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Guitarist/vocalist Jon Lovell has been putting his new band Raptors—which is filled out by Terence Sagan on bass and the singularly named Orion on drums—through the paces for the past year. “But, wait,” you ask. “Why haven’t I heard of the band if Raptors is already a year old?” Well, that’s because the band has been working out the kinks away from prying eyes. Oh, the trio hasn’t been lazy; No, Raptors has already recorded its first disc—a self-titled EP of four of the songs that the band has been working on since starting out. Lovell and his compatriots will be letting the disc loose at the band’s upcoming show—which also happens to be its first.

“We just wanted to get enough songs and practice enough so that we felt comfortable that the songs were where they should be at performance level,” Lovell says, explaining the group’s decision to hold off on entering the live arena, adding that the band has already worked up enough songs to fill a set. “We’ll probably throw in a couple of covers, but it’s mostly original.”
So, with a year to work on songs and record, why didn’t Raptors record a full-length album? Lovell says that while an EP was more cost-effective for the new band, they also didn’t want to put too much pressure on themselves right out of the gate.

“We didn’t know what we were going to do with the project, so we just started off with the four songs to see where it went,” he admits. “The next goal now will probably be to go back into the studio in three or four months and do a full-length.”
The band’s approach afforded the musicians the opportunity to work on the songs without distraction. Lovell says that the two weeks that they spent in the recording studio also helped in that regard.

“Oh, definitely,” he says. “It definitely points out your weaknesses and strengths as songwriters, and the next time we come into it we’ll be that much better.”
For Raptors, the creative process begins with Lovell’s songs, but things change quickly once he brings them into the band setting.

“Usually I just write on an acoustic guitar and then take it to the band and show it to them and we kind of pull it apart and add stuff into it,” Lovell details. “It’s usually just parts, like a verse and a chorus, and then we glue it all together.

“That’s what’s nice about having Terrence and Orion there—they’re not just my songs. I come to them with basic songs, but then they take it and it becomes a really collaborative effort. To me, I think that’s the best way to write songs.” - EDEN MUNRO
- Vue Weekly

"Dino rock"

Published: Monday, December 10
Why on Earth would anyone want to name their band "Raptors"?

"It was an inside joke about what I thought the scariest animal is," explains Raptors guitarist/vocalist Jon Lovell. "At first I wanted to call it Raptors Are Scary, but I thought that was kinda dumb."
Lovell trails off, and bandmates Orion Schille (drums) and Terence Sagan (bass) laugh wholeheartedly.
"So I just called it Raptors," he says with a grin.

Before meeting up with Lovell and Co. at their jam space one frigid winter evening, I had imagined a band decked out in basketball jerseys or wearing Jurassic Park-themed costumes - the kind of guys who would be known for goofing off on stage while playing derivative funk jams and poking fun at each other.

I got the poking fun at each other part right - sarcastic little jabs pepper their conversation - and part of the jam thing as well, I guess.

"I'd consider us an alternative band in the truest sense of the word," says Sagan.

He's right.

Raptors are all over the musical map, at times moody, brooding and spaced-out, at times kicking out the rock grooves like it's nobody's business.

And they've got the pedigree required for the making of a solid rock outfit.

Lovell and Sagan played with Edmonton ska-punkers Lost Action Heroes and Broken Nose, while Schille provides a catalystic rhythmic backbone to the ensemble. All three of them have known each other since their Grant Mac days.

For Lovell, Raptors is a bit of a "comeback" project. Some of the band's early songs, released on a self-titled EP this summer, were essentially written solo before he recruited Sagan and Schille to back him up.

"It's pretty soft compared to the new stuff," says Lovell. "When you're just one person, it's all that sappy, crappy stuff. With other people involved, things get a little heavier."

The EP's songs were mostly introspective, with Lovell musing on past experiences and relationships. But once Sagan and Schille had been made into Raptors, the direction would shift more towards party-oriented material.

Case in point: their new "single," Paint By Numbers, is a full-on groove-rock monster, blending everything from BTO ("working from nine to five") and Queen (that big Another One Bites the Dust bass line and some pretty hefty guitar soloing) to Sly & The Family Stone and Michael Jackson.

You could probably attribute this no-holds-barred genre-mashing to the group's various influences, touching upon jazz, hip-hop, alterna-rock, heavy metal classics, and a cheeky sense of humour pulled straight out of the book of Ween.

Makes you wonder what their upcoming full-length, slated to be released in March 2008, will ultimately sound like.

It boggles the mind to even think about it.

"I think we're pretty scary," says Sagan.

"Yeah," ponders Lovell. "Nah, we're not very scary."

- Francois Marchand, edmontonjournal.com

"Raptors "Deer" LP Review"



Rating 4

Prediction: Raptors will take over Canada in 2009. The local threesome, led by Jon Lovell, delivers a ferocious mix of funk, reggae, punk, folk, and Pink Floyd on their full-length debut. No two songs sound alike -- yet not one sounds out of place. "Hello, hello, hello," echoes Lovell on the intro of Not What You Need Anymore, a meandering, bluesy ditty with occasional guitar squeals and a braking rhythm section. Last Train chugs along with muted riffs, high-octave vocals and a chorus of outraged shrieks. Paint By Numbers, a jazz-funk number, spells out Lovell's naughty intentions, Partner is a noirish piano ballad, while Can't Win features Terence Sagan's stealthy bass, gurgling effects, and Lovell's roller-coaster of "oh-OH-oh-OH!" Unpredictability is their forte -- their songs are filled with twists and turns -- and when you least expect it, Raptors will pounce like their Jurassic Park counterparts. You've been warned.

Sandra Sperounes

- The Edmonton Journal


Still working on that hot first release.




Most recently Raptors song “Last Train” has been played extensively on Sonic 102.9FM Edmonton’s Modern Rock Station. As part of the “Band of the Month” program “Last Train” received over 100 plays during October, 2008 and the song has remained in steady rotation since. Furthermore, during the fall of 2008 Raptors sold out venues for their Western Canadian Music Awards and Sonic Band of the Month Showcases.

Following up on the local success of their 4 song "Owl" E.P released in July 2007. The Raptors released the full length "Deer" LP in June 2008. Taking a departure from the lighter sounding E.P., the new album is loud and goes balls out, while still retaining the pop sensibility and songwriting amongst the three band mates.

The sound has been best described by one listener as "Raptors is what would happen if Tom Petty and Queens of the Stone Age got drunk together at a party and started jamming, and then continued drinking".

Opening for such bands as People in Planes, Pride Tiger, Mother Mother, Carpenter, and The Dudes, and , crowds always seem to dig on their unique blend of classic rock and alternative... even when they decide to delve in to more funkier style jams it all seems to come together in a cohesive package of aural pleasure for the listener.

2008/2009 Will see the band playing all over Canada. Check out there new kick ass website www.raptorsarescary.com for constant updates, blogs, pictures, and even book reviews!

We hope you enjoy!

"4 STARS" - Sandra Sperounes, The Edmonton Journal (in reference to Raptors "Deer" LP)

“Raptors are all over the musical map, at times moody, brooding and spaced-out, at times kicking out the rock grooves like it's nobody's business. And they've got the pedigree required for the making of a solid rock outfit.” - Francois Marchand, Staff Writer, The Edmonton Journal

If you want to book Raptors for anything including, but not limited to, bar gigs, hall shows, BBQ’s, kid parties, stadium tours, please contact:

Gord King
BluePrint Beginnings Management Inc.
(780) 721-2340
5 Spruce Cr.
St. Albert, AB
T8N 0H4

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