By Jackie Klapak
CALGARY – Quitting their jobs and leaving home, North by North is the Chicago born riff and grit band travelling coast to coast following their hearts. Starting just after high school, frontman and riff master Nate Girard paired with keys and bass expert Kendra Blank to form a band a bit like The White Stripes or Queens of the Stone Age, but with more chomp and pop. Driven by their need to create and express, the two-piece put music in the driver seat and let it take them wherever the next show is.
“[The best part about playing live] is the immediate connection you make with people,” says keys queen Blank. “Music creates this unique opportunity to bring people together.”
After putting music on the backburner for too long in Chicago, the two piece claims they have no regrets about making it their first priority and letting themselves be pushed by the spontaneous power of music. Venturing into new cities and new bars almost every night, the audience affirmation given through the connection and enjoyment is enough to keep them creating and performing. Playing loudly, filled with fire and ecstasy, the crunch rock duo continues to surprise audiences along the improvised North American tour.
While continuing to write and create new sounds, North by North’s most recent album entitled Last Days of Magic presents a fitting showcase of its members’ talents. The two construct songs with guitar and keys while experimenting with whatever sounds they can add into the mix. The two progressively build each song with magnetic drums, anchoring bass, and at times even cello or trumpet just to add more fire to the explosive sounds of North by North.
Desiring to be on tour until October, the two have only a few desires to guide them along their way. Wanting to pass through each town three or four times a year, the goal is to create a name for themselves and have more people come out every time. Alongside the ambition to continue touring coast to coast, the goal is to continue making new sounds and playing them for audiences to experience. Not to mention a music video at some point along the way.
Eager to see where they go next, North by North aims to project an attitude and a sound that inspires everyone to make some noise. “Music exposes the most vulnerable parts of you on a physical and spiritual level,” says Blank. “It’s great getting to create life long friends from a 20 to 45 minute set.”
North by North perform July 14 at Nite Owl (Calgary), July 15 at Sewing Machine Factory (Edmonton) and July 17 at The Slice (Lethbridge).Nite Owl, North by North, Sewing Machine Factory, The Slice