ECLECTICUS is a rock band who hails from Toronto, Canada. Members fronted by singer-songwriters Gar Reid (vocals, guitar) and Tiina LeMay (vocals, guitar), with Jono Grant (electric guitars), Chris Ross (drums), and Darrell Goodman (bass). Crossing over various genres of rock, their music is contemporary and authentic, full of layered melodies, memorable guitar riffs, and driving rhythms. The band special chemistry is undeniable and they give an exciting performance every time they hit the stage!
ECLECTICUS released their latest song titled “Losing Hope” which felt so organic to rock music! The ambitious and breathtaking single begins with a percussion-soaked introduction that remains thorough throughout. Alongside the riveting guitar riffs, the vocalist shakes you completely with his raspy and full brittle vocal tone. Rock n roll grain fleshes out of his melodies with controlled arrangements. The hook showcases the singers most passionate and compelling expression yet and in my opinion, highlights the entire lyrical connotation of the record. “Losing Hope” was a groundbreaking rock record that weaved the lines between chaotic and foghorn energy with focused, and a soft aura. With playful dynamics from loud to soft, ECLECTICUS shows off their versatility as a band and capability to deliver us anything! Expect the unexpected with this revolutionary and cutting-edge band.
Check out "Losing Hope". Read our exclusive interview with the band below!
Hi ECLECTICUS! Great to chat with you! Can you guys tell us a bit about the band? How did you form?
Likewise – it is great to have this opportunity to speak with you!
For sure...ECLECTICUS formed in 2009, releasing their first self-titled album in 2010 via an independent music label in San Francisco. “Tiina and I collaborated with various musicians in its development,” says frontman Gar Reid. After this, Gar and Tiina LeMay formed a five-piece band and rehearsed their catalogue of songs for about 8 months before performing live.
Flash forward to 2019.... as with many other bands, ECLECTICUS has had various iterations of the band. However, for the last 4 years they have been with the same band members – Jono Grant (electric guitars) and Chris Ross (Drums), with exception of Darrell Goodman (bass) who has been with them for over a year. “We have developed an incredible chemistry with each other that is bar none – this is THE band!” says Tiina.
Gar and Tiina are the singer-songwriters for ECLECTICUS, working with the band to create a big sound that is dynamic and memorable. Actually, Jono Grant who plays electric guitar in the band, also produced/engineered and co-wrote their latest eight-song LP “So Illogical”, at his studio Victory Drive Music. Jono is an award winning and nominated music producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist in Canada. He has worked with various well-known and independent artists, as well as composing hundreds of film and television scores.
Collectively as a group, who are some of your musical influences that have helped shape your sound?
“Collectively, we have many influences, particularly those bands who are vocally melodic and guitar-riff based, with driving rhythms,” says Tiina and “we are inspired by many of the greats, including Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, White Stripes, Beatles, Bowie, Sheryl Crow, PJ Harvey, and Peter Gabriel to name a few.” Gar adds “the commonality between these bands is that they wrote classic works of music that have stood the test of time. Their music is anthemic and takes you for a ride – we try to achieve that when writing.”
Jono's guitar inspiration comes from a variety of virtuosos such as: Adrian Belew (for his great sounds, techniques, sound design), David Gilmour (for his melodic style in leads, plus great layering without sounding overly layered), and Jeff Beck (mashing rock and jazz together, using bending and whammy-bar techniques).
Chris says “drumming is such a personal style but my key influences include Ginger Baker (which explains my occasional drum freak outs), Stewart Copeland and Omar Hakim (who has played with some of my favorite artists).”
Darrell adds “as a bass player my greatest influence would be Tony Levin. Geddy Lee and Les Claypool for their crazy bass techniques.”
What are some challenges you guys face as a band? How do you overcome them?
Like all bands and artists, ECLECTICUS said that their challenges are similar to other bands, particularly with the changing landscape of the music industry. “We overcome them through doing research and networking i.e. attending music events and panel discussions to become more informed on ways to thrive as a band. Toronto has a pretty vibrant music scene as well as some great resources,” says Tiina.
“But specific to us, the band name ECLECTICUS has proven to be a difficult name to spell and sometimes say” Gar says laughing...“we get around it by writing the band name out phonetically (e-klec-tik-us) and designing merch that splits the name into two – our new t-shirts that just arrived do that, so we hope it helps!”
They also have a recognizable band logo to represent the band name. “When we joined Sebastian Bach's tour this past summer, we met up with him after his meet and greets. We gave him a couple bottles of wine and put our band sticker on the bottles. He immediately noticed our band logo and said 'I know that symbol, I have been retweeting your tweets!'”
We love your new single “Losing Hope”. Can you tell us about the creation process of the song and the meaning behind it?
Thank you we are glad you like it!
“Losing Hope, is an optimistic story, despite the name. It is really speaks to choices one can make in a relationship – good or bad,” says Gar.
In terms of the process, Gar and Tiina wrote the song together on acoustic guitars at a time where they were feeling creative and inspired. Once written, they brought the song to the band to play at rehearsal. Jono was instrumental in orchestrating the larger sound with the band. Once it was ready, the band tested it out at their shows and realized it was well-received by the audience. They recorded the track at Jono's studio and then released it as a single on YouTube. Later, the song was included as their second track on their most recent album – So Illogical, which is available on most streaming sites.
Any exciting upcoming performances?
Yes indeed! ECLECTICUS was selected to participate in The Bout 2019 Showcase Festival that has a top prize of $20K. They will be performing Saturday, Apr 20 @ 10 PM at The Hideout Toronto – sponsored/supported by MusicOntario, Herve Basset Foundation, Jack Daniels, Trouble Town Records, Miller Beer, Exclaim! and more.
What's next for ECLECTICUS through 2019?
ECLECTICUS plans to perform at various festivals and venues, as well as writing and rehearsing. They aim to make a real impact on the music circuit well into 2020 and beyond.
Also, Gar will be on the silver screen soon, cast as the villain in a film based on Stephen King's Willa. It will be on the world film festival circuit in 2019/2020.
Keep up with ECLECTICUS on social media!