By Trevor Hatter
CALGARY – A nocturnal animal taken as totem by Calgary’s sons, Electric Owl will be spreading its mighty desert rock wings and joining a sultan’s parade of bands performing at the 420 Music and Arts Festival.
Flirting with the eyeliner rock era of Sunset Blvd., Electric Owl’s groovy sound channels the flare of glam metal while still serving the murky spirits of the psychedelic forest. A welcome addition to a traditionally heavy card, the velvet winged trio’s melodic harmonies, prodding percussion and noodling guitar leads soar above the battlefield and make for the clouds in perfect unison.
“There’s no star on vocals,” says drummer and vocalist Shibby, describing the Owl’s method of “ganging-up on the chorus” while each singing their own bridges and verses. “We might be the only three-piece in the city where we all sing, all the time. I think that is something that sets us apart.”
“We are heavily influenced by bands with multiple vocalists,” bassist and vocalist Keegan Costella notes, listing Mastodon as a significant influence.
Guitarist and vocalist Cam Thomas is quick to comment that a sense of fluidity is a major factor when it comes to modulating the band’s often-vitriolic chemistry. Thus, they encourage each other to sing at any point, effectively giving over to the persuasions of the muse and the heat of the moment.
“It gives us creative license to do whatever we want,” he acknowledges.
“It’s a great project.”
Not exactly newcomers to Calgary’s 420 Music and Art Festival, the band attended the 2017 installment. This year they cross the invisible threshold and take to the stageboards as part of the official line-up. It’s the realization of a goal that drove the hard-rocking threesome to produce a self-titled EP, which was unleashed a year ago.
“We were a little apprehensive about the whole do-it-yourself thing. But, we have some recording knowledge, so we got Brad Taylor (Taylor Sound Recording & Mix Studios) to help us out,” Thomas recalls.
“We recorded the songs and he mixed and mastered everything for us. We are really happy with the end product.”
Motivated by the positive feedback, Electric Owl is already crafting their next album. This time they’ll be flying west to the pacific, taking residence in a cabin, blocking out all distractions and getting down to the work.
Electric Owl performs with Sasquatch, Great Electric Quest, Solid Brown, Gin Lahey, Haaze and Set & Stoned on day one of the 420 Music and Arts Festival, which takes place April 19 at Distortion (Calgary).420 Music and Arts Festival, Distortion, Electric Owl, Gin Lahey, Great Electric Quest, Haaze, Sasquatch, Set & Stoned, Solid Brown