Calgary's music scene gets a bad rap. We don't have the sheer number of bands that Brooklyn, Toronto or Montreal have. Yet groups like Steam Engine will help put Calgary music on the map.
With artists like Chad VanGaalen, Woodpigeon and the impressive Sled Island festival, there is a fierce concentration of talent producing a worthwhile show at least every week. Steam Engine is adding their own ferocity to that Calgary talent pool.
Made up of members from the Grim Beat, Dream Horse Spirit and Bikeland, the group is comprised of Mclean Eubank, Keith Daser and Greg Hartling. Daser first thought of the idea as a solo-project.
"[Steam Engine is] stuff I was working on that I didn't think worked with Dream Horse and that I really liked," says Daser. "I started off coming in with a few songs to the table, but everyone's contributing now. I come with parts, but it's really a group effort."
Eubank and Hartling joined soon after hearing the demos, and have apparently slid right into stride.
When asked if they truly felt at home in the band, the response was positive.
"Yeah. It's new, it's fresh," enthuses Eubank.
Although band practices are not always consistent, the trio's confidence in their music, as well as experience, shines through.
"[We're] kind of go with the flow," says Daser as Eubank nods on. "We're definitely working in ways that we previously learned from our other bands and things that don't work in regards to the motions and things that do."
Like any new band, the constraints of recording and establishing themselves in Calgary can often be at odds.
"We're definitely going into that realm where we're trying to go more effectively . . . for example, we're trying to record our EP before our February 12th show," says Daser.
Not only are they planning to be efficient, but prolific as well. When asked if they could see Steam Engine "taking over Calgary" they responded separately, but well.
"I wouldn't say ruling, but hey, go as far as you can," says Eubank. "The music is what's most important."
Daser agrees with Eubank, focusing on how much easier it is to get into the group than previous efforts like the Grim Beat or Dream Horse Spirit.
"I would say that yeah, [Steam Engine]'s definitely more accessible than the previous bands all of us have been in. It's a lot simpler, but I think it will do well."
But the connections the group have to other local bands are vitally important -- the multitude of bands are much stronger in a group than on their own.
"Well, it's weird because all of us are sort of connected to other bands that are doing things," says Hartling. "We'll be taking it, we'll take Calgary. It won't be just bands, but all the bands and us."