It’s been an exhausting, time-consuming but ultimately rewarding experience, and now with only a few days before they find out whether they’ll be selected as one of the top three bands in this year’s Peak Performance Project, Kootenay band Shred Kelly is feeling pretty confident.
“You can’t help but be unsure of yourself the whole time,” said singer Tim Newton, who is joined in the band by Ian Page Shiner, Jordan Vlasschaert, Steve Polit and Sage McBride.
“They teach you things you should be doing for your music career, then they say go out and apply it. In the end it’s nothing but a giant learning process of what we should be doing, and no matter what the outcome, that’s what we’re taking away.”
Newton said the band had a blast meeting their co-competitors at a training camp in Princeton earlier in the year, and they’ve formed lasting friendships.
“We’re all just musicians trying to make it in a really difficult industry,” he said.
Shred Kelly describe their music as stoke-folk, a term they recently coined themselves.
“Our first tour we went all the way across to Newfoundland, and we sitting down one day filling out an interview or something like that. We had to say what genre we were. We’re not really bluegrass, not really folk rock, what are we?” he said.
Then one of the members had a moment of inspiration.
“We’re folk that gets you stoked,” he said. “Stoke-folk.”
The band is extremely popular in their hometown of Fernie, where they’ve become part of the ski town’s charm. Newton said the crowds can get pretty riled up.
“One track off our last album, New Black, it starts with a banjo. So you’re like ‘oh, this is a familiar folky banjo’ but then it builds and we’re adding crazy punk rock drums and guitars and synthesizers and at the end of the song there’s a giant crescendo, and when it hits the crowd does absolutely apeshit,” he said.
They have also filmed a music video for that track, which can be found online.
“We just want to have a fun time,” said Newton.
The top three finalists of the Peak Performance Project will be announced on Nov. 4.