It’s often said that everything that can be done in music has already been done, but that hasn’t stopped a local music group from expanding their own creative horizons.
Tony Hoffman, Grant Harder, Orion Donison, Brad Harsent and Steve Tanner, together known as Tap 9, are bringing a classical sound back to modern rock.
Donison, guitarist for the group, said the band started as a way for them to get together, jam and have fun while expressing themselves and their creativity.
Now, with the band having released its first self-titled album, that focus has shifted a bit.
Tanner, who plays bass guitar for the group, said the group is at a point where they need to gain some exposure and build their fan base in order to create a second album.
“You’ve got to make money if you want to make a second album,” said Tanner.
While it has been difficult for the band to tour with all the members holding full-time jobs, they have managed to gain some exposure.
Harder, the group’s saxophonist, said that the band has done a few larger gigs, such as with Red Deer’s Canada Day events as well as some corporate gigs and the odd bar.
Hoffman said that, since being released on iTunes, the group has also seen sales all over North America, Europe and even into South America.
He added the group has also managed to get some regular radio-play on stations like CBC, has been featured on a few Rhapsody playlists and is up to 2,600 hits on the YouTube video of their song For You I Bleed.
“We’re not making a lot of money every time it plays, but at least we are being heard,” said Hoffman.
With the band beginning to focus on creating a second album, Harder said they may be at a point where they will have to start touring a little more to get some cash support for the project.
Tap 9 started about three years ago when its members, who are all long-time musicians, wanted to focus on creating original music.
Vocalist and guitarist Hoffman and drummer Harsent, who had played together before in a large band, started jamming together and were soon joined by Donison, Tanner and Harder.
Before long, the men were rehearsing and writing original songs as a group.
“It was all about originals,” said Hoffman.
“We have all played covers before,”
Harsent and Hoffman said that as they and the other members of Tap 9 had played in cover bands previously, they wanted an opportunity be more creative with their music and try things they hadn’t had the opportunity to do before.
“Doing original music showcases talent,” said Harsent.
Talent is something the group has in spades, along with experience. Each member of the band had played with other musical groups long before Tap 9 came into existence.
While none of Tap 9’s members are career musicians, they all have pursued a passion for music most of their lives. Combined, the group has well over 100 years of experience.
As such, it hasn’t taken Tap 9 long to gel together and showcase its talent as a band rather than just a group of individuals.
Tanner, who plays bass for the group, said this is evident in how the band crafts their original songs.
“When we first got together it might have taken two or three months to polish a song to a finished product,” said Tanner. “Now we can have a song ready in one or two rehearsals.”
Tap 9’s sound could be described as unique, yet familiar.
It’s a confusing idea that makes itself clear after hearing the band play. While the songs are all original, the sound is classical, hence Tanner says Tap 9 is an original rock band in the style of classic rock.
He said that he has heard audiences say how nice it is to hear things like a saxophonist in a rock group, as was common in rock songs from previous decades. For more information about Tap 9, check out their web site at www.tap9.ca.
The band’s next gig is Sept. 13 at the Monkey Top Saloon in Bentley.