Hit the road jack

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Luc Rinaldi describes how keeping a band together is like making long-distance relationships last.

Playing with the same band through all of high school, I knew that eventually university would come around, and I’d no longer see my four band-mates every day of the week. It was on all our minds, but we never spoke to each other about it. Like any pair of high school sweethearts bound for separate paths, we avoided the topic and decided we’d deal with it when it came around. And so it came around, and our strategy of denial somehow worked; my band managed to dodge the notorious turkey dump that plagues couples and bands alike.

With two of us at Ryerson, one at University of Toronto, and two more living the true rock-star life avoiding post-secondary education altogether, it’s surprising our band, Faywood, is still intact.

Liam Scott, a first-year journalism student from Winnipeg, wasn’t as lucky with his hometown band, Tesseract.

“We’re technically still together,” said Scott who hasn’t played with Tesseract in months but hasn’t officially thrown in the towel yet.

Scott, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the band, manages to keep in touch with the three other members back in Winnipeg, after all, two of them are his brothers.

“Three brothers playing together,” said Scott. “It never would’ve worked anyway.”

Jonas Brothers? Hanson? Case in point.

Despite winning the Winnipeg city finals in a battle of the bands hosted by indie promoter Supernova, Scott says that Tesseract wasn’t easy to manage.

“It’s more than just best friends who play together,” he said. “You have to be able to criticize, take criticism and work together.”

Any stable band struggles with the same issues. Aside from scheduling problems and stubborn band-mates, there is the task of simultaneously maintaining a professional relationship to produce quality music while still being friends.

“It’s akin to any relationship,” said Scott, “When you know you’re leaving, it’s just harder to keep going with it.”

University in itself is the poster child for new experience. The temptation to ditch your old high-school life, lame friends, boring partner, and unmotivated band are ever-present.

How is my band still together?

If not for all of us having Tuesday nights open for practice we may not have. But after all we’ve put into the band it’d be difficult to back out now. It’s like a relationship that exists on the assumption that we’ll never have any better, that we’ve put in too much work, and that if we leave, this will forever be the one that got away.

“Being in a band is more effort than relationships I’ve been in,” says Scott. “But maybe I’m just a bad boyfriend.”

Photo by: Dion Ahwai

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