Beating the distance

With band members attending universities all across
Ontario, Employees Only were able to make it work

Contributed Image
Contributed Image

Most people would think having the members of a band attend three different universities across Ontario would make things impossible.

Etobicoke’s Employees Only would argue otherwise.

With members at the University of Toronto, McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University, the dynamics of how the band operate are very unique to the situation.

“It was a lot of traveling for Jason and I,” said Alex Traynor, drummer for the band. “We were coming back to Etobicoke quite frequently to piece together last-minute practices before shows we had coming up.”

“We were able to keep writing music and performing on a fairly consistent basis.”

Employees Only is a self-described “modern Canadian rock” band from Etobicoke, ON, and has been active since 2008.

“We all went to high school together at Father John Redmond,” said Traynor. “Jason [Wolwowicz] and Andrew [Ansell] had an idea of entering into a talent show.”

“They had approached me to join them to see if we could put together something for the show.”

And as they say, the rest was history.

The band said the name came from one of the signs that were hanging up the in garage they first practiced in.

“One of our first practices was in my garage,” said Ansell, lead guitarist. “My dad has this old garage that has a bunch of old signs in it. Once we finished practice, we decided we needed a band name. Right above a door in my dad’s shop there’s a sign that says ‘employees only.’ We kind of all looked at it and said ‘there you go.’ ”

Looking at how the band was able to operate over the past five years with members being at different universities, the band was quick to emphasize the importance of planning ahead.

“The entire process wasn’t easy. The songwriting was a lot more effort than organizing shows. The whole thing was a challenge,” said Traynor.

But when asked what kept them together, the answer was simple.

“The whole thing was a challenge, but we were just having so much damn fun when we were getting together and jamming and putting on shows.”

Employees Only released their first E.P., Treeview Sessions, this past December. The name is reflective of where it was recorded.

“The name comes from the street I live on. We wrote a lot of the E.P. in my house and actually recorded in my uncle’s basement, who lives up the street from me.”

“We decided to name it after the street where it came from,” said Traynor.

They emphasized that recording it on their own helped create a big part of it’s sound.

“We really wanted to make sure the first E.P. had its own grungy feeling to it, that it sounds like it was recorded in a basement. But also we just wanted to learn as much about the process as we could,” said Traynor.

With all of the members of the band graduating from their respective universities, they plan on playing as many shows as they can and hopefully start recording their first full-length album later this year.

But moving forward, they also want to utilize living in the same city for the first time in years.

“At this point in time, we just wanted to do everything better we couldn’t do the last four years when we were in three different universities.” said Traynor.

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