When musicians land a reality TV show gig and then, due to exposure, talent or both, land a recording contract, record an album and go on tour, are they any more deserving of our attention as the bands who didn’t get the gig?
On one hand, says These Kids Wear Crowns guitarist Josh “Gypsy” McDaniel, gifted exposure is a window of opportunity and whether or not a group is accepted is up to the listeners and viewers.
“You can’t take a band and go, ‘this band is gonna be huge’ and make it happen,” says the 24-year-old native of Chilliwack, B.C. “But you can put them on a medium that’s going to make people hear it, and then at that point the people decide.”
On the other hand, though they often attract huge numbers of followers, sell tonnes of records and embark on lengthy tours, musicians who run the reality show sequence often carry a stigma of having ‘sold out’ or having unfairly avoided paying their dues.
These Kids Wear Crowns (TKWC) is that band in Canada right now.
In 2009 the group appeared on Much Music’s popular program “disBAND” and won the judges’ approval with their high-energy, danceable pop-rock style. As a result they landed a contract with Capitol Records/EMI, recorded their debut album “Jumpstart” and are touring Canada.
They land in Newfoundland next week for shows in Corner Brook, Stephenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Clarenville, St. John’s and Marystown.
“We’re just hard-working guys that like to play music (who) got a lucky break,” says McDaniel. And, really, the proof is in the pudding. You can get lucky and win a race, but you can’t get lucky and win the next five or six. Luck only goes so far ... (and) all you really gotta do is prove you’re not a flash in the pan by keeping honest and building your fan base.”
McDaniel was the latest member to join the band. He’s also part of the reason they were “discovered” by Much Music.
“My old band went on tour and I’m not going to say I begged ‘These Kids’ to come, but I told them I’d do anything, because I heard their demos of the first EP and I just wanted other people to hear it,” he recalls.
A week after the tour had ended TKWC bassist and band co-founder Alan Poettcker called McDaniel with the news the group had been invited on “disBAND” and the band wanted him to join.
“I’ve never been surrounded by a group of people that was more honest and secure with who they are and what they want to do,” says McDaniel.
“We make music that we really love. When the six of us get together this is what comes out.
“We sit down, write songs together and ideas meld, and ba-da-boom, you’ve got something you wouldn’t have been able to create on your own.”
The songs are decidedly upbeat, mightily catchy and, well, fun.
“We want to inspire (people) to do upbeat, happy, great things,” says McDaniel, “whether that’s dancing in the kitchen with a spatula or realizing that what you’re up to in your life is not going to lead you to be the happy person you want to be. We believe the power of being positive and living like you love it, if you will, is a huge thing that can create positive change around you in your life.
“We didn’t want to write songs that people would listen to and feel worse after,” he laughs. “It was a small but important goal, that we wanted you to listen to our record and feel better than you did before. That’s what “Jumpstart” was all about.”
These Kids Wear Crowns perform at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook Oct. 15, Razoolies in Stephenville Oct. 16, the Classic Theatre in Grand Falls-Windsor Oct. 19, the Clarenville Events Centre Oct. 20, the CLB Armoury in St. John’s Oct. 21 and the Marystown Hotel Ballroom Oct. 22.
For more information visit the band’s web site, www.thesekidswearcrowns.com.