About The Northwest
The Northwest originated in summer of 2013 – a band comprised of seasoned Sault Ste. Marie punk and indie scene musicians that decided they weren’t quite ready to call it a day yet. A debut 4-song EP came shortly. After a handful of solo shows as well as some high profile opening slots for like likes of Gob, Poor Young Things and Kalle Mattson, they entered the CBC Searchlight contest and came in first in the region for their song “Young & Wild”.
2018 saw release of their second EP ‘Songs from 2015 to 2017’ and further honed in their sound. In July 2019 they were chosen to headline the Friday night second stage slot at the Rock on the River Festival in Timmins ON along side The Trews and festival headliner The Sheepdogs. With their wide, heavy-hitting, 3-guitar, all-systems-go energy – rocked the river they did.
In late 2019 they were awarded an Ontario Arts Council Grant to record a 3rd EP – to be released in 2022 ‘ALL IN’ is their most polished and produced release yet. Their debut single ‘Long Hair (Longer Nights)’ outpaced everything else they have released in the first weekend and was featured on Hockey Night in Canada!
The Northwest is: Wayne Watkins – Vocals/Guitar Greg Callaghan – Vocals/Guitar Mike Yak – Guitar/Vocals Mike Smykacz – Bass Marc Santos – Drums
ABOUT THE SONG: “Stay Gold” – out now
” A couple years ago just as we started writing this album, Matt Mays was in town, I am a huge fan and I got him to sign my ‘Once Upon A Hell Of a Time’ gatefold LP. Inside he wrote ‘Hey Mike…STAY GOLD…Matt Mays’…and I knew there and then that I was going to have to write a song around that!” – Mike (Guitar/Vocals)
“Stay Gold was the last song on the EP that came together – Mike had a demo of a verse idea and chorus. When we got together to work on it, we ended up tweaking the verse approach to better fit the vocal line I came up with and the chorus really stood out in the demos.” – Wayne (Vocals/Guitar)
ABOUT THE EP: All In – out now
“When we met with Dustin Goodall and Bill Priddle at Unsalted Audio, we knew we had to hand the keys over to our songs and trust their judgement on a lot of aspects of the songs and tonality of the record. Some things changed drastically – the bridge part in ‘Long Hair (Longer Nights)’ was way different when we wrote it, but the benefit of a production team is they listen to your songs from a listener’s point of view and I think The Northwest needed that to help us become better songwriters and performers in the long run.” – Mike (Guitar/Vocals)
“A lot of time spent on this one. Mike and I really used this downtime from the pandemic to send voice memo demos back and forth. I would write everyday while I was “working from home”. We spent a solid year just focused on these batch of songs. This was also the first time handing the keys over to a team to help with production. It had its ups and downs was really a learning experience as well. It took thought to get the song ideas to come together it took a team to make the EP sound how we wanted it to be.” Wayne (Vocals/Guitar)
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