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Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Rock


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"REVIEW of "Electric Resurrected" (2010)"

Canadian rock band Starewell formed in 2000 and has released 4 full length albums and a few EP´s so far, their latest album Electric resurrected came out last year but didn´t catch my attention until now. I did a review of their 2006 album Those who matter which earned a solid 3 stars, but the following Broke and out of money from 2008 slipped through my radar for some reason. You can´t cover every music release but I´m glad I listened to their latest effort because it rocks. I think it´s even better than the earlier albums, the songs are a bit stronger and my favorites are "Nothing changes", "Papa machine gun" and "No one". Their cover of the Stones classic "Jumping Jack Flash" truly sounds like it could be a 70´s Kiss song, cool. Thumbs up!

"REVIEW of "Broke and out of money" (2008)"



I am constantly amazed by how many really solid bands are out there. It's pretty easy to understand how tough the music business must be just based on the depth of talent. The line between super break-out hit band and just a killer hard working band that too few people ever hear of is razor thin.
Which side of the line a band such as Starewell will ultimately end up remains to be seen, but this Calgary-based group certainly has the music to go somewhere.
So for those heading to Holly's Nite Club in Yorkton July 6, they're in for a treat as Starewell performs live.
For those wondering what they'll hear, this band is pretty much straight ahead rock. They don't throw in a lot of electronica, and I doubt they know what pop is. This is guitars, solid lyrics, upbeat, and go hard music, and frankly what more do you need from a band. In fact on the band's spot on myspace they tag their music simply; rock, rock, rock.
The band is a trio, with Brett Simms on guitar, Wade Simms on drums, and Chris Rozell on bass. The three play tight, and vocally keep it simple and clear. Brett Simms has provided the lyrics for all but one of the cuts here, and he has a knack for the catchy hook. Rozell does provide Straight Line Baby, and it's a song that has hit potential too.
Broke and Out of Money is the band's third album, so they've been out there pounding out the miles playing for a while now. Fully Extended was the band's debut effort, followed by Those Who Matter.
The current single release off the album is the title cut, and recently hit #23 on Canada's Mediabase rock charts, so it's getting some respect on air, and I am not sure it's the best cut on the album. My picks are Last One Alive, Down On Me, and Your Angels.
Starewell is definitely a band any Canadian rock fan will want to check out. Look them up at
- Calvin Daniels

"REVIEW of "Those who matter" (2006)"

Calgary based Starewell are pretty good at straight ahead non compromising rock, they are successful in Canada as finalists of the Canadian National Songwriting competition and they have shared the stage with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nazareth, Starship, Finger 11, Eve 6, Kim Mitchell and Idle Sons.

Starewell formed in 2000 by the Simms brothers Wade (drums) and Brett (vox,guitar) - they put out their debut EP in 2001 and followed up with the album "Fully extended" in 2004, their new 10 track album has a running time of 31 minutes so it's over before you know it because this is a fun band to listen to.

It's quite hard to put my finger on their sound but take a spoon of Foo Fighters and mix it up with Buckcherry plus spice it with Kevin Martin & The HiWatts, you can also draw parallels to 80's hardrock such as Tesla and Guns'n'Roses.
The song "Blurrier" has invaded the airwaves in Canada any by all means, they sure deserve it - we can use some more hard hitting rock on the radio in the world.


"Staring down a dream by Heath McCoy"

Before his rock dreams came true, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant was studying to be an accountant.

That appeased his parents who weren't happy with their teenage son's ambitions.

Plant told them he would give a musical career his best shot until he turned 20 and if he hadn't gotten anywhere by then he would pack it in.

That's not unlike Calgary rock quartet Starewell.

Among the members of the band are a trained doctor, a petroleum engineer, a psychology major and a University of Calgary biomedical technologist, all of whom are putting their "real" careers on hold while they chase their fantasy career: namely rockin' and rollin'.

Of course, the pop-edged radio-tailored rock of Starewell has a lot more in common with the likes of say, Collective Soul, Hoobastank, or 3 Doors Down than it does with Zeppelin, but as the charts will sho, there's definately a market for such melodies.

"I think we've got a good thing going on, " says Mark Bromley, 25, the band's guitarist and we be physician.

"I didn't want to be 70-years old and looking back going 'Oh man, I'm sorry I missed that chance...'

"I think we all said for the next two years we'll do nothing but music full time and then we'll reevaluate."

"I don't think we've set it in stone that if in that we haven't achieved X degree of success we'll end it though... I don't think we necessarily define our goals in terms of major labels, or MTV. We'd just all like to be able to make a living at it."

"We're all on the same page. If one guy leaves we're all up a creek, so we need to have that commitment", says Bromley.

The commitment has paid off pretty well so far for the band, which includes singer Brett Simms, drummer Wade Simms and bassist Chris Rozell. Starewell relased its first indie disc last year, titled Fully Extended, and the CD has been getting spins on CJAY92 as well as rock radio stations in Red Deer, Lethbridge and Regina.

But the biggest coup came in winning CJAY's national songwriting competition last month with the single Standing in the grey. Winning the regional competition secured Starewell a shot in the finals to take place during Canadian Music Week, March 2 to 5 in Toronto.

Starewell has high hopes for the contest.

"We've made good contacts with some of the major labels, " Bromley says. "Universal, BMG, Roadrunner. We sent them discs and they said 'we like what we hear, but we want to see you play live. We want to get a sense of the buzz around you."

- The Calgary Herald, Jan 11, 2005

"STAREWELL to Stars, by Mike Bell"

A record is exactly that- a record.
It's a historical document capturing a specific moment in time rather, it's supposed to be.

Unfortunately, when it comes to music, sometimes that record captures what a band was long before they chose to capture what they were.

Confused? Well, Brett Simms from local band STAREWELL can clear things up when describing the classic-meets-modern rock quartet's new album 'Those who matter', which is leaps and bounds better in content and execution than its 2004 release 'Fully Extended'.

"The writing on the new record is a band of six years whereas the writing on the last record was a band of two years- but there was only two years between records," Simms says.

"It's like we've come four years in two years." Still confused? Let's just say as an indie band sometimes it takes a long time to get it together - it being money, time, songs, etc - and put it out there. And with the case of 'Those who matter', all of the its were aligned for STAREWELL, which also features Simms' brother Wade, along with Chris Rozell and Alex Wagner.

One of the biggest factors in both the album's success and its timely, efficient release was the help of a cut-rate price on a producer- a legendary producer.

Last year, when they travelled to Canadian Music Week in Toronto after winning a CJAY92 sponsered songwriting contest, they met up with Nick Blagona, who has worked with such artists as Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones, and Cat Stevens. Taken with the band, he agreed to cut them a deal and help cut them a record.

"You think that you're good but it's nice to have ... believers," says Simms of Blagona's influence on the album as well as the band's collective psyche. "One thing Nick said when it came to releasing the record, because we were concerned with being independent, 'You can't be worrying about where you fit on the totem pole. You've got to believe you're as good as everyone else out there if not better.'

"He was a good guy to hang out with, a good guy to have produce the record and a good coach, if you will, for the whole project."

With 'Those who matter' in their hands, it's doubtful STAREWELL will have to worry about the "indie" tag next time out.

"Blurrier", the first single from the record - a catchy Collective Soul- style pop and hard rock hybrid - is the highest charting track by an unsigned band on Canadian radio charts right now, and has earned them play on some major stations including CJAY.

And Simms says the next couple of weeks are looking good for a management deal, and have them showcasing for record deals.

"I would imagine, unless we have terribly bad luck, we won't be independent for much longer," he says.

"And it's a nice feeling, it's nice to know that you're finally going to leave the little leagues behind and maybe get your chance in the NHL- if you're going to use an analogy."

Before they get called up to the bigs, you can pick up STAREWELL's new album 'Those who matter' at an HMV store near you.

- The Calgary Sun, April 28, 2006

"Radio Programmers on STAREWELL"

"I gotta say that I was quite impressed with their performance at Fuel’s "Big Rock Star" showcase at the Snatch Rock ‘N Roll Lounge – the crowd was into it from the moment the first note rang out," says Wayne DeSchover, Music Director for Max Trax Digital Music. "These guys have got some serious talent and, more importantly, the songs and the stagecraft necessary to rise above the competition. The current single, "Broke and out Of Money" sounds great on the radio, but it’s even better live." June 2008

Ben Jeffery, Music Director/Assistant Program Director at CJAY 92 in Calgary says, "Starewell are the real deal man. They have gang vocals, thick guitar and great song writing. What else do you need but to add it? They are well-crafted, solid rock about to break. And when it does you’ll get a HIT." June 2008

Matt Porteous, Senior Announcer, 94X in Prince George, B.C."Starewell’s single has been a huge hit in Prince George. We have a "cage match" with two different songs, Tuesday’s at 3:00 p.m., where fans call in to vote for their favorite artist/song. Motley Crue’s single, Saints of Los Angeles, was finally knocked off, after being #1 for five weeks, by Starewell’s Broke & Out of Money single which has stayed on top for the past four weeks. That’s quite an accomplishment." May/June 2008

- Various

"The Road More Travelled by Brian Saunders"

Sometimes, “taking the hard road” isn’t just a metaphorical figure of speech. Sometimes, it’s an utterance quite literal in meaning. This couldn’t be any truer for the Calgary-based rock band Starewell. Two days ago, the members were playing a show in Winnipeg, MB. Yesterday, they were back in Calgary. And this morning, they’re rushing through the long and winding roads of the Rockies to get to a show in Kamloops, BC. By the end of the day, they’ll have passed through four provinces in three days, and they’ll have done shows in two of them.

Of course, this leaves some people wondering why a band would have booked itself into such a scheduling nightmare in the first place.
“Good question!” laughs bass guitarist Chris Rozell “We don’t know! No, just kidding ... actually, all the ticket sales for our western stuff are really good. We have three almost sold-out shows in Western Canada so we wanted to make sure we got to those shows.”

If driving nearly 2000 kilometres just to make a show still sounds a little crazy and amateur to some, rest assured, Starewell has endured as an independent rock band for eight years and performed alongside the likes of Nazareth, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Trews. All in all, the musicians probably know what they’re getting themselves into.

“If people are just screaming for a show there, just because it’s a smaller market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go,” Rozell points out. “Sometimes those are the most loyal fans. Sometimes you’ll end up getting more out of that than going to some big city.”

Insane roadtrips aside, there are times when taking the hard road does take on a metaphorical sense. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the title and lyrics of the band’s catchy new song, “Broke and Out of Money,” on the album of the same name.

“As much as we don’t care about money, there’s so many things in this industry that just come down to that,” Rozell admits.

For a band with no contract, cash is often tight, but as much as Starewell could complain about that, the members try not to because they have so many other things to be grateful for.

“We have it pretty good,” Rozell says, “We’ve gotten to do a lot of things that so many people don’t get to do: we’ve been from Seattle to New Brunswick; we’ve driven the whole country; we’ve seen more than some people have seen in their whole lives.”

Even if the band was offered a contract, Rozell says he’s not sure they’d take it. They’ve been offered contracts in the past, he points out, and they’ve turned them all down. Ultimately, Rozell explains, they were shitty deals where the record company was poised to cash in, while at the same time Starewell wasn’t given any guarantees as to the kind of financial or promotional backing it would receive.
As long as he gets to keep making music and entertaining audiences, though, Rozell seems OK with the prospect of always doing things the hard way—even if it means driving a couple thousand kilometres.
- Vue Weekly Magazine

"STAREWELL steps up to the Taphouse by Scott Hayes"

Forget soft rock. Forget pop. Leave your bubble gum at home, kids. The hard metal sound of Starewell is coming to St. Albert on Tuesday and eardrums may never be the same after that. Starewell hails from Calgary but that doesn’t mean that they sing about wheat and prairie dogs. For eight years they have been churning out fast and furious tunes that remind many of Foo Fighters, Guns’n’Roses and Audioslave. Currently touring in support of their new album, Broke and Out of Money, the eight-year-old independent group has found much success on the road and on the charts.

The trio has hit dates and venues all across the country, going from small gigs to thousand-seater concerts. The big news for them lately is that they have broken the Top 20 chart with the title track, a song that is as razor-sharp with its driving rhythm as it is with its lyrics. Lead singer and guitarist Brett Simms said that apart from the hard work he and his bandmates put into the song’s success, it all came down to crafting meaningful lyrics. "I think the biggest reason that it did well is just because it’s a song that people can identify with," he explained while the band was on a stop in British Columbia. "It’s catchy but that whole idea of being broke and not having any money, well that relates to a large percentage of the population." For him, having that kind of reaction from the fans and the industry pays the band back in more than just monetary ways. It’s all about how music affects people. "This one has probably generated the most genuine response," he elaborated. "You have singles that chart well but if there’s not the response behind them then it’s just on paper, right?" To achieve their goals of reaching out to the audience means having to suffer the travails of traveling for weeks and months without much comfort. "We have our own van. Quite frankly, we can’t afford a bus," he laughed. "The road is never easy. The reality is it’s a lot of short nights on sleep, a lot of long drives and you’re expected to do all these promo stops and then at night deliver your best shows. It’s a lot of work actually." He doesn’t mind it though so long as new gigs keep getting lined up.

Tuesday’s stop will be their first time in St. Albert and Simms doesn’t know what to expect. "(The Taphouse) is supposed to be a haven for original music so we’ll see if it ends up being so."

- St. Albert Gazette

"Climbing the Starewell to Stardom by Larry Fisher"

It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. 'Starewell', an independent riff-rock band, can attest to that but the top of the mountain is far from out of reach for the Calgary foursome.

Comprised of brothers Brett and Wade Simms, Mark Bromley and Chris Rozell, starewell has been making noise in the music industry since Sept 2000.

In early 2001, starewell entered Calgary Band Warz, which showcased over 60 bands and emerged victorious winning respect of both the audience and judges.

Starewell's energetic stage show and catchy melodies landed the group performances on Budweiser's 2002 and 2003 "Big Rig" summer tours.

There's a story behind every rock band and Starewell is no exception.

"Brett and I went to University of Calgary together. We did some volunteer work at the Foothills Hospital and the only place we could practice was in the stairwell", recollected Mark, of the band's roots.

"We called ourselves stairwell but when Chris joined the band we changed the spelling to starewell to make it a little more unique".

The talented down to earth rockers, have opened for the likes of Eve 6, High Holy Days, the Headstones and Staggered Crossing despite only being a full-time bnad for the better part of six months.

"For the first three and half years of our existance, we were pretty much a weekend warrior type band because we were all still in school and finishing that up", explained Brett.

"Now we are a full time band and we are basically doing just this (touring and making music) so yeah we are pretty motivated and dedicated".

Starewell combined their talents and sense of humor to lighten up a less than receptive crowd under the bright lights at the Royal Hotel in Ponoka on Oct 1 and 2.

"We are trying to pay for our album and a lot of small towns pay more to bring in independent rock bands", said Brett, on Starewell's North American tour which has saw the band take the stage for over 100 live shows in 2004.

"Small towns like rock. In the big cities there are so many DJ's and people don't appreciate this good rock as much", reasoned Chris.

Starewell is on the verge of releasing their debut album, titled "Fully Extended".

The LP, which hits store shelves on Oct 16, was produced by Dave Alcock throughout the summer and starewell is confident in the diversity of their 11 original tracks.

"We think the new album is going to open a lot of doors for us because it is pretty professional", said Brett, who discussed the bands intentions to retire their initial self-titled EP after selling over 2000 copies and touring it for the past two and half years.

"The EP wasn't quite where we wanted to be. It was so green and we weren't ready to put that out", rationalized Bromley.

Fully Extended will be distributed to all the major recording labels and the bands first single "Disappearing, has already been forwarded to Alberta-based FM stations including Zed99 (Red Deer), 100.3 The Bear (Edmonton) and CJAY92 (Calgary).

"I never wrote the song about anything specific; it is a power ballad that is more about a feeling than anything else," disclosed Brett who along with Chris writes a majority of the band's songs.

"It might have came to my head out of pure loneliness because my girlfriend lives in Boston".

Starewell is anxiously awaiting feedback on the single and the album but they are staying objective and honest.

"We have the depth and confidence to make it. It is not like we all our hopes in "Disapperaing", stated Bromley, whose band has been compared to Collective Soul and Weezer.

The future is bright for starewell but the guys in the band are living their dreams out day-by-day and taking it all on.

"The main goal is just to have fun and keep doing what we're doing," stated Brett.

"As for material goals we would like to have a recording contract with a major lable. We would like to be able to live off making and playing our own music, sure we are living now but not very well."

If you missed starewell's Ponoka concerts but want hear what all the fuss is about, request their single "Disappearing" on your favorite FM station or check out their website at

- The Ponoka News; Oct 6, 2004

"Starewell to invade headphones near you by Kyle Francis"

On the train, campus or downtown, you will see one accessory more than any other: headphones. From prepped up WASPs in business suits with high-tech Gucci ear plugs to the distinctly retro stereo headphones enveloping emo-kids' heads, nearly everyone seems to be harassing their brain with some kind of music.

Punk, rasta, emo- whatever the genre - it probably won't be native to Calgary. Many local artists will agree Calgary's music scene is in a slump, seriously narrowing the options for avid music fans wanting to support local artists. Mark Bromley, slide guitarist for Calgary's own Starewell (and ex-Sunshine Boy) assures everyone this is quickly changing.

"For a long time, [the music scene] has been having a tough go of it, but I think that it's really been improving lately," says Bromley, brimming with optimism. "There are oppertunities out there, but you have to go and get them, they won't come to you".

Just in case you haven't heard of Starewell, they're a self-proclaimed riff rock band composed entirely of University of Calgary graduates. As far as what they sound like, Bromley claims Starewell's sound falls within the holy trinity not quite related to the Catholic church.

"We're somewhere in between Weezer, Collective Soul and the Foo Fighters," states Bromley, going on to assure those who haven't heard of Starewell, but are fans of the aforementioned bands will likely be able to lay their groove down to the melodious riff-rock of Starewell.

Moving out of the treacherous realm of pub rocking and into the real biz, Starewell plans to release their first CD, "Fully Extended", later this month. Jam-packed with eleven fresh and original tracks, Starewell promises to blow your bag off with their first-length release.

To promote the release of their bag removing album, Starewell is rocking out at the Hillhurst Community Hall and giving away the anatomically disfiguring album with admission.

"Its sort of a way to say thanks to the fans, but our number one goal is to get the music out there," Bromley says of the album-promoting concert. "We think this is just a really good way to kick it off."

No matter what the noise blasts out of your headphones, no doubt causing irreparable damage to your grey matter. Starewell are here to keep earphones bumping.

- U of C Gauntlet; Oct 14, 2004

"REVIEW of "Those who matter", by Gabor Fabian"


Here we have another high quality independent release. The band is called STAREWELL and they hail from Canada. They deliver a great deal of classic Hardrock with a slight modern touch.

They remind me a lot of some of the other new acts from around the world (read: THE CASANOVAS, WOLFMOTHER, ROADSTAR.). This is how Rock is supposed to sound, although the band also adds some more melodic parts into their sound, but that ain't a bad thing at all, as now songs like "Wrong way home", "Blurrier" and "Take me away" are very catchy tunes as well, besides featuring a groovy classic hardrocksound.

The guitarsound is by the way very impressive, with strong references to the 80s and 70s, with still an updated approach. This is one of those bands that should be taken out of their part of the world (in this case, Calgary in Canada) and
unleashed to the whole world!

Check out this STAREWELL asap at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)

- Strutterzine


1) Electric Resurrected - featuring the single "Nothing Changes" (2010)
2) Broke and out of money - featuring the singles "Broke and out of money" and "28" (2008).
3) Those who matter - Featuring the singles "Blurrier" and "Those who matter" (2006)
4) Fully Extended- single "Standing in the Grey"



"Songwriters first, rock stars second". That's how Brett Simms, the vocalist and guitarist for STAREWELL describes the band. Dedication to the craft of songwriting is the reason STAREWELL has endured a decade of success in the music business.

"We have always approached our music with the attitude that the song matters more than the sound", comments Brett. He adds, "I am also very lucky to have such solid musicians and co-writers to work with". Brett is referring to his brother Wade Simms, the band's drummer, and Chris Rozell, the bass player. After finishing in the finals of the 2005 National Songwriting Contest, STAREWELL has since placed in the top 500 songs in both the 14th and 16th Billboard Songwriting Contests. Incidentially these were the only two Billboard Contests the band entered.

By music industry standards, STAREWELL are veterans, and with substatial radio play have made significant contributions to rock music. Twice they have scored top 20 singles on the Canadian BDS rock charts, and twice more, top 30 singles. This continues today with their latest album "Electric Resurrected", which sports impressive songs in its own right. "Nothing Changes", the bands' current single highlights their native style of aggressive guitar riffs and impeccably timed hooks. "No one" on the other hand, is not so typical, but illustrates the diversity and quality STAREWELL puts into every song.

At the end of the day, STAREWELL is like any other group of musicians -they love their music. Everyday has the potential for excitement in STAREWELL because you never know what idea might come up during rehearsal, or what melody takes shape to 'pop' a chorus. Enjoy the music!