Three different sounds – three great bands perform at the ECMA press conference

Rob MacPhee, bass guitarist/vocals (left), and John MacPhee, lead vocals/guitarist of Paper Lions sing their song My friend at the press conference on Feb 18. Maureen Coulter photo.
Rob MacPhee, bass guitarist/vocals (left), and John MacPhee, lead vocals/guitarist of Paper Lions sing their song My friend at the press conference on Feb 18. Maureen Coulter photo.
By Maureen Coulter
Feb. 19, 2014

David Cyrus Macdonald of Paper Lions has a goal. He hopes to see the band get an International hit record within the next five years.
“I really want that to happen. That would be fantastic.”
The dream doesn’t seem quite so far off since the band’s song Traveling has received over 4.5 million views on YouTube.
The song will usually get anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 views a day, said Macdonald.
“It has propelled a lot of energy for the band. It brings out audiences to our Canadian and American dates.”
Paper Lions, along with Classified and David Myles, all lead with six nominations in the 30 award categories going into the East Coast Music Week. The East Coast Music Association’s Awards will be presented on April 6 in Charlottetown.
Paper Lions performed Feb. 18 at the Delta Prince Edward as part of a news conference announcing the nominations for the award categories.
Paper Lions newest record did well and they attracted new fans in the process, said Macdonald.
“It chartered in alternative rock radio across the country in Canada for about four months straight.”
He loves going to concerts and playing them, said Macdonald.
“There is something about that group energy and connectively that I think helps keep me inspired in what I am doing.”
He is looking forward to performing during the music week, said Macdonald.
“Performing is one of the central reasons why I love being in a band.”
Looking at the showcase list and the nominations, there are a lot of bands he doesn’t know and checking out new music is one of his favourite things about these types of events, said Macdonald.
“I think discovering new music for the first time is one of the most exciting aspects of this type of thing.”
And someone did make a new musical discovery at the news conference.
Erin Costelo, based out of Nova Scotia, heard Paper Lions perform live for the first time, and she was impressed.
“They were phenomenal.”
She is excited Paper Lions got six nominations, said Costelo.
“I am rooting for them. I’m going to definitely check them out during the ECMAs.”
Costelo released her first album in 2007 and she has been involved in the ECMA for the past three to four years.
She still gets nervous every time she performs, said Costelo.
“As soon as I start playing I’m fine.”
People can identify with the artist if they make a little mistake on the stage, said Costelo.
“I think in every performance there is always a little mistake that you wish you could do over again but that is part of the job.”
She loves listening to people who craft really good songs. Some of Costelo’s musical influences in terms of songwriters are Carole King, Randy Newman and Nick Lowe.
“Ask me tomorrow and they will be different.”
She loves the creative process that goes into making records. She toured Europe for the first time a few months back and would like to play some more there, said Costelo.
Les Hotesses d’Hilaire, a French band based out of New Brunswick, returns to Europe for their third time this summer with over 30 shows booked in France.
Lead singer Serge Brideau said at the news conference their first time touring in Europe was mind blowing.
“Our first time was epic. It was great.”
Their second trip went amazing as well, he said.
“We did 22 shows. It was a bit more regimented, a bit more organized.”
It’s great to play in Europe because there are over 60 million French people in France alone, said Brideau.
“There is a lot of market for us there.”
The French crowd is different than the French Canadian crowd, he said.
“They are very intense.”
France is the only place where Brideau had to stop singing because the crowd of 5,000 people got out of control.
“The security was looking at us and I’m like wow that has never happened before.”
The crowds in France are very thirsty for French music, said Brideau.
“It’s easier to fill a venue in France than it is here.”
The reason is because in every bar in the East Coast there is always a good band playing, said Brideau.
“If you come to Moncton on Thursday there will be five bands playing which are all excellent. I guess people maybe get spoiled.”
He feels very lucky to be doing so well with the band and is having the time of his life, said Brideau.
“Honestly, I turned 30 when I was in this band and I’m calling it my 20s part two. My 30s are amazing.”
Les Hostesses d’Hilaire will be in the studio in March recording its next album. The album will have a more psychedelic improv type of sound, unlike their previous album, which was a slower rock blues, said Brideau.
“We are sort of in a transition. We are going a bit more psychedelic because that is what we are into right now.”