BY: VANESSA NIGRO
Since drunkenly deciding to start a band one fated New Year’s Eve night two and half years ago, Stella Ella Ola has since toured around Southern Ontario playing shows for their beloved fans, and produced their first record, I Think We Should Hangout All The Time.
The band’s debut album is the revelry-induced offspring of surf rock and garage pop that brings me back to past memories of tan lines and cigarette butts in the sand.
In a time where artist’s creativity is being curtailed by corporate management to familiar bite-sized shapes, Stella Ella Ola puts expression before economy. “I was talking to a friend of mine in another band the other day, and he was saying how him and his band mates were really disappointed that the record they put out didn’t do the things their label was expecting— or the things that they were expecting. He was saying it discourages them because they feel like they’re not making good music. I think one of the hardest things about playing in any band is just standing behind what you’re doing, regardless of what anyone else fucking thinks. If a million people like your song, or if 10 people do, you need to decide for yourself whether you’re making music that you think is important,” said bassist Jake Boyd.
The band is a salad of origin stories. Anne, singer and graphic designer, Vince, drummer and former journalist, and Nixon and Jake Boyd, both current members of Juno nominated band, Hollerado.
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Stella Ella Ola decided to take a different approach to making their record than the popular quarter-note kick clichés of radio dance music. “We all had the same kind of vision, we wanted to take a positive approach to music, keep songs short and sweet, keep songs fun and about people,” said drummer Vince Rice.
Bands in modern times often serve as their own producers, managers, publicists and roadies. With expectations for YouTube video hits expanding, but artist development budgets dwindling, many bands have begun cutting costs by cutting out the middleman.
“We have to keep on each other to keep working. Being in a band, you don’t have to get up in the morning, there’s nobody on your ass to make you do things. You have to do it all yourself,” said Anne.
With an onstage mantra of, “Giving all of the fucks and giving none of the fucks at the same time. Giving the right fucks where the fucks should be given, and not giving fucks where fucks shouldn’t be given,” attending one of their shows is a royal fuckfest of positivity.
Seriously, Stella Ela Ola’s bouncy tunes are like mainlining happiness.