The mood is changing in the Brantford music scene.
A scene many bands once considered unsupported and overlooked is now becoming a community of musicians and music fans who are proud of what they have accomplished and want to share it with the world.
“I moved here three years ago and I feel like there has been a huge change in the attitude of ‘oh there’s nothing going on in Brantford,’” said Roan Bateman of the garage pop band Familiar Fiends.
“Many people felt like there weren’t outlets and there wasn’t support out there. But just in the past year there’s been a huge shift. Two independent record stores opened and a lot of bands are coming out of the woodwork.”
That shift can be seen in the recent release of BTFD Rock Vol. 1, a seven-inch vinyl record featuring music by four local acts.
“I think there is a community growing in Brantford and this (album) is a showcase of that,” Bateman’s band mate Paul Copoc said. “This is a good start to showcase what is going on in Brantford.”
reated by The Backroom record store owner Chris George, the album features songs by local bands Familiar Fiends, Reluctant Telephone, Digital Jerusalem and Ultron Atreides.
“There really is no outlet for local bands to have an album pressed with other local bands,” George said. “It’s like a music community initiative.”
The limited edition album (only 150 copies are available) is the first in a series that is designed to show Brantford and the outside world what the city’s musicians have to offer, while also giving bands the opportunity to record, often for the first time.
“It’s very important because there’s not many outlets for them to showcase their music,” George said. “It’s one thing for bands to play shows, but another for them to see it on a soundtrack.”
BTFD Rock Vol. 1 marks the first-ever recorded track by Familiar Fiends. Copoc said they wouldn’t have been able to do it without George.
“He has done a lot in this town,” Copoc said. “He sees what’s happening here and he wants to support it. It makes you want to be part of the next thing. When you see someone supporting you, it makes it worth it.”
A second volume is already in the works and is set to be released at the end of October. George is also working on another series of albums featuring Brantford bands alongside bands from other cities.
“There’s a lot of great music coming out of Brantford and people in Guelph or Hamilton or Toronto don’t know about it,” George said. “Maybe this will give them a reason to care.”
BTFD Rock Vol. 1 is available at a cost of $7 at The Backroom, located inside Custom Colour at 9 King St., The Mixdown on Dalhousie Street, Sophia’s Bakery on Colborne Street or online at www.thebackroom.ca.