Midnight Shine
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Midnight Shine

Attawapiskat, ON, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Attawapiskat, ON, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Feature interview with Wendy Mesley"

The suicide crisis in Attawapiskat, Ont. has brought new attention to the remote First Nation. A band hailing from there, Midnight Shine, is proving good music and good stories are coming from their community. - CBC The National

"Feature interview & live performance on Canada AM"

While the remote First Nations community of Attawapiskat is known to many Canadians due to an epidemic of suicide attempts, the frontman of local rock band Midnight Shine would rather it be known for its sweeping boreal forests and traditional way of life.

“Growing up in Attawapiskat certainly is different than growing up in a place like Toronto,” Adrian Sutherland told CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday. “It’s certainly given me a lot of perspective and taught me not to take little things for granted.” - Bell Media

"It's a long way to Toronto for Attawapiskat rock band"

Holed up in a chapellike rehearsal space in Scarborough preparing for an imminent spotlight at Canadian Music Week, Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland couldn’t help but look around with heavy lids and marvel at how far he had come — literally.

Sutherland, 39, lives in Attawapiskat — yes, the place you’ve read about — and days ago he was farther north still, 150 kilometres along the coast of Hudson Bay. It’s spring goose-hunt season, and Sutherland was harvesting with his family right up until these gigs beckoned. - Toronto Star - Nick Patch

"Attawapiskat band chases mainstream dream"

Travelling as far as they have, the bandmates in the northern rock band Midnight Shine consider just standing together in a Toronto rehearsal space a major accomplishment.

This week marks the first time the James Bay foursome has met to play since last August. Like many bands, life got in the way, but so did the 200 kilometres between their homes in Moose Factory and Attawapiskat. - Canadian Press - David Friend

"Midnight Shine brave the elements to tour"

Playing gigs across Canada's great landscape can be a challenge for any band, but Midnight Shine will tell you it's even tougher in the North.

The First Nations foursome, hailing from the James Bay and Attawapiskat area, has braved their share of environmental hurdles over the past five years. - Canadian Press - David Friend

"Talent coming out of Attawapiskat"

“There are good stories to be told from Attawapiskat. I hope we’re one of them.”

So says Adrian Sutherland, the frontman for Midnight Shine, a First Nations band straight out of the north and performing this weekend as part of Canadian Music Week in Toronto. - National Post - Sadaf Ahsan

"Sutherland picks song for Tragically Hip dream set list"

"It seems to me he's singing about a mother and her son longing for something -- a husband and father. In some strange way, I could relate to what he's singing about. (I used) to cover the tune many moons ago." - Toronto Sun - David Friend

"Creating Social Change Through Music"

Live performance at CTV's Canada AM - October 2, 2014 - CTV Canada AM

"Top 5 Aboriginal Albums of 2013"

Introducing Midnight Shine from northern Ontario, who come in at number three with their self-titled debut album. Filed under rock, this collection of tunes pays homage to the surroundings that bandleader Adrian Sutherland grew up in, James Bay. As the main songwriter, Sutherland explores his First Nations background lyrically, and surrounds it with smooth melodies from roots and rock. The significance behind the band's name is also meant to shine a light on the sometimes dark environments of the members' home communities. The song "Mooshum (Grandfather)" is a great example of what Midnight Shine is about. - CBC Music

"'Midnight Shine' Lights Up The Coast"

A new First Nation music production has been launched by Midnight Shine, which features an old friend of mine, Attawapiskat resident Adrian Sutherland. A lot of great music has come from James Bay over the past few decades and Midnight Shine represents a new crop of Aboriginal performers to add to this tradition. Midnight Shine, which is also the album title, is the first release by this group of First Nation musicians.

Laughter and music has been two of the great tools of survival of First Nations. All my life, I was surrounded by friends and family members who could sing, play the fiddle and step dance. The Scottish, Irish, French and English fur traders had a big impact on our people when they introduced us to the fiddle. Of course, the drum always had a place in our music from the days of my ancestors and now happily it is being featured more and more with traditional drum groups all over the country.

Adrian and his younger brother Andrew have been part of several traditional drumming and singing groups for many years. Their family has always had a strong connection to Aboriginal culture and traditional activities. I know that Adrian has always loved music.

One of the main stays of music in Aboriginal communities has always been country. I recall listening to so many country records, cassettes and then to CDs over so many years. Those great country artists like George Jones, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Hank Snow will forever be part of my experience as a child growing up in Attawapiskat. This type of music has influenced our communities on the James Bay coast over many decades and it was a starting point for many music performers in the north. We had our own local musicians too with the Nakogee brothers that have entertained us for decades at community events and dances. One of the lead singers, George Nakogee is now better known for working as a show host for Wawatay Radio on the James Bay coast. There have also been other music artists to come out of James Bay such as Lawrence Martin, Vern Cheechoo, Archie Cheechoo and Ron Kataquapit.

Adrian and his band, which includes members George Gillies on drums, guitarist Zach Tomatuck and Stan Louttit on bass and guitar, have produced a wonderful album. Some of the songs featured include my favourites ‘James Bay’ and ‘Indian In Disguise’. They describe the modern world my Aboriginal generation currently lives in, where we have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. Adrian did most of the writing for the songs on the album and his sister Iris Sutherland also contributed with her writing talent in the song ‘Small Town Girl’. You can check out the band and their music at: www.midnightshineonline.com.

I am so happy for Adrian that he is making his dreams come true. He has a great voice and the band is very tight musically. They recorded their album at Noble Street Studios in Toronto and it was mastered by George Seara. The album was produced by well known music promoter Douglas Romanow.

Adrian is a hard worker and he has first hand experience to know what it is to be an Anishinabe person in our modern world. He understands very well where he has come from and where he is going. The music world and life in the big city is uncompromising and there are lots of cracks and holes on the pathway to success. Alcohol and drugs are a big part of the music scene and Adrian will have to draw on his knowledge as a traditional person and his experience in the world of addictions to keep strong in his path.

It is great to see some positive news come out of Attawapiskat. Like many First Nations, my community has had to deal with so many issues over the past few decades. Adrian is proof that strong connections to our traditions and culture produce positive results.

Look for good things from Adrian Sutherland and Midnight Shine and support and encourage their efforts. We need more role models like Adrian and his band members. - Wawatay News. Written by Xavier Kataquapit

"Midnight Shine Features Northern Musicians"

TIMMINS - For James Bay Coast alt rockers Midnight Shine, genesis was found in Timmins.

The rock quartet, came together following a last-minute request by the organizers of 2011s Trooper concert in Hollinger Park.

“I’m from Attawapiskat, raised there, live there,” said band front man Adrian Sutherland. “I’ve been writing music now for quite awhile, going on 10 years now as a solo artists, played in small bands from around the North and then finally came together with these guys here.”

These guys are Zach Tomatuk (guitar) Stan Louttit (bass) and George Gillies (drums.)

“The band has been together for two years this month,” he said. “We opened for Trooper in August 2011 here in Timmins, and we’d never really played together before that, aside from the three days we spent practicing at La Ronde.”

The whole thing was very last minute. The group didn’t even know each other very well before hitting the stage.

“I think it all came together through either a quick phone call or a Facebook message,” said percussionist George Gillies. “Adrian got a hold of me, I got a hold of Zach and Stan said he’d be on board and that was it, Midnight Shine was born.”

Two years later, and the group is anything but last minute. They and their music are thick as thieves.

“We’re all really close knit now,”. “We’re all like family now, we always joke around with one another, just teasing.”

“There is a lot of perversion with these guys,” joked bassist Louttit. “But all kidding aside, we’ve definitely got a good collaboration going on. It is a sense that the music is what everyone is focused on, we want our music to be the best.”

The journey from acquaintances to band mates has been anything but a struggle.

“This has been a really smooth and natural transition,” said Louttit. “We mesh really well together, it hasn’t been a struggle at all and I think that shows when you listen to the album.”

Now that the group knows they can play together, they’ve shifted the focus towards presenting their art to audiences.

“We’ve moved our focus onto how we can bring our music to audiences on stage,” said Louttit. “We are really working on how to improve on that, how we structure the show, I mean. I feel that we’ve got a great show, but we’ve always got to improve.”

Their current self titled release covers a variety of sounds, pushing the limits of the bands capability, but capturing the spirit of what each band member stands for.

“We are from the James Bay Coast,” said Sutherland. “We are all First Nations.

“I hail from Attawapiskat and I know the kind of press that my home and my people have been receiving, I want to change that. I’ve got this unique platform now and I want, we want to put aside the stigma against our people and we want to shine positive light on our culture and our history.”

With Midnight Shine covering all of the musical bases, the group hopes that it’s upcoming sophomore album will be more focused and mainstream friendly.

“Our first album was finished in March and we had the official release in July,” said Sutherland. “So its all been pretty steady since then. We played the Big River Summerfest in Moose Factory, the Great Moon Gathering in Attawapiskat and some others. We’re really building up momentum and making the album as accessible to everyone as possible.”

With their new album nearing completion, the Midnight Shine plans to build on that momentum and shoot for the stars.

“We just finished doing half of the new record down in Toronto,” said bassist Louttit. “We don’t really know for sure what comes next, hurdles definitely, struggles obviously, but we want to be bigger and better and we know that we’ll get there.”

The group is confident that they have the musical chops and appeal to do just that.

“No one does it quite like we do,” said Sutherland. “We know that and we’re going to build on that and we know that in order to do that, we have to push our performances further and move our focus further south.”

That isn’t to say that the group will leave their roots behind.

“We know that mainstream focus comes from places like Toronto,” said Sutherland. “We’ll move closer and closer to that goal, we’ll work to push our act to the point where we’re playing in places like Cochrane, Hearst, Timmins and Kirkland Lake and then we’ll push further.”

Midnight Shine has the musical capability and the work ethic to do just that, they just need the age old balance of government funding and local interest.

“We need a little bit more money to get our equipment to reflect the sound that we know we’re capable of,” said Gillies. “We just need some funding and obviously some interest from some of the major centres here in the North.”

“If we can do that,” said Sutherland. “We’re good to go.” - Timmins Press


Album Title: Midnight Shine
Release Date: April 2013
Order on iTunes

Album Title: Northern Man
Release Date: October 2014
Order on iTunes



Not many bands play their very first show opening for legendary Canadian rockers. But then again, not many bands are quite like Midnight Shine.  

When singer/songwriter Adrian Sutherland was invited to open for Trooper in Timmins in 2011, there was one condition: he perform with a band. So he pulled together Zach Tomatuk (guitar/vocals), Stan Louttit (bass/vocals), and George Gillies (drums/vocals), and Midnight Shine was born.  

The Northern Ontario foursome has been together ever since, with a winning combination of energy, experience, and passion, and distinct style that seamlessly blends roots, classic and modern rock. They’ve so far released two albums, Midnight Shine and Northern Man, commercial-quality radio-friendly recordings that are quietly making ever-widening ripples among fans, industry, and media, and creating an impressive and compelling sonic identity.  

Midnight Shine’s refreshing rock sound was first captured on Midnight Shine, their debut album released in 2013. Outstanding first single, Since You Been Gone, was picked up by rock stations across Canada. CBC Radio programmed it into their rock channel, and the National Aboriginal Music Countdown saw it climb to #2 on their Top 40 chart. Renowned music journalist Alan Cross selected it as one of his favourite new tracks, citing the band’s “rootsy rock-pop” style.

Since You Been Gone also caught the attention of Ralph James, one of Canada’s best and most renowned booking agents. He knew right away that Midnight Shine has something special. “I heard one track and thought, if these guys play live as well as they sound on the recording, I think we’re on to something here,” says James. “And they do.”

In the fall of 2014, Midnight Shine released sophomore album Northern Man, confirming the foursome is the “real deal.” They introduced Over You, the catchy feel-good first single, to a live television audience on Canada AM. They were invited back to perform once again on Canada AM two years later, while in town for Canadian Music Week. This time they released title-track Northern Man – a tribute to the band’s James Bay home and Cree culture, backed by driving rock beat, heavy bass, and traces of pow wow.  

The band’s presence at Canadian Music Week in May 2016 was a phenomenal success, creating a massive media buzz. A busy interview schedule reaped over 165 published and broadcast stories – including a sit-down interview with Wendy Mesley for CBC’s The National, front page of the entertainment section of the Toronto Star, National Post, Daily Vice, Canadian Press, Metro News Canada, Canada.com, Yahoo News, City News, Hamilton Spectator, Winnipeg Free Press, Calgary Herald, Halifax Chronicle Herald, and many many more. Media outlets from across Canada picked up their extraordinary story, quite possibly making Midnight Shine the first indie band to receive nationwide media coverage without ever setting foot on tour…

Setting Midnight Shine apart from other rock bands is the depth of Adrian Sutherland’s exploration of his Cree culture, tradition, and life in the North. Hailing from the remote community of Attawapiskat, his experiences are reflected in the songs – making Midnight Shine’s music all the more meaningful, while at the same time, universal.  

"Some of the music is about who I am and where I come from," Sutherland explains. "I've always wanted to share some of my background and beliefs through music. Everybody has a story and I think it's important for First Nations people to shed positive light on our culture and values."  

In addition to making contemporary music, Sutherland sings in a traditional drum group, takes part in ceremonies, and is a genuine example of someone who lives and pays homage to his culture. He cares about his people of the north, figuratively as well as literally, through his work as a paramedic, and his job as Chief Executive Officer for economic development in his community. He is proud of who he is, and where he comes from.  

While Sutherland’s home has been the subject of a flood of negative media attention in previous years, he for one would like to change those perceptions: "There are good stories to be told from Attawapiskat. I hope we're one of them."  

Indeed they are. In fact, the name Midnight Shine is highly appropriate, given that the band and their music shine a bright and positive light on a place too often depicted as dark and troubled.  

They’re a “must-hear” band you’ll take a real shine to.

Band Members