The Band Before Time
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The Band Before Time

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative




"BBT: A Timeless Music Experience"

As a slice of homegrown talent, Halifax housed band, The Band Before Time (BBT), has been honing their sound and improving with age like a fine bottle of wine. During a sit down with Bryce Tully, an Acadia alumni and the man behind the synthesizer and organ for BBT, I came to see how far the band has come since their high school beginnings.

Impressively, the five-member group has been writing and playing their own original music since 2004, which resulted in their first EP in 2005. As Tully explains it, “We released an EP in 2005, which we thought was the bees knees,” but when the band threw the album on while touring this past summer, “let’s just say we realized how badly we insulted the bee population.”
Since then, the band has continued working on their music and writing more original songs, which brought about their first true album, Bootscats, in 2011. Tully spoke on behalf of the group when he said, “We’re very happy with the album, but we’re also getting very excited about how much we’re improving and are looking forward to recording another album this summer.”
In terms of recent success for BBT, they have been signed on to play a New Years show with Skratch Bastid at the World Trade and Convention Center in Halifax. Another feather in the bands cap is their recent Hysteria 2011 win, which is a performance and song writing competition put on by Supernova.

Now that you are all caught up on the bands credentials, let’s take a beat and talk about their sound. When asked to define BBT’s music, Tully, not so succinctly, narrowed it down to a spicy combo of folk, rock, reggae and pop. While the band is serious about their music, Tully made it clear that ultimately “we like getting people to dance and enjoy our shows.” Major influences for the band range from Ben Harper to the Police, which helps explain their unique sound.

So the hype has been built and the stage has been set, and you are likely all hankering to take a listen and catch a gander of this group in a live performance. Well, to that I say, rest easy, as they are currently working in cahoots with the ASU to set a date to perform this January at the Axe Lounge.

Keep in mind that this is one of the first original live music performances at the Axe Lounge this year, which is a rare event that should not be passed up. If you are one of the many people who have complained about Wolfville’s bar scene not being diverse enough, then here is a golden opportunity for you to experience something new. For all of you who may still be on the fence about coming to the Axe Lounge to hear BBT play after Christmas break, this little snippet from Tully just may take the guess work out of your decision process: “We have sexual subliminal messages in our songs. We’ve noticed in the past few months that a lot of people have been picking up at our shows…if this is enticing at all.”

As a sweet plus, two of the band members are Acadia grads so they are bound to get our name right when trying to rev up the crowd at the show (sorry B.O.B., Arcadia we are not).

Since I’m banking that a lot of you are pretty keen on hearing some of BBT’s tunes before they roll into Wolfville in January, head to to download their album Bootscats for free and take a listen to some of those subliminal messages Tully mentioned earlier. - The Athenaeum

"The Band Before Time visit Sackville; dancing ensues"

Matt Thomson
Argosy Staff

Bumpin' dance-floor, incredible atmosphere, great music and crowd surfing on a Thursday night in Sackville? That was the scene at the Pub this past Thursday as The Band Before Time returned to Sackville, courtesy of the SAC.
B.B.T. is riding a hot streak as they are coming from their biggest gig to date. Lead singer Charlie Grant and drummer Mark Larsen remembered their gig at Pier 21 in Halifax for New Years Eve: "We played until quarter to twelve and it was absolutely amazing. By the time we got off we just had time for a glass of champagne and a midnight kiss. It was more of an honour than anything. It was definitely the biggest crowd we've played in front of." Certainly the Mount Alii pub crowd had some work ahead of them to rival the New Year's show.
The band hailing from Halifax took the stage around 11:30 pm following an opening set by Julien Simon. The atmosphere was buzzing as the indie/folk/rock quintet began playing in front of the newly decorated pub walls, an addition that got nothing but rave reviews from everyone in attendance, including Charlie Grant, guitarist and lead singer for BBT: "They were amazing. They looked great and the crowd was awesome." It was certainly a two-way relationship as the band and the crowd fed off each other's energy all night. As the dance-floor reached capacity, the band would throw out crowd pleasers like "Why Can't We Be Friends" by War. "I can't stop dancing!"; "I Love the BBT!" shouted Brooke Linkletter and Kaylin Wry respectively as they danced their way by my table. These feelings were shared by many, as tables were repeatedly moved back to allow for more room on the dance-floor.
Covers were not the only songs being played, however. BBT originals quickly became crowd favorites. “Red Water Buffalo” made foot stomping contagious, as Mt. A's own Jasper Crace plucked the banjo on the tune. They then showcased their versatility as they changed their pace up and broke into the anthemic "Buddy". The jumping crowd took pleasure in the change of pace as those who (like myself) were unfamiliar with the song soon found themselves bellowing out "Buddy" at the top of their lungs. It was an experience to witness the entire dance-floor locked arm in arm as they sung out for all they were worth.
Their style could only be described as an Indie/Folk/Rock hybrid that fits perfectly into the Sackville music scene. The music seemed to get better as the night wore on, and the boisterous crowd enjoyed every last bit of it as the evening progressed. It was fitting that the relationship between the band and the crowd culminated in the last song of the evening. It was the last encore, and the line between band and audience was completely erased. The Band's classic "The Weight" was sung not only by Charlie, Jeff, Bryce, Jasper and Mark of BBT, but also by the 100+ crowd that was present. It was a special experience, and it was with a tip of the cap that Mark Larsen spoke the final words into the microphone; "Always the best crowd at Mt. A, always."
- Argosy: Mount Allison Student Paper

"The Band Before Time offers fans free music"

In the past two decades, the music industry has undergone more in the way of change than probably any other time in history. With people choosing to legally (or illegally) download music via online stores and file sharing sites, the industry has become a dog eat dog survival game where it has become more about getting your music out to the public rather than racking up sales.

In a move that is not entirely uncommon these days, Halifax melodic guitar-rock band The Band Before Time has chosen to offer their newest record, Bootscats, for free via their website at Fans interested in supporting the group in a monetary sense are welcome to do so as well (also via their website) however as far as drummer Mark Larsen is concerned, getting their music out to as many people as possible is their primary goal.

“Obviously, today’s music industry is very different from 20 years ago,” Larsen begins. “Technology makes it possible for anybody to produce a CD these days and with so much music out there, the buying public can be hesitant to pay for it unless they know they are directly supporting the band.

“We didn’t want people to have to pay for our music unless they really liked it and wanted to help us keep making it. There are definitely some people that still value having physical product. Holding a CD and browsing the artwork feels good but it isn’t quite as popular these days because it is no longer the most convenient option.”

Recorded with popular Halifax producer Charles Austin, Larsen says that the group turned around Bootscats in a relatively speedy four-day span at Austin’s Echo Chamber Studios.

“We had some prior recordings that we felt didn’t represent the band in the way we wanted, but at Echo Chamber, Charles and Dave gave us a lot of space and ended up tracking some great sounds for us.”

Citing a diverse range of musical tastes including Primus, The Police and Iron Maiden, The Band Before Time’s sound is probably closer to modern rock bands like Pearl Jam than any of the above bands. Despite having known one another from their childhood, band members Larsen, Charlie Grant, Jasper Crace, Jeff Bethune and Bryce Tully only started making music together while in high school in 2004.

“We are pretty lucky that each of us bring an eclectic taste in music to the band. While we share a lot of musical interests, our individual influences stems from our own preferences which in turn makes for unique songs and jams.”

Article published in July 15, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript - Ken Kelley


Bootscats - 2011
Other Blunders -2012



*Just selected to play Evolve Festival in Antigonish*

The Band Before Time has been an official quintet since 2008. We've made a name for ourselves in our hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia by packing the small bars we play at with rowdy groups of friends and fans. Basically anywhere you can play in Halifax, we've played there (Ok, maybe not the Metro center...yet). We've done the Atlantic Canadian University circuit many a time, notably opening for Sloan at STFX in Antigonish, NS, and playing with In-Flight Safety for homecoming at Mt. Allison in Sackville, NB.

What sets us apart from other bands the most is our diversity in musical influences - we all individually listen to pretty different stuff, and it shows in our style and music. From 80s rock, to Motown, to hip hop, to pop rock, to avant-garde indie rock, it's all in there. We're influenced greatly by contemporary Canadian rockers like Plants and Animals or the Arcade Fire, and American rock bands like My Morning Jacket, Delta Spirit, or Wilco. We also love the old stuff, the classics, of which there are too many to name. (You know who we mean though - the good stuff).

We have just released our second album, and we're really happy with it. We can't wait to promote the new songs in 2013. Our two-week tour from Nova Scotia to Ontario in 2011 to promote our first album, 'Bootscats,' was an amazing experience, and we can't wait to do it again with 'Other Blunders.'

No one should take themselves too seriously, and we certainly don't. We're a fun band to listen to, we love to play, and we love to have a good time like everyone else.