Down With Webster
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Down With Webster

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"Interview with Down With Webster"

You never know what to expect at CMJ. There are over thousands of bands and solo artists from all types of genres performing, how do you pick? How about just seeing a band that has it all: the edge of Rock, the swagger of Hip Hop, and the fun of Pop? Down With Webster is not your average band! If you haven’t heard of them now, don’t worry, this Canadian band is slowly invading the United States.

One of the cool parts of CMJ are going to random locations you would least expect for a concert. The Pure Volume House was tucked away on Extra Place between Bowery and 2nd, and any other night I might not have thought to check out a concert in that alley way, but Friday October 22nd I went with the intentions of checking out Down with Webster.

Patiently waiting for the seven member band to take the tiny stage set up in the basement venue, I struck up a conversation with four gentlemen from the Columbia University track team. Their excitement and general energy around seeing Down With Webster made me even more curious about this band’s music. These gentlemen made it clear that DWW are not like any other band and wanted to make sure I had enough room to jump around and let loose because they were for sure going to go crazy. They told me how they stumbled across a DWW song online and had been obsessed with the group ever since.

When Down With Webster took the stage, I don’t know who were more entertaining to watch, Down With Webster or the gentlemen from Columbia’s track team. They warned me, and they were right, from the moment Pat, Cam, Bucky, Tyler, Marty, Kap Ten, and Diggy took the stage, they went nonstop like a chemical reaction between 5-hour Energy and Red Bull drinks. They exceed my expectations. The band breathed new life into music that at times has become cookie cutter when they performed songs such as Go Time and Whoa Is Me.

Check out JSD’s exclusive interview with DWW’s Tyler, Cam and Bucky. Find out what the name Down With Webster really means and see if the members stay friends after being challenged to JSD’s Speed Round.

Down With Webster is currently on tour with 3OH!3 and for exclusive footage of their CMJ performance, click here. Visit DWW’s website for tour and music updates. - The John Simon Daily


"Best Bands From CMJ 2010"

Down With Webster (Toronto, ON, Canada)
“As an artist there is something just a little extra special about performing in NY; it has been a dream of ours for such a long time, that we still can’t believe it’s happening.” – Pat Gillett of Down with Webster - Blackbook Magazine


Discography

Time To Win vol. II (2011) Universal
Time To Win vol. I (2009) Motown / Universal

Singles

Your Man
Whoa Is Me
She's Dope
Big Wheel

Down With Webster (2007) Indie LP

Photos

Bio

Most middle school assignments feel futile and annoying in the moment. And then there are those that are still paying dividends more than a decade later.

Consider the beginnings of Down With Webster in that latter group. Originated during a seventh grade music class assignment, the genre-bending six-piece band has since come a long way, selling hundreds of thousands of singles and touring extensively, helping to build a fervent fan base. Now, they're finally ready to release Time To Win, Vol. II, their first full length album and a follow up to 2009's EP, Time To Win, Vol. 1.

“We’re really excited. It feels like the first thing we've done that's totally relevant to where we are as a band at the same time you're releasing it,” says bass guitar and keyboard player Tyler Armes. “We’ve grown a lot since the EP, and this record is a big step forward musically, lyrically, and from a production standpoint.”

Where DWW is at now is an impressive ways away from where they started. Created for that school project in 1998, the Toronto based crew decided to carry on even after the school year, and practiced extensively in a garage at Armes's dad's house that summer. Once high school started, the guys began to get spot gigs, playing shows around the city in clubs where they weren’t legally allowed to buy drinks. Before long Armes and his bandmates, guitarist/singer Pat Gillett, rappers Bucky and Cam Hunter, drummer Marty and D!ggy the DJ, were winning talent shows, making fast fans of friends, friends of friends and their friends and, upon high school graduation, decided to bypass university life to chase their musical dreams.

“I think we all had this naïve idea that we were going be the youngest, coolest band of all-time, and be on the radio when we were 17 and 18,” says drummer Andrew “Marty” Martino. “We were excited to be out on the scene at a young age, but looking back now, it’s really clear that it was better not to be exposed too early.

They weren't ready, he says in hindsight, because the group was still honing in on their unique sound. Not easily classifiable, DWW employs elements of rock, hip-hop, funk music and just about everything in between in their recordings. “There are a couple guys who are into classic hip-hop; our drummer Marty is into 1970s fusion and R&B; our lead singer Pat is huge into Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin,” Armes says of the band's make-up. “So I think the band was an outlet for everybody to add their piece and what made them happy musically. And that's the sound we still have today—drawing from pretty much everything that's been done before and trying to make something new out of it. It's not extremely focused on being one narrow thing, like a lot of music is. It's a melting pot.

Over time, that eclectic-sounding stew caught the ears of plenty of tastemakers. The guys spent some time in the studio with super producer Timbaland, who wanted to sign them, as did legendary Kiss frontman Gene Simmons. But no situation felt right until Universal Motown, which inked the group to a recording contract in April 2009. Then, in October of that year, DWW released their seven-song EP Time To Win, Vol. I. The release was certified Gold after increasing in sales week-over-week for 18 months after release. It spawned three Top 10 radio hits that each went Platinum and had a #1video on MuchMusic. DWW continued touring relentlessly throughout North America gaining legions of new fans with their incomparable live show, constant interaction with fans online and through home-made videos and free new music that culminated in DWW winning Online Artist of the Year at the Canadian New Media Awards, beating out Arcade Fire and Deadmau5.

Before having an official single or video, the group was able to tour across Canada, packing sold out clubs on the strength of social media word-of-mouth alone. Their energy, excitement, passion and ability to have fun on stage all make DWW a huge draw for hordes of concertgoers, exemplified by the festival circuit of more than a dozen shows that they headlined this past summer.

“I think one of the reasons that it connects live is because [after] kids see it's a real band and everyone's playing and playing well, it adds another dimension to the music” Armes says of the success of the band's renowned live performances. “In terms of hip-hop shows, a lot of times people are used to seeing a rapper and their DJ, so I think it's a cool thing to see a live band on stage. There's a ton of energy on stage. Everyone goes bananas the whole time we're up there.”

He and his cohorts are aware of the importance that the stage has played in their recent rise, so it remains their love and focus. “Our live show is everything,” he continues. “Of the music alone, it's not enough for people to totally get into what you do. We were playing a show in Chicago and Bootsy Collins was there and came backstage to meet us and said he loved what we did. For me, that's a lot cooler