Downsview
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Downsview

Band Rock Punk

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"Live on air performance"

Downsview performed a 30 minute set Live on air, then had a half hour interview with Caredog. - The Rock Show 100.3 FM CKMS


"Bought The T-Shirt"

November 21st: Interviewed and performed on video for new punk documentary, Bought The T-shirt. Due for release in 2008. - Between Worlds Entertainment


"Indie Spotlight"

Interviewed on Air Wednesday August 15th 2007. - 108 The Hammer


"Fuck Family Day"

"Either I'm going deaf or The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern learned that volume knobs have settings other than 11. Arguably once the loudest club in the city, The Horseshoe is showing its age (it turned 60 last year) by turning the volume down to match every other club in Toronto. This wasn’t enough to stop Suckerfactory, Luke Sneyd and Downsview from rocking a small Family Day crowd.

Most likely music lovers were hungover and burnt out after a long weekend of partying, because even though it was a free show the crowd was sparse. Opening act Downsview seemed to have brought out a good chunk of the crowd that appeared to be mostly family and friends. However, Downsview has some rabid friends that made the small crowd seem like a packed house. Downsview brought more energy than most bands would with a full house. From the first note of their song "Never Is The Right Time," Downsview played a flawless set from their upcoming album. Drummer Soichiro Koike quite possibly had the most energy. Between songs he would annihilate the drums, then Soichiro would make full use of his microphone by yelling random things or searching for a woman that would help him start a family in anticipation for next year’s Family Day. The rest of the band also shared in the back and forth banter between the crowd and showed that they were having a great time and were going to make the best of this show.".....

..." These are the kind of shows bands cut their teeth on. The kind of gigs that artists like to forget, but in the end shape their character, integrity and test their love for music. Hopefully next time any of us sees these bands, they'll be headlining and the place will be packed."
-By: TJ Liebgott
Feb 16 2008 - Toronto Music Scene


"Downsview is my current addiction"

By Sheena Lyonnais

"Every since seeing Downsview rock the Horseshoe Tavern on February 18, their five track EP has been playing my iPod on repeat. They have won me over with a combination of catchy lyrics, solid instrumentation, excellent stage presence and a good old combination of punk riffs and rock attitudes.

This could easily be thanks to the band’s exotic upbringings: singer Joel Richard hails from Saskatchewan, guitarist Mike Lebon from the Mauritius Island, guitarist Carlos Lopez from El Salvador, bassist Rawi Samman from Egypt and drummer Soichiro Koike from Tokyo. Their diverse backgrounds combined with their previous band experiences have generated a solid band with an inarguably unique foundation, one that sets them apart from a lot of bands down this vein of music.

They are currently working on recording their first full-length album, which includes new songs and remixes of songs released on a previous EP (one that comes in a paper bag!). They run their band in a total DIY fashion, with Lebon being the engineer behind the recordings.

“I try to mix it. I’m trying to get it to sound decent,” Lebon said after their set. “Stuff will be changed around with added parts. It is going to be overall better. We’re just trying to build upon that to get something really get good out for March.”

“We’re probably going to shop around for an indie label once we have everything recorded,” singer Richard said. “We might use a company called Indie Pool, they manufacture it and also distribute it to stores like HMV. It’s not bad if you’re not signed.”

The band is also in the midst of working on their first tour, which they hope to have booked for the summer.

“I’m from the west coast, my old band [To the Point] played a lot around the west coast, so I have but Downsview hasn’t at all. The furthest west we’ve been was like Kitchener. We’ve only had two out of town shows, Kitchener and Montreal so far, so we need to get out there,” Richard said.

But with touring comes money and risk. There weren’t a lot of people at the Horseshoe show, but I’m sure that was more thanks to it being held on the Monday of a long weekend than anything else. And without label support, touring can rack up a hefty bill.

“We’re looking into if it’s actually going to happen. You don’t want to travel the country and play to two people; you want to make sure that doesn’t happen. With my old band a lot of shows were shit and no one would be there,” Richard said.

hat might work in Downsview’s favour is the fact they’re also a group of entertainers. How often do you go to a show and hear the drummer randomly shout things like “let’s get drunk after the show!” or rant about how cool Japanese punk bands are? I’m going to go with never. It’s unconventional in the role of drummer, but just another aspect that makes the band fun to watch.

In fact, drummer Soichiro Koike is an interesting component to Downsview alone. While Lebon and Lopez met in high school, Samman was recruited from their friend circle, and Richard and Koike were found on music posting boards. Koike moved from Japan specifically to join a band in Canada.

“I saw his post a few times. I saw it like seven times. For some reason no one wanted this kid in their band,” Lebon said. “I met him and he ended up being awesome for us. He’s a great guy and we’re really lucky to have him. He’s making a huge effort to improve, and it’s nice to see someone as dedicated to his instrument as he is. He stays because of Downsview. He stays here because of Downsview, which is why I think he is the most dedicated member.”

Rumour has it Koike was actually influenced by former pop punk heroes Sum 41. Pop music is very big in Japan.

Downsview will also be featured in an upcoming punk documentary called Bought The T-Shirt, due out in 2009. According to their manager Daisy MacLean, they were actually the inspiration for it. In a radio interview they were asked if they were punk, to which they responded they weren’t because they were never part of the punk era, which got MacLean thinking.

“It’s a documentary about Punk music and politics, going around finding bands from all decades,” said MacLean, who is fronting the project. “They’re trying to find out where punk tied into politics came from and why an artists who is a punk artist has an obligation to kind of be associated with major issues that come up like being vegetarian, being vegan, if you’re a punk artist you have to be against Bush. It’s looking at the first bands like the Ramones that weren’t political. It’s going to include a bunch of bands.”

Toronto band Hostage Life was also interviewed in the documentary. Although Downsview didn’t comment on their stance in our interview, we look forward to hearing it when the documentary comes out. Don’t be surprised if by 2009, Downsview is one of the names that sells the film. - Toronto Music Scene


Discography

Self-Titled EP
Into The Rabbit Hole (Available end of May 2008)

Photos

Bio

Formed in the fall of 2005 and hailing from the back yards of Toronto, Downsview have come out of nowhere with their strong charismatic stage presence and a sound that is carved in the underground punk ethic, but which maintains mainstream accessibility. Downsview has a real multi-cultural edge that makes them so refreshingly Canadian. None of their members are originally from Toronto; Joel Richard, Dog River, Saskatchewan (vocals); Mike Lebon, Mauritius Island (Guitar); Carlos Lopez, El Salvador (Guitar); Rawi Samman, Egypt (6 String Bass); Soichiro Koike, Tokyo, Japan (Drums).

It was the winter of 2005 when mad drummer Soichiro Koike left Japan and his band, Absolute Zero, behind and began the long journey to Canada. On the other side of the world, Joel Richard realized he had gone as far as he could with his band, To The Point, so he packed his bags, said goodbye to Dog River and made the trip to Toronto. Meanwhile guitarists Mike Lebon (of Shorty) and Carlos Lopez (formerly of Fringe) began to collaborate, trying to create a sound that was different, something that satisfied a craving as yet unfulfilled by their current bands. The two guys encouraged Rawi Samman to join them on his six string bass, and although reluctant at first, Rawi came to understand their sound. They connected with Soichiro, who was eager to begin playing music again and brought his own unique energy to the group. Mike realized that his voice did not match the sound they were looking for and stepped aside to allow Joel Richard to complete the band. It all came together one night in the fall of 2005, in Downsview.

Downsview has shared the stage with A Thousand Cures, Fiction City, Brass Knux, The Balance, Letters To Elora, Socialight, The Labour of, Frankie White and The Dead Idols, Zuku, Arya, October Sky, Vanderpark, Mr. Plow and The 3Tards.

Their Debut EP, Into The Rabbit Hole, released May 2008, combines Joel Richard’s extraordinary voice with energy pumping guitar riffs to create some seriously inspired hard rock creations with major musical presence.With standout tracks like "Never Is The Right Time," and "Leave It Alone" don't be surprised if you find Downsview at the top of the charts and beyond.

Currently managed by Between Worlds Entertainment.