When it comes to your opinion about an artist, you either like them or you don’t. Down With Webster have been blasted for their musical style, but as vocalist Cam Hunter and drummer Andrew “Marty” Martino pointed out to us, they’re pushing to prove they are not just another manufactured band.
It’s summertime, kids are lined up outside and you’re set to play a sold-out show at the Sound Academy in three hours. How are you guys feeling?
Andrew “Marty” Martino: Do I give the honest answer or the professional answer? Personally, I’m super pumped to play back here as the hometown shows always kick ass.
Cam Hunter: That sounds professional.
Marty: Still there’s a lot to be done and we’re ready for the show!
Cam: It’s been a hectic past couple months for us. We did 40 days in the United States and then went straight to the Much Music Video Awards and then pretty much went straight here to the Sound Academy. It’s been busy. It was our longest tour in the U.S. and the MMVA’s was our only awards show and this is the biggest concert we’ve ever headlined.
In reality, the three biggest highlights of our career so far have happened right after each other and everything’s been work-oriented.
Has it been more exhausting or have events like the MMVA’s made life that much more exhilarating?
Cam: It’s been more exciting than exhausting. This is what we’ve been wanting to do ever since we were little children and we’re practically living our dreams. It is a lot of work but we want to do it.
You guys started the band when you were in grade eight as part of a project for a class. How did the group and your music evolve throughout high school and up to now?
Cam: It was always kind of like a group of friends that hung out and made music together. Like any group of friends people come in and out of the mix but since we were like a band, new people would add a different style.
When the band first started, the music was super jazz-oriented and was more of like a jam band. Then a hip-hop aspect was introduced with Pat and Bucky and then Pat really got into blues rock and all of a sudden it turned into the mish-mash that it is today.
There’s definitely a mix of certain elements of pop and rock. When did you guys finalize what kind of music you wanted to play day in and day out?
Cam: I don’t think we’ve hit that point yet. We are still making songs that sound absolutely nothing like we’ve recorded before. Its a good thing and that’s why I like hip-hop because you have room to experiment. But at the end of the day, music is music whether its pop, rock, hip-hop or whatever.
Has the city of Toronto affected your style of music at all?
Cam: I’m sure it must of along the way but there’s nothing that stands out and says this is why we recorded a certain song. I can’t speak for everyone because there’s seven of us in the band, but the area I grew up in and the music I listened to definitely affects what I contribute to the group.
Did you always see Down With Webster as a career?
Cam: Yes, I think we’ve all thought that from the very beginning. With any dream, you want to make it a reality and in order to do so you keep pushing yourself to do better. We’ve worked hard and because of that we are going to keep pushing ourselves to accomplish different goals.
Releasing a debut is a major step, but now the world’s waiting to see if you can support it with a follow-up. How is the second record coming?
Cam: The second record is coming along great. Like it’s practically ready. If we were told that we need to put out the second record tomorrow, we could put it out. We’re constantly writing and recording so we have a ton of songs.
There are too many to put on a second album so we keep writing until the label says “go”. Once that happens, we’ll pick from the batch of tracks we have and move on. As for the music, we’ve written material that sounds and doesn’t sound like our other stuff.
What do you hope to show the music world with your next release?
Cam: We want to show that we’re progressively getting better, that this isn’t a fluke and that we’re not a manufactured band where a label put us together.
Marty: The label doesn’t write songs for us. We have a catalogue of material that we wrote just sitting there and we’re just waiting until the time is right for us to pick and choose tracks to use.
Cam: We hope the next record shows people we’re here and that we’re not going anywhere. There are sophomore slumps but we hope we can outshine our past songs and really impress people.
Would you say you’re in the music business for the fun and excitement it brings or the fame and progression as a musician it offers?
Marty: For me, I think its both. Its a really fun and exciting industry to be in but like any industry, you want to constantly outdo yourself and push yourself to be better.
Cam: At the end of the day, we’re in the music business because we love to make music. Before any of this happened, I would just sit at home with my computer and microphone and constantly write and record. You sort of get a high off what you produce and we all do.
Like on the tour bus, there will be people partying and Marty will be sitting at the back with his mini-keyboard and laptop, making music for hours and hours. We all love making music and that’s the bond we have. It pushes us.
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