The Backsteps is a Canadian rock band composed of talented members who have been actively involved in the local music scene since 2015. Their journey began when Seth Hunt (guitar and vocals) and Devin Pierce (drums) founded the band under the name Mudd. Quickly thereafter, they began writing their original songs and performing gigs in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
In 2017, the band changed their name to Figure 8, and in 2018, they welcomed a new member, Luke Garrison (bass and vocals), which completed their first lineup. After making demos and performing live shows for a few months, the band had the opportunity to record some singles with a local producer. These singles garnered streams in various countries and even entered local radio stations.
By the end of 2019, the band had built a growing fanbase and was performing more gigs across Ontario. In the same year, Josh McEvoy (guitar) joined the band, and they decided to finalize their name as The Backsteps. The band's goal was to build a career in music, and they were well on their way to achieving it.
In early 2020, The Backsteps recorded a demo for their first album, 'Oh Yeah,' released in July of the same year. Like their previous singles, 'Oh Yeah' gained thousands of streams in several countries and captured the attention of Canadian talent management companies. The band promoted the demo by performing a variety of gigs across Ontario, including a sold-out show at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.
The Backsteps released their debut album, 'Goodbye Youth,' in the summer of 2021, and their fanbase continued to grow. Their sold-out shows in various cities across eastern Canada helped them gain traction and interest from different parts of North America and beyond. In March 2022, the band made their US debut at the Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood, sharing the stage with legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle.
Most recently, The Backsteps released a brand new EP in February of 2023, which has been very positively received. The band plans to record a full-length album this summer and hopes to tour the UK shortly after. With their unique sound, The Backsteps' latest EP features five new tracks that showcase their growth and creativity as a band.
As we enter the world of 'Six To Midnight,' we are greeted with" Room on Fire," a slow build fills your eardrums as you're thrust into some true "on top of a mountain" feels as Seth croons out straight from his soul amid a grand selection of sounds." Room on Fire" is a true rock and roll banger that sets the tone for the entire record. The song kicks off with a catchy guitar riff that is immediately infectious, and as soon as the drums come in, it's clear that this band knows how to rock. The song tells a story of a fiery passion and desires just to be able to breathe life back into something that's been burning for too long.
Enter "My Woman" with no bars held right from the start; we are greeted with a heavy-duty guitar riff full of attitude and charisma with vocal melodies akin to the best parts of the nostalgic era of rock we all are up with. Luke's vocals take center stage as he effortlessly sails across the grungy waves making "My Woman" a pure anthem with the marching drums to match that are sure to have you stomping your feet to the beat. The lyrics are a love letter to someone special, a fiery valkyrie capable of drowning you in fantasy and a dreamy fantasy Luke indeed drowns in as the song builds to a powerful crescendo, with the drums and bass kicking in for a dramatic finish.
The third track, "She Isn't Calling Back," is powerful and emotional, exploring themes of heartbreak and loneliness. The guitar riffs are awe-inspiring, with Seth intricate plucking his heart into every riff as he takes us right into heartbreak hotel; strap yourself in for an emotional ride full of energy and catchy early 2000s vibes. The driving percussion and bass lines give the song incredible momentum, as if you're in the front row at your favourite band's show. Devin Pierce is completely shining on this one giving us crunchy hits that are refined to science with rolls and triplets, showing that he is a true thrasher.
The fourth track, "Sweet Escape," is a standout track on the EP, featuring emotional guitar strums that pluck at your soul and send you into a state of introspection as the vocals transcend you into the dream to make it to something more than yourself. "Sweet Escape" is arguably the catchiest song on the EP, with a hook that will have you tapping your foot and humming along in no time. The lyrics tell the story of a couple that has lost their way and is looking for a way back home to serenity. The elegantly moody song takes us into a nostalgia town with fresh but familiar tones and layers. Luke Garrison steps forward with his deep bass work as he sets an undisputed foundation for the hopefully gloomy tone of the song; the deepness of the bass is sure to blast across the crowd for live shows. As the song ends, we are with a sombre solo that will send shivers down your spine.
Finally, the EP closes with "Best Time of My Life," a calm campfire-like song perfectly encapsulates The Backsteps' enthusiasm and love for music with this triumphant anthem that celebrates living life to the fullest. The lyrics are about embracing the moment and making the most of every opportunity, with a positive, uplifting message that will leave you feeling inspired as Luke's vocals rip through you as the song draws to the end. Again, the guitar work is excellent, with a soaring shredded solo that brings the EP to a powerful conclusion.
The EP showcases the band's impressive growth and highlights their ability to create engaging, well-crafted, memorable rock music. With this latest release, The Backsteps are undoubtedly on their way to significantly impacting the international rock scene.
Welcome to BuzzMusic The Backsteps, and congrats on your massive release with "Six To Midnight" Your new EP has a great mix of high-energy rock and roll tracks like "Room on Fire" and more introspective ballads like "Sweet Escape.” How did you approach balancing these styles on the EP, and what was the process of selecting the final track list like?
Seth: Thanks! Balancing the different styles on the EP was a struggle at certain times. We’ve primarily been known to write 2-minute rock songs straight to the point. “Room On Fire” was the first track we wrote and recorded for the EP, setting the tone for the rest. It’s an upbeat song with a darker undertone, which paved the way for songs like “Sweet Escape.” We had about 15 demos we were going through. We eventually narrowed it down to 7 songs or something like that. Then once we got in the studio, we saw what would fit and wouldn’t work. It was all kind of based on feel and ambition. If a song had a good feel and an organic writing process, then that’s when we knew they were songs that belonged on the EP.
You guys have built a strong following with your energetic live shows. How did you translate that energy and excitement to the recording studio, and what techniques did you use to capture the band's live sound on the EP?
Josh: After releasing our last record, "Goodbye Youth," we realized that our slower songs performed better on streaming platforms, whereas our faster songs seemed to captivate our live audience much more. When recording "Six to Midnight," we wanted to capture both the elements of our catchy slower songs while maintaining a high energy level, as seen in our live performances. One of the ways we did this was by recording live off the floor for most of the record. We found that recording this way made us all feel much more comfortable in the studio because it felt more like a jam session than recording in the studio, allowing us to perform with a much higher level of intensity as if it was indeed a live performance. We inevitably overdubbed some additional tracks onto the choruses of each song to give a much bigger sound to the chorus and allow some room for dynamics in the music. Another way that we were able to capture a high-energy sound in the studio while maintaining our catchy pop choruses was by reworking some of our slow-tempo music into more ambitious rock songs. "She Isn't Calling Back" was originally a slower acoustic song written by Seth and Luke. We all liked the song a lot but found that it lacked energy for our live shows, so we all sat down one day and reworked the song multiple times until we could find a way to make it into the high-energy rock song it is now. We found doing these things allowed us to capture our live shows' highly intense sound while maintaining our catchy melodic sound.
"My Woman" is a standout track on the new EP, with its catchy guitar riffs and soulful vocal performance. Can you tell us about the writing process behind this track and what inspired the lyrics?
Luke: We’re glad My Woman stood out to you because we had a lot of fun recording it in the studio! All four band members recorded part of a guitar solo on the track, which was something new for us to try, and it seems to have worked. The song was written in quite a short time, and lyrically, it is meant to be very up-front. The inspiration for the words is partly from us being fans of Arctic Monkeys and how Alex Turner tends to be very straight to the point with his lyrics. My Woman is a typical love song revolving around the girl of someone’s fancy, but it doesn’t beat around the bush; it paints a picture of precisely what the author wants you to see.
The Backsteps have been active in the Canadian music scene for several years, playing shows and building a fan base. How has the band's approach to songwriting and recording evolved over time, and how has your local scene influenced your sound?
Devin: "Six To Midnight" marked the biggest change for us regarding writing and recording. Our first two records were entirely self-produced and recorded, except for several previously recorded singles. We did everything so quickly and didn't know what we were doing. With this new EP, I feel we have our feet under us a bit more. We had a much stronger idea of the type of record we wanted to make. We went into a real studio and took our time with these songs to make them the best they could be. We gave every track equal attention, but we were lucky enough to have our friends, Boris and Cam from the local band Kasador, help us out during the writing process of "Room On Fire." It's nice to have that kind of support from other members of our local scene. That being said, I think we have the desire to be different from everyone else, especially musically. I think that desire has helped us develop a unique sound and overall vibe within our local scene and hopefully helps us stand out from the crowd a little bit.
The Backsteps have been making waves in the Canadian rock scene for a few years now, and your recent U.S. debut has only helped to expand your fan base. How do you see the band's trajectory going forward, and what goals do you have for the future?
Seth: A big goal for our band right from the start was to tour the US. Being from Canada, we see a lot of bands tour Canada primarily and then get stuck in Canada. We wanted to branch out and play in major US cities where we could grow the most as a band. As far as the future goes, we plan on playing some festivals this summer and multiple headline shows in different Ontario cities. Then we want to return to recording this spring and head overseas to the UK next year to tour. The UK has been a bucket list destination for the band since day 1, so making that happen would be awesome. We will be coming in hot this year, and we want to take the music scene over!