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A Belleville band had ‘One Shot’, but missed

By Candice-Rose Gagnon [1]

BELLEVILLE – A local band had “One Shot’ at fame, but missed out, this time around.

Session X One Shot was a reality show filmed in Toronto where ten bands, including Belleville’s Down and Loaded, were vying for a two-song recording session with award-winning producer Gavin Brown. Brown has produced some of the top tracks from Billy Talent [2], Three Days Grace [3], The Tragically Hip [4] and Barenaked Ladies [5].

The webisode was released Tuesday and features the song Diseased along with feedback from three judges, but they didn’t win. Calgary’s 10 minute Detour won the recording session with Brown.

Vocalist Mike Taylor, who is a librarian by day and rocker at night, said the whole Session X was a whirlwind experience.

Taylor said a fan sent the band a link to the competition, and he applied. The band received a call five days after they submitted an application to be on the show.

“It was pretty quick,” said Taylor.

Taylor and his four other bandmates traveled to Toronto for two days of shooting in July.

“We has a great time (at Session X). We don’t get to the big city too often, most of us are working nine to five. So it’s hard to get away and do something like that. It was a really great crew to work with, very professional … it was a great experience I would do it again.”

Down and Loaded was formed in 2012 by Taylor when he responded to an online ad. “I contacted Sam (Sopaz) through Kijiji, and we started writing songs together. Then he brought a few of his buddies into the mix and before you know it we had a full band and we were starting to get a lot of songs out and getting out and performing for people.”

Loyalist’s 91X has had an influence on Down and Loaded, said Taylor.

“91x is probably our favourite radio station in the area, a lot of the music that (it) plays is a little more cutting edge I’d say than some of the other radio stations.” 

Jensen Millar,  the drummer, is a second-year manufacturing engineering student at Loyalist College. Millar said the experience was positive, and he would participate again. 

“We are all glad we had the opportunity and that we got through it without messing up or anything,” said Millar.

Peter Donato, director of communications for Session X One Shot, said that organizers selected the 10 finalists from a “group of three dozen entries.”

Session X has been running for two years now and features big named Canadian artists like Ron Sexsmith [6], Metric [7], and many others performing at the Session X studios for what Donato describes as a “hybrid between performance and music video, combining high-quality video with audio.”

Session X One Shot is an off-shoot of that concept but with up-and-coming bands, said Donato.

“We decided besides doing name bands, and artists that everyone knew, we thought we would like to do something back and give something for the music community, do a talent competition,” he said.

Down and Loaded is playing a free show at the Duke [8] on December 19.