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Deadbeat Superheroes

Interview: Deadbeat Superheroes drives us through those roads headed to Edmonton

With one of the most fantastically creative names in the game, Deadbeat Superheroes took time out of their busy day to chat with us all about new music, the excitement after adding an incredible violinist to the group and much more.

Thank you for speaking with us Deadbeat Superheroes. How are you all doing and where in the world can we find you currently?

Vik: It’s our pleasure! We’re all doing very well- happy, healthy, and loving the response to our new Edmonton EP.

We are currently scattered 4500 kms across Canada.

· Julie Sun Lee (vocals and violins) – Toronto, Ontario

· MT (guitars) – St. Catharines, Ontario

· Marek David (Production and Keyboards), Taylor Charles (Drums), Charlotte Germaine (backup vocals) and Stephen J. Horak (Guitars) – Victoria, British Columbia

· Darren Vanstone (bass) – Edmonton, Alberta

· Vikas Sharma (guitars) – North Vancouver, British Columbia

Julie: Doing well – I’m in the process of writing a piece for two violins and electronics and working on a couple of ambient electro-acoustic instrumental tracks.

You have one of the best band names imaginable. Please open the door and let us into the vision around this creation.

Vik: Yes! Thanks for the compliment … we love the name, too.

It was a very quick decision. At the time, we were just a trio … Ayesha (vocals), MT (guitars), and me … and we were thinking of a name back in 2011 … MT and I were useless in thinking of something, but Ayesha immediately spit out Deadbeat Superheroes – and the conversation ended.

Even when Julie assumed the lead singer spot, and we were figuring out our next steps, we all agreed that the name was strong, our reputation in Toronto was good, so let’s keep the name.

Julie: I just love the name Deadbeat Superheroes and the name just spoke to me.

Please tell us more about adding the incredible artist Julie Sun Lee to the band. How did this connection start?

Vik: I’ve known Julie for 16 years … we met through an old bandmate of mine who was working on a post-rock project called At The Funeral – two guitars – lots of effects – violins – that’s it. So, the three of us played together and recorded a little EP.

It was a ton of fun, so Julie and I stayed connected as friends over the years.

In 2016, I couldn’t find a lap steel player to play on a Deadbeat Superheroes track, so I decided to go a different route and ask Julie to play the violin on the tracks. It worked and she continued to work with us over the years, both on stage and in the studio. We even performed one of her songs “Chasing Ghosts” at our last show with our old singer.

We would frequently ask Julie to perform her solo stuff as an opening act, and it was evident that she was a serious songwriter and vocalist. So, when Ayesha left, everyone asked me the same question … “Why don’t you ask Julie if she wants to take over as singer?”

Julie: It was creatively interesting and loads of fun working with Vik for At The Funeral. When Vik and the members of DBS asked me to assume the front-person role (and co-songwriter), it was a no-brainer.

Your 4th EP is called Edmonton. How was the process during your new release and what should fans expect?

Vik: The process was different – I’ve never worked remotely to this extent before.

I moved from Toronto in 2021 out to North Vancouver.

Before I moved, it was easy.

I emailed everyone who played in the band – asked about show or recording availability – and we just did it, live and in person.

Now, I’m emailing people all over the country asking them if they want to email in their tracks?

Aside from preliminary rehearsals with Julie and MT at my Toronto apartment, while I was getting the demos set up, we never performed these songs as a band.

That was a first for me – and not easy to wrangle everyone together.

Running a band is much easier when you can engage people in real life.

Once we got it all done (we started in June 2022- finished recording and mixing in October) – it was a breeze. I used Distrokid to get the music out to all channels.

I’ll pass it over to Julie to tell you what fans can expect.

Julie: I think there will definitely be more of a blend of each of our musical styles along with genre-bending and blending.

If you could perform live on the same stage with any band in the world, who would it be and why?

Vik: For me, it would be Future Islands as I think we’d have some synergies. Jules? How about you?

Julie: Beirut, I love the instrumentation and blend of genres from this band. I think strings are a great fit.

How would you describe your sound to a complete stranger?

Vik: Pop/Rock that is synth and guitar driven with effusive strings. Julie?

Julie: Alternative Indie Folk Pop

Last, what are the goals for the rest of 2023?

Vik: I’d love to perform a couple of times this year in Toronto. Our band has a great relationship with Supermarket in Kensington Market (Toronto, ON), and we usually play in the spring and the autumn.

I’m also going to start demoing again and send song ideas to Julie for her consideration. And whatever she likes, we’ll record in late 2023 or early 2024!

Julie: More songs with DBS, and as much more collaborating, writing, recording, and performing that I can humanly fit into the new year!

Listen up on Spotify. See more on Facebook.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Slip into the sanctum of 80s rock with Deadbeat Superheroes’ elegantly assured single, By the Side of the Road

‘By the Side of the Road’ is just one of the blissfully melodic singles from Toronto’s premier powerhouse, Deadbeat Superheroes’ latest 4-track EP, Edmonton, produced and engineered by Marek David (QOTSA, Dr Dre, Sheryl Crow).

Inspired by the ambience of Brian Eno’s delay-filtered guitars, the nuancedly 80s track allows you to slip back into the orchestrally heightened assured ease, which knows just what direction to take you in for you to arrive at a destination of mellowed catharsis.

After performing as a violinist in the outfit for the past seven years, the EP is the first release to utilise the soulfully warm vocal beguile of Julie Sun Lee, who carries all the harmonised mesmerism of Stevie Nicks, with none of the assimilation.

After hearing the almost tear-jerking elegance and artistry between the orchestral swells in By the Side of the Road, it is easy to regain lost faith in humanity. If you want proof that humans are still capable of curating awe-inspiring beauty, hit play.

Listen to the full EP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast