Halfway to Hollywood perform all ages show at Sande's Lounge
Most young men just want to bury the memories of their shy and awkward teenage years, crushing on the unattainable girl, painful party moments, angst-ridden conversations.
Grant Walker's turned his into music.
As Walker and his band, Halfway to Hollywood, build an audience and forge a reputation by playing all-ages shows around Metro Vancouver and soon a cross-country tour that will take them as far as Montreal, they're discovering the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Walker teamed up with bassist Brenden White and drummer Roman Zugaraza last year. Though his own musical tastes tilt towards tunes with a darker, more sullen sound like grunge, he and his mates wanted to create a more upbeat, positive sound. And give voice to some of the universal experiences of growing up.
"There's enough stuff in the world to bring you down," says Walker, 23.
While audiences at shows they played in bars seemed a little indifferent, younger crowds at venues like Tom Lee's Music Hall and Sande's Lounge at the Burnaby Winter Club really seemed to connect with songs like "Speechless."
"Good music should be for anyone," says Walker. "There shouldn't be any barriers."
Their enthusiasm has propelled the band to see how far their music will take them.
Between juggling practice, jobs, school and girlfriends, they've crafted enough songs for an EP to be released in January.
In the meantime, they're working hard to expand their fan base. That means hitting the social media like Twitter and Facebook to interact with fans and even selling tickets to upcoming shows at SkyTrain stations.
"We're connecting with our fans," says Walker. "We talk to them directly and we can see what they're talking about with their friends."
It's been a pretty steep learning curve, Walker says. And it hasn't come without sacrifice.
"You can't really have a stable life outside the band," says Walker. "You can't go to grad school or launch a career, and your girlfriend has to be really understanding."
But when they're playing on stage and their audience is responding, there's nothing else they'd rather be doing.
"It's what we've wanted to do for as long as we can remember," says Walker.
• Halfway to Hollywood will be playing an all-ages show at Sande's Lounge at the Burnaby Winter Club on Friday, July 13. Also on the bill are The Grand, A New Divide, Young Sparrows, Scissorkick and Alexander France. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.