Brothers Nick and John Fascione (Fash-ee-oh-nee), along with their friend Clayton Howe, make up three-piece local band Quadra Sound, and they’re making a push for Campbell River to stand up and take notice – and maybe even dance along with them – as they try to revive what they say is missing in the local music scene: some good ol’ Rock and Roll.
Okay, so why should we care what you think, Quadra Sound? Who are you, anyway?
“I guess you could say we’re just an honest rock band,” Nick says with an unassuming shrug. “Coming from the heart and all that.”
While the band’s core influences come from classic rock (the Beatles come up a lot during the conversation), and you can definitely hear – and feel – that influence underpinning their sound and attitude, all music is welcome in their world.
The planet would be a pretty boring place if everyone liked the same thing, after all.
We’re lounging in the small entryway of the Fascione’s house, a few bottles of water on the small end table, a couple of acoustic guitars resting lightly against the wall, John sitting on a cajon and the rest of us on folding chairs – and there’s a lot of long flowing hair draped over shoulders.
There’s a casual, no-frills kind of vibe coming from these guys. There’s no pomp. No pretentiousness.
They say they’re about to head into studio to record their first album, but that’s not entirely accurate, because they’ve already technically got two albums under their belt. Fertility & Youth and Digging II Deep are their first two efforts, and while the songs on those albums are solid, musically, even the band admits they left something to be desired in terms of sound quality.
“We’d been recording songs for years at home, with Nick slaving away behind the computer trying to mix,” John says, pausing to think of how to say it nicely, “and not having any experience,” he finishes, smiling at his brother, “so it was time to go into the studio and do something professionally.”
There’s no timeline on that release, but they do have a timeline on their first tour.
Okay, “tour” is maybe the wrong word, but they will be traveling to a few gigs around the Island this summer, including shows in Victoria and the Comox Valley.
What they really hope to do, however, is be a part of getting rock and roll back into the music scene here in Campbell River.
“It’s almost like the scene is stuck,” John says. “Dancy-stuff came onto the scene, and it unfortunately just kind of took over and stayed and left bands in the back a little bit.”
“Music changes, and that’s part of what makes it great,” Nick says. “It’s awesome that it goes through eras and stages and blends and pulls influences from other places. And I’ll even admit I like some of the electronic stuff … It’s just that people are just so used to seeing a DJ and being surrounded by a non-stop beat they can dance to, I think they maybe don’t realize that you can dance to rock and roll, too.”
And there’s nothing, Nick says, like the conversation that takes place between a band and an audience.
“I think even the people who go out to dance to electronic music and stuff would find out it’s actually pretty cool to dance to a band, and look up and see them playing their instruments, and feel the emotions they’re putting out there, and make that connection with them – if they just got that chance a little more often.”
Well, they’ll get their chance on May 21, when Quadra Sound joins another popular local band, The Bentwood Boyz, at the Voodoo Lounge for “Rockin For a Reason,” a fundraising effort for Team Willow. Admission is by donation, and all proceeds will go to the family of one brave little girl in our community fighting brain cancer.
“We just hope a few people come see us live, have a good time, and maybe people will realize again that live rock isn’t dead,” Nick says, “and you can come along to celebrate that music and support a great cause, too.”
And for those who still want the electronic, more traditionally “dance-y” type music, there will be DJs spinning tunes after the rock sets are done.
In terms of the future, Quadra Sound just wants to just keep rockin’. Maybe some people out there like to rock, too, and will come along for the ride.
“All we can do is just play as much as we can, wherever we can, as good as we can,” Nick says. “There’s a lot of sounds for people to choose from now. I think it’ll be interesting to see what the sound is that comes out of our generation, because, somewhere, deep down, I believe there are a lot of kids like us, who love the old-school stuff, but want to blend it with other stuff and make a new sound but still have it be rock – and want to play it live.
“And maybe we’ll all come out of the shadows and hit the world over the head with it at the same time like what happened in the 90s in Seattle.