The Daybreak
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The Daybreak


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The best kept secret in music


"Everything In-Between: EP Review"

The Daybreak

Everything In-Between
Pure Violet Records

The debut EP by Toronto quartet The Daybreak shows a young band with definite potential. Their sound is a potent mix of early Radiohead and Catherine Wheel with a little Swervedriver thrown in. In short, a music geek’s wet dream.

The disc’s five tracks are a mix of energetic rock songs and Brit-pop flavoured ballads. Front man Shoe’s falsetto voice is equal parts passion and vulnerability. The arena-friendly, big rock sound of leadoff track ‘Fall Apart’ is nicely balanced by the more quiet, radio friendly moments of ‘Stepping Stone’ and ‘Say Anything’.

The two live tracks only hint at how intense and loud a Daybreak gig can be. ‘Shuffle’ does anything but, hitting the listener with a driving wall of effects laden guitars.

Everything In-Between is a compelling batch of songs that sits comfortably alongside releases by fellow Canuck anglophiles Pilate, The Dears and The Stills. Considering Canadian’s love of all things British it’s only a matter of time before they make a breakthrough.

- Andrew Horan - Magazine

"The Daybreak's Master Plan"

The Daybreak’s Master Plan

Toronto anglophiles think that the Toronto scene could learn a lot from the Brits
By Andrew Horan

In the mere two years they’ve been together The Daybreak has racked up an impressive list of opening slots. They opened for UK phenoms The Music at Lee’s Palace in February 2003 and it was only their seventh gig!

“The crowd was great, it was the kind of crowd that we always wanted to play for and still want to play for; the people who are into the indie rock but also indie rock with a British influence, people who want to come and dance and have a good time,” said guitarist/singer Shoe.

They were called in last minute to replace The Ravonettes after the Swedish rockers bailed out of a gig at The Horseshoe with The Sounds in May 2003 because of SARS.

“The good thing is that when they needed the band and House of Blues and The Horseshoe Tavern were like ‘Oh shit! What do we do?!’ guitarist Rob Domagla told S& prior to a recent gig at Lee’s Palace. “Everybody said unanimously ‘Get The Daybreak.’ So that’s what was really nice. They thought of us first,” he laughed.

Has any of this been overwhelming for this Toronto quartet? The answer to that is a resounding no. If anything The Daybreak want more attention, bigger shows and damn it! More people dancing!

“We gotta just keep looking forward, we’re not resting on any laurels because the nature of this business is so fleeting,’ Shoe stated. “Unless we keep moving forward we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backwards.”

The band has the drive, determination and confidence. Off stage they’re affable and easy going. On stage they ooze charisma and attitude. They brought the volume up to ear-splitting levels and demanded that the listless audience get up and shake their asses. While one guy did dance vigorously in front of the stage the audience responded in typical Toronto indie rock fashion; with polite head nodding and toe tapping.

Getting cooler-than-thou Toronto music fans to get up and dance can be akin to pulling teeth according the band, even though they picture a full house dancing and having a great time when they write songs. They attribute this to a combination of shyness and a lack of familiarity with their material.

While getting more people up and on the floor would be great the main thing is that people enjoy the music and have a good time at their gigs.

“Once we get the exposure that’s probably what will translate into a more energetic crowd,” Shoe admits. “I mean we try to put on a good show, we’ve been improving our shows, I feel, every time we play. Because we want people to get that vibe.”

The Daybreak are unabashed anglophiles. Shoe quips that they’re British ex-patriots who have never been to England. Their debut EP Everything In-Between had a definite Brit-pop vibe to it. There’s even been some interest from a couple UK labels. Does this mean that the band will seek fame across the pond like fellow Canucks Danko Jones and Peaches?

While they aren’t ruling out the possibility of heading over to the UK the band would like to be famous in Canada first before taking it to the rest of the world and they hold out hope that it will happen here first. Their love of all things English extends to the British star system, something they think the Toronto scene could learn from. If everyone from musicians to promoters to club owners worked together then more local bands could take off like Broken Social Scene, The Constantines and Hidden Cameras have.

“It’s top down,” Shoe said of the North American star system. “In the UK or in Europe whatever it’s bottom up it seems like.” i.e. - release a half-assed 12-song album and sell a million copies out of the gate instead of generating interest with a solid single or EP.

“The people want the next big thing, the people want stars or whatever and in Canada, we don’t want any it doesn’t seem like it,” Domagala says. “We don’t take them, like the White Stripes or The Strokes, until somebody else has made them into stars. So we should create our own star system.’

- Magazine

"NXNE 2004 Showcase Review"

Daybreak @ Club 279
Friday June 11, 2004 @ 1:00 AM
By: Staff

Band: The Daybreak
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Venue: Club 279
Date: June 10, 2004
Reporter: Caitlin Hotchkiss
Composition Melodic college rock performed by, oddly enough, four melodic college rockers.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations

80-100: Band exceeds skill and knowledge expectations. Rocked us so hard we peed our pants.

70-79: Band achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.

60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.

50-59: Band demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.

Below 50: Band has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Grade: 83

World Domination Status:
Progressing well towards world domination

Atmospheric, bittersweet post-rock in a British style (with a decidedly non-British rowdy cheering section at the front of the stage). Solid stuff.

Learning Skills:
E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really

Oral And Visual Communication

Eye Contact: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Pronounciation: S Hey, Daybreak — are you having fun onstage? Yes? Well then, smile once and a while! Pronounciation needs a bit of polishing too, but overall, these guys made a good onstage package. Having a bassist that looks vaguely like a young Chris Murphy doesn't hurt either.
Stage Presence: E
Stage Banter: G
Image: S
Appearance: G
Use Of Stage: G

Musical Analysis

Level Of Participation: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: G Once they drew a crowd in, there wasn't much stopping them (though encouraging dancing that late at night with that much alcohol in the audience's system isn't a good idea, folks). The drums helped lock the melodies together, all accentuated by the lead singer's unique vocal style and big guitar sound.

Teamwork: G
Work Habits: E
Organization: G
Audience Participation: E
Sound: G
Composition: G
Songs: E

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest

Charisma: S Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: S Now THIS is a band that knows their Chart report cards! Kudos to the guitarist for decking himself out in proper disposible indie-rock clothing, and for making the admirable attempt to flatter the journalist.

Teamwork: G
Sexiness: G
Haircut: E
Indie Rock Footwear: E
Nods To Disposible Fashion: E
Cool Equipment: G
Level Of Inebriation: S
Actual Ability: G

- ChartAttack Magazine

"Transcript of Interview on 102.1 The Edge, Canada's Largest Alternative Rock Radio Station"

Interview Transcript: 102.1 The Edge

The following is a transcript of Shoe’s April 1st interview with Dave Bookman of 102.1 The Edge which also included the international radio debut of ‘Twice As High As The Sun’.

DB = Dave Bookman
SM = Shoe

DB: 102.1 The Edge, Bookie here with you and we’re going to take a minute here to take a look at a gig happening next Tuesday at The Mod Club Theatre, it’s going to feature our friends from the U.S., stellastarr*, and a little bit of homecooking with The Daybreak, Shoe’s on the line, how you doing man?

SM: Good. How are you Dave?

DB: I’m doing OK. It’s been a gas watching you guys develop and working on some gigs with you. It was real nice to have one of the songs on your latest release recorded live at The Horseshoe, I always take pride in that.

SM: Actually, the two of them, on our E.P. …

DB: Right, right.

SM: Were from our Edge Nu Music Nite last April and it was a real honour to do it and we’re actually going to be doing another one in May probably.

DB: OK, so people who this might be their first introduction to the band, give them the thumbnail sketch of The Daybreak.

SM: Well, we started in November of 2001 that’s when myself and Rob Domagala, the other guitarist, and Mike Dawson we all met and we decided to try our hand at music, and we solidified the lineup in March with our bass player, Pat Bramm and we’re basically just a four-piece rock band inspired by, you know, British music, trying to take our influences from The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Verve, Joy Division and trying to create our own unique sound in the Toronto scene.

DB: You know it’s funny because, the name of the band, which is The Daybreak, and sort of the artwork on the record are contradictory of each other. The artwork gives it a sort of cold, sterile feel – it’s almost like Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ – that Battersea Power Station sort of a cold, warehouse look – and yet the name of the band and feeling in the music gives out something more optimistic.

SM: Well, actually I’ve never really thought about that, I guess we’re a band fraught with contradictions. The name actually comes from a Stone Roses track from the ‘Second Coming’ album …

DB: Wow, wait a second, wait a second, I’ve got somebody who can actually name a song of the ‘Second Coming’ besides ‘Ten Story Love Song’? We have a weiner!

SM: I know a lot of people at The Edge didn’t really dig the ‘Second Coming’ album …

DB: The Edge? Come on, a lot of people on the planet didn’t dig the ‘Second Coming’!

SM: Well, to be fair I think it’s a highly underrated album and I think if you look at the progression Oasis took after that album came out, and a lot of British bands, I really think that it had an influence in terms of the heavier sound.

DB: No, absolutely. And you know what, if it wasn’t for that show, down by the lake there, maybe that record would have had a chance. That, easily, was the worst show ever in the history of rock music, that Stone Roses show.

SM: That’s what I hear, unfortunately. But I have about fifteen of their live show from that tour …

DB: Right.

SM: … and some of them are quite good.

DB: Right. We’re talking with Shoe from The Daybreak. Hey, you’re going to be playing the show with stellastarr* at The Mod Club Theatre, that is a really new and very, I think an important new venue on the Toronto music scene.

SM: Yeah it’s really cool, I’ve had a chance to go down there and I really enjoy The Mod Club on Fridays and Saturdays and this new place is really quite nice – I haven’t had a chance to see a show there but it kind of reminds me of The Phoenix in terms of its set up, it should be really exciting, hopefully it should be a good time.

DB: What can we look for now, what’s the summer plans for The Daybreak?

SM: Well we’re going to try to play as many shows as we can in Toronto like we always do, and all of our shows are always free – if you go to our website,, you can always get on our guestlist. We’ve played most of our shows in Toronto but we’re going to look to play outside you know in terms of Hamilton and London, hopefully Montreal and Ottawa – we’re working on new material that’s up on our website as well and just try to get some more good opening slots and try to stir up some more interest in Toronto.

DB: Shoe, let’s put some Edge listeners and new Daybreak fans at the show, why don’t you tell us what you’ve been gracious enough to give us?

SM: This is actually one of our new tracks that we’ve been working on – we put our E.P. out in September and we’ve been working on some new songs and this is the first track that we’ve finished mixing, it’s called ‘Twice As High As The Sun’ – I think it’s the best thing that we’ve done so far and hopefully people enjoy it and dig it.

‘Twice As High As The Sun’ international radio debut.

- 102.1 The Edge

"these lines in your eyes: EP Review"

The Daybreak

These Lines in Your Eyes
Pure Violet Records

The latest offering from The Daybreak is the Toronto quartet’s strongest release to date. And it’s only their second EP!

These Lines in Your Eyes' six tracks don’t stray too far from the “veddy British” sound of their previous outing, 2003’s Everything In-Between. The disc’s soaring leadoff track ‘Miss California’ and ‘Twice as High as the Sun’ are reminiscent of the Gallagher brother’s best work, while the propulsive ‘Shuffle’ will bring back memories of the Manchester scene. The EP’s final track, ‘Promises Disappear (Let Me Say I’m Sorry)’, could make the band a hit with fans of UK acts like Coldplay.

All of this is anchored by frontman Shoe’s phenomenal vocals. He is by far one of the best lead singers on the Toronto scene.

This stellar CD only adds to the strong buzz that’s presently surrounding them and solidifies their place on the list of local bands to watch.

- Andrew Horan -


"these lines in your eyes" - 6 song EP released in April 2005

"Everything In-Between" - 5 song EP released August 2003

"Twice As High As The Sun/Hindsight" Promo EP - released April 2004

Songs featured on Commercial radio include: "April Flowers", "Say Anything", "Twice As High As The Sun"


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Daybreak was born in November 2001, when Mike Dawson (Drums), Rob Domagala (Guitar), and Sumon Mukherjee (Vocals, Guitar) began writing and rehearsing their own, all-original music. The lineup was solidified with the addition of Pat Bramm on bass in March 2003 and the band began an impressive rise within the Toronto music scene. Drawing influence from a diverse group of musical sources, including Radiohead, The Beatles, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Verve the sound of the band is engagingly familiar, a little different, but always unique. Following the June 2004 departure of Rob Domagala the group was pleased to add the talents of James Bastable, an accomplished local guitar player, as his replacement.

The Daybreak has performed extensively, drawing strong crowds at many of Toronto’s top clubs. The band has played such venues as the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, Lee's Palace, The Mod Club Theatre, and The El Mocambo. The early buzz generated by the band was illustrated when House of Blues Productions asked The Daybreak to open a sold-out showcase for English phenomenons The Music, even though the band had only performed live six times prior to the show. The band performed spectacularly, and solidified their growing reputation as one of Toronto’s most promising buzz bands.

Since then the band has shared the stage with Maroon 5, Gavin DeGraw and Mono as part of 102.1 The Edge's "Nu Music Night" - The Daybreak was happy to close the show and be the lone indie act on this major-label bill. The band has also performed alongside Sweden's The Sounds and America's Vue at another House of Blues event, showcased at the 2003 North By North-East Festival and headlined both the 102.1 The Edge Showcase at the 2004 North By North-East Festival and the MapleNationWide Showcase at North By North-East 2005. The Daybreak also performed as part of a Universal Music Showcase at the Mod Club Theatre alongside The Killers and stellastarr*. The band has released two E.P.’s - 2003’s "Everything In-Between" and, more recently, "these lines in your eyes" in April 2005, and has finishing work on their first music video, released in July of 2005. The band is also making plans for their first UK Tour, to take place in early 2006.

The Daybreak has achieved significant success on national radio, having been featured and interviewed on Canada's biggest alternative rock radio station, 102.1 The Edge, among others. Indeed, the band was very pleased to be the station's 'New Rock Preview' twice: shortly before their April 6th, 2004 show and again over the April 24th weekend. The Daybreak was very happy to have twice been given such a prestigious honour, one which very few independent bands receive. The band was also featured on The Edge's "Next Big Thing" special, alongside Pilate and The Killers, and have performed twice as part of the Steamwhistle Indie Club, live at 102.1 The Edge.

The band has also proven itself in competitive circles, finishing second in the semi-finals of the Emergenza Festival. Having caught the eye of several of the event's organizers, The Daybreak was dubbed one of Emergenza's "Bands to Watch For". Just as the band caught the eye of Emergenza, The Daybreak has not gone unnoticed by the music press: reviews of the group have been favourable. Scene and Heard’s Andrew Horan wrote that the band’s music “sits comfortably alongside releases by fellow Canuck anglophiles Pilate, The Dears and The Stills” and pointed out that the new EP "only adds to the strong buzz that's presently surrounding [the band], and solidifies The Daybreak on the list of local bands to watch"; The Strand observed that the band “[leads] the Brit-Pop scene in Toronto”; Chart Magazine wrote that The Daybreak is “moving to something good”; The Varsity noted that the band is “well on their way to a breakthrough”; and Toronto paper, The Mike remarked: "finally Canada can boast about an epic band, hard on melody and groove and with all the attitude and songs to boot."

This Is The Daybreak.