Coming off a cross-country tour that took them as far as Montreal, Halfway to Hollywood is raring to go again.
On Sept. 1 they kicked off a fall tour that will keep them mostly in Western Canada, and a few dates in Ontario and Quebec, for the next month.
Grant Walker teamed up with bassist Brenden White and drummer Roman Zugaraza last year to create Halfway to Hollywood. Though Walker’s own musical tastes tilt towards tunes with a darker, more sullen sound like grunge, he and his mates wanted to create a more upbeat, positive sound.
Between juggling practice, jobs, school and girlfriends, they crafted enough songs for an EP to be released in January. All of which have that pop/punk kind of sound and can be heard through their various social media platforms, which is how they have connected with and expanded their fan base.
Touring and band life been a pretty steep learning curve, Walker said. And it hasn’t come without sacrifice. But when they’re playing on stage and their audience is responding it puts it all into perspective.
“It’s what we’ve wanted to do for as long as we can remember,” said Walker.
Joining Halfway to Hollywood is High Hopes, a pop punk duo from Saskatchewan and local bands Oceans & Lights and White Dress Star, a rock/punk/pop band.
The trio of Tristan Calderbank (bass/lead vocals), Tiffany Calderbank (drums) and Brendan McPherson (guitar/backing vocals) formed in 2009 in Penticton and has been moving forward with their alternative rock sound. Oceans & Lights released an EP of five original songs they recorded in a home studio in July and are planning a Western Canadian tour next spring. Locally they have played at the Rock The Peach battle of the bands, the Downtown Penticton Association Sunshine Cabaret at Gyro Park and the Naramata Faire. The trio can often be found playing at their second home, Voodoo’s in Penticton.
“They have been great to us. We have played there ever since we started, even before we became Oceans & Lights,” said McPherson. “We are really stoked for people to get into the music scene in Penticton because it seems like there is not a lot going on. There are not very many bands coming out of Penticton and I really want the music scene to get a kick start because the opportunity is there and the kids are here, just no one is used to going out to shows really. I want to get that fire going.”
With a little bit of self-promotion handing out handbills and putting up posters around town, McPherson said they are expecting a good turnout to Wednesday’s concert.
“It should be a really great show … and I hope people come out and hear them because it is a shame when just not enough people hear about the shows and these bands are so good,” said McPherson.
The all ages show is at the Penticton Curling Club on Wednesday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10.
-With files from Mario Bartel, Black Press