Finding music in numbers and friends
On a cold Friday night in March, a group of friends gather in a small basement in southwest Calgary.
These friends are Sean Hamilton (lead vocals, guitar), Jarrett Brandt (lead guitar, vocals), Rich MacFarlane (guitar, vocals), Eric Svilpis (Bass) and Spencer Kathrens (drums, vocals).
Front man for the band, Sean Hamilton, says he has been playing music for roughly five years both individually and with some of his band mates.
Separately they are single musicians, but when they come together they form a band called Jenny.
Two years ago, they all gathered to form a five-piece.
The band had started out utilizing folk elements, but as each member got involved, their influences changed the band’s sound, launching it into something they had all loved in their teenage years. That sound was punk rock.
“That’s where we all started too, we all started listening to punk rock or metal,” Spencer Kathrens said. “I think it’s just natural that we would cycle back.”
Bassist Eric Svilpis feels that Jenny’s sound came from each member adding their own touches to the music.
“I love that progression of gathering instruments and gathering sounds, as opposed to a conscious effort to make it louder,” Rich MacFarlane said.
As everything comes together, Jenny is finally beginning to find its own sound.
“I think as we’re getting older [the music] is getting heavier,” Sean Hamilton said. “It started as folk-punk and we found that was a really polarizing genre.”
Hamilton said listeners who like punk would call it folk-punk but those who liked folk felt their music was too loud.
Photo Courtesy of Sean Hamilton
“It was confusing,” Hamilton said. “We’ve definitely evolved into some realm of alternative rock and punk rock. We mean what we say and it’s weird, as we get older, we’re rocking out harder.”
Hamilton says his bandmates are his best friends and it makes him want to get “stoked”.
“It’s like we’re on a hockey team or playing sports, you just want to go all out,” he said.
The band feels that they are beginning to make an impact on Calgary’s music scene. Before, the audience at their live shows consisted of friends, and now it has now grown into something larger and their music has become more recognizable.
“There are definitely people that we don’t know coming to shows, where it used to just be friends now people will just come up to us being like ‘oh we heard about you,’” Jarrett Brandt said.
Jenny is set to release an album this fall, which is to feature influences from all five band members. It will be their first studio album.
For a look at several rising Calgary bands, check out www.cowtownsound.com.