Nelson born band hits the road to try making it big

A group of local musicians have quit their day jobs and packed their bags for the chance to make it big as a band.

Nelson band Tofu Stravinsky is playing their last show at Spiritbar on Friday. The group is taking their act east to Montreal.

A group of local musicians have quit their day jobs and packed their bags for the chance to make it big as a band.

To leave these jobs, in some cases well-paying and rewarding, shows the value members of Tofu Stravinsky place on playing music.

“It feels good to take a chance on something that has a lot of potential,” says Tofu’s Tyler Toews.

Tofu Stravinsky is Sarah Orton on lead vocals; Toews on guitar and vocals; Quillan Hanley playing bass; Jon Perry playing synth and EdwardT on drums.

The band will be travelling across the country in their tour van aptly named Priscilla Stravanski playing 18 shows along the way. It’s their biggest tour to date.

Once in Montreal, they plan to “do what they’ve done here,” “make friends and play shows,” says Toews, hoping to ultimately record “a proper album,” says Orton.

For Orton, a Castlegar native, this move is a big one.

“It’s definitely time to be venturing off,” she says. “It feels ready, being in a new town. I’ll put my travelling pants on.”

The young woman feels more comfortable in her skin these days having grown in the year since graduating from music school and joining Tofu Stravinsky.

While she’s excited, she’s nostalgic about the start Nelson’s given her in the business. The band’s played everywhere from Shambhala Performance Hall to Ellisons Market to the Royal and with the likes of Alex Cuba, Tequila Mockingbird and Hey Ocean.

“If it weren’t for Nelson, we’d never have had these opportunities,” says Orton. “There’s no way we’d have done this anywhere else, just starting out.”

Tofu Stravinsky’s last show is at Spiritbar Friday night as the band opens up for Kootenay Music Award winners Shred Kelley.

“The music will be great as usual,” says Toews. “But it’s also going to be a bit emotional — a lot of hugs and good byes. It’s going to be a special show taking time to reflect and celebrate our last years of living here.”

Tofu should hit the stage about 11 p.m. on Friday. The band is also playing the Falls Street stage at that night’s MarketFest at 7:30 p.m.