Bain Anderson Interview – TEA Volume 14

Phillip Hong
March 1, 2010

Mixing Flavours of Music as a part of Life

This artist must have been a very curious connoisseur when it comes to tasting music – in fact, he’s compared a good track to a “bit of fine wine” for the ears. What I find very nice about this comparison is that you don’t really need to be an alcoholic to truly enjoy a fair bit of gluttony, and your liver doesn’t need a transplant if you listen to too much music.

Regardless of the horrible poetic language that was found in the previous paragraph, Bain Anderson has somehow made music an integral part of his life, like an alcoholic with a bottle of gin.

What really touches my heart is the fact that Bain has reminded me that creating music isn’t just a task for the ears, or a recipe for a chef… it can really inspire you in different ways.

PHIL: Your music has been called a “fine rock and roll wine”. What do you do to make it such an enjoying vintage?

BAIN: I think first and foremost timing plays a factor, how long to mature and when to bring it to the public. My sound has been in the making for a few years now and any release pre-mature to this one honestly would have been sub-par to my standard. I have also brought in a “brew master” mixologist Sam Ryan of SOS Music. Sam was the first producer I have met to really “get me” musically. He has definitely brought in some extra “flavour”.

PHIL: Tell me about “Place to Be”. What inspired you to create this song?

BAIN: In the past I have been known to be sort of a serious songwriter. Not too long ago I turned a corner in my life by surviving some adversity. After that, I decided to write songs that are fun, upbeat and hopefully out there to help people forget (even for just 3 minutes and 5 seconds) the trials and tribulations that life can bring.

PHIL: Children must be a very important in your life. How did it feel to be called a “rock star” by your son’s class?

BAIN: Having a son who has down syndrome has had a big impact in my life. Both musically and spiritually. Being treated like a “rock star” by my son’s class meant so much to me because kids to me, are some of the best critics you can find. They listen to music in its simplest form, the song that it is.

The kids don’t care who your producer is, if you’re signed to a label or if you recorded the CD in your garage. Kids either like your tunes or they don’t. They will however give you the kudos for trying your best and shooting for your dreams! My son Michael is a music nut (like his dad) and if I can stay in his MP3 player then I feel like I am on the right track.

Read the rest of this interview at TEA on

T Riley Interview – TEA Volume 14

Phillip Hong
February 14, 2010

A Great Sounding Nomad

She’s a self described nomad who has incorporated elements of her travelling as well as other bits of life into a deep, exciting hodgepodge of songs. What is particularly homogeneous about this artist, which is quite rare for such a varied repetoire, is the fact that her music displays a unique voice that makes it enjoying to hear in many aspects.

It’s pop without the scandal and superficial texture, with elements of rock that aren’t built to kill your eardrums, combined with singing that is as delicate as classical music without the boredom or foreign colloquy.

Teresa Riley, or “T” as she likes to be called, has an eclectic set of answers to my mainly plain set of questions.

PHIL: You’re a great singer and an equally great songwriter. Which part of your music is more enjoyable to do, and which is easier, in your opinion?

TERESA: Thank you very much for the compliment! That is a tough question to answer, but I think singing is more enjoyable, but songwriting is more like something that must be done or else I’ll explode! An analogy might be that singing is like running along a beach or dancing, and songwriting is like going to the bathroom. And the high you get from writing a song that you like is unexplainable!

PHIL: Some say that your music “does not require fast forwarding to get to the good stuff, and gets better with each listen”. Would you say that your material ages like a wine vintage, and do you believe that your fans out there will still owns technology that features “fast forwarding”?

TERESA: All of my favorite albums usually start out with me thinking it is just ok, with a couple stand out hits. Then after a few listens, other songs slowly grab me, and I am in love with the whole album and my old favourite songs are no longer my favourite songs. From what I am told, this is kind of the affect my album has had on some people. It had it on me too, but I am way too close to it to be objective about it.

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Llions Interview – TEA Volume 13

Phillip Hong
28 April, 2009

Casual “jamming” into realization

llions1To distance themselves away from the predator of the African animal kingdom (if you live in Toronto, more like Cambridge and their African Lion Safari), LLIONS had no choice but to duplicate the “L” in their name. That created a very exotic “ull” sound in my mouth as if I was speaking Korean.

The diverse genre set of this group is as diverse as the group’s origins. What I thought was Malaysian was actually Finnish… but regardless of the ancestral origins of names in general, one could easily forget these little details for a type of music that brings comfort and uniqueness to a listener’s day.

How do you get rid of this “ull” sound, you ask? Listen to their music and this tongue-twister shall cease.

PHIL: What got you into music? Is it a natural part of you?

MATT: My parents enrolled me in piano lessons at age 5. Due to my piano experience and my ability to read music I was selected to play the drums in Jr. High, and the rest is history! I have many relatives with the “musical gift”, so I’d say it’s pretty natural for me.

SATU: I think I was just born this way. And if not, my family (parents, siblings, and extended family) are all very musical and have had a huge influence on me. It’s just like speaking another language.

SUVI: Like Matt, it was my parents that put us into music. Satu and I began with piano lessons, then later on we began violin lessons as well. Add to that a musical family, and presto! I’d like to think that it is a natural part of me. My entire family is musical and has a deep love affair for music, so I’m pretty sure that it is embedded in my genes (though maybe not in the jeans that I am wearing right now)!

JARKKO: Music was a part of my family growing up, and I just picked it up. I went through the motions with some piano lessons, but even when I started to figure out the guitar I just took it for granted that music is, always was, and always would be a normal part of my life.

PHIL: How did you guys become a group?

MATT: Well… it was a rainy night in September…

SATU: 1 Satu plus 1 Suvi plus 1 Jarkko plus 1 Matt equals 4 LLIONS!!! We simply started jamming and realized we could make something out of us.

llions2SUVI: It all began one fall (right Jarkko? My memory is a bit foggy and patchy). Satu, Jarkko and I were playing around with this idea of becoming a band… then one day, our brilliant Matt joined us!

JARKKO: I always wanted to play and create music with my sisters, and one day in late 2006 it all lined up: Matt and I already were already playing together in another band, I had developed some songs for a new project but didn’t know yet what to do with them, Satu and Suvi were excited with the ideas that I was getting… the opportunity was there and everyone was game… I think we just realized that we all were on the same page with respect to the sound and style we wanted to explore.

PHIL: What is the inspiration behind “One More Left”?

SATU: …Jarkko? Really influenced by our Finnish heritage I would say.

SUVI: …Jarkko, wrote it. He is Beethoven reincarnated. Satu agrees. The rest of us simply added our own touches to One More Left. Plain and simple.

Check out the rest of the interview with Llions at TEA on

Chasing Satellites Inteview – TEA Volume 13

Phillip Hong
15 April, 2009

chasing-1Remember those long, boring history classes we were all forced to attend back in secondary school? If you remember correctly, Anik, which was Canada’s first satellite, was launched for the purpose of communication. Considering this context, I have never heard of a better name for a band like Chasing Satellites before.

This four man band is made up of a group of men who are destined to “bring back rock the way it’s supposed to be”. After listening to their music, I believe that you may very well agree.

PHIL: How did all of you get into music? How did you meet and form the band?

DAN: I have always been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. It probably started when I’d rock out to Guns n Roses while playing solos on a broom stick. Then when I was 13 I got a guitar and started figuring out chords and learning on my own…

The band formed when I got a call from my old (and present producer) Rick Salt saying there was a guitar player I should meet. I’d recently had a bad brake up with my previous band that had had a good thing going on. At first I wasn’t too sure about getting back into the whole music thing, but now I would say its one of the best things that has happened to me.

AARON: I’ve always loved music. I grew up around my grandfather who played piano for 80 years. He started giving me lessons when I was four. By the time I was 7 I couldn’t stand being told I had to practice so I decided to stop playing the piano. Instead I found my step-dad’s old guitar and started trying to figure out how to use it… it only had 4 strings when I got it and after months (maybe longer) I got two more strings. No one told me to practice and in fact I was usually told to stop… 20 years later and I’m still playing the instrument everyday! There’s something soothing about even just having the instrument in my hand….

One day I got a call from my producer (now one of my best friends) who had recently finished recording a project I had started which hadn’t ended that well. He knew I wasn’t about to stop playing music, so he told me about this guy who had a great voice and could sing all night. He figured we should meet and maybe get something going on. He gave me Dan’s number and I called the guy up, about a week later we were jamming at his house. We jammed for about a aaronyear and started looking for other guys to form the band, he called some of his buddies and I called some of mine. Dan auditioned my school buddy Zack and we jammed out. Before Zack officially joined the band we probably played with about another 5 drummers. Zack’s the man and we’ll never have another drummer, great live and great in the studio! Carl was an old friend of Dan’s who had been a front man and guitar player in his own band around town. He and Dan had always gotten complemented on each others voices and how well they went together. Carl picked up the bass and has never put it down since. I think we tried out two guys before Carl… but he’s been there since day one even when it was just me and Dan jamming and he’d come over for a beer! I gotta say a huge thanks to Rick Salt for introducing me to Dan, my brother from another mother, and for consequently forming this band of brothers, best friends, called Chasing Satellites!

Check out the rest of the interview at TEA on