After playing one of their biggest shows opening for Finnish heavy metal band Children of Bodom in Vancouver last month, Nanaimo post-hardcore/metal-core group Tama Hills are now on the road touring their debut EP, Bookmark.
The record is a collection of singles that the band has released gradually since the end of 2016. Vocalist Liam Glaim said the record’s title comes from music’s ability to transport people to certain points in their lives, the way a bookmark takes a reader to a specific chapter in a book.
“For us, when we are down or when we need uplifting or when we’re happy, we can listen to a song and it will define that moment,” Glaim said. “You listen to a song, it reminds you of a family member or someone close to you who passed away or maybe it reminds you of a time of triumph or accomplishment. That’s the beauty of art is that bookmark in your life.”
Tama Hills – Glaim, guitarists Zach Katerberg and Braedon Sutherland, bassist Logan Stoll and drummer Noel Dufour – are in the midst of a 14-date, four-province Western Canada Tour with a hometown show set for May 4 at the Cambie.
“Going into this, musically, we just wanted to try to make an album where each song we could push the extremes of having the heaviest parts the best we’ve ever written … and then for melodic parts to really make it the catchiest choruses,” Glaim said of the new EP, which is available at Sunrise Records.
He added that it was a continual process that often left the band “cutting into songs, trimming stuff or moving things around” for months.
“We want it to be a situation where when a person listens to it five years down the road, 10 years down the road, they still enjoy it, we still enjoy playing it,” Glaim said. “And in order to do that, you need to make sure there are no filler parts.”
Glaim said the band paid particular attention to their online presence and the way consumers listen to music, which accounted for their strategy of slowly rolling out the songs and releasing accompanying music videos.
“Bands sometimes will take years to write their music but once they put it out they don’t have any idea how people can latch onto it or how to market it,” he said. “And so we know that if we want to have any sort of major attention, from labels or from touring or even just getting bigger opportunities like we just had in Vancouver, we have to think about the bigger picture.”
After their current tour comes to an end, Glaim said Tama Hills will continue to treat their fans with an unreleased single coming out at the end of the year and an Eastern Canada tour planned for the fall. Until then, Glaim said he hopes the EP leaves a memorable mark.
“We hope that with our music, not only with us but for others when they listen to it, it possibly could remind them of a moment now or later on,” Glaim said. “Because we like the idea of music having longevity. That it will take them back to that timeframe.”
WHAT’S ON … Tama Hills performs at the Cambie on May 4. Doors at 8 p.m., show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door. 19-plus show.