By SHAUNA MCGINN
The National Music Centre launched a new exhibit on October 26, 2018, dedicated to showcasing Alberta’s musical trailblazers, including Calgary-based trio The Static Shift. The 19-year-old rockers say that being on display next to artists like Joni Mitchell and Russell Broom is a huge honour.
“We are literally documented in a place where there’s these legends — so it’s really cool that they asked us,” said Mitchell Brady, guitarist and lead singer for The Static Shift. Bassist Keone Friesen said the band was approached by the NMC a few months ago and interviewed on camera – part of the series of documentary-style videos that make up a section of the exhibit.
The Static Shift describes their music as a mixture of classic rock and blues, with romps of alternative, indie, and psychedelic rock. Despite their age, their style evokes that of ‘70s era musicians, complete with the flowing hair, leather jackets and bell-bottom corduroys.
Although they’ve been playing together for six years, the band became widely known after being selected earlier this year for CTV’s The Launch, a series that gives budding Canadian musicians a chance to compete to release a hit single. The Static Shift walked away victorious with the song “Wide Awake.” “It helped us really get out there,” said drummer Isaiah Stonehouse. “We filmed it in September and then it didn’t get launched until January, so we had to keep it a secret for about four months.”
When it comes to the music scene and community in Calgary, Friesen said, “I think it’s good and it’s getting stronger everyday, partially from the help of places like the NMC.” Friesen recalls visiting the NMC as a child (back when it was the Cantos Musical Foundation), and notes that the band grew up playing at the nearby Blues Can.
As part of their participation in The Launch, The Static Shift is now set up with a booking agent, and their plan is to keep working on new music and playing as many shows as possible. But for now, their music and their story will be on display for the next year along with the rest of the Alberta Trailblazers. “It’s an honour to be local Calgarians and to be a part of this place,” Brady said.