Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Last updated: 1 year ago

Student band ready to go local after national competition

Sometimes it’s difficult to get all of the cleaning done. Midterms, Wednesday night drinking, Friday night drinking, making an audition tape for a nationally televised music competition. Student band The Simpson Brothers understand.

“[The audition] wasn’t a very impressive shoot, to be honest,” said Rich Simpson, a UBC literature major and member of the Simpson Brothers.

“There was, like, flies buzzing around with garbage behind us because we had a garbage mound piled up from the term.”

The Simpson Brothers were the second band to be eliminated from the CBC reality show, Cover Me Canada.

The group is made up of students: Simpson’s brother Rob, who is a psychology major, and integrated engineering student Evan Findlay are both from UBC. Bryson Dodwell studies music at Vancouver Community College.

“At the very least, it’s just great exposure. It’s been great to work with the people we got to work with,” said Rich Simpson.

“One of the biggest things about the show is sort of a positive and also a challenge for us at the same time,” Rob Simpson said. He noted that a lot of their televised songs ended up being more ballad-like. “In the show, we had to really challenge ourselves, [because] we were working in a specific genre.”

The band is a mesh of two different styles. Rob and Rich Simpson’s initial audition tape, a cover of a Bryan Adams song, was accepted by the producer with the caveat that they find members to fill out a band. Dodwell and Findlay had published some progressive mathrock songs under the name Strange Fruit to music hosting website The combination seems to work well for them.

“What we bring to the table is whatever we like, and we always find a way to sort of mesh the different styles,” Rich Simpson said. “There’s some areas where we all collide in our interest.”

The band aims to keep that creative mix as they prepare to play their first post-Cover Me Canada shows, including one on November 5 at the King’s Head pub.

“One side of us that people haven’t seen is, Bryson and Evan bring a lot of technical skill to the table and it allows Rich and I to sort of go in the places we’re more comfortable to show people…what they didn’t see on national television,” Rob Simpson said. “We will gear up and play as many shows as we can and show people what they missed.”

Though the band will play some original songs, they have an appreciation for the art of the cover. “It seems as if the whole reason the show became popular in the first place is people want to hear really unique interpretations of songs,” Rob Simpson said. “That’s going to come back.”

David Marino/The Ubyssey