Jay Spectre
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Jay Spectre

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TORONTO -A band with local roots has taken the next step in the road to conquering the Toronto music scene.

Jay Spectre, an eight-piece band that first formed in Lindsay, will soon be releasing its debut CD "Too Little, Too Much" very soon.

The band consists of Mike Field on trumpet, Paul Turley on bass, Dean Yates on trombone, Katherine Watson on flute and saxophone, Jon Hembrey on vocals and guitar, Sean Seagal on percussion, James Oliver on vocals and guitar and Jeremy Drury on drums.

The group began as a foursome consisting of locals Watson, Hembrey, Oliver and Drury.

However, after moving their operations to Toronto, Oliver told The Lindsay Post they decided to add more elements to the band.

"We thought it would be awesome to add brass and percussion," he said.

As Jay Spectre has grown, Oliver said it has evolved into more of a family than a musical group.

"The name Jay Spectre originated from a solo project of mine, and it's more of a family name now, like the Sopranos," he said. "Everything we do, it's like blood now, I think that's what sets us aside."

The band was formed in 2002, but Oliver said they really began focusing on a full-length album two years ago.

"We were planning an approach about how we wanted to get our music out," he said, stating the they had spent a good amount of time working on their live shows.

"We are definitely a live band, that's definitely our strongest point," he added.

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Despite that, Oliver did admit he himself feels most comfortable in the studio.

Oliver, one of the songwriters of the group, said it is one of the few times that he feels he can be 100 per cent honest.

"It's no holds barred," he said. He admitted that it is sometimes in the Toronto music scene it can be hard for a group to make a name for its self.

"It's really easy to get lost in the scene," he said. "If you're not doing anything different it's hard to be recognized."

Focusing on keeping their music minimalistic and simple are important as well explained Oliver, adding that the group are focusing on learning how to "let the music breath."

Releasing the CD did not come without difficulties.

"There were financial concerns, you're constantly wondering where you going to get the financial structure you need," he said.

Although they are fully entrenched in the Toronto music scene now, Oliver can recall when the band was constantly playing in Lindsay.

"The Lindsay music scene had its moment of glory," said Oliver, who's brother was involved with Dogbus Music, a highly successful music promotion company based in Lindsay. "It was so vibrant, there were so many bands."

He recalls playing with Bedouin Soundclash, a band that has achieved huge success in Canada and worldwide, that used to frequently play here.

Oliver said he feels the Lindsay-area music scene has suffered due to a lock of venues for bands to play in.

"It's really started to dry out because there is no where to play," he said. "Unfortunately it's not the fault of Lindsay musicians."

Jay Spectre will be setting out in on a tour in mid-December that will include shows in Ottawa, Montreal and the East Coast, and possibly their home town, although Oliver said it's not set in stone.

Although "Too Little, Too Much" has not been officially released to stores, it can be found locally in CD Plus in Lindsay and will be available on iTunes in mid-November, Oliver said.

The album features songs that swing dramatically from funk to acoustic to hip hop without a hitch.

For more information on the upcoming release or the band Jay Spectre, visit www.myspace.com/thejayspectre. - LINDSAY POST


"You Litterally sent chills down my spine. One of the best preformances that I have ever had in the studio!"

Simon Ward- Trent Radio (Peterborough, Ontario) - Trent Radio


"You can tell that you all work very well together. There is a certain chemistry in the booth today and we can all feel it. You guys are really tight, really together. I really appreciate what you are doing - "Alex never sleeps" (Spirit Live Radio) - Spirit Live


“A style that swings from crackling funk, soul, and world rhythms, all overseen by a rock sensibility. Energizing and tight as a unit, bursting of global flavors and colors, an absolute treat for those who long for a musical canvas that includes dancing and having a good time.” - The Lonely Vagabond


"...great lyrics, huge instrumental,and the artwork kicks. Love that the lyrics are printed on the back of a fold out mini-poster. " - Qatalyst Magazine


Jay Spectre to perform Saturday at Bunker’s

BY LAURA JEAN GRANT
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Prepare to be impressed. Toronto-based band Jay Spectre performs for the first time in Cape Breton, Saturday night at Bunker’s.
“Our live show is where we shine,” said Jay Spectre front man James Oliver. “We’re definitely pretty improvisational. We don’t let anything constrain what we’re doing. So if you come out and see us live you gotta expect something completely different from the album.
“They’re two different elements for us. Being in the studio and being on the stage is completely different for us. We approach it a different way.
“Most people that see us live, they like what they see.”
Five of the eight-piece Jay Spectre group will be on stage in Sydney — Oliver, Jon Hembrey, Jeremy Drury, Paul Turley and Mike Field — while fellow members Sean Seagal, Katherine Watson and Dean Yates will not be making this trip.
With a unique sound that incorporates everything from rock and crackling funk to soul and world rhythms, Oliver said each member brings certain talents and musical interests to the group.
“We all come from really different backgrounds. Like I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop and funk and soul, and our guitar player listened to a lot of punk and heavier rock and we have a jazz trumpeter and our bass player is more into the jam scene,” he said.
“By adding different elements, it really changed the way we approached the songs and their delivery changed quite a bit.”
The Jay Spectre members, who have been playing together for about five years, just released their second album “Too Little Too Much” and are touring the East Coast for the first time.
“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to doing for a long time, so it’s really nice to be out on the road,” said Oliver. “I’ve never been to the East Coast myself, so I’m really excited about this trip. It’s something I always wanted to do as a kid.”
Jay Spectre will be joined Saturday by Cape Breton band Carleton Stone Drives the Big Wheel, who will also perform Friday night at Bunker’s with local hip hop act Sick Kookies.
Bunker’s is located at 233 Esplanade in Sydney. All shows start at 10:30 p.m. and are open to those 19 years of age and over. - The Cape Breton Post


Discography

2008- Too Little Too Much
2005- The Australian EP- Mini-CD
2004- To The End Of The World And Back

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Bio

For years Toronto's Jay Spectre have been hitting the stages of Ontario's indie music scene. Now, after the completion of their second full length album Too Little Too Much, the band is preparing to take their sound and energy to a concert venue near you.
Originally formed in Lindsay, Ontario as a solo project of front man James Oliver (guitar & vocals), the band has evolved into a well rounded eight piece band including Jon Hembrey (lead guitar & vocals), Jeremy Drury (drums), Paul Turley (bass & vocals), Mike Field (trumpet), Sean Segal (percussion), Dean Yeats (trombone) and Katherine Watson (flute & saxophone).
Written and recorded in Toronto, Too Little Too Much was co-produced, mixed and engineered by Gavin Gardiner of The Wooden Sky. “The album features songs that swing dramatically from funk to acoustic to hip hop without a hitch.” (Osprey Media) Listeners often give comparisons to such diverse acts as Joe Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Earth, Wind and Fire.
Stylepost.ca moderator, The Lonely Vagabond described Jay Spectre's live show as a combination of “Catchy-funk-soul grooves with a world-music feel.” Over the course of the bands musical career they have shared the stage with many talented Canadian acts including Bedouin Soundclash, The Wooden Sky, Run With The Kittens and Two Hours Traffic