Coming home from Montreal, Jersey State prepares to play a few shows in Etobicoke, calling The Rockpile the ‘heart of the scene’
Etobicoke band Jersey State played a packed show in a new city, but getting people to come to local concerts is proving to be the challenge.
“The Etobicoke scene isn’t officially dead, but when we were younger it was definitely at its peak,” said drummer Stephan Peralta, a first-year creative advertising student at Humber.
A scene is group of people who live in loosely the same area who socially interact through a collective interest in music.
“I wouldn’t say scenes die, it’s more that they refresh.” said Josh Mahoney, a first-year creative photography student.
“I was working for a year and didn’t go to any local shows. When I came back the next year, everyone who was in the scene before I left wasn’t there anymore. It was entire new crowd of younger kids.”
Mahoney runs the Durham-based music website Damaged Press.
He said it’s mostly high school students who go to local concerts in smaller towns or cities and scenes steadily change because the people involved grow up and tend to move away or go to college or university.
Recently Jersey State, who have been together for three years, went to Montreal.
“It was actually the first time we left the province, so we were kind of iffy about it, we didn’t really know what to expect.
When we got there it was packed and overall, we just loved everything about it,” said Peralta.
Guitarist Chris Fleming went to Seneca for a year then transferred to Humber’s multimedia design and production technician program because the commute was too far.
Their bassist, Julian Petelycky, also goes to Humber for business.
“The Rockpile is located right beside us, it’s really easy for transportation and getting our target audience to the venue,” said Peralta. “That venue really is the heart of the Etobicoke scene.”
The Rockpile, at 5555A Dundas West, is a relocation of the famous all-ages venue the Big Bop, which closed down almost a year ago because the lease was up.
Fleming said there are not really any other venues in Etobicoke.
“They all died out from kids partying too hard,” he said.
This doesn’t deter the guys in Jersey State from making big plans for the future.
Peralta said this summer they plan on playing their way through eastern Canada, all the way to Halifax.