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The 11 Keys to Keeping the Band Together: Sloan Share Their Wisdom

On the occasion of their 12th album and 27th year together, Sloan shares their wisdom on how to make musical matrimony last “So many bands make one great record and then can’t hold it together, or they put out one piece of shit and follow it up with many other pieces of shit,” Andrew Scott, the drummer for prolific Canadian power-pop practitioners Sloan, said in the alt-rock chronicle Have Not Been the Same. “We have a pretty strong background, and we’ve held on to our ideals and philosophies. We know what we are capable of, so the most important thing is just keeping it together.”
Scott said that in 2000, when Sloan, which formed in Halifax in 1991 and subsequently relocated to Toronto, was already close to 10 years old. Almost two additional decades later, the group, which turned 27 in January, is still keeping it together, releasing its 12th album this month, the appropriately titled 12, and embarking on a 43-date North American tour. Scott is a drummer, but he’s also a guitarist, a singer, and a songwriter, three labels that can be applied just as accurately to the three other members of the band: Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, and Patrick Pentland. Together, the four friends and colleagues, who range in age from 48 to 50, have been touring and recording continuously as Sloan for more than half of their lives, making them masters of not breaking up the band.
I could tell you that Sloan, which Have Not Been the Same called “a cult band of the highest order,” made more than a few of the best retro-rock records of the 1990s, including classics One Chord to Another and Twice Removed that they’ve never released a bad album and that they’re great in concert, where the quartet trade off instruments and take turns as front men. I think those things are true, but they’re also subjective, and I’m not an unbiased source I got engaged at a Sloan show. What isn’t debatable is that the group has been together without a lineup change for as long as just about any active, well-known band not named U2 or Radiohead, and its members have learned a lot about longevity along the way.
If there’s one musical phenomenon that fascinates me more than a band that lingers for decades with fewer and fewer original members and an increasingly convoluted timeline of additions and departures, it’s the even rarer band that resists entropy entirely, soldiering on with the same faces year after year. Last week, I spoke to primary rhythm guitarist Ferguson and habitual bassist Murphy about how Sloan has stayed together for so long as a productive and (mostly) harmonious unit, then distilled their reflections and advice into the following tenets of rock relationship counseling. This list goes to 11.

1. Distribute Credit and Revenue Evenly
The cornerstone of Sloan’s survival is that all four members profit and/or suffer from its efforts. Every song the band releases is credited to “Sloan,” and every dollar it earns is divvied up equally. It’s not a model that the band pioneered—Murphy and Ferguson both point to similarly constructed predecessors like U2 and R.E.M., as well as a Halifax band called Black Pool that Murphy had been in before, as financial influences (and the practice predates them too)—but it’s one that’s served Sloan well.
All four members of Sloan write songs and singles, but the credit and revenue split precludes the income imbalance that might otherwise arise from one writer’s song getting extra airplay. “If someone has a song at radio that does better and brings in more income than other people’s songs, we all share in that,” Ferguson says. That Three Musketeers ethos puts Sloan in stark contrast to shorter-lived bands that break up in part because one member disproportionately reaps the rewards of their efforts. “The example I always think of is someone like the Police, where someone owns ‘Every Breath You Take,’ which is the top radio song of all time or whatever, and then the other two are like, ‘When are we going on tour?’” Murphy says. “And Sting is like, ‘Probably never, because you guys are dicks and I’m rich.’”
Sloan’s democratic impulse extends to everything the group touches. In 1992, Sloan founded an independent label, Murderecords, to release its own music and that of other bands in the budding Halifax scene, which was then considered Canada’s equivalent of Seattle, the hotbed of grunge. Although Murderecords has never made much money from publishing other bands’ music—Murphy calls it a “community service project”—the four members owned equal shares from the start. When Sloan briefly considered separating after squabbles with major label Geffen marred the release of its second album, Twice Removed, the group collectively agreed to reduce the Murderecords stakes of Scott and Pentland, who were less involved in the label’s day-to-day business. But when Sloan soon returned to the studio, Murphy says, “we put it back to a quarter each so that no one would feel that they were making any more money than the others.”

2. Let Everyone Contribute Creatively
Sloan’s previous album, 2014’s double-LP Commonwealth, reserved a side for each member, and all four bandmates contributed three tracks each to 12. All but one entry in Sloan’s extensive discography features compositions by everyone in the group. It’s not a formula that would work as well for bands in which the songwriting skills aren’t as widely distributed—The Who weren’t at their best when they were at their most democratic—but for Sloan’s uncommon collection of singing and songwriting talent, the division of labor keeps every member engaged and helps the group ward off extended creative dry spells.
“The band is an artistic outlet for everybody,” says Ferguson, who notes that everybody in the group had written songs before forming Sloan. “It’s not like, ‘There’s the bass player who’s frustrated because he’s not allowed to contribute songs, because there’s two main songwriters.’ Everybody gets to contribute what they want, and … in general, everybody’s kind of the captain of their own ship for the songs they want to put on the record.”
When the Beatles—to whom Sloan’s sound is often reflexively, if onerously, compared—started making music less collaboratively, the change prefigured a breakdown in their bonds. But Sloan has worked that way almost since the start, appearing on and performing each other’s songs but rarely composing them together. “We do a little bit of collaborating, but it’s mostly four singer-songwriters who turn up the volume,” Murphy says.
Although each member has a distinct songwriting style and sings his own songs in concert, forming what Ferguson calls a “four-headed monster,” the group approach still requires each creator to put the band before his own ego. Murphy, the band’s most gregarious member—who schooled Michael Cera for his stint as Sex Bob-omb’s bassist—stands at center stage when the band plays live, and he’s sometimes mistaken for Sloan’s lead singer. But although he helped bring the other three members together and wrote most of the songs on the band’s debut album, Smeared, which he says initially made him Sloan’s “central character,” he didn’t try to steal the spotlight. “I encouraged everyone to write,” he says, adding, “We’ve taken great pains to put everyone’s face up front.” Every Sloan album cover that foregrounds any one of the members—Murphy, the duck-walking, word-playing goofball with big glasses Scott, the profusely sweating, punk-meets-psychedelia silver fox Ferguson, the sweet-voiced, ultra-melodic music nerd with a ’60s-style fisherman’s cap and Pentland, who pounds power chords and solos on his low-slung guitar and wears his hair like one of the Maiar—also features the other three. “Everybody’s a character, and it’s not like there’s one guy at the front and then three blurry guys standing in the background,” Ferguson says.

3. Own Your Own Music
By virtue of releasing much of its music via Murderecords (and purchasing the publishing rights to its first two albums after the fact), Sloan owns its own catalog. As a result, Sloan accrues all of the revenue if one of its songs gets licensed for a commercial, movie, or TV show, and the band doesn’t have to worry about who holds the rights if it wants to reissue a beloved old album, as it has for Twice Removed and One Chord and will soon do for its fourth album, Navy Blues.
In the decades since Sloan formed, computers and the internet have made it much easier to make and promote music without a fancy studio or an experienced producer. Murphy and Ferguson endorse the DIY process that the band has followed, for the most part, from One Chord on. “We make the records,” Ferguson says. “There’s nobody really A&Ring the record or listening in.” That process has not only benefited the band financially, but also brought the bandmates together. “I think we did become a bit more united once we were working for ourselves, putting the record out through Murderecords, and not having a marketing department in Los Angeles decide, ‘You know what, this doesn’t really fit the mood of the day, so we’re not gonna spend money on it,’” Ferguson says. Releasing music by lesser-known bands has also helped Sloan stay respected and relevant as its members have aged. “Having Murderecords gave us a lot of goodwill,” Murphy says.

Murphy mentions that making music is a much more pleasant, low-pressure experience when the band isn’t beholden to a label that paid up front for the production, as Geffen did for Twice Removed. “It just drove me crazy,” he says. “I much preferred the scenario of the first record, where they were like, ‘We like what you’ve done, here’s some money, we’re interested in promoting it,’ instead of, ‘Here’s $120,000, you better make something that we can use.’”

Retaining the rights to their hits and avoiding predatory publishers has played as important a role in Sloan’s staying power as its members’ shared musical sensibilities or personal rapport. “ a lot of horror stories about bands, and how they were ripped off and how they broke up,” Murphy says. But because Sloan avoided signing away the rights to its songs and getting locked into exploitative contracts, he adds, “we were set up for longevity.”

4. Don’t Do (Hard) Drugs
A long line of hard-partying, dangerously overdosing, and prematurely expiring rock stars has helped fuel a perception that artistic talent tends to go hand in hand with self-destructive tendencies. “I don’t subscribe to that,” Murphy says. One reason that Sloan has lasted a lot longer than the average rock band may be that off stage, the bandmates don’t behave like stereotypical rock stars. Neither Murphy nor Ferguson drinks, and although the band has overcome some personal struggles—Pentland, in particular, has been open about his issues with anxiety—it hasn’t had to deal with anyone being intoxicated to a troublesome degree. “It’s pretty even-keeled,” Ferguson says. “Nobody’s out of control or anything like that.” Murphy adds, “That’s another thing that you could attribute some of the longevity to, is just being clear of mind.”
Three of the four band members have long-term romantic partners and multiple children at home—as Scott sings on “Down in the Basement” from 2008’s Parallel Play, “And now I’m raising up a ballet boy and a hockey girl/And I’ve a wife that I really love”—which limits the group’s carousing on the road. Even in Sloan’s younger days, though, the band members rarely got up to any Zeppelin-esque antics. The closest they came to trashing a hotel room was when Murphy once jumped on Ferguson’s bed and Ferguson jokingly pushed him into the wall, leaving a hole in the plaster. “It was very non-rock ’n’ roll. I was basically tickling him,” Murphy says. “We’re pretty square,” Ferguson confirms.

5. Don’t Get Too Big
A band without a sizable following likely won’t have the will or the wherewithal to keep plugging away for decades. On the other side of the success spectrum, a band that breaks through on a massive scale runs the risk of succumbing to self-importance, pressure, or temptation, or becoming complacent and growing rich off of royalties. Sloan falls into a self-sustaining sweet spot where the audience is big enough to support its continued activity, but not so big that the band can afford for that activity to taper off.

“If you posed the question to everybody in the band, ‘If you had millions of dollars, would you still do it?’ I think you would get varying answers,” Murphy says. Fortunately for fans who want Sloan to keep touring and adding to its 200-plus-song catalog, that question remains hypothetical. “We’re not so massively successful that we can stop,” says Ferguson, who describes Sloan as a small business. “So we have to continue in order to generate income, just the same way anybody with a regular job does.”
As the band has aged and assumed greater responsibilities at home, touring and recording has caused more and more scheduling conflicts. “It’s just hard to make a plan with dads,” Murphy says. But Sloan still has to take its show on the road. “It’s a big piece of the pie of our business model that you have to get out and tour, because that’s where we generate most of the money that we would live on for the next couple of years,” Ferguson says. Even bigger bands make most of their money on the road, but the sweet spot helps here too: Sloan’s tours rarely send them overseas, and while they’re on the road for 70-80 days when they make the North American rounds, in years without full-fledged tours they’re home to help parent (and, sometimes to their regret, get up early) almost all the time.

6. Be Realistic
Most bands do dream about getting big, and Sloan is no exception. Although the group’s five-album run from 1993’s Smeared to 1999’s Between the Bridges made them eminent musicians in Canada, they haven’t become household names in the States. “By ’99 for sure, I was pissed, and I was like, why isn’t this getting any bigger?” Murphy says. “Like, what’s wrong with people that they don’t think that we’re the greatest band?” That bitterness might have broken up other groups that weren’t satisfied with their lot in musical life, but for Sloan, the feeling didn’t last long. As their musical contemporaries disbanded or lost steam, Murphy says, “I gradually updated my attitude from ‘Why aren’t we bigger?’ to ‘I’m glad that we’re here.’ … There really aren’t a lot of bands that are from our era that are intact and that are making music.”
Neither Murphy nor Ferguson downplays the appeal of popularity—“It’s not like we’ve decided not to make it in America,” Ferguson says—but both understand that they’ve had it better than the vast majority of bands. They’re still pursuing their passion, and they enjoy a flexible, forgiving lifestyle. One could call it settling, in a non-artistic sense, but they see it as gaining greater perspective. “I think it’s just about understanding your world and understanding the music business a little bit, and then managing expectations, and then you’re not disappointed,” Ferguson says.

7. Be in Other Bands First
Just as it can be beneficial to date before settling down with one romantic partner, a musician can learn a lot from being exposed to other band dynamics before finding his or her forever foursome. During Sloan’s brief trial separation in 1995, Murphy played drums for The Super Friendz, who were led by his friend Matt Murphy. Despite that pre-existing connection, Chris clashed with his new bandmates as much as he had with his old ones. “That was a little bit of an eye-opener, perhaps, for Chris, that the grass is not always greener,” Ferguson says (and Murphy confirms).

Another benefit of belonging to a starter band before attaining national notoriety is that it allows time to elapse, making musicians slightly older and wiser when decisions start to matter more. “You don’t necessarily think to get legal counsel or whatever when you’re a teenager,” Murphy says. “You’re just psyched.” A young and naïve Murphy and Ferguson played together in a band called Kearney Lake Road when they were still teenagers, and Murphy played in multiple other groups. By the time Sloan started, he was experienced enough to know how to handle fame and finances. “We were still young in the scheme of things, but not completely dumb-dumbs,” Murphy says.
“We’re pretty square.” —Jay Ferguson
Age also brings emotional maturity, which translates to fewer blowups and, by extension, fewer breakups. “When you’re 15 you’re gonna be giving someone a noogie even though they’re having a hard day, and it’s like, you shouldn’t give that guy a noogie right now,” Ferguson says. That sense of when to pile on and when to give a guy some alone time in the tour bus, he continues, “just comes with time and touring, and I don’t know if we had those skills in the really early days.”

8. Don’t Tour in a Band Bubble
Extended tours are isolating events. Although a band on the road might play to crowds of hundreds or thousands of different people per show, its members spend most of their time associating with each other. Put four people in close quarters for months at a time, and no matter how much they might like each other, the tedium of the road will cause friction that can fester.
Sloan releases that interpersonal pressure before it builds up by surrounding itself with a supporting cast of associates that can be a buffer between bandmates, including manager Mike Nelson, who’s worked with the band in some capacity since 1994 keyboardist and backup vocalist Gregory Macdonald, who’s performed with the band since 2006 and a longtime lighting guy, sound guy, and guitar tech. “We’re lucky,” Ferguson says. “We also have a crew who are our friends, so it’s nice that there’s a good mix of people on tour. … It makes it easier for sure.”

9. Avoid Rash Decisions
Although the disagreements with Geffen about Twice Removed and an ensuing frustrating tour laid the groundwork for Sloan’s rocky relationships in the mid-90s, the band’s short hiatus also stemmed from Scott’s decision to follow his girlfriend to Toronto, which forced Sloan into a long-distance relationship that strained the band’s performances and friendships. Ferguson remembers a meeting about the band’s future that seemed momentous at the time. “All of a sudden Andrew was like, ‘I’m staying here in Toronto,’ and I think Chris was like, ‘Well, geez, we should just call it quits,’” he says. “And then all of a sudden we were done, and Patrick and I, I remember looking at each other like, ‘What the hell just happened?’ To me it seemed like a rash decision.”

In the long run, the split was just a blip in the band’s history: After a few months of mulling a future apart, Sloan got back together and made their best-selling album. The rest of the group later moved to Toronto, and Scott married the woman he’d put before the band. But in the moment, it seemed to the other members that Scott was squandering their chance at success. “I was pissed at him, and in getting back together, I had to let that go,” Murphy says.
Long-lived bands learn to let a lot of things go. “When you’ve been together as long as we have, there are old feelings and grudges and relationships that are not great,” says Murphy, who acknowledges that the band doesn’t do as much “palling around” anymore—partly, perhaps, because most friends tend to see a little less of each other as spouses and kids compete for priority, but also because bands have baggage. On two occasions in the 2000s, Sloan went to group therapy to work through old issues. Being in a band is a lot like being in any long-term relationship it takes time, attention, and maintenance, and a hasty decision in the wake of one squabble can have ramifications for years.

10. Beware of Side Projects
For a band that’s well into its third decade, side projects are a double-edged sword. On the plus side, they can ease the feeling of being constrained by one group’s sound and allow a musician to branch out without leaving an old band behind. But they can also serve as a distraction or, in rare cases, become so successful that a rocker’s original act starts to seem extraneous. For years, Murphy and Ferguson, who had watched other groups splinter as their members reserved some of their strongest material for their own pursuits, were united in their opposition to side projects. Ferguson summarizes their stance as, “Don’t do a solo project, put all your creative energies into your main thing.”
“I always felt bad even talking about my mistress band in front of my wife band.” —Chris Murphy
In 2015, though, Sloan had a lean year financially, releasing no new music and playing only a dozen tour dates. To supplement his income, Murphy formed a supergroup called TUNS with Matt Murphy and Mike O’Neill of The Inbreds. In 2016, they released an eponymous album. The same year, Murphy also began playing occasionally in another supergroup called the Trans-Canada Highwaymen. “I was sheepish about even forming TUNS,” Murphy says, adding, “I refer to it as my mistress band, and is my wife band. And I always felt bad even talking about my mistress band in front of my wife band.”
Murphy justifies his dabbling in other bands by explaining that they don’t compete with his “Sloan brain.” The Highwaymen don’t do originals, and Tuns writes songs by jamming, which he says “doesn’t impact my cache of ideas.” Thus far, they’ve enabled him to bring in more money without reducing his Sloan output. “I think there’s room for ,” Ferguson says. “I would just be sad if Sloan collapsed due to that.”

11. Balance the New and Nostalgic and Fear Fading Away
The deeper a band’s catalog, and the more its old songs help its audience tap into an earlier time, the more tempting it is to mine the old material rather than generate new songs. Although Sloan has done some of the former, they’ve alternated between reissues and new, structurally inventive albums, mindful of avoiding dinosaur status by adding to their legacy instead of becoming an oldies act. “I think if we were just doing reissues, then it’s like … ‘Oh, look at them, they’re coming out again. Good for them!’” Murphy says. The band is playing most of 12 at its current concerts, even though that means knocking some fan favorites from the setlists.
Ferguson sometimes wonders how long Sloan could keep coasting on its past output, but he’s afraid to find out. “Maybe it would still be the same, who knows, but I would rather not risk that,” he says. “I would rather just keep all the plates spinning. If this is what we do to make things work, let’s just keep all those things on the burners.”
Ferguson doesn’t think of Sloan as an outlier. “But then when I think ‘27 years,’ like, wow, we have been around for a long time,” he says. He does some quick mental math and calculates that at roughly the same point in their career, The Rolling Stones were releasing 1989’s Steel Wheels. “I’m gonna argue that 12 is better than Steel Wheels,” Ferguson says. But, he adds, “I would encourage The Rolling Stones to keep making records … Sometimes there are fun bands with a really short, perfect career, like The Smiths or The Velvet Underground, but I like seeing a long career.”
And so the Sloan bus rolls on, stopping in Winnipeg one night and Regina the next, and hoping that one day, the world will wake up, do a double-take at Sloan’s discography, and think, “I can’t believe one band did all this stuff,” as Murphy says.
“If you asked me the question, ‘Would you still do it if you had a million dollars?’ I would say yes,” the veteran rocker adds. “I just want to keep Sloan together.”

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The new single is taken from their forthcoming album due next month. Read » more
Twin Sisters & Folk Duo Fionn Take You Into Another Realm With Their Haunting Video For 'Castles'
The song is taken from their debut album Fionn which arrives October 26th. See » more
@CBC Music
First Play Live: Tokyo Police Club, TPC
Four years since the release of their last album, Tokyo Police Club is back with their best yet! See their exclusive first performance of the new record only on CBC Music » more
Royal Tusk Tackles 'Isolation and Authoritarianism' In Brutal 'Aftermath' Video: Premiere
The first video from their fortcoming sophomore album Tusk II premiered exclusively on Billboard. See » more
Electronic Duo Fjord Release ‘Lay Down Your Veil' Video, Announce New EP
Upcoming EP 'Shallow Waters' will be released in early 2019. See » more
@The Chronicle Herald
Jimmy Rankin Celebrates Return In Lively Collaboration With Producer Joel Plaskett
With his brand new album Moving East, Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Jimmy Rankin marks his move back home from Nashville with November shows in Halifax, Truro, Glace Bay and Port Hawkesbury. Read » more
Juno 365 session: Ria Mae covers Avril Lavigne
Ria Mae performs a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Fall to Pieces” from Lavigne’s Juno-winning album, Under My Skin. Watch » more
Toronto Proclaims Oct. 1 'Barenaked Ladies Day'
The honour coincides with the 30th anniversary of the band's inception. Read » more
TFA Videos of the Week
Ten terrific new visuals from the likes of TFA veterans Michael Bublé, Mother Mother, newcomers Shotty Horroh, Jxck Kxlly, Harrison, and everyone in between. Read » more
Alessia Cara to headline 2018 Grey Cup halftime show
Grammy-winning Canadian artist will perform at Edmonton event Nov. 25. Read » more
@Breakfast Television
Tyler Shaw performs “With You” live on BT!
Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Tyler Shaw has released his second full-length album, "Intuition"! He performs "With You", a song dedicated to his wife, live in BT's studio. See » more
Grandson Tackles Police Brutality Controversy With Intense '6:00' Video: Premiere
The alternative singer/rapper has already established that he's making music to send a message -- and his latest video is no exception. Read » more
2019 Canada Winter Games Unveil Festival Lineup
A lineup that is 100% Canadian and 100% awesome. Read the exciting first lineup announcement now » more
Colin James Announces 24-Date Cross Canada Tour For 2019
Tickets on sale Friday, September 28 at 12pm! Read » more
@CBC Music
Allan Slaight Juno Master Class Announces Its Winners
Port Cities will join Haviah Mighty, smrtdeath, and aquakultre for the exclusive mentorship program in Toronto. Read » more
Sarah McLachlan Confirmed as one of the Initial Celebrity Mentors for Season 2 of CTV's THE LAUNCH
The Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter will make her first appearance on the show, which begins production Sept. 26. Read » more
Said the Whale Sign to Arts & Crafts for New Album in 2019
The upcoming LP, which marks the band's sixth overall, will arrive early next year. Read » more
@SOCAN Magazine
Partner "Play The Field" Perfectly To Attract SOCAN Prize
Before their 2018 Polaris Prize performance, Partner stopped the SOCAN office to pick up their reward for winning the SOCAN Songwriting Prize. Read » more
@CBC News
Bryan Adams To MPs: Give Artists More Control Over Their Work
Veteran Canadian rocker goes before heritage committee to call for changes to Copyright Act. Read » more
@CBC Music
Jeremy Dutcher is the winner of the 2018 Polaris Music Prize
On Monday night, a grand jury of 11 Polaris voters convened at the Carlu in Toronto, Ont. to decide the winner of this year's big award, which is handed out every year to the best Canadian album of the year. Read » more
Matthew Good Announces 35 Date Canadian Solo Acoustic Tour
This is Good’s first solo run in Canada since his 2007 critically acclaimed acoustic tour. For the full list of dates, read » more
Classified Announces New Single "Cold Love" Featuring Tory Lanez, Available Today 9/14
The East Coast Rap Star confirms October 12th release for his brand-new full-legnth LP "Tomorrow Could Be The Day Things Change". Read » more
@Pop Matters
Fionn Dismantle Toxic Masculinity with "The Horns Are Fake"
Ahead of the release of their debut album, folk-pop duo Fionn exhibit a rock edge with their latest single "The Horns Are Fake". Read » more
@FYI Music News
Three Days Grace Beats Van Halen Record For Most US No. 1s
Not long before the quartet embarks on a 16-city Canadian tour, the Toronto-based global marquee band has surpassed Van Halen's longstanding record with the new benchmark 14 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s US Mainstream Rock Songs Chart. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Andrew Hyatt Has Some Sirius-ly Good News
The Sudbury ironworker turned country singer took $25K home from Hamilton on the weekend, thanks to his victory in the hotly-contested Top of the Country competition. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Five Questions With… Hotel Mira's Charlie Kerr
The mastermind of JPNSGRLS discusses the different musical direction of his new project, a memorable birthday in Berlin, the influence of his tastemaker brother, and his advice for Ed Sheeran. Read » more
Steven Page Announces Discipline Tour 2019 with Special Guests Port Cities
Following the release of his new album Discipline: Heal Thyself, Pt. II, Steven Page will embark on a headlining Canadian tour in 2019. Read » more
Harrison’s First DJ Gig Was Playing a Tea Shop
The Toronto producer tells Noisey about growing up in a musical household, pre-show rituals, and what we can expect from his forthcoming sophomore album. Read »
Pop Evil Announces 2018 Canadian Headline Tour Dates
In continued support of their latest self-titled release, Pop Evil will be joined on this cross Canada tour by special guests Royal Tusk. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Gowan's 'Criminal Mind' Now Certified Platinum
The runaway hit from Larry Gowan's second CBS album has, after all these years, been certified as a platinum hit! Read » more
@Taste of Country
Jessica Mitchell Is Caught In A Love Triangle In ‘Maybe It's Me’ Video
The new video debuts just two days after a breathtaking performance at the 2018 CCMA Awards. Read » more
The Weather Station and Jennifer Castle Team Up For Polaris Collaboration Session Sponsored By Stingray Music
The acts came together for a single day at Sugar Shack studio in London, Ontario this past August to record two songs and the result was marvellous. Read » more
It’s a Fall of Firsts for David Myles!
The new debuts of David Myles include his first French language record, first children’s book, and first self-produced radio program. PLUS watch for an acoustic version of Real Love, coming out October 26. Read » more
A Big Night for TFA at the 2018 CCMA Awards
Meghan Patrick, James Barker Band, and The Reklaws all took home trophies of their own, with The Feldman Agency being recognized as Booking Agency of the Year. Read » more
Blonde Diamond (Formerly Youngblood) To Release New EP Fantasy Love on October 19
North American Tour Dates Announced Including Dear Rouge Direct Support. Read » more
9 New Music Videos That Are Certified Binge Worthy
The latest from Tim Hicks, Magic!, Great Lake Swimmers, Tokyo Police Club, Mt. Joy, and more! Watch » more
@The Star
Standup Star K. Trevor Wilson Takes Another Step Up With Comedy Special
Taped earlier this summer at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, the hour-long special premieres Monday, Sept. 3 on Comedy. Read » more
Headstones Announce "The Picture Of Health" Fall Tour 2018
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their critically-acclaimed debut album, the band will re-issue the album along with a massive tour! Read » more
Alessia Cara to Present CCMA Generation Award to Shania Twain at 2018 CCMA Awards Live on CBC
She joins a list of esteemed presenters recently announced for the September 9 broadcast. Read » more
Feldman's Guide To The 2018 CCMA Awards
Get ready Hamilton! Four Days. More than twelve Feldman artists. Here's everything you need to know to survive this year's Canadian Country Music Association Awards! Read » more
@Rolling Stone
Hear Everlast’s Heartbreaking New Ballad ‘It Ain’t Easy’
The singer/rapper’s latest single was co-written by Nashville hitmaker Luke Laird. Read » more
Michelle Wright To Release New Music Aug. 31
Her two new tracks arrive after a five year hiatus since 2013's Strong. Read » more
@Rolling Stone
Blitzen Trapper Announce ‘Furr: Deluxe Edition,’ Share Rare Song ‘Booksmart Baby’
The indie country-rock band celebrates the 10th anniversary of their breakout LP. Read » more
Charlotte Day Wilson Uses Prism Prize Award Money to Create $10,000 Film Grant
It will be available to Canadian female/non-binary directors. Read » more
@Ones To Watch
All Eyes On grandson!
The rising rock star performs a live rendition of his electrifying breakout track “Blood // Water” followed by an intimate interview with Ones To Watch. Read » more
We Are the City Share New Single, Plot Canadian Tour
Watch a video for "When I Dream, I Dream of You" now » more
Shad and Kaytranada Question Peace On Cool-Spirited "The Fool Pt. 3 (Frame of Mind)"
The evolving Toronto artist premieres his new single and talks upcoming album 'A Short Story About War' and the city's current political climate. Read » more
The Reklaws And The Washboard Union Set To Perform At The 2018 Canadian Country Music Awards
Madeline Merlo and Tebey to join previously announced
Tim Hicks on Awards show stage live from Hamilton, ON on September 9 on CBC. Read » more
Feldman Leaves Their Mark On The 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs
With performances by Alessia Cara, The Beaches, and Tyler Shaw, this year's award show was one to remember. Read » more
James Barker Band, Jessica Mitchell and Serena Ryder Announced As Performers For The 2018 CCMA Awards
These talented artists will join previously announced performers Keith Urban, Lindsay Ell, High Valley, Dallas Smith, Terri Clark, Tim Hicks and Meghan Patrick. Read » more
Tim Hicks Shares Songs And Stories From 'New Tattoo' Live At SiriusXM
Hicks will headline SiriusXM's ‘Top of the Country’ Show next month at the Canadian Country Music Awards. Read » more
Multi-Platinum Country Star Tim Hicks & Multiple 2018 CCMA Awards Nominee Lindsay Ell Release Collaborative Track "The Worst Kind"
The second single from Hicks’ fourth studio album New Tattoo. Read » more
Jesse Moskaluke, Kira Isabella, and Madeline Merlo Announced To Open 2018 CCMA Awards With Shania Twain Tribute
The tribute will kick-off Canada’s biggest night in country music live from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre on CBC. Read » more
We Are the City Announce New Album 'At Night'
The Vancouver trio will release the followup to their 2015 effort Above Club, on October 5 via Light Organ Records/Tooth & Nail. Read » more
The Canadian Country Music Association Announces CCMA Fan Village
The new fan-driven event for Country Music Week, CCMA Fan Village runs September 7 - 9, providing free opportunities for fans to interact with Tim Hicks, Andrew Hyatt, Meghan Patrick, The Reklaws, Jade Eagleson, JoJo Mason, Dan Davidson, and Kira Isabella and more! Read » more
Blues Rocker Jesse Roper Announces Access To Infinity Tour
The tour kicks off in his hometown of Victoria, BC on October 12. Read » more
Ria Mae Announces Never Coming Down Headlining Tour and single, “It’s You” out September 7th
The tour hits twenty-five cities across Canada, and kicks off September 14th in St. John’s NL. Read » more
Grandson Rages Against The Corporate Machine During Intense 'Blood//Water' Performance on 'Late Night'
The singer/activist stormed the stage of Late Night for a lapel-grabbing run through his revolutionary anthem "Blood//Water" that made it clear that complacency is not an option. Watch » more
Indie Duo Fionn Debuts Moody 'Robert' Video: Premiere
This folk-pop twin duo from Vancouver premiered the video for "Robert," a swelling tale of first love and the radical heartbreak that comes with it, exclusively via Billboard today. Watch now » more
Lord Huron Play 3 Songs on CBS This Morning: Watch!
As part of the show’s Saturday Sessions series, the band performed a few songs from their latest album Vide Noir. Watch » more
@The Globe And Mail
Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Castle On Finding Balance Through Her Work As A Doula
In advance of a tour with a seven-piece band, Castle spoke to The Globe and Mail about her balancing act as a creator, a career musician and a part-time birth coach. Read » more
Canadian Country Music Association Partners With Ford Canada For Country Music Week 2018
Ford Canada announced as the official automotive sponsor of
the 2018 CCMA Awards and title sponsor for Album of the Year Award. Read » more
Royal Tusk Sign With eOne Music Announce Tusk II, Stream First Single “Aftermath”
Tusk II arrives on the heels of their well-received debut, DealBreaker (2016), and their first EP, Mountain (2014). Read » more
Magic! To Release Their Third Studio Album "Expectations" Sept. 7
The title track from the album is available to stream today. Read » more
Menopause The Musical Announces "Laugh Out Loud" Ontario Tour
The longest running comedy ever to play Las Vegas, is bringing it's "Laugh Out Loud – Ontario Tour" to a city near you, featuring their exclusive Canadian All-Star Cast! Read » more
Pup To Perform At Billy Talent And Friends TOronto TOgether Benefit Concert
All proceeds to be donated to #TorontoStrong fund, benefitting victims of the tragic shooting on Danforth Avenue. Read » more
Classified Announces "The Day Things Change" Tour
The announcement follows the release of new music video "Damn Right" which made its debut today at Vevo. more
The Beaches Make National TV Debut at CFL Halftime Show
What a month it's been for this Toronto rock band. But this performance is only the tip of the iceberg. Read » more
Four New Videos You Need To Watch!
When it comes to music videos, Feldman artists do not disappoint. If you were only going to watch four videos this week, it has to be these. Watch » more
The Blue Stones Sign To eOne + Announce New Album 'Black Holes''
The album's lead single "Black Holes (Solid Ground)" has over 8 Million Worldwide Streams, an impressive feat by an unsigned band. Read » more
Tim Hicks And Meghan Patrick Announced As Performers For The 2018 Canadian Country Music Awards
2018 CCMA Award nominees celebrate as performer announcements continue for upcoming broadcast live from Hamilton, ON on CBC, September 9. Read » more
Polaris Music Prize short list revealed: Daniel Caesar, Weaves, Alvvays, Jeremy Dutcher make top 10
The prestigious prize will be awarded Sept. 17. Read » more
Three Days Grace Announces "The Outside Tour" in Canada
With special guests Nothing More, plus Fozzy and Bad Wolves on select dates. Read » more
Jeremy Hotz Drags His Miserable Ass To Ottawa For Two Shows At The Algonquin Commons Theatre
The exclusive event will be filmed for Hotz's new comedy special: "Profoundly Disappointed". Read » more
The Glorious Sons Return Home With The Announcement Of Fall Canadian Tour
Extensive International Dates Continue Through Summer. Live Version Of Latest Single, "S.O.S. (SAWED OFF SHOTGUN)" Filmed At Memorable K-Rock Concert Released Alongside Personal Open Letter To Fans. Read » more
Multi-Platinum Country Star Tim Hicks Is Set To Turn Up The Volume On The 2018 "Get Loud Tour"
The 2018 CCMA Award Nominee for Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award partners with PLUS1 in support of Unison Fund for his cross country tour. Read » more
Feldman’s Country Roster Scores 15 Nominations at 2018 CCMA Awards
Six TFA acts are in contention for the most coveted award in Canadian country music. Tune in Sunday, September 9 at 8:00 p.m. EST. on CBC to see who takes it home! Read » more
Tokyo Police Club Announce New Album 'TPC,' Reveal First Single: Exclusive
Alt-rock quartet Tokyo Police Club are going for a full reboot on their upcoming semi-self-titled fourth album TPC, set to drop on Oct. 5 via Dine Alone Records. Read » more
Letterkenny Live! Adds New Shows & Markets To Highly Acclaimed 2018 National Tour
Back by popular demand, "Letterkenny Live!" adds new shows and markets to highly acclaimed 2018 national tour starring Jared Keeso, Nathan Dales, K Trevor Wilson, and Mark Forward. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Up Cannabis Hosts Hip Doobie Doobie Doo Event
The New Farm in Creemore, ON, hosted an all-day party yesterday designed to boost the profile of the burgeoning pot producer. With members of The Tragically Hip on hand, The Glorious Sons and City and Colour entertained over 200 attendees. Read » more
@FYI Music News
29th Annual SOCAN Awards Honoured Canada's Best In Class
Burton Cummings, Sarah McLachlan, and Daniel Caesar were among those recognize with the most prestigious honour. Read » more
@FYI Music News
2018 SOCAN Honorees Include Burton Cummings, OLP, And Sarah McLachlan
The Awards Gala will be held in Toronto on June 18, but the performing rights organization has already announced five Achievement Award winners. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Classified Brings Together an All-Star Cast for a Charitable Cause
TFA artists David Myles, Joel Plaskett, Neon Dreams, Breagh MacKinnon (Port Cities), and Mo Kenney join Classified for the new acoustic version of his song Powerless. Read » more
Steven Himmelfarb Joins The Feldman Agency
After ten years working for The Billions Corporation, Steven joins The Feldman Agency with a roster of more than thirty-five artists including Charlotte Day Wilson, PUP, Lord Huron, Beirut, Wolf Parade, Wintersleep, New Pornographers and many more. Read » more
@Rolling Stone
Vocal Powerhouse Tami Neilson Talks Feminism, Sharon Jones, New Album 'Sassafrass'
New Zealand-based performer hits back at negative commenters with a powerful, fun collection of retro-inspired tunes more
Feldman Country Acts Dominate at the CMAOntario Awards
Of the 30+ nominations they received, Feldman acts took home nine awards including many of the highest honours. Read » more
@The Georgia Straight
Coleman Hell Calls From The Canyon
Coleman Hell’s yet-to-be-released new album Topanga sees the Canadian artist working through some internal struggles, using songs as his diary. Read » more
@Canadian Football League
Country Duo 'The Reklaws' To Perform At The 2018 CFL Kickoff In Winnepeg
Not only will they perform the halftime show for #CFLKickoff, their single "Long Live the Night" will be the official theme song of #ThursdayNightFootball! Read » more
@Canadian Beats
Countdown to the CMAOntario Festival & Awards: Q & A with Eric Ethridge
With the annual awards show taking place this Sunday, CMAOntario Rising Star nominee Eric Ethridge sits down to discuss his journey through country music and advice that shaped his career. Read » more
TFA Talent Earns 5 SOCAN Songwriting Prize Nominations
And you have the power to decide who wins the prestigious prize. Learn » more
@Glide Magazine
Tami Neilson Sends Soulful Love Letter To Sharon Jones With "Miss Jones"
Based is New Zealand, Tami Neilson is making waves. She moves away from her country and roots background for a more soulful sound with "Miss Jones", a tribute to Sharon Jones. Read » more
Feldman Artists Shine At The Canadian Radio Music Awards
Last night, the 21st Annual Canadian Radio Music Awards (CRMA), took place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel and the presence of Feldman was impossible to ignore! Read » more
Three Days Grace Ties Van Halen for Most No. 1s on Mainstream Rock Songs Chart
"The Mountain," the lead single from Three Days Grace's new album 'Outsider,' grants the band a share of history. Read » more
@FYI Music News
TFA Partnerships Division Client, CCMA, Names New President Tracy Martin
After serving as interim head since July of last year and leading the association’s staff and Board through Country Music Week in Saskatoon, and executive producing the 2018 CCMA Awards broadcast, Tracy Martin is now officially President of the Canadian Country Music Association effective immediately. Read » more
@Juno Awards
TFA's Artists Sweep Junos with 37 Nominations
@Bell Media
The Comedy Network Gets Pumped with the Debut of "Corner Gas Animated"
The much-anticipated animated reboot airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Network. Read » more
@Globe Newswire
Newstrike’s Up Cannabis Enters Into Exclusive Partnership with Canada's Leading Entertainment Group The Feldman Agency
Alliance with Canada’s Top Entertainment Agency Strengthens Foothold for Adult-Use Market. Read » more
Jeff Craib Is Announced as One of the 2018 Inductees into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame
Jeff will be honoured for his accomplishments and established career in the music industry at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner at Rebel Nightclub in Toronto on Thursday May 10th, 2018. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Johnny Reid Adds 3rd Winnipeg Show
Johnny Reid will add a third show in Winnipeg at the Burton Cummings’ Theatre as part of his 2018 Revival tour that promotes his latest album of the same name. Read » more
#NewVideo - The Glorious Sons "Everything Is Alright"
Directed by Colin G Cooper, this stunning visual is taken off the album "Young Beauties and Fools" out now! See the video » more
Feldman Artists Shine With 8 Grammy Nominations in 2018
The 60th annual Grammy nominees have been revealed and the list wouldn't be complete without a few Feldman Artists! Read » more
Royal Wood Takes Centre Stage For His Headlining Debut At Massey Hall On May 11
Having performed on the hallowed stage during his Songwriters' Circle performance for the 2010 JUNO Awards, Royal is now ready to take the stage on his own. Read » more
The Glorious Sons Announce A Hometown Rogers K-Rock Centre Show February 24
Off the heels of a completely sold out Canadian Tour, Juno-nominated alternative rock band, The Glorious Sons, announce their homecoming show at the Rogers
K-Rock Centre February 24, 2018. Read » more
Matthew Good And Our Lady Peace Announce Cross Country Tour
These two Canadian rock legends will be co-headling a 20 date Canadian tour next spring that will bring them from coast to coast, with shows lined up from St. John’s to Vancouver. Read » more
Jason Blaine Releases New EP "Boy With A Guitar"
It's the first release for CCMA Award Winning Canadian Country Artist since signing with premiere Canadian Indie Label Wax Records. Read » more
Johnny Reid Announces Revival 2018 National Tour
He's hitting the road with his big band The Soul Providers and a special appearance by Glass Tiger. Read » more
Statement By The Downie Family
Last night Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by. Read » more
Gord Downie Announces New Record "Introduce Yerself"
A 23-Song Double Album produced by Kevin Drew out October 21 Via Arts & Craft. Read » more
James Barker Band Launches "Game On Tour"
Fresh off of their recent gold certifications for “Chills” and “Lawn Chair Lazy,” the James Barker Band is excited to announce their national tour with CCMA Female Artist of the Year / CCMA Rising Star Award Winner Meghan Patrick and special guest Jojo Mason. Read »
#NewVideo - "Tell Me Smooth" by Mathew V
This rising star from Vancouver is about to blow you away with his shimmering vocals and breathtaking performance. See » more
The Feldman Agency Appoints Don Simpson As Chief Operating Officer
Simpson brings over 25 years of entertainment experience in senior management, operations, business development and strategic planning to the North American premiere talent agency. Read » more
@The Feldman Agency
Multi-Platinum Country Star Tim Hicks Releases New Single “Forever Rebels"
It's the fourth single from Hicks' top selling album "Shake These Walls". Read » more
The Tragically Hip Announce "Long Time Running"
The new documentary film will have its World Premiere at TIFF before a Canadian theatrical release Sept. 14th. Read » more
@The Feldman Agency
Veteran Music Agent Richard Mills Announces His Retirement From TFA
After 24 years at The Feldman Agency, our friend and colleague Richard Mills is headed on a different career path. Read » more
Enriched Styling Test 1
This is a test page to showcase the various methods to enhance the style of a post. (ie. add links, images, videos, styling) more
Welcome Backstage!
We’re excited to announce the launch of TFA Backstage: your exclusive access to everything going on in the Live Entertainment and Events industry. Learn more » more
CBC Music Names "Gord Downie Person of the Year"
Gord Downie did the seemingly impossible this year. And then he did it again. Read » more
@The Feldman Agency
The Rise of Nontraditional Event Venues
Traditional event venues remain the most popular choice for event professionals. But informal business culture and the growing demand for unique event experiences have paved the way for change. Read » more
Jill Barber Tries to 'Remove Stigma From Mental Illness' With 'Mercy': Premiere
The latest single from her forthcoming album 'Metaphora' out June 22. Read » more
@604 Records
New Single "Habit" From Canadian Country Artist Andrew Hyatt Available Now Via New Signing With 604 Records
"Habit" follows Hyatt's back to back top ten singles "Do It With You" and "On Me". Read » more
The Feldman Agency named Booking Agency of the Year at 2018 CMBIAs
The CMBIA gala recognizes the best and brightest in all fields of the Canadian music and broadcast industries. Read » more
@Tim Hicks
Multi-Platinum Country Star Tim Hicks Inks June 22nd Release Date for "New Tattoo"
Its first single “LOUD” has been licensed by the NHL for broadcast across North American during the 2018 playoff season. Read » more
@Live Nation Entertainment
Jann Arden Announces Fall Canadian Tour
Acclaimed singer-songwriter, Jann Arden has announced today she will embark on a Canadian tour in support of her new album entitled, These Are The Days. Read » more
@FYI Music News
Johnny Reid's Revival Is A Roaring Success
He's a Scot who lives in Nashville and calls Canada home, and his just-completed national tour is one of the biggest success stories there is this year. Read » more
@Universal Music Canada
Mother Mother Release O My Heart: Live Sessions, In Honour Of The Fan Favourite Indie-Rock Album’s 10th Anniversary
The band also announces seven intimate and exclusive club shows, featuring never performed songs and more. Read » more
Paul Anka Headed For Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame
He transcended the '50s, '60s, and '70s with hit songs such as "Diana", "Lonely Boy", "Put Your Head on My Shoulder", and "(You're) Having My Baby". Now he's the latest and final inductee into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards. Read » more
Meghan Patrick’s ‘Country Music Made Me Do It’ Is A Strong Sophomore Release
On her sophomore project, Country Music Made Me Do It, Meghan Patrick firmly establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with in her genre. Read » more
Toronto Singer's Chess Gambit Turns Into A Major Piece
Elise LeGrow’s debut album puts a new spin on standards by such greats as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Chuck Berry, and The Moonglows. Read » more
Five Questions With Jesse Roper
Jesse Roper’s sound may be rooted in rock and roll’s core elements of blues and soul, but his musical vision is trained squarely on the future. Read » more
Grammys 2018: Meet the Best New Artist Nominees
Get to know Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA before the big night. Read » more
Canadian Singer-Songwriter Jessica Mitchell Joins Johnny Reid on 46+ Date National Tour
The "Revival" 208 National Tour kicks off February 26th. Read » more
Meghan Patrick Is Taking Us Back To Real Country
The Canadian country star’s new album isn’t that poppy stuff taking over the Top 40 right now, this is real country. Read »
Barenaked Ladies To Be Inducted Into Canadian Hall of Fame At 2018 Junos
This year, after plenty of Juno wins, Grammy nominations, 15 million albums sold and a whole lot of history, Barenaked Ladies will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during a one-time special appearance with former member Steven Page. Read » more
Tonight's the night! SOLD OUT The Weather Station show at The Great Hall, get ready to swoon Toronto!
Tonight's the night! SOLD OUT The Weather Station show at The Great Hall, get ready to swoon Toronto! more
CMAO Wins Boost Meghan Patrick's Soaring Career
Meghan Patrick's newfound status as the leading trophy-winner at Sunday's Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards show is a serious career boost for the singer/songwriter from Bowmanville. She won in the Album, Female Artist, Music Video, and Rising Star of the Year categories. more
Richard Mills Takes A Bow, But Expect An Encore!
Richard Mills signs off from The Feldman Agency this week after two-plus decades of travelling the world and doing what many peer agents might think the impossible, namely developing careers and generating income for a genre of artists that don’t often fit the mold of today's hits.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Born in Trinidad, and raised in the prairies, Mills is a formidable figure in person. One might guess him as an IT executive, or perhaps a linebacker... more