Toronto, Ontario has always been a hotbed of musical talent for decades. In the past, artists such as Rush, Triumph, Max Webster, and Sebastian Bach (just to name a few) have made an everlasting impact on this City, while cementing their legacies as some of Canada’s greatest musical exports of all time.
Although I am proud of the past, I always look to the future when it comes to discovering rising talent who has unlimited potential. One band that’s recently captured my attention is The Reed Effect. Comprised of Kirk Reed (lead vocals & guitar), Carmen Lamont (guitar), Matt Kilbourne (bass), Kevin Costa (drums), and Veronica McNamee (backup vocals) this band has overcome personal loss and delivered a sensational new disc entitled “1973” which is poised to increase their ever-growing fan base, not to mention an opportunity for global success. I recently had the pleasure to chat with both Kirk and Carmen who were eager to shed the light on events that took place within The Reed Effect over the past year.
Mark St. John: What separates “1973” from any previous release by The Reed Effect?
Kirk Reed: Proud as I am of our previous albums, “1973” is an entirely different beast altogether. It was produced by Ted Sevdalis, and he pushed us to an entirely different level within the studio. By taking our time, we raised each song to its highest potential.
MSJ: I’ve noticed this album has already been making waves on social media, along with the airwaves. Did you expect this sort of reaction?
KR: With the risk of sounding either arrogant or over-confident, I did expect this reaction (LOL!). Both the songs and production are top shelf and speak for themselves. Our Producer made sure that we did not cut any corners and our relentless work ethic and vision took these songs to the grade which are found on “1973”. Ted Sevdalis, Brian Fontez, myself, and of course my late great brother Chris Reed worked tirelessly to create this album -which has been getting much rotation on campus, internet, and mainstream radio formats. We intend to continue building more momentum in 2022.
MSJ: Has there been any interest from either Record Companies or Distributors thus far?
KR: Not yet, but it’s just a matter of time. We’re planning to perform as much as possible and I have every intention of continuing to push this band on all platforms and have our music bombard as many eardrums as possible. This line-up does “1973” justice and plans to only get better.
MSJ: Having experienced the loss of a sibling myself, I understand only too well about the void which is left behind. Your brother Chris was extremely close to you on both a personal and musical level. Was there ever a moment that you felt like ceasing The Reed Effect or did you believe within your soul that Chris would insist upon the band carrying on?
KR: Yes, there is no bigger void or heart-wrenching trauma I will ever experience other than losing my dear brother Chris. As of October 10, 2020 -days before we intended to release “1973”, The Reed Effect did not exist. I couldn’t fathom the thought of continuing this band without him.
It wouldn’t be until a month later in early November when I had a strong sense that this band along with “1973” needed to continue and be brought forward. I believed it was even more important than ever to unleash our music -and genuinely felt that Chris was a big part of that decision. He would not only condone but also encourage me in continuing The Reed Effect. Out of my love and adoration for him, I am more driven than ever. This album is such an important piece of work and my goal in life is to use it as a platform to not only entertain -but also to give hope and encouragement to those who can use some. Instead of letting my love for Chris shrivel up and transform into bitterness and angst, I’m directing it to help uplift others and keep my heart alive and well in the process.
MSJ: Carmen what events led you towards joining The Reed Effect?
Carmen Lamont: I first met Kirk a couple of years ago during Indie Music Week when my then band performed on the same bill with him at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto. We hit it off immediately and began working together in bars as a duo. I mentioned to him that if he should ever need a second guitarist, I was more than willing to step in. After Chris passed away, Kirk assembled a new lineup for The Reed Effect comprised of musicians who once performed with his brother. The love and respect within this group is amazing, not to mention something I’ve never experienced before.
MSJ: I’ve known you for quite a long time and always believed that you are an excellent guitarist and songwriter. Have you and Kirk collaborated on any new material?
CL: Thanks, Mark. It means so much coming from you. Kirk and I have done little impromptu jams and tossed ideas about in between our rehearsals. I’m really looking forward to fleshing these bits into new songs!
MSJ: Since the lockdown was lifted a couple of months ago, you guys have performed a few shows within the greater Toronto area. What has the audience response been like?
CL: Great! The story of “1973” resonates with our current fans and helped us gain several more.
KR: The audience response has been amazing. I’m blessed to be a part of this stellar band. When you have the talent of this caliber, there’s no point keeping it within the shadows. I plan to have us perform at relevant festivals and support bigger acts too.
MSJ: Are there any plans for either a tour or another video in the works?
KR: We’re doing one-off shows for now while awaiting to see how the pandemic unravels over the coming months. I hope to do a solo tour of eastern Canada during the spring while promoting The Reed Effect and “1973” simultaneously. Just a precaution in making sure that it’s worth it for everyone in the band to take a couple of weeks off work to embark on touring. And yes, we’ll be releasing a video for our next single “Mad Dog” early in 2022.
MSJ: So, what else lies in The Reed Effect’s future?
CR: I’ll be releasing 5 additional singles/videos over the coming months in 2022. So I have enough material just from “1973” alone to last us for the next eight months. Meanwhile, the plan is to gig on a regular basis and begin writing some new songs too. I have many recordings of musical ideas from Chris plus Carmen and I have a slew of our own that we intend on developing soon. Holding both Canadian and American passports can work to our benefit also in negotiating to bring The Reed Effect south of the border. We also have Europe in our sights.
The Reed Effect. Live Photo Credit: Dylan Weller.