocambo
to capacity, Sepehr Osloobi would
like to raise roughly $5,000, al-
though he says their goal is not
fi nancial, by any means.
“Our goal of uniting people with
music and awareness has a far
greater price tag than all the money
in the world. For everyday people
of our planet to make the changes
we so desperately seek ... to wake
up in the morning and know that
all humanity has awoken with the
comfort that we have moved on
from our barbaric ways of war and
fear, there truly is no currency to
withstand the enormity of that
price tag.”
Blurred Vision, the Joel Light-
man Band, Chris Bottomley and
Brainfudge, and Luke Sneyd will
all be performing on Feb. 14.
Toronto-based musician Luke
Sneyd heard about the concert
through a posting on SonicBids.
com, an online posting for fes-
tivals, club shows and other op-
portunities. He says he was eager
to play another charity show after
playing for in No-
vember 2007.
“That was a great gig: really pos-
itive vibe, good bands and also at
the El Mocambo. The Open Hearts
show looks like itʼll be even better.
Weʼre looking forward to it.”
Impressed with Amnestyʼs work,
Sneyd believes weʼre living in an
era where personal freedoms are
under a real threat.
“Iʼm depressed and astounded
by the behaviour of our American
friends under Dubya [U.S. Presi-
dent George W. Bush], and Iʼve
written a couple of songs to give
voice to that anger. Working to free
prisoners of conscience and free
thought is so important, when even
western democracies are disappear-
ing people to mysterious ʻfacilitiesʼ
for ʻinterrogation.ʼ”
England-born Joel Lightman of
the Joel Lightman Band feels that
Valentineʼs Day this year should be
celebrated with the world in mind.
“We all know what Valentineʼs
Day means to us, but what about
victims of oppressive regimes
worldwide who will spend the day
torn from their loved ones? ... Rath-
er than spending $20 on overpriced
roses, people might donate it to a
charity that stands for the equality
and freedom we cherish and seeks
to accomplish that in countries
where Valentineʼs Day would seem
a sad day of refl ection rather than a
celebration of love.”
The stage at Toronto’s El Mocambo will host four bands on Feb. 14, all helping to raise awareness and funding for Amnesty International. - Niagara News

"Luke Sneyd and the Deed - Salvo EP"

Luke Sneyd and the Deed - Salvo EP
Review by Alex Young

If you’re wondering what happened to rock songs without clichés or bands without preconceptions, let Luke Sneyd and the Deed put you at ease with their Salvo EP. After trudging through the last few years as a solo artist, Luke Sneyd found two new troops named Scott Hannigan and Zack Mykula to create a trio to play his tunes. The Salvo EP reinforces the fact that Sneyd doesn’t sound like any of the auto-tuned artists on rock radio, but the point is he doesn’t have to. It’s so far from of everything else on the FM waves these days that Sneyd and company can celebrate their own sound, while proving they don’t need anybody else, considering they released the EP on their own. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear a group forging their own identity instead of imitating their idols. Sneyd delivers his broken down beatnik poetry through a voice that hasn’t been heard since the war cry of Joe Strummer was laid to rest. Songs like “Little Miss Apathy” and “The Real Heart” allow the band’s imperfections to illuminate tracks that shouldn’t be sung by anyone else. The instrumental indie-rock riot “Hadron and the Supercollider” let Sneyd and the Deed get down and dirty with garage rock distortion while remaining groovy enough to keep every member going with the flow. Although the release successfully scratches the surface of what these hooligans can get away with, it still leaves something to be desired. Despite that the trio gets their dirty work done; the real success story is that they sound organic enough to work as a band instead of being a solo act groomed into a group. Anyone reeling in anticipation after hearing the rugged majesty of the Salvo EP should wait for the release of the band’s full-length album the Defiant Ones, coming this fall. At the end of the day, Sneyd sums it up best by singing, “I don’t know where all this goes, but if it ends in love it’s worth the hurt I’m sure.” As long as Sneyd and the Deed keep charging on with such high spirits, the Salvo EP should be the seed that will let their saga begin to grow. - Fazer Magazine

"Luke Sneyd and the Deed - Salvo EP Review"

Salvo is the forthcoming EP from Toronto indie rockers Luke Sneyd and the Deed. The second release from trio.

A moody and mature release Salvo is erected around the smoldering words of Sneyd. However, the rest of the band is not to be overlooked as they provide a solid foundation to these tracks. The rumbling rhythm section on songs like the fuzzy instrumental "Hadron and the Supercollider" give the music a big, beefy sound.

Spacey synth lines added to cuts like "Little Miss Apathy" breathe life to the cuts. That atmospheric sound juxtaposes well with Sneyd's growly vocal style, creating a combination unique within the indie rock universe.

"Wheels Come Off" approaches modern Arena Rock territory. The big, glossy presentation comes of as almost a Glasvegas track without the Glam Rock posturing.

On Salvo, Luke Sneyd and the Deed give us a big indie rock sound which should appeal to those who get weary of the bad-poet-with-a-guitar kind of indie that we're constantly inundated with.

Luke Sneyd and the Deed are holding a record release party for Salvo on April 11th at Lee's Palace in Toronto.

Best tracks: "Wheels Come Off", "Little Miss Apathy"
- T.O. Snobs Music

"Luke Sneyd's All of Us Cities"

Luke Sneyd is a Toronto singer-songwriter. His debut solo album "All of Us Cities" is full of high energy modern power pop. His big single "The Prisoner" sounds a little like Jason Falkner, complete with muscular guitar melodies and a killer hook. The lyrics are pretty good too, and they take a slightly obtuse approach in "Unknown" for example: "Your love is like a scorpion ... when it stings the poison is like heaven." Luke takes a political shots at Bush with "I'm The Decider." The production and musicianship is crisp like Brian Ray or Criag Bartock's albums last year. Sometimes the songs take as turn into U2 territory for example in "Timeless" it's rythym and driving drum line remind me of Bono's earlier efforts. "Galileo" also stands out with extra heavy guitar with references to science vs. religion. It sounds like a mix between Rush and The Breetles! It's not exactly politically correct stuff - it's just plain cool stuff. Also no real duds here either. A good album and a definite e-music pick-up! Rating: 8/10

"All of Us Cities Review in IndieInTune"

Toronto-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Luke Sneyd is one of those musicians who boasts a singing voice that REALLY sounds like he’s from England. That’s the first thing you notice.
After that, it’s a whole barrage of things that hit you in the face. He’s catchy. He can carry a tune, he can write a song, and he can make it all interesting. Sneyd, in fact, carries a pop tune with him wherever he goes; the trick is, he wraps it in indie sensibility, so he never risks selling out. He just remains painfully catchy and easy to listen to no matter what mood you’re in, judging by his 2007 debut All of Us Cities.

Upon first listen, it’s easy to say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Sneyd is better off when in the higher register of his vocal range. Songs like “The Prisoner” lose something as he tries to sing low notes he can barely reach, while others like title track “All of Us Cities” hang on to a hopeful imagery that make them worth listening to. Imagine Bono singing bass parts in a choir. Not as moving, right?

But even a few vocal shortcomings don’t make Sneyd a bad musician. After a stint with now defunct Mountain Mama (Sneyd’s bio describes Mountain Mama’s sound as “chicken-fried synth-rock”, whatever that means), Sneyd is still working on figuring out who he is as a solo musician. Combining the emo tinges of Sunny Day Real Estate with the endearing feeling of Coldplay’s rockin’ songs, Sneyd is well on his way to that discovery. Definitely not a guy to miss out on.
--Nikki Wertheim -

"All of Us Cities Review"

"Luke Sneyd is ready for the airwaves. Every song on his solo debut album All of Us Cities is a strong candidate, and the entire effort has “adult contemporary” written all over it. These catchy and easygoing tunes that induce head bopping are the result of two years of toil in the basement of producer Marc Koecher (MK Soundworks). Fans of Wilco, Blue Rodeo and Granddaddy: you have a new artist to enjoy.

Track 10, “Galileo,” stands out as the odd track with crunchy guitar riffs and heavy synth. Aside from the sound difference, the lyrics are politically charged, hinting at political powers using religion to spur conflict. Looks like Sneyd just screwed himself out of Wal-Mart distribution."
--Lidia Vila -

"Finding an Identity in the Big City"

For some homegrown Toronto singer/songwriters, growing up in Canada's largest city can be both a blessing and a curse in terms of finding a personal identity.

Yet, Luke Sneyd has managed to bridge that gap by exploring the worlds of urban angst and the resiliency of the human spirit in the songs on his debut album, All Of Us Cities.

First released online last fall, where it caught the attention of several prominent music websites, the album's recent proper release has resulted from Sneyd and his band taking their first serious stab at getting on the road. It's a slightly new experience for Sneyd, whose solo career came about almost by accident, following a stint playing guitar in an electro-rock combo called Mountain Mama.

"I'd sort of half-heartedly given up on music when that band suddenly imploded," Sneyd explains. "I turned to film, which is what I studied in university, and started making this short thriller called Where The Wild Things Go. I found this guy, Marc Koecher, to score it, but when we decided that we needed a couple of actual songs, I reached into my grab bag and Marc and I recorded them together. Doing those songs worked out so well that eventually Marc suggested we make a whole album together."

With the two of them handling nearly all the production themselves, All Of Us Cities soon took shape as a finely-crafted alt-pop gem, with hints of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson coming to the fore. In fact, Sneyd admits that traces of a British accent are often unwittingly evident when he sings.

"I think I blame that on my public school choir teacher who always made us sing with that kind of diction," he says. "Obviously I'm a fan of all the great British pop songwriters too, but so far I've had a bit of trouble keeping my songs under three or four minutes.

"That's probably my ultimate goal, to have about a dozen of those perfectly crafted nuggets, just because it's been such a great feeling on the few occasions when I feel I've gotten close to that."

While Sneyd says he was thoroughly pleased with what he and Koecher accomplished in the studio, he realized as soon as the album was finished that he needed to put a band together. "We put ads out and experimented with a few different lineups, and that's been an entirely different adventure.

"At that time I'd also gotten into this online battle of the bands through a video I'd posted, and was asked to play as part of the final competition at the Hard Rock in Toronto. So I really had to scramble to put a band together.

"We did all right even though we didn't win, but that was the motivation I needed to get things happening. At this point we're a trio, but it's really solid and I'm happy with how the shows have been going." - The Record, Jason Schneider

"Luke Sneyd"

Sneyd and his band are like fresh minty breath after brushing your teeth thoroughly. sharing the style of sloan or brendan benson, the bubblegummish power pop addresses the usual array of subject matter (loss, alienation, politics). songs like "unknown," "timeless" and "waiting," however, are lovable enough that those subjects are overshadowed. - Advance Copy


Charge of the Light Brigade
The Defiant Ones, 2011
We Haven't Been Properly Introduced, 2010

Luke Sneyd
Salvo - February, 2009
All of Us Cities - August, 2007

Featured on Ontario college radio, Alan Cross's Explore Music, XMU, numerous internet stations and New York and European TV.



Sometimes albums are so aptly titled that the record takes on a life of its own while at the same time strictly adhering to the title itself. Charge of the Light Brigade's debut full-length The Defiant Ones is one such album, with a fierce, dedicated aesthetic.

Its wide-ranging scope combines intense, punk-influenced melodies with an expansive and at times untouchable groove. The album possesses an irresistible pop sensibility yet still there are no tracks that pander; instead, this collection of thirteen tracks has a vision that will leave listeners helpless.

Guitarist/songwriter Luke Sneyd has long been a fixture on the Toronto scene, originally as the guitarist for electro-rock act Mountain Mama. Two solo releases included an early demo of his track ‘The Prisoner’ that was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Contest, and the video won him a Top 5 spot in the Great Canadian Band Challenge, competing for a deal with Universal Canada. And now, with new songs and new collaborators, The Defiant Ones is an honest and earnest culmination of five years of work.

“Together, with the experience they have, there’s no doubt they can continue to craft a sound that’s familiar, yet experimental, different, and polished. Luke Sneyd has such a comfortable vocal delivery that you’ll think you’ve been listening to his records for years.” - Consequence of Sound

"The songs on “The Defiant Ones” are held together with heartbroken melodies wrapped up in Sneyd’s ravaged vocals that will leave speechless anyone searching for Canada’s next indie rock sensation." - Lithium Magazine

Strong themes of doomed heroism and the terminal tick of relationships gone awry abound here. They’re heard in the resilient sprawl of ‘Fastest of The Losers’, the furious early 90’s punk stomp of ‘Charge!!’ and finally, a moody but ultimately fulfilling cover of ‘Atlantic City,’ which serves as the album’s closer. Each track drives its way into your subconscious with alarming and altogether defiant grace. It’s an honest approach that fuels the entire record. Candid emotions are channeled into tracks like ‘The Visible Man’, which features a bruising post-punk feel. And ‘The Real Heart’ swells beyond expectations.

The vision of Charge of the Light Brigade is certainly a focused one. Even the most defiant of listeners will agree; with The Defiant Ones, this is a band that certainly cannot be stopped. They've been played on college and internet radio in Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe, and were featured on Alan Cross's Explore Music in Canada.

Charge of the Light Brigade is a collaboration between songwriter Luke Sneyd and producer Marc Koecher, with bassist Jason Eagan (Clockwise, Ryan Luchuck), and Owen Tennyson (Blue Peter, Rough Trade).

For music and more info please visit:

For album review copies, interview requests, and all other media inquiries please contact:

Must Be Santa
Sarah Wyse