A Widescreen Sunrise no strangers to stage

Though they may be a new band in terms of the amount of time they have been together, the members that make up Moncton band A Widescreen Sunrise have a wealth of combined experience between them. A Widescreen Sunrise is a new chapter in the musical journeys of Chris Cowan, Jon Harquail and Sean Ryan, the trio who makes up the band and had previously played with prior acts including Adaptation and Chapter Four. The group is celebrating the release of their debut CD with a show on Saturday evening at Saxby’s Pub in Riverview. Admission to the show is $15 however this also includes a copy of the band’s brand spanking new CD. Show time is set for 9:30 pm.

Formed this past spring in the Metro Moncton area, both Cowan and Harquail had initially teamed up with Sean after the latter required a backing band for a showcase that his former group had landed. Although the showcase didn’t end up happening for different reasons, it did lay the groundwork for what would become A Widescreen Sunrise.

Considering that both Cowan and Harquail’s musical roots have included both punk and heavy metal, A Widescreen Sunrise doesn’t so much rely upon speed and aggression as much as the group believes the pop song is king.

With common influences amongst the trio including Kings Of Leon, Switchfoot and Billy Talent, Cowan admits that he has been fairly indulgent in mainstream pop over the past year. This could explain why the group’s songs would fit nicely in a musical mix that included Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to name but a couple. Sound like an odd match to you? Cowan explains:

“I have been becoming more of a fan of ‘sound’ over music,” he says before clarifying that he not completely gone soft. “For the last three or four years, I’ve been trying to start up a band that was different from all of the punk rock and metal stuff I was used to playing. I still listen to that sort of stuff but was eager to do something fresh and different.”

Recorded at various locations throughout the city (namely basements and living rooms), the sound captured by the band on their record certainly is world-class. Though most bands will refine their skills and songwriting in the live forum, A Widescreen Sunrise chose the opposite approach, recording the material on their debut as they wrote the songs to ensure that the songs stayed fresh.

“We wrote the material so quickly, we wanted to get it tracked while it was still fresh and exciting to us. There is a digital layer of music in these songs that we knew that we would want to implement as well but before we could get to that step, we had to have the basics down.”

And though their debut CD is still fresh in every sense of the word, Cowan notes that the band’s ability to record and master music at their convenience will allow the band to release new music almost anytime the urge strikes them. Add in the possibility of a music video early in the new year and you’ve got a band less than one year old with bigger aspirations and more on their plates than others that have been together ten times longer.

A video-game designer by day, Cowan says that fortunately there is no shortage of colleagues and equipment at his disposal that he can enlist for his band’s use.

“It is really amazing to be surrounded by so many multi-talented people. When we all get together, we just nerd out and never sleep!”

Article published in December 17, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript