So, how did you all meet and when did the band start?
JIMMY (guitar): It actually happened pretty organically. Evan and I had been writing together in a different project for a couple of months in the middle of 2011 and had a pretty decent collection of songs. Graeme lived in the same house as Evan and we would occasionally try to jam out the songs we had written with limited success at actually pulling them off. Then in January of 2012 Graeme introduced us to Nick, with whom Graeme had done some recording sessions in Vancouver with. We had some good hangs and found that we all had fairly similar tastes in music and we organized a weekend out at Nick’s family’s cabin for a jam/writing session together. So around the end of March, with a good amount of snow still on the ground, we took our gear out to the cabin and spent 3 days eating frozen pizzas and crushing beers and writing tunes. We came up with five or six ideas that started it all.

IMG_0382Was is it easy for you guys to find your sound?
NICK (Vocals): Each member of the band has a very eclectic background of music we love and respect. When looking at our influences in a very organized manner, we began finding ourselves writing and aiming to be in the overlapping sections of our Venn diagram. It was always our intention to not just mimic or emulate the sounds of other bands, but to truly embrace the differences and try to use them as vague reference points; collectively trying to make the sound our own. We have written many albums worth of material,and are finally happy with roughly ten tracks that we feel properly represent us at this moment. But the beauty of music and being an artist is that it’s always growing and changing and a fine balance between personal experience and influence.

Has it been easy getting started? Booking shows and all that?
GRAEME (drums): In short, yes. We can honestly say that we have not really sought out any particular show or venue.Rather, we have experienced the very good fortune of being embraced by the music scene in Edmonton and have had countless invites to play shows from various promoters, venues, and other bands alike. When our sound was initially developed and we were ready to start booking shows, our natural inclination was to play Wunderbar first. We have all been long time patrons of the venue, and the gentlest man in the land, owner Craig Martell, was more than happy to accommodate us. From there, it has progressed to a point where we needn’t do more than simply reply yes or no to some pretty incredible opportunities.That being said, when it comes time to playing outside of this hotbed of talent, we are expectant of it not being without its hardships. Jimmy’s former band is a well known bunch from the West Coast. Vancouver will probably be our first stop outside of Edmonton, utilizing the connections and friendships that are already in place out there. Yet, we have purposely been securing a healthy backing in this city beforetaking to the road. Not only will it provide us with the confidence of playing to new crowds, but will serveas our proverbial backbone. Rooted within our own history, and knowing that we have a following here, Edmonton will always be comfortable and convenient.

IMG_0389What’s the dynamic of the band?
EVAN (guitar): When it comes to songwriting for the band, everything tends to happen naturally and without hindrance.For the most part we all channel our individual writing through our own instruments, never wavering to another instrument while playing live. With that being said, the enjoyment that I get from working in this band specifically, is that it is a room full of passionate people who share similar influences and speak their opinions without hesitation. Both left and right brain are at work in our jam space, and chaos is often matched with order and reason. We aren’t trying to showboat and write the most complex song,but rather the song that we enjoy playing and feel comfortable putting out into the world. When you take four or five passionate musicians and put them in a room together, egos and opinions can be a powder keg of negativity. However, with all of us being very close friends, we check our egos at the door. We are always willing to try a suggestion, and most the time that collaboration and input helps push a song forward. You can be stubborn and set in your ways, or you can embrace that an opinion being shared is only trying to forward the song in a positive way. Debate is never feared, but rather encouraged, and we try to remain democratic at all times. Opinions will be heard and tried (as long as there is merit and reason for it). This open mindedness and use of constant checks and balances pushes us forward creatively, collectively, and in a civil manner. Worst case, we argue, settle on something, have a beer, and move on.

Do you have any local faves (bands/venues/bars)?
TODD (base): Edmonton has many great venues that cater to all sorts of musical angles. Our top two would have to be Wunderbar and ARTery. Both places are run by the sweetest, fun loving, hardest working people around.The stability that they have offered this city’s music community will forever be cherished. You can find some of our favourite local artists slaying both of these rooms. They are, but not limited toSlates, Stepmothers, Jessica Jalbert, Cantoo, Camembert, The Fight, Mike James and the gang, andDiamond Mind. Check them out! For hangs, Buckingham, Black Dog and Empress are always a rad time. The University Campus offers a lot of green space for frisbee moves, and a few skateable ledges and stair sets. Stellar food can be found at The Next Act, Sugar Bowl and the most beautiful recent addition to our hood, Farrow. It’s hard to eat the same thing twice there (although we would if we could).The menu changes more than the weather in this city, so you’re always in store for something new. And they have cold brewed coffee, so duh.
The Nulls are playing the Up + Downtown Festival on Saturday Oct 11, and a special Halloween show with the Tee Tahs at The Common.

Author

Brnesh Berhe

Brnesh is from Edmonton, Alberta and started Marker in 2013. She spends her "free time" as a graphic designer and freelance writer, and has worked with/contributed to Vancouver Weekly, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Challenge her to a game of Seinfeld trivia and you will surely regret it.

 

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