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Wakefield, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Wakefield, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Pop Rock




"Folk Fest Ottawa 2014 - Concert  Review-­‐  September  16,  2014"

The Strain

Local openers The Strain filled up the stage with their brand of electro-pop that shares similarities to the likes of Mother Mother and Tegan and Sara. A crowd of about 1,000 watched and clapped along to their danceable beats. The brother-sister duo used electric synth-style melodies melded with rock chords through older songs like “Roar” and new ones like “Reflections.” Lead singer David Taggart moved across the huge stage with the stamina of a festival veteran. Really poppy loops that are easy to sing along to. - Canadian  Musician  Magazine

"Catch The Strain at Ottawa FOlk Festival 2014"

On Thursday September 11th 2014 at 6pm, you can catch The Strain as they entertain the crowd at the Ottawa Folk Festival (Eh! Stage) for the first time. I recently chatted with frontman David Taggart to find out what lays ahead for the band.

David recently returned from Vancouver where he was doing some writing for the band’s upcoming album. “I met Rykka at a show here in Ottawa last year when we opened up for her. She had asked me to perform with her in the Peak Performance Project. I was a backup singer for her. It was kinda weird. I’m used to singing with a guitar in my hands. We’ve done some writing together. We’ve recorded a new single for the band and she made a guest appearance on it.”

A recent promo photo for the band was released featuring just David and sister Rylee. I enquired about the future of the band and it’s original lineup. “We had a brief moment where we weren’t sure what the future was going to be. I want to push ahead with this and Rylee does too. Alex is still on drums, but he doesn’t want to tour. He’s more into the writing and recording side of things. Nick decided he wanted to remain a part of it too. Joey Kane will be joining us on drums for touring.”

The band plans to head into the studio this fall to record their first full length album. They will be working with Howard Redekopp. “I love the Vancouver scene right now. We’ve been sending demos back forth. We work well together. I met him at the Peak Performance Project. It’s basically a summer camp for bands. They had all of these temporary studios setup. You just go in and record. It was a really cool experience.”

Funding an album is an expensive venture, especially if you’re heading to Vancouver to do it. The Strain currently have a PledgeMusic campaign underway to help cover some of the costs. “We have some cool packages available. There’s a mystery box. Everything includes an advance digital copy of the album.”

One of the items available is the chance to style David’s hair. I enquired if he’d be ok with a pink and blue mohawk. Laughing, he answered, “Yeah it’s anything goes. It’s just hair. I can shave it off and start over if I have to.”

I asked if there were any other plans he’d like to share. “Our main focus right now really is on the record. We have a few shows coming up in Ottawa, maybe a short tour.”

The band recently did a benefit show at the famed Black Sheep Inn for the Huntington Society of Canada with the Matt Dorgan Project. “It’s something that runs in our family. Our cousin organized the event and has it. Part of our PledgeMusic campaign will be donated to the Huntington Society as well.”

As for next year, “We’re probably looking at a spring release for the album. Then we hope to head out on tour after that. We’d like to play Bluesfest again too.”

The Strain are one Ottawa band worth checking out. If you’re headed to Folkfest, be sure to get there early and take in their entertaining performance. You probably won’t be able to stand still if you do! - Spotlight Ottawa

"The Strain launch Pledge campaign ahead of Folk Fest performance- September 10th, 2014"

Have you ever wondered who’s behind a rockers look? Turns out, it could be you.
Front man and lead singer of The Strain, David Taggart, has put his infamous golden locks on the chopping block – for the right price that is. It’s all part of the Wakefield bands new Pledge campaign aimed at raising money to record a new album after a two year hiatus.
“All our fans really stepped up to help us win Ottawa’s Big Money Shot [in 2012],” he said. “We’re looking for that support to help us out again.”
Pledges start as low at $10 to receive a VIP exclusive download of the new album before it’s released. But if that doesn’t peak your interest – and let’s be honest you’re just waiting for me to tell you how much it’ll cost you to dye his hair fuchsia – the band has thought up some rather unique prizes.
“It’s just hair, it’ll grow back.” But anyone that knows the singer can testify to the special bond David has with his signature indie-do and for one low payment of $300, you can take this front man and current hair model to the barber and have your way with his hair.
“His hair doesn’t matter,” Rylee Taggart, synth and back up vocalist, explaining why no amount of pledges will get her in that salon chair. “Plus, his is already crazy.”
But if you prefer to be immortalized in song, the Strain will gladly write and home-record a track just for you to the tune of $500. Or if you just want to get some face-to-face time with drummer Alex Serre or bass player Nick Johnston, then you’re only looking at $450 to get that private living room concert of your dreams (ear plugs not included).
But the band won’t be pocketing all the money raised during the campaign. Two per cent of the proceeds will be donated to a charity that “hits close to home” for the band members – the Huntington Society of Canada.
According to David, the Strain are planning to record their new album in the late fall to early winter in Vancouver where they’ll be recording with Howard Redekopp, a BC producer who has worked with big name performers such as Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother and Dear Rouge.
“It feels amazing to be playing Folk Fest. We played Bluesfest before but taking the main stage and opening up for Lorde, I’m nervous,” said Rylee.
The Strain are no strangers to Ottawa’s music scene and their campaign comes just in time for the band’s first-ever appearance on the Ottawa Folk Festival stage.
“We’re all really excited about it and it’s on a really good night,” he said. “We’re going to be playing some new songs that will be on our next record.”
If you’ve been to any of the Strain’s recent performances at the Black Sheep, then you can expect to hear some of your new favorites like “Coywolf” and “Tearing Up the Street”.
The Strain will be taking the EH! Stage at 6 pm, opening up for Dear Rouge and Lorde on Thursday, Sept. 11. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets to The Folk Festival can be purchased in advance here. - Apt613

"The Strain play the Black Sheep Inn tonight!"

The Strain is playing at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield tonight, where the band hails from. Their show will not be one to miss, as they’ll be playing songs from their upcoming album, which drops this fall. “This is the first show we’re busting out a few new songs,” David Taggart says, “It’s a good time to get a sense of what’s going to be on the next record.” The band is described as ‘high octane’, and their music easily bounces between high energy tracks, and deeper soulful acoustic songs.
Their album won’t drop until the fall, but Taggart says The Strain has no lack of material for fans to listen to in order to tide them over. “We just released ‘Tearing Up the Streets‘,” Taggart says, “And I just recorded a live, raw session at Red Boler Studios up in Wakefield, which has a sort of a ‘Southern Souls’ kind of vibe.” The acoustic ‘star’ is the first of many sets that Taggart says he wants to do, and fans can look forward to more of the same.
Kalle Mattson also joins The Strain tonight, along with The Wing and The Wild. Kalle Mattson and The Strain are no strangers to one another; they were former competitors in The Big Money Shot in 2012 where The Strain won. Both groups joined forces for the Ottawa Rock Lottery last weekend where 25 local artists come together to create 5 new bands chosen out of a hat by lottery. Kalle Mattson drummer Kyle Woods, The Strain frontman Taggart, Justice Firdawsi of Justice R.F. and Mike Libbos of The Goodluck Assembly had to create an entirely new set in 24 hrs, which they performed last Saturday night at Babylon nightclub.
Between the three bands, it won’t be a night to miss. Join The Strain, Kalle Mattson and The Wind and The Wild at the Black Sheep Inn this Friday, May 23. There will be a bus leaving The Museum of Nature at 7:30pm sharp ($10). Tickets for the show are also $10 and can be purchased online. For more info, click here. - Apt613

"Photos: Thursday at Ottawa Folk Fest"

Fans gathered at the Ottawa Folk Festival at Hogs Back Park on Thursday evening, September 11, 2014 to hear The Strain, Dear Rouge, Lorde and Serena Ryder.

David Taggart of The Strain on stage as Ottawa Folk Festival gets underway for the second day at Hog's Back Park. - Ottawa Citizen

"Ottawa Folkfest Announce Stellar Lineup"

The Ottawa Folkfest this morning released the lineup to its 21st edition of the annual festival, and the lineup is fantastic. There’s something for everyone at the five-day festival, which runs from September 10-14 at Hog’s Back Park in the middle of Ottawa.

The headliners – Lorde, The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, Foster the People, and The Gaslight Anthem – and other more notable acts – like J. Cole, Joss Stone, Coeur de Pirate – will appeal to a wide audience

There is of course significant Canadian content with emerging starlet Serena Ryder and Canadian icons Blue Rodeo.

Indie lovers, like us, will ooh and aah at the likes of The War on Drugs, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sun Kil Moon, M. Ward, The Lone Bellow, among many others.

There is still plenty of folk with The Milk Carton Kids, Simon Townshend (who could also go electric), Poor Old Shine, and Craig Cardiff.

The local content is strong with Jill Zmud, Pony Girl, The Wicked Mercy, Spencer Scharf, The Cardboard Crowns, Made Noon, Saturnfly, High Waters, The Noisy Locomotive, The Strain, and Lara Bidner.

Early-bird, full-festival passes on sale Thursday morning at 10:00 for an unbeatable price of $99, but it’s only good for one day and while quantities last. Prices will increase to $129 for the five days. - The Revue

"A Journal of Musical Things - Alan Cross"

Artist: The Strain, “Make It”

Album: Hush Hush

This song is stupid catchy!

Sounds like: A good tune, for good times, you’ll forget to remember. - A Journal of Musical Things - Alan Cross

"The Strain Hits The Maritimes"

The Strain, from Wakefield, Quebec, is making its way through the Maritimes. No, it's not the flu strain, but a quirky indie-pop band out of that pretty little town 20 minutes outside Ottawa. It also happens to be a hub of great music, thanks to its famous club The Black Sheep Inn, which hosts most of the best musicians in the country, filled to the brim almost any night of the week. I love the place, and if I had grown up there, I'm sure I would have picked up an instrument along the way as well, just to join the fun.

The Strain are touring in support of a second EP, Hush Hush, a six-track affair that sees the group lay down its own sound, complete with lots of danceable tunes, fun numbers, and a guitar edge that keeps them on the rock side. There's heavy use of synth throughout the songs, but I'd never call it synth-pop. Rather, it's power pop with synth, for lack of a better term. Roar is a big-beat number, the synth lines and drums straight out of the 80's box, with some robotic vocal effects, Duran Duran if they'd never gone chart-happy. Cold Shot Girl is bright and cheery, with a la-la-la-la-la-la playground backing vocal. But opener Untold is more mysterious, allowing the synth to sound super-cool. Meantime, The Rapture rocks out while keeping the beat up.

It's funny how young indie bands have embraced the old-school synth, finally finding ways to make it fit in to a full band, instead of having it dominate everything like the 80's bands did. And along the way, it's made the cool clubs safe for dancing again. Catch The Strain on tour at the following:

Jan 19 - Fredericton, NB - The Capital
Jan 21 - Halifax, NS - The Carleton
Jan 23 - Truro, NS - Split Crow
Jan 24 - Springhill, NS - Split Crow
Jan 26 - Saint Andrews, NB - The Red Herring Pub
Jan 28 - Montreal, QC - Petit Campus
Jan 29 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Jan 30 - Peterborough, ON - Red Dog Tavern
Jan 31 - Kingston, ON -The Mansion - EAST COAST MUSIC -CBC


Still working on that hot first release.



There’s no irony in saying there’s a lot of pressure being put on Wakefield’s The Strain. After winning 2012’s Big Money Shot that saw the Quebec-based electro-pop-rock band beat out 60 regional hopefuls they quickly landed performances at CMW, Junofest, NXNE and Bluesfest, with only 2 self-produced EPs and strong audience following. 

From the legendary Black Sheep Inn’s stage that birthed their career at just 13 years old the self-taught group have brought their dynamic live performances all over Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia since forming in 2010 and opened for Hollerado to Plants and Animals. 

Made up of principal songwriter David Taggart and his younger sister Rylee Taggart in early 2011. The 6-song Hush Hush EP was released in early 2012 independently received media attention and air-play on alternative rock radio for their first single “Make It.”

Influenced by indie-pop groups like Mother Mother and Phoenix to their dad’s Blondie albums, without internet access in the small village, Taggart turned to songwriting. Continuing to engage the themes of breaking free of small-town characters and limitations lyrically, The Strain have been diligently working on their song-writing skills in preparation for recording their first LP, including song-writing workshops with James Robertson (Down with Webster).

They are no longer the family-band but professional musicians determined to make playing catchy pop songs a career that flow as quickly as the river that runs through their small town to your headphones. 

You can now hear and request The Strain nationwide on Canadian college, university, community and major radio stations.

Band Members