Canadian Music Week 2005 at various venues, Thursday through Saturday (March 3-5). See club listings for complete showcase information. Individual shows free-$26.50, wristbands $30, available through Ticketmaster (416-870-8000, www.ticketmaster.ca). Note: some shows have limited wristband access. Check www.cmw.net for further conference event information, details and updates.
INWARD EYE with Ladies and Gentlemen , the Junction , Mobile and Whitey Houston as part of CMW at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Friday (March 3), 9 pm. $8.50-$10, free w/ CMW wristband. 416-598-4753, www.cmw.net. Rating: NNNNN
The Brothers Erickson are living the laid-back life that only teenagers free of worldly cares can live: chillin' at home, doin' interviews and killin' the clock before an impending conference call with the old label suits. Ah, to be 19 again.
Actually, only Anders Erickson is 19. Brother Kyle is 20, and elder statesman Dave's a ripened 22. Together they form not only the entire offspring of two individuals, but also a late-70s influenced power pop group from the 'Peg called Inward Eye, a name you'll probably know better before the year is out.
"Ever since we were young we've been confident, but I don't like being called 'the next big thing,'" says Anders. "Signing a deal is just a small step. We still need to play our asses off on a grassroots level and keep the hype down."
A level-headed approach is admirable, but the hype factor is undoubtedly playing a major role at this point. Showcasing at industry parties scored the lads a deal with J Records (home to Alicia Keys, Maroon 5 and Jamie Foxx), but they've yet to release a single recording, and with only a handful of central-Canadian dates on their resumé, they're not exactly box-office killers just yet.
All in good time, says Kyle.
"We're taking our time, and if people in the industry or the media make assumptions, we can see right through them. It's not all Canadian Idol, where you win and instantly become a star," he continues. "We're a real band, and the focus is to play live."
On a break from cutting demos in California with Arnold Lanni (Simple Plan, Our Lady Peace), they're prepping to hit the road, opening for Default. The excursion required trading in Mom and Dad's minivan for a rocker-certified Road King.
Kyle compares the purchase to Inward's label courtship.
"They're like used-car salesmen," he jokes of his band's negotiations with record execs. "'What can I do to get you in this contract today?'"