Moncton rock band Angry Candy has spread its wings in very big ways over the last few years. From its humble beginnings as an acoustic trio that performed every Sunday night in Downtown Moncton to finishing second in a national talent competition, the group has become a bigger entity than perhaps any of its four members could have ever anticipated.
While the band has largely built its reputation on its stellar musicianship and arguably knowing every cover song under the sun, the group is taking the next logical step in its career: releasing its debut CD of original music. The band will be celebrating the release of its self-titled EP with a free show next Tuesday evening at Moncton’s Empress Theatre.
Angry Candy drummer Jason Arsenault says that the group’s progression from its formation in 2007 to the current day continues to astound him:
“At the outset, our plan was to just play a couple shows a month, just for kicks, but it very quickly progressed to playing three nights a week,” he says. “Things just continued to snowball for the band. The work kept coming in and the more we played, the more it seemed as though the demand for us was building. By 2010, we were playing six nights a week.”
Arsenault estimates the group now has more than 1,400 shows under its belt as Angry Candy. It was its appearance (and subsequent second place finish) on the short-lived television show Canada’s Got Talent that brought the group from being a local success story to becoming a nationally recognized group.
“Things got even crazier during and after the whole Canada’s Got Talent thing. It gave the group so much in the way of exposure. We got our name out there in ways that we never could have imagined that we would. Incidentally, that was our goal from the outset; we definitely didn’t think that we would walk away as the winners. To have the band finish second was and is quite an amazing accomplishment for us.”
Arsenault says that it was not long after Canada’s Got Talent had wrapped up that the group began exploring the possibilities of finally committing some of its original material to tape. The group, also comprised of powerhouse vocalist Izabelle Ouellet, guitarist Steve DeYoung and bassist Chris Boulay, began throwing around its dream list of potential producers.
But before the group could reach out to American record producer Henry Hirsch, whose resumé includes Lenny Kravitz, a strange thing happened: Hirsch reached out to the group.
“Two days after we consciously decided that Henry was the guy we wanted to work with to make this EP, we received an email from his assistant. Henry came across our stuff online and really dug what he had heard and was wondering if we would be interested in working with him. We kind of took that as a sign that it was meant to be,” Arsenault says.
“We learned so much from working with him. From crafting songs to recording techniques, I think the most important thing that we took away from working with Henry was how to best serve the songs.”
Recognizing that Angry Candy’s reputation as a covers act precedes them, Arsenault says that the group working to shed that reputation has been in the cards all along. By no means is he embarrassed from where the group has come from, they are simply equally proud to be moving forward with original material.
“I can’t say that we are really worried about our reputation as a cover act because we are extremely proud of what we have done,” he says. “As a band, we feel extremely fortunate to have had the chance to work with Henry. We have learned so much along the way. If the EP flops and people hate it, that’s OK. It will be a bonus if people like it but in our minds, the EP is already a success.”
Article published in the October 18, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript
What: Angry Candy CD Release Show
When: Tuesday Oct. 22, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Empress Theatre, Robinson Court, Downtown Moncton
Admission is free