When most students graduate from the graphic design program, the door opens up for endless opportunities to venture off into the world of design.
But after Anthony Aubrey graduated, he started a band with his friends and remodeled his basement for practice space. He is now lead guitarist and lead vocals of Hey High Sun,.
The other members of the band, who are long-time friends, include Josh Hiller, lead guitar and drum box, Phoebe Jade, vocals, also standing in for percussion, Justin Gladstone on guitar, and Bobby on Bass.
They’ve been an official band for about a year now, but became serious about five months ago by doing concerts for charities like the benefit concert in Kanata at All Saints Catholic High School for their friend Matt (CJ) Clark Jenkins who unfortunately took his life last spring. The band performed at a fundraiser and helped raise approximately $13,000 for it.
“He had a lot of friends that were musicians so we brought them all together and played a set,” said Aubrey.
They have done other charity work for other causes like mental health and The Hopes Rising campaign. Asked what their most memorable moment together as a band was, they all agreed on the time they all went camping in the pouring rain. One member slept in the middle of an island in pouring rain, but the trip bonded them together as a band.
To them, that’s what it’s all about: friendship.
In fact, that seemed to be a trend among competing bands at the March 22 Observatory event. Veteran band members, !CeVilian, have been friends for 17 years and played in bands together since they were kids.
They had the most supporters of the night to hear their set, but aren’t concerned about how much success they reach — as long as they keep the bond and make great music that people can connect with.
The group is made up of three members: Cliff Menzies, vocalist and lead guitarist, Kurtis Armstrong, who used to be the band’s guitarist but who has switched to drummer because according to Menzies, “good drummers are hard to come by and everything he touches turns to gold.”
And Kevin Read, on bass, who says he is the good-looking one, provides the humour of the trio.
!CeVilian members are so tight-knit that Menzies claims that the other two members, Armstrong and Read, are his musical influences to date.
“We’ve always been playing together and we always will no matter what happens,” says Armstrong.
Other performers lined up for the night were The Dead Centuries, Free Refills and LPH- Edgar. The show took place on the evening of March 22 at 8 p.m. With The Dead Centuries kicking off the night with a 20-minute set. The bands were competing for a $1,000 cash prize that one lucky band, Hey High Sun took home.
What’s next for the band?
“Definitely recording,” says Newhook.