Koetta Black
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Koetta Black

Burlington, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Burlington, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Punk




"Walking For Drew"

Nearly 300 participants raised $25,000 in the Drew Hildebrand 5k Walk the Walk, Run or Skate and Musikfest in Coronation Park on Sunday.

Now in its third year, the event raises money for the Drew Hildebrand Teen Benefit Fund, which provides scholarships to turnaround teens.

This year, the event added a Musikfest featuring local musicians such as Koetta Black. - Inside Halton

"Koetta Black - Kick Back (2011)"

Often, the most avoidable mistake a young band can make is insecurity in their sound. Whether it is an ill-fated attempt to beak new sonic ground or an overextending of abilities, it seems young musicians have trouble committing to a suitable direction. The exceptions to this rule often go on to enjoy success and Burlington Ontario’s Koetta Black is a perfect example of a band that on the right track.
On their new EP, Kick Back, the band lays down the sonic equivalent to a sales pitch, giving the listener a sense of their sound in six concise songs. The first thing that stands out is a strong 90’s pop punk and alternative influence. Given the progression of this genre, this may bring receding mowhaks and thick eyeliner to mind at first, but Koetta Black have managed to capture the sound in its prime and in the most authentic way possible. It is important to keep in mind that this band is not attempting some sort of half-baked revival. Their sound merely represents its influences without trying to replicate them completely.
As far as those influences go, 90’s Green Day, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana are the three most obvious. The six songs on this EP waste no time getting to the point, giving the listener immediate satisfaction in the same way tracks off Dookie or The Color and the Shape do. They do this with such confidence and purpose that the band’s age hardly shows at all except in the production which was by no means stellar though it does not take too much away from this record.
The vocals are very reminiscent of the band’s Green Day influence and although the lyrics are nothing special, Brown delivers every line in tune and with energy only surpassed by the occasional addition of backup vocals. This energy is the both the driving force behind this EP’s strength and its weakness. All six songs are busy and guitar-oriented and while this is clearly the band’s character (and as mentioned earlier, it is confidence in character that is essential to a young band) there is little breathing room over this record’s 20 minute (give or take) run time. There is enough variety in tempo, key, and subject matter to make these songs distinct, but the thick, busy sound does not let up save for the intro to “When We’re in Hell”, which begins to provide the mellow counterpoint needed at this part of the EP before jumping back into the band’s full instrumentation.
Despite this missing piece, Kick Back is everything a band like Koetta Black should strive for in an EP. It has direction, it has concision, and most importantly, it is fun to listen to. So many reviews end with a patronizing line about a youthful band still searching for their sound but here the case is exactly the opposite. Koetta Black know their sound and have put down some fantastic ground work, they just need to wait for people to jump on board so they can build on it. - Free Verse Press

"Koetta Black Voted Best of the West"

Burlington’s own Koetta Black is one step closer to fulfilling its self-proclaimed mission of saving the world from the impending doom of stale music after being voted Metroland’s Best of the West battle of the bands champion.

The band — with members Rob Brown (lead vocals and guitar), Joe “Strange” Favalaro (lead guitar and back-up vocals), Will Anderson (bass guitar and back-up vocals), and Pat Guschewski (drums) — captured 65 per cent of votes to win the regional title in the third annual competition that pitted the city’s best band against finalists from Flamborough and Oakville.

“We’re pretty ecstatic. We were really happy that people actually like our music,” said Favalaro, who explains he, along with his fellow bandmates, were surprised to receive more than half the votes.

“We did think the other bands were pretty good competition, so we didn’t know if we were going to be able to pull it through, but just getting over half of the votes was pretty surprising… we’re stoked.” Koetta Black competed in the online voting contest against Flamborough’s City of Snow, which received 22 per cent of votes, and Oakville’s Bounty (13 per cent) to play at Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival on Father’s Day weekend (June 16-19) — the contest’s top prize.

“We just wanted to say thanks to everyone that voted and we’ll keep them all updated (on upcoming shows) and we’ll continue to do our best to keep them interested,” Favalaro said.

The contest sees the Burlington Post, Oakville Beaver, Flamborough Review and Milton Canadian-Champion newspapers invite bands from their respective communities to enter and to post a single video of their music on YouTube.

Milton had no entries this year.

This was the second time Koetta Black had entered the competition, having lost last year in the preliminary round to Burlington-based We Are Bravest. Oakville’s Alright Alright won the first Best of the West challenge in 2009.

“We found out that the band that won last year had broken up and we lost to them in the first round last year,” said Favalaro, “So, we thought we might have a better chance of getting through at least the first round and then we just decided, ‘Hey, we can try… and with this.’”

The members of Koetta Black initially met in May 2008 at the Burlington branch of Rock This Way! School of Rock.

The school, located at 3390 Mainway, is a learning centre complete with studios, devoted to developing musical skills in a friendly, nonintimidating environment. It has locations in Burlington, Oakville and Milton.

Soon after being placed in the same class, Brown, Favalaro and Anderson found they had chemistry and “instantly clicked” as performers and expressed a desire to form a band to their mentor at the school Jason Adams — in September of that same year, Guschewski was introduced as their drummer and Koetta Black officially began to take shape.

Taking a page from the Pink Floyd notebook, Favalaro told the Post in an earlier interview that the idea for the band’s name first came from combining two of his favourite blues musicians, Etta James and Black Ace.

“So at first it started out as Etta Black,” bandmate Brown explained in the Feb. 25 interview.

“And then my reaction was… ‘you know what would make it better, adding a K-O infront of it’ — and it was that simple.” With influences such as Green Day, Sum 41, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mustard Plug, the punk rock group released their first EP, As The World Burns, in 2009, featuring four tracks.

In preparation for their Sound of Music Festival performance the band is planning to keep things fresh by continually writing and putting out new material, says Favalaro.

“We just finished recording, so hopefully we’ll be releasing our second EP (with six new tracks) within June — probably before Sound of Music we’re hoping to get that out,” he added.

Having played in various locations from Hamilton to Toronto, Koetta Black isn’t satisfied with that, saying they want to “get out of their bubble.” With several shows scheduled in the coming months leading up to the Sound of Music Festival and beyond, the young punk rock band (their ages range from 17-19) says it hopes to open for a big name band within the next three years and expand its fan base.

For more information on Koetta Black and their performance dates, visit www.myspace.com/koettablack or follow them on Twitter @KoettaBlack
- Burlington Post


"As The World Burns", released February 20th, 2010
"Kick Back", released June 4th, 2011



After their first meeting in early 2008, Rob Brown and Joe "Strange" Favalaro knew that they had found something worth pursuing. After talks over instant messaging, while working to recruit other members, the pair looked to create a band name by combining the names of two blues icons; Etta James and Ace Black. Koetta Black was formed after bassist Will Anderson was approached and drummer Patrick Guschewski completed the foursome.

In the beginning the band primarily played covers paying tribute to their favourite bands such as The Foo Fighters, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sum 41, and Green Day. In early 2009, the band began writing original songs which culminated in the release of their demo CD "As The World Burns" in January 2010. The songs were reflections of their daily lives and insecurities that stretched across a spectrum of different emotions from anger and vengefulness to fear and hopelessness.

The band's popularity has consistently grown and with a new found motivation to take the music world by storm, Koetta Black has been busy playing as many opportunities that they could get their hands on.

2010 proved a crucial year for the band. The band released a music video courtesy of a 1st place win at a Supernova event, played their first CD Release Party, played events such as The Relay For Life, the Dundas Cactus Festival, The Burlington Sound of Music Festival and established connections at dozens of local music venues.

2011 has started off with a bang for Koetta Black, after entering and winning the Metroland Best of the West online voting competition, firstly by winning the City Wide contest with over 70% of the vote and then by winning the overall regional title by generating 65% percent of the vote against two other regional bands. The band was awarded a prestigious spot at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival in June.

The band's sophomore EP entitled "Kick Back" will be released in June as well. The band plans to introduce their EP to college/universities and independent radio stations across the country. Koetta Black is looking forward to a busy summer schedule, performing at various festivals and venues across the province.

Koetta Black's high energy live performance, creative song writing and excellent musicianship, provides fans of all ages with a level of entertainment rarely seen in a young band. Don't miss the chance to have Koetta Black perform at your event!!! You won't be dissapointed!!