With the release of their debut record The Grey last year, Fredericton rock band Kill Chicago cemented their status as one of New Brunswick’s arguably best up and coming acts.
There is no doubt the group’s hard work has helped them earn the accolades coming their way. It just so happens their story is anything but the clichéd overnight success story.
Spearheaded by frontman guitarist-vocalist Greg Webber, the Fredericton native says the road to the group’s current line-up, which also includes Matt Bowie, Dillon Anthony and Zach Atkinson, was one that literally brought him all over the country before he ultimately returned to his birth city.
“I moved from Fredericton to Halifax, where I stayed for two years, before moving to Vancouver and subsequently to Montreal where I was for five years,” he says. “Before even leaving Halifax, though, I had begun writing songs and, while living in those other cities, started performing with a diverse range of musicians, including some jazz guys and others, but it always remained something I did on the side.”
Webber says that after his return to Fredericton three years ago, he began making music with the band’s current lineup, having previously performed with them prior to his educational pursuits brought him to different parts of Canada.
“When we got back in a room together, it’s like we were all 15 years old again. It was then that Kill Chicago was crystallized. When you’re making music with your best friends, you have this innate ability to just pick up where you left off. Things fell back in place pretty quickly. I don’t think I realized how much I had missed that energy and camaraderie in my time away from the city.“
With a firm lineup in place, the group set about writing the collection of songs that became The Grey. While he admits being a tad “protective” of his role as the group’s frontman, Webber says Kill Chicago is very much a democratic unit, one that thrives on the unique talents and abilities each member brings to the table.
“I always refer back to that Woody Allen quote where he spoke of making sure he hired the right people for the role and then just getting out of their way. That is very much how I feel about the guys in the band,” he says. “I bring the skeletons of songs to the table and am happy to leave it up to each of them as to how they go about putting their stamp on it. When you’re actively involved in the writing of songs, you feel more heavily invested in the band, as opposed to just being given all the parts to play.”
A veteran of Fredericton group Dionisus, hard rock / heavy metal band Buckettruck among others dating back to the 90’s, Webber is rather content with how Kill Chicago is factoring into his life at the moment.
Although holding down a full-time job while playing in a band certainly isn’t a prospect unique to only him and his bandmates, he feels that, in some ways, Kill Chicago has helped his music career come full circle.
“Having a career job, I can’t do certain things that my 20 year-old self would have done, but thankfully the internet allows us to get our music out there. We still have to have our boots on the ground and take advantage of opportunities as they come our way, but the community spirit that I saw when I first got into the local music scene is still alive and well today. It is a golden time to be in a band, it reminds me of how exciting the scene was back in the 90’s with bands happy to support each other,” Webber says.
Performing with Kill Chicago at the Tide & Boar tonight is FireRescue, a somewhat new band to the Moncton music scene, consisting of former members of bands including All of Green, Morse Code Alphabet, The Courage of Being and Fair Trade Commission.
Since their formation last year, the indie-rock group only has a handful of shows under their belts, but has already supported bands including Grand Theft Bus and Lakes of Canada. Later this year, FireRescue will hit the recording studio to work on their debut record.
What: Kill Chicago with FireRescue
When: Saturday Feb. 27, 10 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar Gastropub, 700 Main St., Moncton
Admission is FREE