Moving on up
Looks like Wilfrid Laurier University couldn’t get enough of the Bends, the band from St. Catherine’s that opened for Lights during the 2013 O-Week. The Bends’ drummer, Dave Klassen, a second-year music student at Laurier caught up with The Cord to talk about the band’s beginnings and breakthrough success.
The Bends formed while Klassen was a high school freshman. After a couple of line up changes, the band currently features Kurt Dunn as their lead vocalist, Luke Honsberger on keyboard, Duncan Chambers as the bassist, Joe Salter on guitar, Grace Snippe on the cello, and Klassen, of course, on drums.
“We all came from a variety of different influences,” remarked Klassen on the band’s unique blend of music, or what their page calls “Post-Punk Indie Funk. We had a meshing of genres going on. That kind of helped us develop our own sound.”
Dave seems reserved overall, but is ecstatic when it comes to talking about the heights the band has reached. “Our first show was at a place called 73 St. Paul’s Street,” he added. “You can hardly consider that a venue. There was no stage. You had to walk through the band to get to the washroom.”
Looking forward to the band’s show at the Turret, opening for platinum recording artists Down with Webster, he said, “It’s a really fun venue to play. You can see everyone dancing up front which is a plus.”
Klassen credits the bands growth to the support they have in their hometown. “We would always have tons of people at our shows. Most of them were just friends from high school. It really encourages you to keep playing when people want to see you.”
“It’s ridiculous how much they support us,” he said when asked about his family’s take on the band. “They’ve been putting up with us practicing in the basement for … years. It’s really heartwarming!”
When it came time for the band members to graduate high school, some of The Bends’ members left their hometown to attend Brock, McMaster and, of course, Laurier. “It’s always worth it but it’s a challenge for sure,” remarked Klassen on the distance between band mates.
While at Laurier, Klassen has sampled the local music scene. “I’ve seen a couple shows at Maxwell’s and the Jazz Room. There’s a lot more diversity in the Waterloo music scene than there is in St. Catherine’s.”
Reflecting on the band’s success so far, Klassen explained how he defines success in the music business. “As long as we’re creating something we’re happy with, and we’re having fun at it, we’re being successful,” he said. “As cheesy that might sound.”
He also gave advice to up-and-coming musicians. “Keep at it no matter what,” he said. “Get as many people involved with what you’re doing as you can,” he added, inspired by how far the band has gotten with the support from friends and family.
Waiting to see Passion Pit in September, Klassen was surprised that people remembered him from the Bends’ opening set for Lights. “It’s a really cool feeling to be recognized like that.”