By Christina Zimmer
VANCOUVER — With a variety of genres ranging from dream pop, ’90s, punk and rock to experimental, this year’s Winter Waste festival is set to show the audience a cross section of some of Vancouver’s freshest, alternative music scene acts. A one-day fundraiser for the established four-day summer festival, Music Waste in June, which is, just like Winter Waste, run by volunteers. Organizer Eleanor Wearing says the principle of both events is pretty much the same: “We’re really about focusing on the local music community, about bands that are up-and-coming, maybe they’re brand-new, they haven’t played that many shows, anybody that’s doing something interesting or different from what is predominantly seen in mainstream music. We bring that philosophy to everything that we do so it’s really important to us that we have the fundraiser, I mean we want to make money but we’re also trying to stick to the culture and the spirit of Music Waste.”
When asked about this year’s line-up, Wearing explains: “We wanted a range of genres and we wanted to focus on diversity of sound but also diversity of the people that are performing, and to try to get groups that have different audiences because then you bring people together who aren’t typically at the same show. And we also think that all of these bands are doing really interesting and cool things in Vancouver and that they all deserve to get more exposure than they’re currently getting so that’s also why we put them on the bill.”
Some of the bands, such as Vancouverites Devours and Maneater have actually played at last year’s Music Waste while others, such as punk rockers Cindy Vortex have only just commenced their musical journey. From his home country of Mexico, Iñaki Gorbeña, singer and guitarist of Cindy Vortex explains that the group formed about a year ago. His band mates, Kati Jenson on the drums, guitarist Caleb Blagdon and the new bassist Ivanna Besenovsky are each also involved in other local music projects namely Lié and SBDC (Jenson), Weird Candle (Blagdon) and Mire Poix (Besenovsky), the latter also performing at Winter Waste.
The song lyrics of their loud punk rock titles such as “No soy normal” (I’m not normal) and “¿Quién Soy Yo?” (Who am I?) gravitate around themes such as the search for one’s identity and a place to call home – something a lot of expats just like Gorbeña will relate to. The first two songs they’d been working on were originally in English, he explains. “But I felt really self-conscious singing them for my friends so I just kind of changed them and improvised them into Spanish on the spot because that’s my native language.” Ever since then, the band performs in Spanish – also because it feels more authentic to Gorbeña. “I grew up listening to so much music that was primarily English because I couldn’t find the type of sounds that I wanted in my own language. So the moment we started it really became for me like ‘Alright, I’m going to make kick-ass music for my 13-year-old me.’”
While the singer currently writes most of the lyrics, the songwriting is a collaborative endeavour: “I’m very lucky to have really talented band mates. Everyone brings so much to the table. Caleb is an astonishing multi-instrumentalist, he can play any instrument and there’s a weird synchronicity where I just bring this basic rhythm section and he’ll just know exactly what the song needs. And Kati’s drumming has got such a nuance to it. It’s so melodic and intuitive. I’m very excited because Ivanna actually also speaks Spanish, I don’t know how that’s going to affect the song writing, I’m actually really hoping we might be able to have like two vocals going on and try more complicated things.”
Cindy Vortex’s first EP including five new songs will be released this month.
Winter Waste 2017 takes place from 8 p.m. on January 20 at Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse, featuring Hazy, Devours, Maneater, Co-op, Mire Poix and Cindy Vortex.BC, British Columbia, Cindy Vortex, Co-op, Devours, Hazy, Maneater, Mire Poix, Pat's Pub, Winter Waste, Winter Waste 2017