The MusicNerd Q&A With The Strain

The StrainAIt has been an exciting past few months in the world of Quebec electro-rock band The Strain. The group beat out more than 60 other bands to bring home a cool 25 grand in Ottawa radio station Live 88.5 FM’s Big Money Shot competition this past October.

So what is a band to do when such an enormous amount of money lands on their laps? Here Magazine recently had the chance to discuss this as well as the group’s latest release Hush Hush with Strain member David Taggart.

The Strain performs at the Tide & Boar in Moncton on Thurs. Jan. 17, Pepper’s Pub in Saint John on Jan. 18 and Fredericton at the Capital on Sat. Jan 19.

Walk us through the experience of the Live 88.5 FM Big Money Shot competition

It was almost a year-long process. In the first round, all of the bands were judged on a YouTube video of a performance combined with how many people you can bring out to a show. The second round was performed for a panel of industry judges who then narrowed the field down to five finalists. The competition’s finale was held in an active church, altar and all.

Is it safe to say that you guys didn’t see the big win coming?

We worked hard but it is very safe to say that we weren’t expecting to win it all.

Are there any restrictions on what you can do with the money?

Basically, the station picks up the bill for what we want to buy. They have a bank account where these purchases are drawn from. We tell them what we want, we pick it up but they pay the bill. One of the few restrictions on the money was that we were not permitted to buy a vehicle.

What styles of bands were also in the running for the prize?

The premise of the contest is to expose people to as much homegrown music as possible so almost anything goes. There was a rather broad spectrum including a couple of ska-reggae bands, an acoustic act, us, and more.

Why did you choose the winter to make your first pilgrimage to the East Coast?

We are just really excited to get out of our little town of Wakefield, Quebec. We decided that with the little bit of buzz we have going on from the Live 88.5 competition, we wanted to get the band out there and start playing for audiences.

Article published in the January 10, 2013 edition of Here Magazine