Red Deer, AB may not be the first place that comes to mind when people think of punk music, but there’s one local band that aims to change that. Half Chance Heroes performed at Slumland Theater on June 22 to a packed house of over 100 fans. The group played to promote their new eight track EP, “Nocturnal Habits”, which was released this summer.
The Red Deer trio of self-proclaimed musical misfits met at Notre Dame High School and, after some “cramped and sweaty” jam sessions, formed their ensemble in 2009. Guitarist and lead singer DJ La Grange, drummer Ryan Schultz and bassist Jordan Little released their first full length CD in September 2011.
“Good Intentions, Bad Inventions,” their 17 song debut, showcased the group’s blend of positive lyrics, pop-punk, reggae and hip-hop. The band has also played live shows across Canada as part of the Live Different motivational presentation in high schools, a gig which allowed them to perform for more than 50,000 screaming teens.
Live Different seeks to inspire “young people to invest in people, not in stuff” and “spread the message that every life has value, and that there is hope in the midst of all circumstances.” According to Live Different tour manager Brett Dyrland, the buoyancy of Half Chance Heroes’ music and high energy live shows led to them being the perfect fit for the tour.
“Half Chance Heroes are a supremely talented, energetic and solid band,” Dryland says. “Their optimism and humour shine through their reggae-driven sound and positive, thoughtful lyrics. They were incredibly accommodating and reliable to work with. They were an asset to our tour, both in their ability to relate well to their fan base and by being strong team players who stood behind the vision of our organization.”
Their proficiency in performing live has lent itself well to their appearances at several music festivals, including Shake The Lake and Central Music Fest. Schultz says that selling all of their tickets and getting more people in that night made it easy for them “to make it a full amazing show with even more energy.”
The show was promoted through social media and an article in the Red Deer Advocate. Schultz says the keys to setting up a good concert are early planning and getting commitments from the people you’ll need as soon as possible.
“Just booking things early and having a solid date, time and place [helps a lot.] Leave several months to sell tickets and really promote the show. Also, plan to break even, if not profit; [you’ll have to consider] costs for room rental and a sound engineer.” Schultz also says that when trying to sell tickets, it’s important to remember what opening bands can contribute to the show. Those acts can bring their own fans in and help you fill the room.