Local radio stars The Treble play JunoFest

The Treble will be opening for Hedley at their April 15 Winnipeg show.
The Treble will be opening for Hedley at their April 15 Winnipeg show.

The Treble got psyched to play JunoFest in Winnipeg, even though they were part of it in Regina last year.
“We try to be part of anything that goes on locally,” says lead singer, Mark Brusegard, adding the concept of JunoFest works perfectly for them.
“The premise of JunoFest is to bring up-and-coming Canadian bands” together with “established, Juno-nominated bands” like they were their opening act, says Brusegard.
“Last year, JunoFest was awesome for us because we played with Down With Webster and Ten Second Epic.”
“That’s a big part of being a newer band is if you can start opening and putting your name on things with other bands, people get introduced to you,” he adds.
The Treble isn’t brand-new by any stretch; they’ve got two EPs under their belt, and are recording their first full-length album now.
But, this is a big year for them to potentially break out.
“It’s going to be kind of a make or break year for us,” says Brusegard.
In March, The Treble was in the midst of a national Radio Star competition through Bell Media. Hot 103 selected the band as its regional pick, and its title track from last year’s EP, Northern Lights, was in the running.
The band hopes the attention from the contest could help land them radio play for its upcoming album. “We’re really excited about it,” says Brusegard of the upcoming album.
“We’re looking forward to kind of a more mature, well-rounded album.”
The band’s first EP was very much a songwriting album, but its second one was more of a live album, due to the shows they were playing and tour ambitions.
The band had the opportunity to do a Western Canadian Northern Lights tour last summer and an Eastern Canadian tour this winter. They’ve even played at a music festival in Alaska.
“For the summer it was about five months straight of just in and out of town,” says Brusegard. “Pretty much all the travelling that I have done in the past two years has been in, y’now, hotel rooms with five boys in it, one of which is in my bed next to me.”
Life on the road has been good to them, however – “travel pretty much pays for itself now” says Brusegard – but the group basically has two full-time jobs.
Each of them has a day job that pays the rent, and their music is their investment; they put a lot of time and energy into touring, recording, and promoting the band.
“It’s been kind of interesting and exciting trying to juggle working and paying the bills,” says Brusegard.
One initiative that brought the band some well-deserved attention was an inspired 24 shows in 24 hours they did first for the Horn of Africa Famine Relief in October 2011. They did another 24 in 24 for Winnipeg Harvest in 2012 and then one in Toronto this past December for Free the Children.
The idea came to them from a musician from the U.K. by the name of Frank Turner.
“We’re quite outspoken about the fact that we’re all big fanboys of (his),” says Brusegard.
Inspired by Turner, Brusegard discussed their idea at Unburger one day with the owners, wondering if they would be interested in exchanging a donation for the opportunity to have a show in the venue (letting them busk for donations) and to be the set for a video.
The group selected landmarks like local businesses and iconic corners like Portage and Main – and the idea took shape. “The business donates money – we perform, bring a couple people there – and also film it and put it online.”
“There was not a single show where there wasn’t somebody there waiting to see you,” says Brusegard. “Seeing somebody there waiting at 4:30 in the morning at Portage and Main just to watch to see what the hell type of show you’re going to put on” is a special kind of motivation.
The group has since aligned itself with a number of charity events locally. After its first 24 in 24, the requests came in a little more consistently.
“We don’t really consider ourselves activists or anything,” says Brusegard. But the band likes the opportunity to do something benevolent, and “music is a really fun and easy way to do that.”

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