Strada
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Strada

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Strada Set to Explode - Local Sleepers Step out"

If you’re that good, you can’t stay under the radar for too long. Or, in other words, you can’t be a
sleeper forever.
The last truism is an apt one for local quartet Strada, considering
that’s the name of an earlier EP they released, and considering it’s the
name of the song that kicks off their newly released full-length CD
You Have Nothing To Fear.
And, more importantly, considering they’re that damn good.
You Have Nothing to Fear, which was recorded quickly and
inexpensively in the basement of a Calgary church, is one of the best
mainstream — i.e. accessible and radio-friendly — indie rock records
released in this city in at least a decade.
And, what makes it more refreshing, is unlike far too many acts
around these parts who aspire to reaching a wider audience, Strada
hasn’t pilfered the go-nowhere songbook of mundane modern rock
entities in hopes of becoming the next prairie boys to superstars.
Strada’s sound is prettier, poppier, polished and more melodic —
think a more muscular, less snoozy Coldplay, with chiming Britpop
guitars and North American percussion.
And it’s a sound that they’ve cultivated in this city, first with the name Tourist and now with their current moniker, virtually
under the radar and on the fringes of the scene for the past three years.
“We don’t have a huge draw right now,” admits the band’s guitarist-vocalist Chad Thomas about their fanbase in and
outside of Calgary — although he does say it’s growing.
“The way we’ve been doing that is snaking fans from bands we’ve been opening up for.”
Some of those bands include major label band’s such as Stabilo and Switchfoot — slots they owe to management and
representation by well-known agency S.L. Feldman & Associates, who also had the foresight to see that special
something.
But the quartet, which features bassist Jeff Robertson, guitarist Daniel Huscroft and drummer Nathan Giebelhaus, has
also shown they can do it on their own.
Late last year they attended the New Music West Conference and Festival and were chosen from approximately 450
other North American acts to showcase for West Coast-based Nettwerk Records, home to Sarah McLachlan and others.
Thomas says, as a result of that, some labels have expressed interest, but over the past couple of months they’ve been
in a holding pattern.
“There hasn’t really been any movement because anyone who showed interest knew we were working on a record,” he
says.
“Now is our next chapter, our time to pursue the interest.”
More than likely, Strada will be the pursuees, not the pursuers — especially considering they’ve also been chosen to
showcase at the upcoming Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Calgarians can find out what they may have missed when the band celebrates the release of the highly addictive, equally
as impressive You Have Nothing to Fear with a show Feb. 19 at the Hi-Fi Club (214 10 St S.W.). - Calgay Sun - Mike Bell


"Strada Success a Certainty"

There are very few certainties in life. Fewer in music.
Sure, we can safely hazard a guess that, for example, the next album Fred Durst releases will be
an odious sonic compost heap, or that Ashlee Simpson’s sophomore CD will owe more to
advancements in technology than, you know, like, talent.
But there’s always room for surprises, finite as they might be.
That said, if you were of a betting mind, your money would be fairly well-placed on Strada being
the next band to make it out of this city and make a splash on the national, if not international
stage.
The Calgary quartet’s debut full-length You Have Nothing to Fear is a ready-made, radio hitsupplier,
that is, despite being recorded quickly and on a small budget in a church basement, as
confident and professional a rock record as the most propped up major label band could provide.
It’s full of modest, incredibly accessible Brit-influenced winners — the kind Radiohead wrote
before disappearing into themselves — that access the part of the brain that makes you want to
return to them again and again.
And, after catching the band live this past weekend during their sold-out CD release party, they
more than proved they can pull it off live, delivering the same songs with the same clarity but with
an added and appreciated raggedy edge to them.
If a radio station in this city actually wanted to break a band, it would have an easy time of it with
the ammunition Strada provides.
It really would be a sure thing. - Calgary Sun - Mike Bell


"Strada is..."

“...Strada is light, airy, and reminds us of everything we love about great Canadian music.”
(quote from mention of upcoming calgary tour date.) - Dose Magazine


"Strada Have Nothing To Fear When Much Does Calgary"

It's that time of year again. MuchMusic is coming to town for Much Does Calgary, an annual show that
features some of Calgary's best bands.
Strada are among the chosen acts, and few would argue that they don't deserve it. Vocalist/guitarist
Chad Thomas says his band are honoured to play the show. "Obviously, it's good publicity for the
band, but it's good publicity for Calgary as well."
Over the last year, Strada have quickly become of one Calgary's most talked about bands. Their
February 2005 album, You Have Nothing To Fear, has been met with critical acclaim and has allowed
the group to open for such major label heavy hitters as Switchfoot, The Tea Party and Stabilo... - ChartAttack.com


"Melodic.net"

Calgary based quartet Strada has recorded a fine debut with "You have nothing to fear" that follows the
path of alternative rock where bands like As Tall As Lions and Copeland leads the way.
Also add a portion of melancholic pop a la Longview mixed with PaloAlto´s tasteful modern rock and
we´re pretty close to the Brit influenced sound of these Canadians.
It´s really hard to describe their sound with just one word coz they´re not so far from Semisonic´s
beautiful pop or Flickerstick´s atmospheric modern rock as well.
Recommendable!
Highlights:American Star,Photograph - CD Review


"Calgary Bands go National - Much Music looks at Cowtown"

Much Music has decided to mess with their usual format of celebrity gossip and decorating things to air a show dedicated
to music. But not just music – new music! Obscure music! Calgary music! I hope that they don’t lose too many
advertisers over this.
The Much Music program Going Coastal will be taping an episode entitled "Much Does Calgary," interviewing this year’s
hottest local talent (I totally hear that it was, like, voted for by a panel of celebrities). There will also be a live
performance at The Den with the bands featured, to be hosted by Matt Masters. Performing will be The Pants Situation
(or as I like to call them, The Pantcitation), Chad Van Gaalen (Seevan-jee), Strada (Stratta!), Vailhalen (Vailhaggar) and
Smalltown DJs (Dance-y-pants).
One of the slickest sounding bands of the night will be Strada. Last summer, the band invested in some serious high-end
gear for their live show, a step that most Calgary independent bands don’t tend to take.
"Some bands are so charismatic that (lower-end equipment) doesn’t matter," explains Strada’s Chad Thomas. "If you see
a band and vocally they suck, it’s a real let-down. These days you can’t afford to put on a mediocre show."
Another ace up Strada’s sleeve is guitarist Dan Huscroft, who spent some years living in the States playing guitar and cowriting
with Grammy-nominated (for best rock/gospel album) Sarah Kelly. Huscroft is all rock now, though, joining
Strada back when they were still known as Tourist... - FFWD Weekly


"Local Pride well placed"

When you look back at the past 12 months and the music produced by this city’s
musicians, it’s impossible not to wonder when the rest of the world will catch on — to one
act, several or the entire eclectic collection of artists making a home here.
Throughout the year, I’m lucky enough to get sent just a handful of the CDs recorded by
Calgarians, but enough to know that if it’s only scratching the surface, the rich talent runs
deep.
There was no shortage of discs confirming that this year — from veteran jazz vocalist
Cheryl Fisher and her latest effort Joyride to progressive metal act Cho and indie rural rawkers The Agriculture Club.
And while, everyone who has the guts to put their music on plastic deserves at least a minimum amount of credit, there were
several albums which stood out and demand a great deal more. Here are the top 5 local albums I was fortunate enough to
hear this year. Seek them out and support them...
2. STRADA — You Have Nothing to Fear: If you’re going to bet on one band to break it big into the mainstream,
this quartet would be it.
This 12-song CD is as polished and confident — and good — a record as you’re likely to hear from an indie act.
But beyond the production value, there are some infinitely catchy, modestly majestic rock songs, recalling a more
grounded, more Canadian Coldplay. If they’re not signed by this same time next year, a crime will have been
committed... - Calgary Sun


"Ability with the Ambition to Fuel it - Strada isn’t afraid to embrace the mainstream success that others eschew"

In the film High Fidelity, John Cusak’s character talks about how one of his relationships failed because he didn’t punch his own weight. He was dating outside his means and it came back to bite him in the ass.

If we take that analogy and extend it from relationships to the arena of music (which that film does on more than one occasion), you could say that a lot of bands fail for the same reason. When ambition outshines ability, bands are often left with well-intentioned material and no audience to play it to. When you hear that a local band is garnering comparisons to heavyweights like Coldplay, the knee-jerk reaction is probably to think they are bandwagon-hopping try hards who will be soon forgotten.

But in the case of Calgary four-piece Strada, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are an ambitious band gunning for the big time. If their latest album, You Have Nothing to Fear, is any indication, they are well on their way.

Formed in June 2000, Calgary audiences might remember them from their previous incarnation, Tourist. Once they learned there was a Vancouver outfit with that name they switched over to Strada (not knowing there was an L.A.-based band called Strata). For singer-guitarist Chad Thomas, the name Strada trips off the tongue nicely enough, but ultimately they were more serious about the music than the name.

Each member came to the band with musical training (bassist Jeff Robertson attended Mount Royal College, drummer Nathan Giebelhaus went to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, and Thomas and guitarist Dan Huscroft both have 10 years of music lessons under their belts). In fact, Huscroft moved all the way from Chicago to be in the band, so Strada’s commitment to playing isn’t in question. However, the band’s big-time sound (which Thomas says leads to head-scratching comparisons to Audioslave and Our Lady Peace) makes them hard to pigeonhole. While they don’t slide easily into a single genre, Strada liberally incorporates different aspects of many mainstream rock artists. "That is a strength for us, but it can also make it difficult, cause it’s hard to place us."

That is especially true in a city like Calgary that eats its own and fosters an indie community that eschews anything that is a touch mainstream. But while many locals are worried about their hipster status, Thomas is clearly headed in the other direction.

"I don’t think mainstream radio success is a bad thing. If we’re going to make a living off of this we’re going to have to get radio play," he says. "It is hard to fit into that in Calgary. You just gotta slowly build a fanbase in this city and it’s not easy. There are a lot of really great bands here, but I think they don’t really find their place or find their home here."

It’s probably with that in mind that Strada wound up finding an agent to represent them – just one of the many signs the band isn’t content to punch their weight. Despite the polished, hooky, mid-tempo rock that pervades You Have Nothing to Fear, Thomas says their first meeting with their agent wasn’t all hand-pumping and back-patting.

"The first time he saw us play was at the Western Canadian Music Awards in the fall and he just tore our show apart. He just told us, ‘You suck at this and you suck at this.’ The only guy he really complimented was Nathan, our drummer," he says.

"He cut the rest of us apart, but he told us what he liked about our music and he was really straight with us. In an industry where people blow smoke up your ass all the time, it’s refreshing to have people who criticize you and tell you what they really think. And, if they really do genuinely love what you are doing, then it’s great to hear that, too."

If the high-profile shows and an out-of-town producer aren’t surefire signs of a band that is bigger than the town they live in, consider this – midway through their album, Strada hit you with "Walk Away." It’s a thoughtful, melancholy guitar anthem complete with backing vocals, strings and – get this – a children’s choir. Not many bands could take something that pretentious and make it work, but Strada manage.

"It was just an idea that popped out in the studio – one of those magical things. The studio that we recorded in was a makeshift studio in the basement of a church…. We just went and talked to the children’s pastor and asked her if we could record the kids and we all went up there early on a Sunday morning. We were just so tired and these kids were looking at us like we were totally weird. But we got ’em to sing it and they did a great job and it turned out pretty cool."
- FFWD Weekly (Calgary) - Jason Lewis


Discography

You Have Nothing to Fear - 2005 (Debut full length)

Sleeper EP - 2002

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

We are in the midst of a bio re-write... Here's some highlights of the past year for Strada:
-Featured on MuchMusic's "Much Does Calgary" 2006 highlighting the "it" bands in Calgary over the past year. Aired on Going Coastal sunday nites.
-Toured with/Supported label acts: Switchfoot, Pilate, Stabilo, Tea Party.
-Winners of 2006 "Stripdown" competition hosted by thesoundradio.com in Edmonton. Sponsored by Axe Music, The Bear (radio), Molson and others.
-Showcased (by invite) in June at this year's COCA conference.

We've played together as a band for 3 1/2 years now, releasing our full length debut one year ago, with much critical acclaim over this past year. We've toured western Canada moderately and developed an excellent following in the west, with much buzz now surrounding the band. We signed for booking in early 2005 with Justin Sudds at SL Feldman & Assoc. though we still do a lot of our own booking to date....hence why we're here on sonicbids. Word on the street is that we play a tight and dynamic live show, but we can't confirm that for obvious reasons!