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Interview: Low Budget Rock Star
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
The Creator bestowed upon us the gift of music and the duty to share it with the world. We have a mission. We were chosen by the Creator and spirit of music to bring joy, peace, & love to a world in need at this very moment. It would be selfish of us if we had chosen a different route in life. We’d probably be dead.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Away from the spotlight, Kennie is rooted in his culture and spends his time nurturing his spirit being out on the land attending sacred ceremonies of the Indigenous peoples of Opaskwayak Cree Nation. At an early adolescent age, he began singing with his hand drum. He would find himself sitting alone in the woods surrounded by the beauty of all the life given to us. The Creator is the greatest artist in the universe. The art and beauty that surrounds us are told in the sacred songs and in the land itself.
How long has your band been around?
Low Budget Rock Star was formed in the summer of 2019 with earliest inklings dating back to 2017.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
The band hails from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, a community located in the northern realms of Manitoba 600km north of Winnipeg! This influences our character. We have travelled many miles. We have survived two decades growing with the music industry.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Sir. Richard Cudmore is the founding father of Low Budget Rock Star. His vision and dream had started many years ago. He had been walking through town one day and someone said “You still think your going to be a rock star” to which Richie replied, “I am a rock star, I’m just a low budget rock star”. The band name captures the spirit of the group. It is humble. It is cheeky. It is real. It really is who the band is, Low Budget Rock Star.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The band has performed at many stages and many towns in their career(s). In the summer of 2019. The band was part of the Spencer Neighborhood Block Party hosted by the SAKIHIWE FESTIVAL. In the early hours of the morning the band had a scheduled sound check at the venue. It was a Sunday morning and the entire neighborhood was sound asleep until bang! The sound of a bass drum hitting you in the chest followed by the range of a tightly tuned 13inch snare. The band’s sound check woke the entire block! People rose to the music. They began standing on their balconies, looking out the windows, and wondering just who the hell is making all this noise. The band played three songs that morning giving the heart of the north end a taste of the beginning of Low Budget Rock Star. When 5pm rolled around that day. The entire block came to see Low Budget Rock Star. They felt something during that soundcheck that compelled them to listen. Low Budget Rock Star gave the people of Winnipeg something that day and in return received the appreciation that all artists who give their best get. No matter what stage, what people, what city, or town.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We appreciate any talent buyer or venue who allows us to grace their stages. The West End Cultural Center in Winnipeg, The Dakota Dunes Casino outside Saskatoon, and the auditorium in Norway House Cree Nation. All beautiful places to be! We would love to play the Club Regent Event Center someday. Canada Life Center would be a dream come true. Maybe the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Low Budget Rock Star, Def Leppard, Gretta Van Fleet, Marianas Trench, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be real. Be authentic. Be creative. Don’t be an a$$hole. The advice to our younger self is that no matter what age, cultural background, or sexual orientation you are; Music is universal. It is a powerful medium that connects all of us together. Use it for the right reasons.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Forgive others and those who have done you wrong. Be thankful and have appreciation for all the blessings you have.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our self-titled single is our mission statement. It is our life’s biography. It reveals the identity of who we are.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The band likes playing Sunglasses. The song always lifts people up, especially live. We been asked to play our self-titled single most often. It is the hardest song to play and sing live and for good reason.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process starts anywhere. An event in life. A guitar melody. A storyline. Even just a simple catch phrase. Our struggles in life. The challenges we face on a daily. The ones we love. These elements inspire us to make music.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Peace, love, and kindness. The world needs more of this.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Like all bands. Yes. There are disagreements always. We move past them to protect ourselves from ourselves. We just be honest with each other. Somethings work for the band, somethings don’t.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have a show May 13, 2022 in Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The band has an album release coming July 2, 2022 coincided with a show in Winnipeg with details to follow. The group will be embarking on a journey to Nashville this fall.