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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Daylights & Aguilera"

November 13, 2003
By Colin J. Fleming

"I want to be an astronaut or a fireman or a baseball player," says P.J. Sparks, drummer for The Living Daylights. The rock trio consists of Sparks, Corey Windover on guitar and vocals and Dan Ainsworth on bass.

For the Daylights, it seems massive success isn't their first priority. In fact, they consider music a "satisfying hobby" that is secondary to their "educational commitments." It's too bad, considering they have a pretty sweet sound.

"We have Barenaked Ladies melodies along with funky Red Hot Chili Peppers/Jamiroquai bass lines and a Wide Mouth Mason style of rock 'n' roll," Windover muses. "I know it sounds strange but I guess it would be better for someone to listen to our tunes and judge for themselves."

Fortunately, you don't even have to leave your computer for that one: just head over to www.thelivingdaylights.com and check out their downloads section. There are a couple of live tracks from Call the Office and a funky upbeat little ditty called "Living in a Parody," off The Royal Sampler.

On the indie industry and the Internet, Sparks explains, "We don't use [the Web site] for exposure that much. In the grand scheme of things, we're a pretty small fish in a huge pond when it comes to the Internet. We use it more for the purpose of keeping old friends and fans informed about what's going on with us. In the end, word of mouth is probably our greatest exposure tool."

Well, that and every university rock band's saving grace: campus radio.

"Campus radio stations allow the rotation of indie music, which gives local talent opportunities they would not have had otherwise," Windover says. "It is great for someone who loves hearing new music, without a great deal of repetition. However, if a listener is only interested in hearing the Top 40 (which isn't a bad thing), then they definitely shouldn't tune in to a campus radio station."

Top 40 also isn't bad, because even The Living Daylights have their weak spots.

"As far as legitimate natural talent goes, I think Christina Aguilera is one of the best," Windover confesses. "She has an amazing voice."

Ainsworth considers his vocal duets with Kylie Minogue over the radio one of his "nasty little habits," and Sparks just can't help liking Michael Jackson.

"I don't care how nuts he is," Sparks says. "That man can sing right up there with the best of them. And dance! Oh man, that moonwalk leaves me shaking my head every time he does it."

They indulge in pop music occasionally, but The Living Daylights also have love for the locals.

"The Parkas and Escape From Efrafa always scratch me right where I itch," Dan claims.

"Yeah," Sparks adds. "The Parkas are a fine act to check out. We've had the pleasure of playing a show with them before and they're the real deal. They can really get it done out there on stage."

The Living Daylights play The Spoke tonight. - The Gazette


"12 Questions: Night of the Living Daylights"

March 26, 2003
By Megan O'Toole

The Living Daylights took some time away from rockin' out to respond to our 12 Questions. Corey Windover (guitars/vocals), Dan Ainsworth (bass) and P.J. Sparks (percussion) each had some thoughts to contribute.

1) How did you get started in the music biz?

P.J.: Dan and I used to live around the corner from each other in Sarnia, so we started playing music together for something to do back in high school. We couldn't drive or anything, so we'd just walk over to someone's house and jam.

2) Who would you compare your sound to?

Corey: When we ask people who we sound like, it's difficult to get a solid response. We incorporate styles of funk and rock to create our own unique sound.

3) What do you like the most about the music scene?

Dan: The fact that people will go to the bar solely for the purpose of watching our band is very satisfying.

Corey: I enjoy the opportunity of expression through music, and it's an amazing feeling to see people singing along at our shows.

4) Is it your eventual goal to be signed to a major label?

P.J.: Our goal is to have fun and be the best we can be. A record deal would be cool for something to try, I think.

5) What is your current favourite book?

Corey: Lately, all I have been reading is textbooks.

P.J.: Ghost Rider by Neil Peart.

Dan: Beach Boy by Ardashir Vakil.

6) What do you think about the recent hype surrounding "garage bands"?

P.J.: I predict the hype will die down just like it did for the last few "big things" in rock 'n' roll. Techno was massive for awhile, but it died down and settled into a place alongside all the other forms of rock. I think that'll eventually happen with "garage bands."

7) What is in your CD player right now?

Corey: 311 – Grassroots, The Beatles – Rubber Soul, Phish – Round Room

P.J.: Matthew Good – Avalanche, Linkin Park – Meteora, Rush – Signals

Dan: Jamiroquai – Travelling Without Moving, The Living Daylights – The Royal Sampler

8) Why should people go to your live show?

P.J.: I think our show offers a little something for everybody, without blowing the person's eardrums out. We play rock music with an up-tempo sound, but we try not to drown things out in a wash of guitars or wailing vocals.

9) Has your music ever scared the living daylights out of people? (Insert groan here.)

Corey: Come on out on Thursday and we'll do our best!

10) What's your take on reality television?

Dan: It's about as popular as rugburn.

Corey: It's fixed.

11) Do you believe in using music to convey political messages?

P.J.: If that is what a musician wants to do with his four minutes of radio time, then that is what he or she should do. If a person's views on something like politics are so strong that they want to share them, then what better way to get their thoughts out there?

12) Any last words for London readers?

Corey: Come out on Thursday – trust the Daylights, it is well worth it!

The Living Daylights will hit The Spoke Thursday night with Seconds to Go and Brontothesauras. Admission is free.

- The Gazette


"Daylights Live It Up"

February 15, 2005
By Anna Coutts

You may know that The Living Daylights is the name of one of the numerous movies in the Bond chain, but did you also know that it is the name of an up-and-coming Canadian band?

“I don’t really know if there is a connection between the two,” Daylights drummer P.J. Sparks confesses. “We all just decided to try and come up with names and that was the name our bass player suggested.”

The name stuck, and so did the band; the majority of the members have been playing together for several years now.

“Three out of four of us have known each other since we were like five,” notes Sparks, adding in that time they have always managed to play together with “little to no problems.”

Despite years of friendship, The Daylights did not officially form until 2001. Since then the band has been busy. The group plans to release a full length album this March and has also been nominated for a London Music Award.

Sparks admits that being in a band can be a tad stressful, especially since he and singer Cory Windover also need to fit studying at Western into their routine. As well, excellent time management is needed to co-ordinate all the members’ schedules. “[Cory and I] are here and our other two members are in Sarnia. A lot of the time we will just stay in touch through phone and email.”

However, the distance helps keep the band in good standing with one another. Says Sparks, “It gives us time to think about what we want out of our songs and what we want to say about them or add to them. Having distance between us means we never say things we regret, and that way, we don’t end up fighting.”

Whether it be the distance or the long-time friendships, a mixture of “eclectic, melodic and harmonic songs” is created when the guys pool their talents.

Every member has different musical influences from Rush and Saves the Day to The Beatles and Megadeth, which they drop into their songs from time to time. As a result, The Daylights’ sound has developed into an extremely original concoction — especially in terms of vocals.

“All of us sing, and so we all harmonize on different songs in our own individual way,” Sparks reveals, adding that lead vocalist Windover is extremely passionate.

“He really puts his heart into each and every song,” Sparks adds.

And Sparks’ enthusiasm continues: “If I can stay in the industry, I will.” He hopes that “someone offers to get us out there, setting up tours and selling records,” but he doesn’t expect it. “How often do such awesome opportunities come your way?”

For now, the band is just focusing on the projects at hand. “[The London Music Award] nomination [has] given us an increase of hits on our site, and hopefully the release of our album will get us some solid sales. Maybe then our album will end up getting into the right hands and we can go from there...”

The Living Daylights will perform at The Salt Lounge tonight as part of a Battle of the Bands. Doors open at 9 p.m.

- The Gazette


"Local band launches first full length CD this weekend"

By Kelly-Jo Maxam

It’s a local band that is undergoing a bit of a change. The Living Daylights is now going to be known as TLD. But, although the name is slightly different, the members are the same and remain committed to giving fans their particular brand of melodic, funky and “full of vocal harmonies” music.
The band’s debut album is called Still Life Action, and will be launched this Sunday night at Woody’s Beach Bar.
“We’re really excited about it,” says drummer Peter Sparks. “We’ve done some recordings and demos and things like that, but nothing of this calibre.”
Recordings started at the beginning of this year on the independent release. Band members include Sparks, bassist Dan Ainsworth, Jason Doucet on guitar and Corey Windover on vocals. They guys are handling promotion and distribution of Still Life Action themselves. The band, which was a three-piece until last year, formed in 2001, and was able to stay intact even though members were pursuing other interests, like university. Windover was studying kinesiology, while Sparks was in health sciences.
When asked if the goal is to make music a career, Sparks says the best approach is to keep options open.
“I think we’re all real enough guys to never expect something to happen. If it did, great, but we make it a point to stay grounded.”
There will be no cover charge at the Woody’s Beach Bar CD launch show, but Sparks says there will be representation from the Canadian Cancer Society and donations are welcome. The doors open at 9 p.m. The CD, which features 11 tracks, will be available for $10. You can also get it at Sam the Record Man, Sunrise Records and Cheeky Monkey, or visit the band’s website at www.thelivingdaylights.com.
You can catch them next at The Chubby Pickle in Windsor on June 21.
- Sarnia This Week


"Album release party this Sunday"

By Stephen Huebl

CD Boasts Original Songs

With the release of their debut album this weekend, local band TLD, formerly known as The Living Daylights, are beginning to realize the fruits of their labour.
What started as a couple of neighbourhood buddies getting together for jam sessions, has grown into a four-member band boasting multi-city recognition and now a CD to show for it.
“I’ve never had a CD wrapped in plastic before,” said PJ Sparks, holding the group’s eleven-track LP entitled “still life action,” in his hand.
Sparks said the most rewarding part is knowing they did it on their own, with all original songs, and with money made by the band.
None of the band members had to put any of their own money into the venture.
“This came out of hard work and no blowing money on beers after the shows,” Sparks said. “Everything on here is personal to us and I’m really proud of it.”
The band consists of Sparks on drums, Dan Ainsworth on bass, Corey Windover on vocals and Jason Doucet on guitar.
TLD started out with childhood friends Sparks and Ainsworth forming their own band. Windover, who had been playing on his own, joined the band soon thereafter.
The threesome lasted until 2001, when Doucet joined the band.
“That’s when it really happened,” said Ainsworth. “Before we were just playing for fun and a good time. We’re still playing for a good time, but now it’s more professional.”
Even when the band was starting out, they wanted to sound good every time they were on stage, Sparks said.
“Although we were doing it for fun, there was some pride involved,” he said. “We worked at it and we forced ourselves to get better.”
When the band was asked to describe their music, they all had a slightly different take on how to describe it.
Summertime tunes with a California feel, said Doucet. Ainsworth said it has a bit of an east-coast feel with a hint of reggae.
“It’s all feel-good, there’s no depressing stuff,” added Sparks.
“It’s upbeat, it’s new and it’s really unique,” said Ainsworth.
All four are proud that their music isn’t being likened to groups that are already out there. They say their goal is to set themselves apart.
TLD performs regularly in Toronto, Windsor and London.
Although the group would like to do more shows in Sarnia, they find there’s a pretty small demand for indie music. They’ve found that most bar patrons prefer to hear cover songs rather than new, original stuff.
But there is a movement afoot, according to Windover.
“The young music scene in Sarnia is phenomenal” he said. “There is a scene, you just have to work hard to scout it out.”
Despite the limited market in Sarnia, TLD is taking off. Their website, at www.thelivingdaylights.com, has received more than 10,000 hits since it was posted about two years ago.
“It’s going to get better from here,” said Ainsworth. “This is the real deal.”
Asked where they see themselves going from here, all four members said they hope to continue playing music and, if fate allows, pursue careers in music. Currently, all four have day jobs.
But, the band’s mantra seems to be whatever happens, happens.
“We never expect anything to com along that will change our lives,’ said Sparks, while admitting they would gladly grab an opportunity if it did come along.
Still, some of the members can’t hide their ambitions.
I’m not going to lie, ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a rock star,” said Doucet.
The CD release show is being held at Woody’s Beach Bar in Sarnia tomorrow night (June 19). Doors open at 9 p.m. and copies of their new album will be available for $10. There won’t be a cover, but the group is asking people to make a donation at the door to the Sarnia Lambton branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The CD will also be available at Sam the Record Man, Sunrise Records, at the Cheeky Monkey and online at the band’s website.
TLD’s next performance will be at the Chubby Pickle on June 21 in Windsor.
- Sarnia Observer


Discography

still life action (2005)

MP3 downloads available at www.thelivingdaylights.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

From humble beginnings, a band of four gifted musicians emerged from the chemical waste of Sarnia’s beloved valley to collaborate their talents and form the latest rock sensation, TLD. Their fresh sound and rugged good looks inspired this quartet to dominate southwestern Ontario’s local coffee shops and pubs, drawing crowds from all over the province.
Though they have only been on the music scene for a short time, their unique combination of funk and rock melodies make them distinguishable against a sea of countless rock bands. Dan Ainsworth provides the catchy rhythm in his bass lines that ground each song while Peter J. Sparks (also known as the lovable P.J.) holds down the beat, still having time to inject his own topical sense of humour. Corey Windover brings mature vocal stylings to his brand of song writing featuring heavy percussive rhythms contrasted with delicate melodies. And with Jason Doucet, the most recent addition to the band whose guitar leads help fill out the band’s sonic force, we have TLD: a new and innovative sound of pop-rock today.