Collin Massie, Chris Banks and Aaron Thurlborn-Hansen started Non Stop Talk back in March. They practiced once and then started performing at open mic nights around town.
“We wanted to really get out,” Massie said. “I think that’s a good way to get better, to be in a scene, to be around other musicians.”
Only a few months later they played in Port Alberni’s Youth Battle of the Bands. They were first on stage and played three original songs. As the night went on the crowd got more and more involved, so even though they thought they played a good set they didn’t think they would win.
But they did and one month later they won again, this time at the Courtenay battle of the bands.
Since that win their weekends have been booking up quickly. They played the Royal Coachman and Voodoo Lounge here in town as well as a few shows in Port Alberni.
This past Monday they were recording a single, as part of their prize for winning the Courtenay competition.
All three have had minimal music lessons. Massie took official lessons for three years, Thurlborn-Hansen a few years of piano and only informal guitar lessons and Banks took some basic guitar lessons for a few months before teaching himself to play the drums by following along to songs on his iPod. The vocals they are learning through trial and error.
“Singing is hard,” Massie said. “We are all just kind of starting. Confidence is one thing and singing is another. It’s a good challenge really.”
Despite their quick success they are still willing to take lessons.
“I’d really like to get better and just learn from someone new,” Massie said.
Because they haven’t been together long, many of the songs they play are covers. Though each band member has their own musical preferences, they play a lot of Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Dylan. Nothing too heavy though, they want their audiences to dance.
“We are really focused on writing right now,” Massie said. “We’d like to be able to get a time slot, like a 45 minute time slot at a gig and just be able to play all originals.”
Song writing is a group effort for Non Stop Talk.
“It will come together, we will have a jam of some sort and then I’ll write some lyrics or Aaron will write some lyrics,” Massie said.
At the moment all three are doing music full time. Banks and Massie are plumbers and recently got cut from the hospital project. Thurlborn-Hansen just finished his electrical foundation certificate at NIC. They are planning to have a fun summer before moving to Victoria in the fall to finish off their apprenticeships and pursue music in a bigger centre.
As for their name, Non Stop Talk, that was Banks’ mom’s idea a few years ago. He said his mom would try to come up with names for a previous band he was in, and one day came up with Non Stop Talk, so he wrote it down.
“Collin said it at a gig and it was like, ‘okay we are sticking with that,’” Banks said.