Riding the wave to stardom

Was it fate that brought together the members of Not By Choice, as their website bio suggests, or merely their love for music? Either way, Liam Killeen is very passionate about his craft.

“I’ve been playing drums since I was 11 years old,” says Killeen. “Every day I try to take the music one step further.”

Not By Choice is completed by Mike Bilcox, responsible for vocals and guitar, Glenn “Chico” Dunning, who plays lead guitar, and A.J. Bovaird, the band’s bass player. The three have all known each other since high school, with Liam joining after drumming for another band.

As for the writing process, Mike comes up with lyrics and guitar riffs and then takes the songs to the band to flesh out through a couple jam

sessions. This leads to songs that cross the boundaries of genres like pop, punk and rock, with the band not restraining themselves in terms of style. Liam professes, “we like to try and be successful at anything we do.”

While playing their local scene, the group, from Ajax, Ontario, were picked up by Linus Entertainment. Their first single, “Standing All Alone,” has just been released, and their video is getting a good response on MuchMusic. It’s safe to say they’ve completed their escape from service jobs, like bill collecting and working with auto parts.

Not By Choice is now touring in

support of their first full-length nationally-distributed album, Maybe One Day. Beginning in Kitchener, they drove east to Halifax, and are now making their way west in their van. According to Liam, “the crowds everywhere have been awesome.”

Not By Choice feels strongly about putting on high-quality, high-intensity live performances. As to the exchange of energy between the audience and the band, Liam says, “it’s as much their show as ours.”

The band is enthusiastic about touring and making contact with their listeners. Their only real complaint was a lack of sleep. However, it’s clear that it is well worth being able to do what they love.

So far they’ve played with the likes of Pennywise, Avril Lavigne and T.O.R. As for their current tour with Sum 41, it sounds like they will continue to have fun, whether they are making new musical discoveries, or discovering a white substance that “adheres to everything, ceilings included”–a curious substance called mayonnaise.

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