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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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Danny Goldberg ~ Head of Gold Village Entertainment.  Was the publicist for Led Zeppelin and has managed Nirvana, Stevie Nicks, The Cranberries, Martha Wainright, The Hives, Steve Earl and more... ""Making Deals with God is a great recording"!

Christopher Ward ~ celebrated singer/song writer. Composer of "Black Velvet" by Alanah Myles
"I'm Ugly 'cause You're Beautiful" is a perfect pop song. Think about the economy of the lyrics , the use of symbolism and imagery and the incredibly unique, soaring hook"!

Connie Bernardi, Station Manager Kiss FM ~ "Velvetbox will be superstars"!
Terry McBride ~ Head of Nettwerk Records. Discovered Sarah McLachlan. "Making Deals with God is quite good"!

Jani Hatchett ~ Music Writer ~ Velvetbox is unique and Carroll is unbelievable! His lyrics are so on and it doesn't hurt that he has the X Factor along with the brains"!

Kath Thompson, Virgin Radio ~ Station and Music Director ~ "Carroll is a brilliant singer and song writer"!

Jeff Graham, Kiss FM ~ "Velvetbox will be huge"!

Stan Meissner ~ celebrated singer/songwriter. "Carroll is intelligent and prolific with a unique and intriguing perspective. Not your ordinary song writer"!

Chad Nazerella ~ Producer ~ "Wow!! You don't hear a piece of work like that every day"!

Lynn Saxberg ~ Ottawa Citizen ~ "I'm Ugly 'cause You're Beautiful is a catchy song, marked by an infectious drum loop and a soaring hook. It's sweeping nature sets it apart from old-school guitar-driven rock, but seems to fit nicely with contemporary bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and Killers.

Dayna Sherek ~ Movie Director/Producer. "Velvetbox has a british alternative sound with catchy melodies. The songs stay in your head and this group will be very successful"!

Scott Haycock ~ Music Supervisor ~ "The Velvetbox recording has really catchy beats and heartfelt lyrics! Truly a unique sound that will be plastered all over film and television. It won't be long before Carroll turns Velvetbox into a music industry stud"!
- Velvetbox Inc.

"In this Contest, Judges Pick an Ugly Winner!"

In this contest, judges pick an Ugly winner

Songwriter beats out 400 entries, becomes Bear's Radio Star

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006

To thousands of people who listen to The Bear radio station, Lawson Carroll's song, I'm Ugly Cause You're Beautiful, has the potential to be a hit. After weeks of online voting and deliberation by a panel of Ottawa-area music industry judges, it was announced yesterday as the regional winner in the Canadian Radio Star contest, formerly known as the National Songwriting Competition.

The catchy song, marked by an infectious drum loop and a soaring hook and performed by Carroll's band Velvetbox, was one of 400 entries submitted to The Bear, said the station's music director, Kath Thompson. For the first time, voting was open to the public, and more than 10,000 people cast votes for their favourite of the top five finalists.

For Carroll, a songwriter who plays guitar and keyboards, the recognition is evidence of the growing interest in his music. Ugly has also received airplay on the hit-oriented Ottawa radio station, Hot 89.9, while Violet in the Snow was one of the 10 finalists in last year's songwriting competition. Another song, And I ... Like a Candle, Burn, was used in a student peace initiative, Peace-A-Chord, timed to coincide with last fall's U2 concert in Ottawa. That song will also be included in the Canadian film, Crossing the Wake, due to premiere in Toronto on Feb. 1.

Meanwhile, copies of the band's four-song sampler are selling well through their website,, and a full-length disc is expected by spring. Carroll says his independent label, Signal Hill Records, has been fielding calls from record companies and he's hoping for international distribution.

"The goal is to make this as big as it can get," Carroll says. "There's been a lot of buzz happening over the last while and we're just thrilled about the attention."

While Ugly came easily for Carroll and writing partner, Scott Norrena, it's been perfected over the last couple of years with some top producers, including Jay Ruston, the former member of Ottawa's Thermocline who's worked with Artificial Joy Club and Morrissey, and Nick Blagona, who's worked with the likes of the Police, Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day.

Ugly's sweeping nature sets it apart from old-school guitar-driven rock, but seems to fit nicely with contemporary bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and Killers.

"I've never been too much into guitar solos," Carroll says. "I'm more into going with the swell of the sound, the dynamics and emotion in the song. I'm trying to be emotive as much as possible in it."

And if you ask him what the lyrics mean, you'll find out they're wide open to debate. Carroll, who is a teacher at a Barrhaven high school, has had some interesting discussions with students about the tension between "ugly" and "beautiful."

"I'll leave it open to interpretation, but I will speak to the origin of the song," he says. "That is that beauty is narcissist and ugly plays the martyr, and through the personification of these human qualities, the inner conflict is illustrated."

Or, he admits, it could be about the boy-girl thing.

Velvetbox wins a showcase opportunity at the International Songwriters' Festival, taking place March 3-4 as part of Canadian Music Week in Toronto. The band will be one of 12 regional winners from across the country.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2006

- Ottawa Citizen

"The Cranberry in the Velvetbox"

The Cranberry in the Velvetbox
Remi L. Roy

Carroll: "My imagination is the limit"
photo: courtesy of Team Velvetbox

The Cranberries' drummer Fergal Lawler joins Ottawa's Velvetbox

There are two sides to Lawson Carroll: spiritual philanthropist and puzzling rocker. Seated across from Velvetbox's charismatic singer - sipping tea in his posh pad, Emily Haines' music filling the air with an almost ambient melody - a curious Kid Rock quote comes to mind. "If you act like you're big shit, people will think you're big shit."
Carroll's confidence is convincing. Asked if Velvetbox is Canada's Coldplay, he laughs and confesses.

A Newfoundland-born, Ottawa-based Irishman with a penchant for winded asides, Carroll doesn't believe the sky is the limit. "My imagination is the limit," he says.

For Carroll and his band, rounded out by Phil White, Daryl Deskin and The Cranberries' former backbone, Fergal Lawler, the marriage of music and poetry is a spiritual union. "It's a lifelong commitment like marriage," Carroll considers, "It's a lifestyle; it's about an emotion that you feel, translated into the soundtrack of your life."

Over a coffee mug with "A teacher opens the window to tomorrow" printed on it, words like "community," "integrity," "energy" and "magic" roll off the St. Mark's High School teacher's tongue as he explains how his band mirrors his career, his character.

Carroll's work with the Free the Children and social justice initiative Peace-a-Chord World has earned him an appointment as an O Ambassador by Oprah Winfrey.

"One thing I really want to say about each of the agencies - Oprah's Angel Network, Free the Children, Signal Hill Records and Velvetbox - is that we all have a common vision."

One thing is for certain: Through song and social work, Carroll is helping to make this world a better place.

w/ Sacha Gabriel
@ Zaphod Beeblebrox
Nov. 27

November 27th, 2008
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- Xpress


Special Limited Edition Sampler
Full length release coming-spring 2009

Making Deals with God
Releases on Valentine's Day, 2012



Velvetbox is an exciting Canadian indie band fronted by Charismatic singer, Lawson Carroll. Carroll, a Newfoundlander who lives in the Nation’s Capital is known particularly for his angelic voice, prolific lyrics and his unique perspectives on the marriage of words and music. Amidst pulsating bass lines and brutally beautiful ballads, the poet/singer paints evocative images that reflect his passion as a writer and performer. ”Symbolism and imagery have always been a very big part of my work. I write very visually and I see sound in colour and pictures”, said the artist.

With reviews of the brand new “Making Deals with God” recording claiming shades of Bowie meets Cohen, Carroll and Velvetbox certainly have a special flare. And with poignant little nuggets like ”I’m Ugly ’cause You’re Beautiful” and “I Loathe You”, Carroll comes by the monikers of “the dark angel” and “tormented artist” quite honestly. After drawing comparison’s to band’s like U2, Joy Division, Coldplay, Radiohead, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Smiths, Velvetbox’s sound is reminiscent of the wonderment of shoegazer days coupled with a fresh indie twist that brings it into it’s own spectacular sonic space.

Velvetbox’s debut offering, produced by Carroll himself, provides a lush, layered sound that in essence is the movie of Carroll’s life. Profoundly touched by the recent passing of his Mother, Carroll has dedicated the new recording to her memory. “My Mother’s finger prints are all over this recording”, quips the singer in his typical poetic fashion. “She played Beethoven to me as I lay in the cradle and her spirit has been a guiding force in this work as well”, he concluded.

Having Fergal Lawler from The Irish super group, The Cranberries and Jeremy Taggart from Canada’s alt-rock darlings, Our Lady Peace and a whole host of the industries finest on board has fans all over the world making Velvetbox a house hold name.

Winning the Canadian National Songwriting Competition with “I’m Ugly ’cause You’re Beautiful”, securing the runner-up position with “Violet in the Snow”, having “And I…Like a Candle, Burn” in a film , and “Sex!” remixed by Madonna’s producer F. Biggz has been a “great start to the campaign” according to Carroll. In fact, even demo recordings like the b-side track “Love” are finding their way into films.

Carroll exudes a striking confidence as he humbly acknowledges the success of his work. ”I am thrilled with the attention {Deals} is getting, but at the end of the day, it has been quite a cathartic journey. It is such an honour that so many people are relating to my work and I am grateful for the magic and the connection with my fans. That said, it was a process where I had to unlock the door and walk on through first”, said the 33 year old who grew up singing in the church choir.

Carroll is excited as Velvetbox prepares to share the love, live! ”All the World’s a stage”, he says. ”The songs have been written and recorded and the final step is to share them with the people. These songs are like my children and before I put them to bed, its time to kiss the world goodnight”, he says over a cup of tea in his backyard rose garden.

In support of the success of the Valentine’s Day release, Velvetbox is embarking on the “Making Deals with God” tour. They will deliver soaring anthems and cinematic masterpieces from a specially designed, Garden of Eden. Which, by the way, will aptly be presented in the most eloquent of Churches around the world.

“Music is our communion and we want to invite the world to the celebration”, says Carroll, with a devilish smile.

Velvetbox’s “Making Deals with God” recording is available in the store section of this site and through apple itunes. Click it now!

Tickets to see Velvetbox live will be available in the tour section of Tour dates will be announced soon so check back frequently and stay tuned to Velvetbox’s social media so as to avoid disappointment!