The Band Before Time offers fans free music

In the past two decades, the music industry has undergone more in the way of change than probably any other time in history. With people choosing to legally (or illegally) download music via online stores and file sharing sites, the industry has become a dog eat dog survival game where it has become more about getting your music out to the public rather than racking up sales.

In a move that is not entirely uncommon these days, Halifax melodic guitar-rock band The Band Before Time has chosen to offer their newest record, Bootscats, for free via their website at thebandbeforetime.com. Fans interested in supporting the group in a monetary sense are welcome to do so as well (also via their website) however as far as drummer Mark Larsen is concerned, getting their music out to as many people as possible is their primary goal.

“Obviously, today’s music industry is very different from 20 years ago,” Larsen begins. “Technology makes it possible for anybody to produce a CD these days and with so much music out there, the buying public can be hesitant to pay for it unless they know they are directly supporting the band.

“We didn’t want people to have to pay for our music unless they really liked it and wanted to help us keep making it. There are definitely some people that still value having physical product. Holding a CD and browsing the artwork feels good but it isn’t quite as popular these days because it is no longer the most convenient option.”

Recorded with popular Halifax producer Charles Austin, Larsen says that the group turned around Bootscats in a relatively speedy four-day span at Austin’s Echo Chamber Studios.

“We had some prior recordings that we felt didn’t represent the band in the way we wanted, but at Echo Chamber, Charles and Dave gave us a lot of space and ended up tracking some great sounds for us.”

Citing a diverse range of musical tastes including Primus, The Police and Iron Maiden, The Band Before Time’s sound is probably closer to modern rock bands like Pearl Jam than any of the above bands. Despite having known one another from their childhood, band members Larsen, Charlie Grant, Jasper Crace, Jeff Bethune and Bryce Tully only started making music together while in high school in 2004.

“We are pretty lucky that each of us bring an eclectic taste in music to the band. While we share a lot of musical interests, our individual influences stems from our own preferences which in turn makes for unique songs and jams.”

Article published in July 15, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript