Seven Levels
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Seven Levels

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Band Rock Folk


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



"Climbing The Ladder"

The Music: 7even Levels (Pronounced "Seven Levels")
The Members: Kelly McTavish (guitar & vocals), Parker Rice (percussion), Mike Kwas (bass).
The Music:

The night Paul McCartney first met Bob Dylan, they were attending a real swingin', "Love Generation" party — and both were higher than kites. McCartney, in the process of discovering new dimensions through drugs, had an epiphany whereby he decided he'd suddenly figured out the meaning of life. Knowing that this important piece of information could change the course of humankind, Sir Paul and one of his roadies spent the better part of the night looking for a piece of paper and a pencil to write this meaning down, eventually succeeding in their quest. The next day, the roadie handed McCartney the paper, and he read his earth-shattering pronouncement: "There are seven levels."

Okay, so that's a bit of a letdown for most of us. But the first time Saskatoon musician Kelly McTavish heard the term "seven levels," it was in reference to this famous story, and it inspired him to take it as the name of his band — 7even Levels.

"The Beatles and Bob [Dylan] being my favorite songwriters of all time," explains McTavish, "I felt compelled to name our band 7even Levels. There are [also] several books, philosophies, and spiritual laws that use the number seven, and more specifically [the phrase] seven levels, as a tool to make sense of the spiritual world [and] uncover the meaning of life."

Obviously, the only mystery of life that McCartney had gotten to the bottom of that night was a big bag of dope, but along with the music of Dylan and The Beatles, McTavish has also taken the aforementioned philosophies concerning "seven levels" to heart. Themes of philosophy and spirituality can be heard throughout 7even Levels' lyrics, and the instrumentation is the musical equivalent of a folk/rock/country potpourri. It features robust yet pop-laden acoustic guitars, an upbeat, Dylanesque vocal delivery, and a cheery harmonica fluttering here and there across the album.

"[Our sound is] a lot better than most pre-manufactured garbage on popular radio," says McTavish, "[but] it's hard to describe what we sound like. We call it folk-rock, but that's very vague. The songs are melodic with simple structures, so they're very easy to listen to. When we recorded we didn't focus so much on the sound — instead, we focused on whether or not we got the true meaning of the song to jump out at you."

7even Levels have just released their first album, a self-titled effort that sports 11 tracks. The songs are loosely related, meant to work on several different levels, and carry a rich tapestry of subtle themes. For listeners, how rewarding the album will be is directly related to how much attention one pays to the lyrics.

"I think the common theme between all of the songs," says McTavish, "is that if you really listen to them, they're filled with questions. If you hear the questions, you kind of get mesmerized and begin to look inside yourself — at least, that's what happened to me while writing the songs — so I guess the main theme would be self-discovery. If you don't really listen they'll just sound like any other songs with references to getting high, spirituality, discovering life, and nature."

Though the album has been out for a few weeks, the official CD release party is on February 8th at The Broadway Theatre, with The Sheepdogs opening. Hopefully, 7even Levels will make it to their own party without being thwarted by any gangs of roving wildlife — a problem they've faced before, while touring the Northwest Territories.

"We almost didn't even make it to our first show [in the Territories], actually," laughs 7even Level's drummer, Parker Rice. "It was about two in the morning and we were all asleep, except for Kelly [McTavish], who was driving. All of a sudden we heard a loud yell, so we woke up and these big brown things were flying by the vehicle. Our trailer was flying side-to-side all over the road because we had the brakes slammed on.

"We were all yelling pretty loud, [but] after we realized what just happened, we couldn't talk for about two hours — there were about 15 buffalo in the middle of the highway, and we ended up not hitting one by some kind of miracle. So if you think we have it rough in Saskatchewan because of deer, you should definitely take a trip to the Northwest Territories and see what they have to deal with."

Thankfully, even the ever-present threat of random, kamikaze buffalo attacks hasn't put 7even Levels off touring, and they have plans to hit the road again in the near future. They're also constantly writing, and already have a handful of new material that will see the light of day on their next album. For now, you can catch some of the new material along with the current album's songs at the CD release party, which promises to be a night of pure, good old fashioned live music — without gimmicks or window dressing.

"We like to play good music," says McTavish, "music we believe in. We don't get in anyone's face with crazy stage antics — we're easy going guys with good personalities, and we all have this strange farm-boyish sense of humour. At the stage we're at, the audience at our shows can expect to hear some good songs, from a good band, with a good vibe in the room. To sum it up, if you enjoy good live music, you won't be disappointed." - Planet S Magazine

"Saskatchewan band Seven Levels hopes latest lineup proves lucky"

Three is the new number for Seven Levels. Cousins Kelly McTavish (guitar, vocals) and Parker Rice (drums)have had "a lot of trouble with our bass players."

Their most recent bassist was sent packing after a tour wrapped up earlier this year for the Saskatchewan band.

"Things weren't working out," said Rice during a recent telephone interview from Saskatoon.

Enter friend Steven Maier who joined the folk-rock group in early 2008 in what was supposed to a brief stint to "fill in the sound" for the band's self-titled debut release. Maier's group broke up.That's made Seven Levels Maier's No. 1 priority ever since being invited to sign on. McTavish and Maier take turns on guitar and bass. The band no longer has a help wanted sign posted for another bass player.

"We just decided the three of us jive so well why would we try and find somebody that's not going to fit in?" said Rice. "Let's just play as a three piece."

Maier boasts plenty of qualities that endear him to bandmates.

"He's very easygoing, loves writing songs, loves jamming. He loves hitting the road," said Rice. "It seems like all three of us just had the exact same interests and goals in life."

Maier's songwriting style is also comparable to McTavish's. Both pen lyrics looking at some of life's big questions.

Don't worry. There's tunes "about girls and relationships," too.

"It's hard to avoid things like that when it's happening in your personal life," said Rice. "We kind of cover everything, really."

Seven Levels played their first show as a trio in Regina on Saturday. They wrap up a two-night stint in Sault Ste. Marie tonight with a show at Loplops.
- The Sault Star (Brian Kelly)


Seven Levels released their debut CD in November 2007, simply titled, "7even Levels". The CD contains 11 lyrically intense songs.

Seven Levels released a 6 song EP entitled "The Spring Sessions" in April 2009.



The powerful and precise drumming of Parker Rice creates a unique foundation for two of Canada's rising song writers: Kelly McTavish and Steven Maier. The trio hale from the prairie city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, their style is eclectic and they're known by their growing Canadian fan base as Seven Levels.

Not long after the group formed, they began to experience some early success by being one of ten Saskatchewan bands featured on the CBC television series entitled “Unsung” in March 2007. It was at this time they began working on their self titled debut album which was recorded, mixed and mastered by Neil Meckelborg at Audio Art in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The album was released in late 2007 with a CD release at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon in February 2008. Over the next four months, in support of their album, Seven Levels toured Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as doing a two week stint in the North West Territories. With extensive touring and their single “Jackie” maintaining the number one spot on the Saskatchewan Home-grown Top 30 for four weeks, Seven Levels sold over a thousand copies of their debut album.

The band took a new direction with the acquisition of Canadian Radio Star award winner Steven Maier in the summer of 2008. Seven Levels had previously worked with Maier when they hired him as a guitarist for their debut album CD Release show. The band wasted no time working on new material for their upcoming EP. With the new line up and a fresh start, their sound shifted from their original folk style into a more melodic roots rock feel. In early 2009, Seven Levels entered PM Studios in Saskatoon to begin work on “The Spring Sessions” EP. The project was recorded, mixed and mastered by Canadian Idol top ten finalist Josh Palmer. “The Spring Sessions” EP was released in April 2009 followed shortly by a two and a half month touring schedule that took them from Vancouver Island to Eastern Ontario. The tour was highlighted by a performance with Dine Alone recording artist Attack in Black as well as a showcase at NXNE 09.

Their experience in the studio and being on the road over the last two years has inspired the group to once again embark on a new recording project. Currently the group is writing new material for their sophomore album, scheduled to be released in early 2010.