Wainwright, Alta. rock group Five Days Off is about to get busy.
The self-described “dirty blues rock duo,” guitarist Jon Brown and drummer Joel Ezinga, will be performing at the Bluenose Bar and Grill on April 18. This is their first time playing at the maritime-themed pub and the band is excited to try out some new material.
Five Days Of released its self-titled debut EP at the end of last year. It was a do-it-yourself affair, with Brown emailing guitar licks to Ezinga, who then laid down the drum tracks in his basement jam space before sending the recordings to his brother in Edmonton for production. Brown would then travel to Edmonton to add vocals.
“We were at the point where we didn’t have a ton of money for an actual studio recording, so it was a very interesting process,” Brown said. “It came together nicely.
“Whenever we played a show ... we were getting asked where people can buy our music,” Ezinga said. “We didn’t have anything, so we put that together to give people something to take home with them.”
The group isn’t just over their music to fans in the province. April 13 was the last day of public voting in the regional round of CBC’s Searchlight contest, which aims to democratically identify “Canada’s best new musical act.” Five Days Off decided it would be a good opportunity have the band’s music reach a larger audience, and already producers in Ontario have reached out to the group.
“We decided that it would be a good idea just to get the word out that we exist and we actually aren’t just a wedding cover band,” Brown said. “Once it started up a lot of our friends and family really rallied behind us and people we don’t know started to jump on board too. so it’s been really good.”
They say people across the country have shown an interest in the group’s stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll. Despite being a guitar and drum duo, the group doesn’t feel that its sound is limited. Through some technological innovations, Five Days Off has made the roll of a bass player obsolete.
“Usually when we play live Jon’ll run a splitter, so he’s running a bass amp and a guitar amp and that sort of fills out the bottom end of the sound so ... you don’t really notice anything missing at all,” Ezinga said.
Having only two members gives Brown and Ezinga the space to improvise and modify parts of songs while on stage. Ezinga says when they play live the two are able to communicate and lead their compositions in new directions together.
“Very rarely when we play live do we play the songs exactly the same,” he said. “Jon’s got a really unique guitar style to him so he can play around as much as he wants or as little as he wants. Same thing with me on drums, if I feel like extending a piece of a song we just have this connection where somehow we just know what’s going on.”