By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – There’s always a risk versus reward factor to be calculated when entering into any endeavour with a grain of seriousness. That’s why the eight artists behind Winnipeg’s instrumental psych-jazz-space-rock phenomenon Apollo Suns knew they were going to have to ‘go big or go home’ when it came time to put their musical educations to work. And go big they did.
“Most of the band are University of Manitoba students in the Jazz/Classical program, so they have that common thread between them,” says guitarist and founding member Ed Durocher.
“It was important when we were putting the band together; I wanted to make sure they were killer players but wanting them to be able to step beyond jazz and incorporate many different styles.”
Pooling their creative moxie and putting aside preconceived notions of labels and genres paid off as the upstanding octet just received a nomination for Western Canadian Music Awards’ 2018 “Instrumental Artist of the Year.” It’s an accomplishment Durocher is proud to attribute to the flexibility and foresight of his considerable company of players.
“We share common interests in musical tastes, but then everyone has their own style as well which can be great to mix together and really stretch out,” he says. “As for the vision, we all share the desire, or maybe desperate need, to make the audience feel joy. I want everyone to leave a performance feeling good and then to go spread that feeling to more people.”
Finding their sweet spot and the fans that go along with it, Apollo Suns have been touring Canada with their innovative reimaging of familiar, yet progressive, classic rock and jazz elements. And with future appearances waiting in the wings, there will be no riding off into the dusk for these unsung Manitoban moonchasers anytime soon.
“Well, the scheduling can be a nightmare but luckily everyone has made the time for the project. I think that when you play music honestly and from the heart no matter what you are doing it will resonate with people. Regardless of not having vocals I think we connect with people.”
Apollo Suns perform July 13 at The Cavern (Winnipeg), July 19 at The Capital (Regina), July 21 at Mikey’s on 12th (Calgary), July 22 at The Vat (Red Deer), July 24 at HI Alpine Ctr. (Banff), July 25 at The Sewing Machine Factory (Edmonton), and July 26 at Bo’s Bar and Grill (Red Deer)Apollo Suns, Bo’s Bar and Grill, HI Alpine Ctr., Mikey’s, The Capital, The Cavern, The Sewing Machine Factory, The Vat