Music, environment is the MBM message
By: Dave Whitfield
| Posted: Thursday, Nov 01, 2012 06:00 am
Like most bands, Victoria, B.C. five-piece Mindil Beach Markets has a lot to say, musically.
Unlike most bands, though, MBM is also reaching out beyond its fan base with a message of an environmental nature.
Along with touring, songwriting and recording, MBM has developed The Jellyfish Project – an environmental initiative focused on generating awareness about the state of the world’s oceans through music and live performance.
MBM plays the Rose & Crown, Sunday (Nov. 4), with Langford, B.C’s Deep Sea Gypsies opening.
Mindil Beach Markets is Daniel Kingsbury (vocals, guitar), Patrick Codere (vocals, guitar, bass), Matt Posnikoff (bass, guitar), Rod Campbell (vocals, keys) and Cam Ainslie (drums).
With a new album being readied for release early in 2013, MBM is hitting the road through B.C. and into Calgary before a gig at the Rose. Along with playing Cowtown’s Local 522 pub, for the first time MBM is presenting The Jellyfish Project to two high schools outside B.C.
“This is just a two-week tour before winter,” said Kingsbury. “Right now, we’re working on the details, production and recording, of a new album (It Might Take Long). Then we’ll be arranging a tour in March across the country to Montreal. We’ll be entering a busy phase of touring in the new year.”
Formerly Sunshine Coast (Sechelt) high school buds, MBM members, like most bands, are working toward making their music a full-time career and Kingsbury said it feels like the band is getting there.
“We’re not quite there yet, but we’ve been very busy lately. We were down to San Diego, and we’ve done some regional tours, with lots of weekend shows. We’re one of the hardest working bands around and it’s a big aspect of what we do.
“We’ve had a lot of focus on new material and I think the new album has exceeded our expectations. It’s our same sounds and instrumentation, but this album will have more of a rock ‘n’ roll vibe than a reggae vibe.”
MBM’s first, self-titled effort in 2010 featured a reggae/folk/bluesy Vancouver Island vibe which blended well with their habit of playing barefoot on stage – a very laid back Vancouver Island groove.
“This album is a bit heavy with straight-on rock sounds,” said Kingsbury, who, when 15 and attending high school in Roberts Creek on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, walked away with the award for Best Film on Mountain Sports at the 2002 Banff Mountain Film Festival for The Essence of Adolescence.
“This album just turned out have more of a rock influence. We didn’t plan it, we just write what we write and see how it turns out. It’s an evolution and I think our fans will be happy with it.”
For MBM, the songwriting exercise is a collaborative effort, with all band members having input.
Also collaborative is The Jellyfish Project, which is near to the hearts of band members who are used to having their bare feet in the Pacific Ocean.
The project, which is offered free to B.C. schools, is about a year old now, and covers topics like overfishing, marine plastics acidification and sustainable solutions.
Last summer, Kingsbury and Campbell travelled to San Francisco for a Climate Reality Training session and certifiation with former U.S. Vice-president Al Gore.
“When we created our logo (jellyfish) two and half years ago, we had in mind getting an environmental program going,” said Kingsbury. “We’re still creating and polishing it, but I think now being certified to teach about the planet’s crisis gives us more credibility.
“We’re pretty excited about it. It’s an opportunity to spread the word and, for a band, to spread the word to our demographic. Kids in that bracket need to hear the message. It’s young people who need to make the changes to change the planet.
“From a musical perspective, it’s an ideal demographic because kids are open to new music and ideas. And for us, it can be pretty rewarding to play a school instead of a bar.
“Being interested in music is awesome, but music has often been a catalyst for change. We usually play for about 30 minutes, then bridge to a discussion on the world’s oceans and climate change. There needs to be a greater awareness.”
Members of MBM have a connection with the ocean, being West Coasters, but students who may have never been to the ocean need to realize its importance, said Kingsbury.
“We go over different aspects of climate change,” he said, “but there’s a large emphasis on solutions and how people can take part. We think it’s important to do this.”
MBM is an indie band that’s been playing about 75 gigs a year. “But we’ll be ramping that up with our tour in spring,” said Kingsbury. “We’ve had stages of having some management, but we’ve gone off on our own. We’re pretty good at the business aspect and we’re all focused on our music.”
The Deep Sea Gypsies are a band influenced by blues and rock originators. Feeding off this inspiration, they then blend in their own unique twist with elements of hip hop, folk and funk. Their songs are reflective of the laid back vibe and lifestyle of Western Canada and find a comfortable home anywhere; whether relaxing at a beach fire or dancing at the bar.