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The best kept secret in music


"Winnipeg Buzz: News From Projektor"

Speaking of Projektor, I saw that band perform the other day for the first time since they had undergone some changes. Replacing Sean Stevens is ex-Mico and Red Fisher guitarist Johnny Stewart — a guy with the energy of a hyperactive gym teacher. It’s rare to see a dynamic in a band change as quickly as Projektor’s has – before, the group relied on the laid back brooding of frontman Jahmeel Russell to guide the sway. Now, Stewart’s bounding aggressiveness amps everything up, pushing the songs forward in momentum and intensity. They seem louder, more confident and overall a tighter act. Welcome back, Monsieur Stewart.
—Kari D. - CHART ATTACK March 2005

"PROJEKTOR - Young Hearts Fail"

Love the new album, put it on my [2004] best-of lists in Stylus & Uptown [magazines] if anyone cares about such things (which they don't). Also want to give props to Jeremy for being the best all-around guitarist in Winnipeg (creativity helps). I've been a huge fan of Jeremy since the NEMO days (still the most underrated band ever out of this city) and am thrilled to have him in PROJEKTOR. - Jonathan Ball, Columnist. December 2004

"A tightly-wound rock machine!"

Where Red Wolf Glass, Projektor’s debut full-length, was ethereal and spacious, Young Hearts Fail rings truer to its name, sounding like a tightly-wound rock machine ... did I really just say that? Some personnel changes in the band have brought about a more fleshed-out sense of instrumentation on this sophomore release, and the well-integrated synths and less in-your-face guitar lines make Young Hearts Fail a more pointed, dense release than its predecessor. The dark lyrics and spot-on rhythm section remain from Red Wolf Glass, and the band’s atmospherics are as plaintive and expansive as ever. Many of the tracks feel more grandiose this time around, retaining the introspection from the debut release, yet with a bit more of a kick. There’s definitely a starkly-lit arena rock characteristic to Young Hearts Fail - think a reverb and sweat soaked Sense Field or Failure bringin’ it to the kids.

Highly recommended.

- Stylus Magazine September 2004

"An explosive post-punk land mine of a record"

Right from the intense sound barrage that opens Young Hearts Fail, the second album by Projektor, it’s clear that something is different. The sweet, almost-fey vocals are still high in the mix alongside thick waves of guitar, but where their debut, Red Wolf Glass, nearly drowned in its own reverberation, this effort has a crisp, decisive sound that makes it all the more immediate. A few years back, Brit shoegazers Six By Seven spent a year on tour with U.S. punk bands and emerged from the studio with an explosive post-punk land mine of a record. While Projektor don’t deal in that brand of tightly wound squelch, their reinvention for this album is very much along those lines. The guitar solos have a darker edge, the vocals are more urgent and the sound is even more massive than their last effort. Throwing in a few emo signposts to offer a bit of all-ages cross-over potential, Young Hearts Fail is filled with an energy most Canadian bands of this ilk lack.
By and large this album is a huge improvement over their already stellar debut. - FFWD Weekly October 2004

"The young hearts of this band are far from failing."

A few relatively recent reviews of Projektor have remarked upon the band’s ‘radio-friendly’ sound. Presumably this means the Winnipeg quartet plays expressive, tuneful rock music that could possibly be heard on a commercial FM station. Oh, the horror of it all! For some reason there seems to be a whisper campaign against the notion that a band of Albert, Pyramid and Zoo veterans could even dare to play anything but young, loud and snotty punka-rawka-rolla. Those naysayers should get over themselves, because Projektor singer/bassist Jahmeel Russell and his band mates are, simply put, one of the most sure-footed and self-aware rock outfits in town. It is precisely because Russell, Sean Stevens, Jeremy Gillespie and Darren Achorn are young music biz vets that this project seems so focused, directed and fully realized. Made with Studio 11’s Brandon Friesen handling production, Young Hearts Fail is a rich blend of aching, mid-tempo textures (the title track, A Quiet Night) and melodic, vaguely new wavish rockers (Young Blood, Destinations, Sunset) that impress with their breadth, scope and execution. Yeah, there’s a bit of a sheen here, but that’s the sound Projektor and Friesen are obviously after. If you want a taste of the hard stuff, check out the consistently tight and complex guitar work of Stevens and Gillespie; marvel at Russell’s improved singing voice or simply stand in awe of Achorn’s energetic and foursquare, solid drumming. The young hearts of this band are far from failing.

- Uptown Magazine September 2004

"‘Next Big Thing‘"

This Winnipeg rock band was featured in a September 2000 Free Press story under the curse-of-death banner ‘Next Big Thing‘. At the time, this project led by former Kitten’s bassist Jahmeel Russell, had a huge swirling sound reminiscent of early-90’s shoegazer bands, engineered perfectly by Studio 11’s Brandon Friesen on the subsequent Red Wolf Glass album. Since then Projektor has retooled its sound for modern rock radio, placing Russell’s vocals up higher in the mix and reining in some of the spacier arrangements. Young Hearts Fail might be the most commercial release yet.
- Winnipeg Free Press August 2004

"One of the top five “up-and-coming” bands in Canada"

From heavy mellow to hard rock, Winnipeg’s Projektor have taken a decidedly edgier approach with the songs on Young Hearts Fail, the group’s follow-up to Red Wolf Glass.
“The first record is a lot more quiet and introspective. Things have changed. The new stuff is more... rock. Things have drifted back into a heavier direction and everyone in the band is happier with the changes.” explains singer-bassist and chief songwriter Jahmeel Russell. Russell and band mates Darren Achorn (drums), Jeremy Gillespie (guitars, keyboards) and Sean Stevens (guitar, moog) are near the forefront of a Winnipeg music scene that seems to be approaching another high cycle.
Projektor was recently named one of the top five “up-and-coming” bands in Canada by What! Magazine and was a finalist in CBC Radio’s Big Break contest.
As evidenced by Young Hearts Fail, Russell sticks with what he knows when it comes to lyric writing. “It’s all kind of personal stuff” he adds. “I don’t touch on too many things that most people wouldn’t relate to. Some of the songs on the new record are based on conversations that I’ve had, relationships that I’ve had, books that I’ve read... My fiance lives in Vancouver for seven months out of the year, so a couple of the songs are based on distance and sort of coping with that.”
“As far as the music goes, we still employ some of the atmospheric effects that people heard on the first album - it’s just that it’s a lot more aggressive.” Russell says a live show is still the thing that makes being in a band worthwhile. The first reason you get in a band is because you love playing,” he says. “If that ever changes... it’s time to do something else. For us, it’s all about the energy. We try to rock out and put out a good vibe. There’s not a lot of in-between-song banter or anything like that. We just play our songs back-to-back-to-back and try to make an impression.”
- Leader-Post June 2004

"Winnipeg Buzz: Projektor Wear Their Young Hearts On Their Sleeves"

Winnipeg Buzz: Projektor Wear Their Young Hearts On Their Sleeves
It’s always so tempting to give in to journalistic inadequacy and lead off with a timely cliché to get the readers primed for the news you’re about to bring them. This week, for instance, a less intelligent, less resourceful writer might begin telling you about Projektor’s upcoming CD release by using some tired “back to school” approach… “Projektor goes back to the school of rock on its new album, Young Hearts Fail where the four students mix math rock with art rock…” or some such thing.
But no, we stick to facts around here. So let’s talk about Young Hearts Fail, the second full-length release from Winnipeg’s Projektor. The band really makes the grade with this collection of brooding, intense melodic pop rock that equally grows from the album it succeeds, 2001’s Red Wolf Glass, and establishes the band as a maturing force in the increasingly progressive world of emotional rock.
Believe that description only if you don’t get bogged down by stereotypes: these aren’t four little high school kids crying about how bummed they get when they take a cut in allowance; the band are well known for their variety of influences, including the previous projects of each of the members (Kittens and Meatrack among them).

- September 2004

"Songs that build to epic proportions"

Projektor were the reason why I made the trip to Toronto. Call me biased if you will. It’s OK because I’ll admit it. The band’s debut album on Endearing Records was one of the most underrated releases in Canadian music last year, filled with songs that build to epic proportions and explode with heartfelt lyrics. I wasn’t sure if Projektor would be able to pull off this kind of emotion in live environment, but much to my delight, they did it with ease.
- Jen&Avina | Reviews Live Show at CMW May 2002

"Expansive melodies and grooving rhythms"

This three-piece ensemble has a sound unlike most rock bands today. Having worked together for the last two years, the lads from Projektor create music that expands beyond the traditional song structure. Their songs feature expansive melodies and grooving rhythms, which translate to upbeat and energetic live performances. Distributed by independent label Endearing Records, they have toured extensively throughout Canada, and have received critical acclaim from local and national media outlets.
Simply put, they don’t really sound like anyone else out there. Writing music that is completely their own, this band has definite talent and the potential to go somewhere. With wailing vocals backed by crashing drums and thick guitar, these guys take the building blocks of music and arrange them in a truly unique fashion.
- What! Magazine Summer 2002


Young Hearts Fail (2004)

Depressed? Stay Depressed! - SOLD OUT (2004, CDBaby)

Class of 2003 - SOLD OUT (2003, Power 97)

Someone Needs a Timeout (2002, Compilation)

Red Wolf Glass (2001, Endearing)

Projektor & The Paperbacks Split 7" (2000, Indie)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Intense, dynamic music with an impressive and inspiring live show! Projektor are about to release Young Hearts Fail, the follow-up to their successful debut record, Red Wolf Glass.

Since their inception the band has consistently been recognized as one of Western Canada’s most exciting new bands. Projektor was selected as one of the top 5 “Up and Coming Canadian” new artists by What! Magazine and chosen as finalists in CBC radio’s “Big Break” contest.

Having toured Canada several times, including dates with Eric’s Trip, Moneen, Radiogram, and The Waking Eyes, Projektor is a regular fixture at such noted events as Canadian Music Week, Western Canadian Music Week, New Music West and The Halifax Pop Explosion.

After more than a year in development, the band has completed their new album Young Hearts Fail with the assistance of Juno-winner and Grammy nominated producer, Brandon Friesen. The music represents a movement away from the epic atmospheric sound of Red Wolf Glass to a more immediate and driving rock focus.