Think of rock bands that have emerged from the Maritimes and April Wine immediately springs to mind. Then you have the Sloan-inspired 1990 Halifax grunge movement – but beyond that, not much! However, if Falls River’s Gloryhound have their way, there is a new four-piece rock outfit about to make their mark across Canada.
To say Gloryhound is new is a misnomer as lead vocalist/guitarist Evan Meisner, lead guitarist/vocalist David Casey, drummer Shawn Hanlon and bassist Jeremy MacPherson have been toiling away since forming in their Halifax area high school back in 2006.
Named after a Meisner grade 10 science project, Gloryhound were originally called Gloryhound & The Skyhawks and followed a more traditional Maritimes blues/roots direction, opening for the likes of Matt Mays and Dutch Mason. They released a debut, self-titled 2007 Gloryhound & the Skyhawks in 2007 but according to Meisner, Gloryhound’s musical direction began to morph towards a hard rock scene. This resulted in their 2009 ‘Leave It Alone’ release under the shortened monicker, Gloryhound.
“Originally we were all about Neil Young and The Band,” explained Meisner calling in from Halifax before the band headed out on a Canadian tour to promote their new “Loaded Gun” record which will be previewed Saturday August 9th at Hamilton’s Festival Of Friends al. “But as we evolved, we wanted to be loud, make some noise, and have some fun so we developed a rudimentary rock sound. When were in school, we heard Sloan and that inspired us and gave us the impression we could do it too,”
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What roots fans they had with their country rock direction record were replaced by an even stronger following as they released a second, more raw-sounding `Electric Dusk’ seven-track independent EP in 2010. Toronto-based eOne Entertainment signed the band two years later and re-released `Electric Dusk with full national distribution
“When you’re 23 hours away from Toronto,” you have to get out and play and that’s what we did,” explained Meisner whose exposure led to the usual round of Canadian Music Week and NXNE showcases. “It’s true that you get some really bad slots, two years ago we were down to play a CMW showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern at 2:25 am. Yet even though anyone left at that gig iwas probably hammered by that time, our manager Gordon Lapp did entice 20 of the industry’s most influential people to catch our act and Ralph James from The Agency was impressed enough to sign us.”
Last year (2013) they earned a more desirable time slot at the Rivoli and ace producer Gggarth (sic) Richardson ( Race Against The Machine) was sufficiently impressed with their performance to agree to produce their new record, `Loaded Gun’. And to add icing to the cake, legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, John Lennon) was enticed to mix their release resulting in two superstar producers being involved in the project.
Having built up a solid following with dates opening for Thin Lizzy at Toronto’ s Sound Academy plus opening slots for The Cult and Deep Purple and a memorable gig at Moncton, New Brunswick’s Magnetic Hill opening for Nicklelback and Three Days Grace in July 2012, Gloryhound are steadily building a national fan base.
“We’re really pleased with the new record,” allowed Meisner. “Production-wise it’s a lot more polished but we are still keeping a dirty edge – there’s not a lot of bells and whistles in the production, it still has a raw sound.”