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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Little ego for Super Ego"

April 15, 2004

Thank god for deadbeat roommates. If it wasn't for them, Ryan Kloster may never have gotten his first guitar and Super Ego may never have been formed.

After receiving a guitar as rent payment from his roommate who came up short for rent one month, Kloster teamed up with Dylan Hanley, Nick Pothier, Dave Leahul and Owen Egoetz to form Super Ego.

The boys are aggressively pursuing recording and releasing their first CD, hoping to tour western Canada next fall.

The band exudes the qualities of true Alberta boys—hard working and down to earth.

"You should put 100 per cent effort into everything you do whether it be playing on stage or recording a CD," Kloster says.

"I mean it's like if you are going to ask someone to give you $8,000 then you should put $8,000 worth of work into the proposal," he said, referring to the grant they recently received to record their first full
length CD.

The band formed three years ago and has earned recognition in the
Calgary independent music scene with CJAY 92's Red Dawg describing them as "Nickelback a few years ago."

When mentioning the numerous successes in the band's short history, Leahul and Kloster agree they are grateful for all the support — support that has helped them win numerous band competitions, leading to high exposure gigs like the Molson Canadian House Party with Sum 41 and Swollen Members.

"We were just worried that the crowd would start chanting for Sum 41," Kloster says, recalling the House Party.

"I mean they aren't there to see us, but the crowd was great, really pumped up." The Molson Canadian House Party is high on the list of memorable gigs, but their favourite was the gig with Prism in Fernie, BC.

"A wicked redneck, mullet, good time," Kloster says excitedly to about the event.

Small towns will party just to party which makes the show that much more memorable, he says.

Self proclaimed "hacks," Super Ego has never had any formal training. They began by playing cover tunes in their garage before writing and performing their own songs, which came naturally to Kloster and Hanley being avid poets.

"Playing cover tunes is a hard thing to do," Kloster recalls. "You have to be really good at your own instruments, but playing your own songs if you screw up you can just say 'it was meant to sound like that."

All five band mates gain influences from rock, reggae, funk, hip
hop, punk and the blues.

Kloster says they work to create harmonies, which they feel sets them apart from other indie rock groups.

"It is very important that we have vocal harmonies and not just let the instruments mask the vocals," Kloster says.

Down to earth and community minded, the band says it's important to give back to a community that has helped them develop as band. They worked hard to set up "Rocktoberfest" which raised money for the ALS Society in Alberta, and plan to donate a portion of the proceeds from their CD to the same cause.

Kloster says it's definitely something they plan to continue and adds playing for charity is a rewarding experience.

Right now their live show could be described as "completely, retardedly over the top." Not a show you are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Trying to incorporate as many different sounds as possible in their set, they had a 17-year-old fiddle player help them cover Spirit of the West's Home for a Rest in a recent show on St. Patrick's Day.

Until the fall, when their first full-length album is set to be released, you can catch Super Ego at various events around the city including April 16th at 8 p.m. at the Gate. Tickets for Friday's show are $5 and can be picked up at the Gate or SAITSA's office in the Campus Centre.

Kloster says if you liked their other shows then you will love this one.
They have some new tricks up their sleeves and promise to tear the roof off the Gate. - Chris Pollen, The Weal


"From the Spring Fling..."

April 15, 2004

Canadian rock,' concludes SuperEgo lead vocalist Dylan Hanley. "We usually call ourselves Canadian rock--it's mainstream, but you don't want to say that."
After pondering the music scene and SuperEgo's formation and growth, Hanley, a fourth-year University of Calgary Political Science major, finally decides Canadian rock is the most fitting description.

"We're getting a lot harder, harder and softer," starts Hanley. "Before, we were almost bubblegum soft."

Dylan talks about the evolving sound of the band and the changing sound of his own voice. He recognizes the progression he's made, but also the ironic counter-progression of getting cleaner--rock singers often rely on those raspy, cigarette-and-substance vocal chords to make their sound unique. Case in point, Radiohead would have gone under if we understood what Thom York was saying. Need I even mention Bob Dylan?

"I don't think I was bad-bad, but definitely not good enough to be paid," says Hanley of his vocal debut, quickly adding the irony of improvement. "Vocal training can screw you up when you're playing rock."

Dylan has admittedly taken a few lessons and plans to take more.

In a jumbled, analytical symphony, he underlines the fact the band has been quite versatile, slowly narrowing down to create their own distinctiveness. Although they play many cover tunes, their first CD features all original work.

"Our sound is kind of getting the same, our own," he affirms, adding, "some songs are a little different."

This five-member band had their start in Airdrie, where most of them grew up. They starting jamming in their respective garages, and by adding, subtracting and rearranging members, they progressed to band status. They moved out of the garage and onto the stage about two years ago, quickly gaining popularity on Calgary's indie-rock scene.

They are well known at SAIT, where two of the band members study Radio and Sound Engineering. The band has had some local recognition--CJAY 92 DJ "Red Dawg" is a fan--and has made a big splash at band competitions, winning last year's Molson Battle of the Bands at the Back Alley. They also took the main stage at Prince's Island Park on Canada Day 2003, rocked out at Cowboys during the Calgary Stampede and opened for '80s rock band Prism in Fernie.

Nevertheless, it remains a struggle to make a big Calgary debut.

"The Calgary music scene is under-explored," Hanley notes carefully.

This year, they headline "Spring Fling," SAIT's equivalent of BSD, at the SAIT campus on Fri., Apr. 16. With time, in a city where music is slowly being explored, SuperEgo just might find their break.

Hey, Nickelback did it.
- Karoline Czerski, The Gauntlet


Discography

December 2002 - Selftitled EP
June 2003 - Acoustic EP "acoustics and b-sides"
Early Spring 2004 Rock 4 the Cause - Attitude compilation
TBA (Fall 2004) - Full length album partially funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

SuperEgo, Calgary’s hottest new indie rock band, are rising stars in the Canadian music scene. “Like Nickelback a few years ago,” says DJ “Red Dog” of Calgary’s rock station CJ92, “SuperEgo is going places.” In just the last three months, SuperEgo has consistently delivered stellar performances, gained an ever increasing fan base, and earned a reputation as a band with an unique sound who deliver professional and passionate performances.

The band’s beginnings were seredipidous. Three years ago, Ryan Kloster’s roommate was unable to pay his rent and reluctantly offered Ryan an acoustic guitar as payment. Ryan has a varied musical background, and he eagerly accepted the opportunity to master a new instrument. Ryan’s long time friend, Dylan Hanley, began writing lyrics and adding his dynamic vocals to Ryan’s guitar progressions and crafted harmonies. Nick Pothier, the band’s drummer, was next to join the band, and the three began “jamming” in Dylan’s garage. Quickly, with the addition of long time friend Dave Leahul, who agreed to switch from lead guitar to bass, SuperEgo began creating and performing music in a passionate style that has seen them rise quickly among the ranks of Calgary’s independent rock scene.

Musically, SuperEgo creates dynamic, upbeat rock music, with a central focus on vocal harmony. Their style embraces diverse influences, from folk, country, reggae, punk, the blues, hip hop, and of course, good old fashioned rock. Their sound is original, evoking a wide range of musical imagery, from the subtle and introspective “The Bobby Stardust Project,” to the upbeat hip-hop/reggae sound of “Sweatin’ My Contract”, SuperEgo’s smooth harmonies and melodies, their signature sound, tie these diverse forms together. Their stage shows are dynamic – crowds quickly get into the music, and SuperEgo feeds off of this energy, creating a memorable experience for every audience.

After putting together their first “set”, the band began playing at local pubs and events, impressing audiences everywhere they played. After a short time, SuperEgo placed second in the Palomino Pub’s annual “Bandwarz” competition, and has now played almost every rock club in Calgary. The boys rocked the mainstage at Prince’s Island Park for the 2003 Canada Day celebrations, had everyone dancing at Cowboys Nightclub during the Calgary Stampede, and played an opening spot for 80’s stars Prism in Fernie, BC in July. On Canada Day, straight from the celebrations at Prince’s Island, SuperEgo placed first in Rockfest 2003, a battle of the bands featuring the best in southern Alberta talent, set on the rooftop of Ceili’s in the heart of downtown Calgary. This last concert was a memorable one for the boys, as they led the crowd in spontaneously singing the national anthem, and were privileged enough to play alongside bands like One 900, Real, and Supernal, true mainstays of the Calgary scene.

SuperEgo’s momentum is still gaining speed. On September 18 2003, SuperEgo won Molson Canadian’s Battle of the Bands, a fierce competition involving more than 100 southern Alberta rock bands. SuperEgo opened for Swollen Members, Treble Charger and Sum 41 at their Calgary concert on September 25, definitely leaving the crowd wanting more. SuperEgo is a hard working group, and organized Calgary’s Rocktoberfest, held at The Distillery on October 25. The sold out show was a huge success and raised money to benefit The ALS Society. SuperEgo then secured the opening spot for Forty Foot Echo, appearing in Calgary on November 7. Recently, they have been invited to record a track for the Rock for the Cause compilation CD, a project spearheaded by Calgary’s Blue Leaf Records. Rock for the Cause, featuring up and coming Alberta indie bands, will be marketed nationwide. Recently, SuperEgo recieved a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for completion of a full length album with an expected summer release.
There is an exhilarating buzz around this band!

Rarely does a band achieve this level of success in such a short period of time. SuperEgo (it’s a Freud thing) makes great music. Their fans know it and the music industry is starting to see it.