The members of Static Shift are already looking forward to Christmas and it’s not just a turkey dinner and presents under the tree that have them stoked.
On Dec. 25, bassist Keone Friesen will turn 18, giving one of Western Canada’s hottest young power trios the chance to perform 18+ shows in bars in their native Alberta.
They’ve already been booked for a show at the Ship and Anchor in Calgary for Dec. 28. The bar’s manager was evidently eager to sign the group up for a show as soon as they were eligible to play.
“He asked us ‘when’s your bass player’s birthday’…we’re going to try and jump right on that because we’ve been waiting so long for it,” said guitarist and vocalist Mitchell Brady.
While they may be young – Brady and drummer Isaiah Stonehouse only recently celebrated their 18th birthdays – don’t make the mistake of thinking that these guys have a youthful sound.
With riffs and guitar solos that bring back the music of Led Zeppelin and The Who, Static Shift is a definite throwback, which can come as a surprise to some audiences.
It was Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page who inspired Brady before he’d even hit his teenage years. A documentary about the electric guitar, featuring the legendary rocker, was all that was needed to convince him to get serious about his music, and the young artist was instantly hooked.
“There’s just wild scenes of (Page) in there and he really inspired me to get into music,” Brady said.
“When I first watched that documentary I started playing six hours a day in my basement and I wasn’t really talking to lots of people,” he laughed.
“When (Friesen) reached out to me, I think that’s what really changed it around for us, and we’ve been working towards making a more vintage sound that you don’t really hear these days.”
And Static Shift employs a lot of the techniques that made Zeppelin famous, with lengthy solos and lots of improvisation playing a role in each of their live shows.
Already, the group has produced one album and an EP. Brady says he wrote most of the songs on their debut record, but that the writing process has become a much more collaborative effort of late. They’ll head back into the studio this summer with a goal of having their second album released sometime in the fall or winter.
With high school in his rearview mirror, Brady can turn his focus even more towards music. He’ll be attending the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) this fall in order to learn more about sound mixing and production.
“What I want to do is start to produce our own music and shape it in a way that we can completely control it. We’ve worked with a few studio engineers and we have no issues with them…but usually there’s a few things that we’re hearing that we want to make sound like us,” Brady explained.
Despite all of their early success, Brady hesitates to call themselves a good band just yet.
“I think we have something. I don’t know what it is, but we have some ability to play music and I think we can take it some place and I think other people see that in us too sometimes,” Brady said.
With the band already producing a sound that’s become increasingly rare in today’s music industry, and with still a couple of years left before the end of their teens, the sky is the limit for this trio.
Now if only Christmas would get here sooner.
The Static Shift will be performing in Spirit Square on July 20. John Jenkins’ Small Town Revival, as well as Field teen Slade Coffman, will perform in the tweener act.