While some of us use the new year to make resolutions, others, like the lakecity’s own metal band Tomb Stone, are using it as a chance to start up a new business.
It’s no secret that live music in the lakecity is scattered however, many local musicians have been working to change this and improve the live music scene both in and around Williams Lake including Bryan Bioson, Evan Catalano and the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake, with the latest group to join this effort being the newly-formed Tombstone Entertainment.
Spearheaded by founding member and lead singer Allan Stead, a lakecity native who has lived here all his life, next to a brief stint in Newfoundland as a child. Now a father of two teenage sons he said he’s not going anywhere and wants to improve the live music scene, in part, for their sake.
Tomb Stone was first founded back in 2005 and played until around 2008 when some of its members moved away from Williams Lake.
In 2011 Allan met drummer Ryan Stevens and, together with his cousin Mike Stead, a bass player from the original band, they revived Tomb Stone.
But when a neurological problem impacted his hand Allan was no longer able to play lead guitar and they recruited Chavesz Erlandson to fill his shoes and round out the band to four. Allan then took some professional vocal lessons to brush up on his singing and they’ve been playing together ever since.
“We play heavy metal music with a little twist of modern-day new age sound, so we got a lot of fry singing in there and some clean vocals as well with lots of fast drumming, lots of heavy riffs,” Allan said.
“I like to spread awareness about the corruption that’s plaguing the world we live in today and just to make people aware about what’s going on around them so they can do their part to clean up the world a little bit and maybe not do these nasty bad habits that are consuming everybody.”
In addition to these types of songs, Allan said they also write music such as the songs Blistered Eyes, which was inspired by veteran friends of his who suffer from PTSD, Gone But Not Forgotten, written for those who have passed away recently, and Destiny Awaits, a love song dedicated to the ladies. They also play a few old classics from the band’s 2005 to 2008 era but he said most of their music is new. One of the reasons he started the band in the first place was so that he could express his artistic side and create upbeat music that makes him feel happy.
“Even if it’s fast and seems like it might have adrenaline and anger in it, it’s not really about anger at all. It feels good to play it, feels good to perform it and watch people sing along, dance and move, you can tell they feel good about it and that makes me feel good,” Allan explained.
Now eight years later they’re finally releasing their first album, Broken Covenant to be released digitally on Jan. 17, 2020 via their online distributor CD Baby through Williams Lake-based Shock Collar Records,” Allan added.
At the same time, they’re starting up Tomb Stone Entertainment in 2020 to provide music professionally for weddings, events, private parties and regular shows in the lakecity area.
“So we plan on hosting one show every month in Williams Lake, all different genres of all different kinds of music just to keep the music scene flowing here,” Allan said.
Allan said that he, Erlandson and Stevens started Tomb Stone Entertainment because the music scene in Williams Lake seems to be sporadic. By doing a show once a month they hope to provide the youth of the community, especially, with something to do after school.
As a father himself, he knows a lot of teenagers would enjoy going out to watch a local concert, but feels currently many are stuck at home in the evening “playing video games and twiddling their thumbs with nothing better to do. Maybe some of them go out and get into trouble and raise hell, so that inspired me to want to develop a business that can provide that entertainment at least once a month.”
To kick off Tomb Stone Entertainment and the release of their new album officially they’ll be holding a show on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the show kicking off at 7 p.m., with the performance likely running till 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.
In addition to Tomb Stone headlining there will be several other surprise acts playing throughout the evening.
Capacity for this event is 90 with tickets going for $10 each, which Allan hopes will sell out prior to the show.
If they’re able to consistently get 90 people out to each show, he said it will give them the funds they need to grow the business and provide the equipment they need to continue offering live music to the town.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-305-0800.
He also welcomes any local acts who’d like to perform in one of the monthly shows to reach out to him by either e-mail or phone.
From then on he said they plan to do a show there once a month near the end of each month while trying to bring in other genres of music like reggae, country music, punk rock and hip hop from out of town but, more importantly to Allan, locally as well.
“There’s lots of local talent. It’s endless the talent in this town, they just have nowhere to go to play it really,” Allan said.
“I think it’s important to promote local music in Williams Lake because I know through experience that everybody loves music. Music is good for the heart, the mind and the soul it just gets everyone out and feeling good.”