Herald’s Q&A: Across The Board

Featuring a dynamic and eclectic blend of indie pop rock, Across The Board have earned their stripes as one of Canada’s most engaging and promising up-incoming bands

Ahead of their special Canada 150 ‘Via Rail’ Summer Tour which sees the four-piece touch down in St. John’s on August 19th, frontwoman Jacqueline Auguste caught up with The Herald for a crash course in Canadian music culture, how to make it as a YouTube artist and much more.

  Outside of being your first time playing here in Newfoundland and Labrador, I understand this is going to be a pretty lengthy tour, your first real big East to West coast Canadian trek?

It’s going to be a little scary, but we’re getting some help from the Via Rail. Via Rail is sponsoring a portion of the tour from Toronto to Vancouver and back for the Artists On Board program for Canada 150.

We’re going to be logging and blogging and making videos on the train  all the way across and every stop what we do we’re going to research who the famous Canadian artists were who were from that area and talk a bit about their music and contribution to Canadian music overall and we’ll cover those artists as we go. The whole trip is going to be a combination of our music but 100 per cent Can-con. We’re going to be covering well known Canadian artists and maybe some of the not-so-famous ones we like as well. Personally just to get through the history of Canadian music by travelling that way is so exciting for me as an artist and a writer. Doing it on Canada’s 150th birthday is pretty epic.

  You guys really emerged as a YouTube sensation, really taking advantage of the reach of social media and now to me it really feels like you guys are branching out and finding your stride.

It really does feel that way. We put a lot of work into the beginning I think, setting up our social media and YouTube channel with over 150 videos.

We really wanted to find out what our sound was. We started off as mostly backyard jams and garage jams and created our own studio for YouTube and started to get our feet wet with our own music through that process. We saw what music we were drawn from and that we cover for the YouTube market, but we didn’t know what sound that was that came out and we had a hell of a time trying to figure out what our genre was. Honestly we still have trouble. We have conversations and call ourselves pop rock but honestly we’re like indie, alt, country, rock. It’s great, it’s a lot of fun.

As soon as we released our debut album last June and started to book gigs and come out of the internet box into real life we were petrified. There’s no editing anymore. No trying something else. Now we were playing our own music and we were kind of shy about that. We weren’t hiding behind James Bay or Fleetwood Mac, now it’s Across The Board.

  I think the YouTube/social media music age can make it difficult for an artist to stand out, given the sheer amount of material to choose from. What’s your take?

There’s so much noise out there and it’s very hard for the average person or the music industry professionals to sift through the noise when everybody from whatever genre or talent level can put something up … to sift through all of that can be I think daunting. All of that noise can be daunting and I think in the old days we’d have that filter through record companies or radio djs or the media who filter through and bring that to us with an opinion. Nowadays we do have that but we have the ability to look ourselves. There’s going to be a lot of noise but not all necessarily good that you have to try to rise above, and it can be tough.

  With a new studio album on the horizon and this tour, what do you see as the necessary steps forward for the band? 

I think what you have to do as a band is you have to let people in outside of the bubble, push yourself to the next level. The next level for us is getting out of our studio and into a professional studio.

This next full length album will be that next stage for us. What we’re hoping, in October, is to be able to take that on an international scale We’re hoping with this Canada 150 tour we’re gather more people as we go and have more hype locally and be able to play some shows locally in the fall and explore some markets we’ve make headway with through our social media markets and look at this from a more global scale. That’s sort of the plan for the band.

For more information on Across The Board including ticket information for their August 19th performance at The Ship Inn in St. John’s visit acrosstheboardmusic.ca

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