Wasabi Fox
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Wasabi Fox

North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Blues


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Vancouver’s Wasabi Fox bring to their music the raw echoes of garage band rockers emulating idols like Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Steve Earle, Drive-By Truckers, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Sublime, who have now evolved into a collaborative group of professional performers and songwriters. Their ‘in your face’ style – the relentless percussion and tight bass, cooled with bluesy funk guitar licks -- compels their audiences to move, dance and really connect with the band.

While all the band members had been performing together at private parties and local events throughout high school, it was not until roommates Nigel and Travis Wall and Brandon Speight ‘found their voice’ in lead singer and occasional bandmate Marlon Strang, that they became Wasabi Fox in late 2009. They brought in long-time friend Dan Guillon, as manager and, one year later, a loyal following and growing numbers of dedicated Facebook and YouTube fans has resulted in sold out venues whenever they play. The band recently recorded an EP and is working toward the release of a first album.

As did all the band members, Brandon (“Speighter”) Speight grew up in the tight-knit West Vancouver community of Bowen Island. He was introduced to guitar and rock music by his dad, Chris and joined another friend, Mac Davidson and the Wall brothers in a high school band that gained a formidable reputation for rocking not only their parent’s basement, but small local events. Thus the roots of what was to become Wasabi Fox took hold. Brandon took up carpentry after graduation, took a year off in Montreal, and returned anxious to rejoin the band.

Travis Wall, a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, is the drummer and goodwill ambassador for Wasabi Fox. His dad, Robert, was a great musical mentor to Travis and his brother Nigel. Travis started piano lessons at an early age and by high school had added percussion to his musical skill set. He completed the commercial animation program a Capilano University in 2006 and continues to work in the industry while performing with the band. His credits include George of the Jungle, Kid vs Kat and, of course, the Wasabi Fox logo. After a brief hiatus while he attended University, Travis came back convinced the band was ready to take things to the next level. With his brother Nigel, and the other future Wasabi Fox members, he moved to a rental house in North Vancouver which provided convenient and private practice space for the band.

Nigel Wall picked up the bass guitar at the age of 12 and quickly grew into a solid player under the tutelage of dad, Robert. By high school, he was playing bass guitar with his brother Travis and friends Brandon and Mac in their band – which had begun to attract notice within the Bowen and West Vancouver communities. He simultaneously formed the punk-influenced group Daytona with future Wasabi Fox lead singer Marlon Strang. It was during this time that Nigel got his firm grounding in rock and roll, and perfected his playing technique. After high school he continued to jam with various players and fell in love with funk, but a cohesive band did not materialize until the emergence of Wasabi Fox. Nigel’s rock/funk grooves and musicianship form the glue that binds the power quartet together.

Even before discovering his own musical talent, Marlon Strang was already frequenting the gigs at local Bowen Island teen centers and halls where his future band mates were performing. The guitar eventually found its way into Marlon’s hands when, after an evening listening to Led Zeppelin in his friends’ basement, he went home and dusted off his dad’s old Stratacastor which started him on his musical journey. In high school he formed his first band, Daytona, with Nigel Wall on base guitar. After the split up of Daytona in 2005, Marlon took some time off from the band dynamic and honed his skills as a song writer. In 2008 he started up a new band with Nigel and his former childhood band mates Travis and Speighter. By late 2009 they had found their collective identity and called themselves Wasabi Fox…and the legend was born.