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Interview with TAMING SARI
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music was always a part of our lives. Our family members taught us so much about the importance of music and performance. Seeing live music and how much fun the musicians were having on stage, ignited something within us. From jamming with friends in high school, putting on a first show in our parent’s garage, feeling that rush of positive energy when writing new music together, music is definitely a powerful art form that resonated with us from a young age until now.
Had we not gotten into music, it’s possible we would have done community theatre, acting, graphic design, event management or another profession requiring creativity, extraversion, and passion.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We like spending time outdoors practicing sports (golf, tennis, biking, hiking, etc.) and enjoying the restorative force of nature outside of our homes. The beautiful Canadian landscape and all it has to offer is a big influence in our music. We love doing activities with our friends and families as well as our fans. Our fans are always game to follow us in our adventures when filming music videos and reaching for the next collective achievement as a band.
How long has your band been around?
The band has been active since 2017 but it took until 2019 to find the sound and message we wanted to put out into the world. Working closely with our producer Ross Hayes Citrullo in Toronto, we managed to create the powerful rock sound we wanted stemming from Warren Meredith’s vocals.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in the Ottawa-Gatineau region and it speaks to the bilingual dynamic of the band. Our music is influenced by duality. The constant struggle to write high-energy rock songs that people will dig while being aware of all of life’s challenges from both a mental health perspective and the financial limitations when working on a project driven by passion. Striking the balance is key, and the result is always worthwhile.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The origin of the band is steeped in the belief of bringing positive energy to humanity. Sari is Mother Nature. Humankind’s fascination with tapping into her sacred energy and trying to tame her is the basis of the band’s name. The efforts to tame Sari, just like unleashing the positive energy of the band, is a journey. One that the five members of the group thrive on.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our most memorable show was in October 2019 when we got to open for The Lazys, a truly inspiring rock band! The show at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa was sold out, we were the openers and the place was already packed when we started playing. We delivered a 30-minute power set and gave everything we had to the crowd. We made a bunch of super fans that night, sold a bunch of merch, got to have chats with The Lazys and saw them tear the roof the place! This show was clearly a pivotal moment in our journey as a band. Luckily, we get to do it all again on August 11 in Ottawa!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
An amazing venue that we played was The Bronson Centre in Ottawa. It’s an old school auditorium turned into a wicked venue, We got to open for Juno winner JJ Wilde in November 2021 at that venue and it was truly a magical moment for all of us. The event happening that night was Rebel 101.7’s fifth anniversary, a radio station dear to our hearts that has always been greatly supportive of the band.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
We would love love love to re-create the lineup from the last time The Rolling Stones were in Canada in Oro-Medonte with The Beaches! We would be opening the night; The Beaches would be directly supporting, and The Rolling Stones closing the night. The size of that stage, the hardcore fans, an incredible set prepared, that would be a dream come true!
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?
Stay genuine and true to yourselves. In a world where social media asks us to create unlimited content that is either related to your music or ‘’paramusical’’, find ways to promote your authentic selves while writing the music you want to play. The journey to being a successful band is a long one, and you won’t get immediate results. Take your time, build a master plan every time you release music, find your genuine branding, and most of all have fun doing it, please!! When you get on stage, whether you’re in front of 5 or 5000 people, play your best show and don’t worry about making little mistakes. People care more about stage presence than you think, they won’t notice if you slip up once or twice.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The advice that sticks in our brain is be patient and plan for success. You are in control of what you present to the world and if you do things correctly, you’ll have a fighting chance in this tough industry! Work on your craft, find meaningful networking opportunities, be guided by your passion, stay hungry, and don’t sweat the small things. Follow an upward slope and keep finding ways to promote what you love doing. It might be a life long journey, so make sure to smile along the way.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The song that means the most to us is most likely Down With the Devil as it was our very first single released alongside a music video in 2019. It’s the song that got it all started for us. We fought our way onto radio stations with this single and we managed to get some local support from Rebel 101.7. This indicated that we were up to something and we kept working hard for the next releases. We haven’t looked back since and we kept growing as a band, we still are.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The song that we have the most fun playing is Crazy. It reached #35 in the Canadian Active Rock Charts due to it’s popularity and requests made by fans! We often close the show with this song and people are always grooving to it with us. The dynamics of the song make it easy to dance and have a good time!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Many of the songs start with an instrumental writing process, a riff idea. Joe and Alex will get together and work out a few ideas to present to the band. Adam will work on his drum part as we go and find interesting dynamics in the process. Mig will add his touch and suggests ideas to make the song even better. Warren will try out a few melodies and pinpoint hooks within the track. As we progress, we find themes and a general idea or what is the inspiring force to the song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We often strive for a feel-good rock song with themes around love, being together, overcoming tough situations, and just having a good time. We also tap into in less joyous theme such as the fear of being inadequate, loss, confrontation, and times of crisis. Whether the message is clear or indirect, we want to present the best of ourselves when on stage playing our songs.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Disagreements occur in every partnership and a band is no exception. It’ll happen when there are specific expectations towards the project and the communication is lacking. It’s of upmost importance to have efficient communication within band members about what is on the agenda and what’s everyone’s role and responsibilities. The best way to resolve disagreements is to stop and debrief about what’s the issue at hand. It’s important to do it in person as text messages can be misleading and may complicate communication. Everyone’s point of view is valid and we remain human beings. Once we’re able to discuss openly, disagreements are usually resolved and we find a compromise.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have tons of plans for the future, and we are excited about them! We have lots of shows coming up in Ottawa (The Brass Monkey on August 11), Toronto (Horseshoe Tavern on August 12), and Montréal (Le Ministère on September 3) to name a few. We’re in the process of writing our second album and preparing for studio time in the fall. Talks about a UK tour in the Spring of 2023 are slowly manifesting into a solid endeavour.
We’re just massively happy we can finally plan long term again and continue our journey!!