Key Frames offer diverse musical stylings

With a sound that lies somewhere in the murky waters between pop and roots-rock, The Key Frames tend to embrace a diverse musical pallet, bringing that and more to their debut record, Out On The Point.

Formed in 2007 by banjo player Theo Edmunds and guitarist Rob Webster, the duo soon rounded out the group with drummer Dan Schwartz, Ryan Higgins on bass and Brian Passmore as a second guitarist.

They Key Frames will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on Monday Aug. 29, starting at 9 p.m.

The Key Frames refusal to relegate themselves to one specific genre of music is evident in listening to any of the songs contained on Out On The Point. As far as Rob Webster is concerned, it has ultimately helped create make the group all the more well rounded.

“Within my own influences I have always been a really immersive listener, so I’ll just play the same five albums for months on end and start hearing things usually reserved for dogs only,” he starts. “As a result of that, I end up thinking a lot about the essence or feeling behind a style or genre rather than the sort of surface conventions. If the music I have contributed to Key Frames seems to straddle a few different styles, I think it’s probably because they all seem so easily connected to me when I write songs; the trick is whether other people see the connections or not, I suppose.”

Bassist Ryan Higgins expands on Webster’s statement saying, “I’m particularly proud of how difficult it can be to describe to people just what kind of music we play. Our influences are so many in number it means there is a real freedom within the group to play whatever comes naturally.”

While song writing in The Key Frames is very much a collaborative effort between all members, playing live has been an important part of helping the group find their comfort zone.

“Playing live is where it starts and ends,” Webster says. “You can practice forever and still not learn the lessons you do onstage.”

“There is nothing like playing live to work out the kinks in songs,” drummer Dan Schwartz says. “We have played numerous three-set nights, and even a few shows where we’ve played a three hour matinee followed by a four hour evening show. These are definitely the shows that have really helped tighten up our parts and gel our sound.”

Despite being a relatively small fish in the pond known as the City of Toronto, the members of The Key Frames have left starry-eyed hopes of becoming rock stars behind and instead are incredibly realistic about what the future holds for them.

“In a city the size of Toronto, you have got to be so committed to what you are doing but also ready to leave your expectations of sudden, wild acclaim behind,” Webster says. “It can be draining and beat on you emotionally but on the good side of things, it forces you to stand that much taller and work that much harder if you want to stay in the game. There is no room for complacency; the money is almost nonexistent and recognition can take years, if it ever comes at all. That being said, I wouldn’t want my home base to be anywhere else.”

Article published in August 26, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript