Featured in issue 3 of Marker
Ben Disaster and band mates Lane Cherkewick (bass), Drew Lefebvre (guitar and vocals), and Robert Burkosky (drums) bring high energy and enthusiasm to the stage when they perform, which makes their music sound natural every time. They use this talent whether they’re playing with alternative-country musicians or with their own punk rock sessions. You can hear the influence of folk and a touch of country in their sets, and you never know what will surprise you or what you’ll connect with as you listen to them play.
How do you describe your music style?
I don’t describe my musical style — I can’t. I wish I could but it doesn’t sound like one thing. I listen to a lot of different music and feel a lot of different things. Everything in life, including a new pair of shoes, affects the music I make for people and the music in my head that no one hears.
Do you remember the first album you listened to that made you think, “I want to be a musician”?
The first album I really got into was Insomniac by Green Day. I first heard it, Nirvana and Beastie Boys on the school bus. An older girl made me a tape of Green Day and I got into music early because of it, but it’s not what made me want to be a musician. Going to local hall shows, getting caught in the circle pit and being tossed around… that’s what excited me. Seeing bands break strings and impale themselves on instruments. Kids chanting to songs and sticking around instead of leaving to get drunk in the field. That’s what made me first want to play music.
What bands/musicians do you like to listen to today?
It’s hard to say what I listen to, but when I’m trying to write new music I like to take in heavy doses of the Equals, Giorgio Moroder, Daniel Romano, The Buzzcocks, and maybe my all-time home hitter, Ray Price.
What does Edmonton have to offer musicians compared to bigger Canadian cities?
Edmonton is known for its tight families in the music community. Though we may not go see each other play every time, if there’s ever a problem with a venue, a band getting robbed or jam space burning down, everyone bands together and helps each other out. The biggest thing it has to offer is that it forces you to keep in check and not be a dick head.
Where’s your favorite spot to unwind in this city?
I have a few places I like to go when things get a little nutty. I love watching storms role in at the NAIT parkade. Seeing Edmonton from all directions is great, but going for a drive and seeing my surroundings, getting lost in fields and strange woods is just as important [to me].
What’s your next big project?
Projects always seem to pop up. I have a 7 inch that Ben Disaster recorded in the summer and it’s being put out on the Edmonton-based CRUDE CITY RECORDS. It’s a label dedicated to new and old Edmonton bands. I’ve been working on a new LP for what seems like forever now. It’s been like the song One Piece at a Time by Johnny Cash. I paid for it out of my pocket and any chance I got I’d work at it and work at it, then pick it apart and look at it some more. I’m finally very happy with it and I would say is my best work yet. Beyond that, I play the Wunderbar solo with Jessica Jalbert and a new country band called the Okay Corral in September. I’m also flying to Maritimes to do a string of shows.