A new Island roots-rap band is releasing its debut EP and heading out on its first-ever tour, which starts and ends in Nanaimo.
Provinces – Rapper Mike (Coop Deviants) Cooper, guitarist and singer James (B.C. Ladd) Kasper, drummer Chris (Magic) Meglic and guitarist Nico (Carbs) Carboni – play the Nanaimo Bar on Sept. 19 and the White Room on Sept. 28.
Kasper, the lone Nanaimo resident in the otherwise Victoria-based band, said Provinces officially formed at the beginning of the year and has only played four shows together so far. But he said the musicians aren’t strangers; Kasper, Cooper and Meglic are all longtime friends.
“Sometimes with bands the hardest thing is to keep people on the same page as far as personality and goals and all that,” Kasper said. “And the four of us all have very similar personalities and senses of humour and similar goals with the music, so it’s probably the most chemistry I’ve had in a band in many years.”
Provinces’ debut, Coast to Coast, has been a gradual project, Kasper said, with with each of the four tracks being recorded and released one after the other. the record will be available at the shows and on provincesband.com when the tour starts.
Kasper said combining country music and hip hop is becoming more common, and the EP shows off the groups eclectic and diverse tastes. He said that “fun” sound translates to fun live performances.
“We try to keep the audience guessing and surprise the audience and surprise ourselves as well,” he said.
The band has one more concert in Victoria this weekend to serve as a tune-up for the tour. Kasper said he expects good things from their first tour, adding that the group’s camaraderie and compatible personalities will help them surviving the “in-between” moments that can be challenging for bands.
“The fact that we’re all a little goofy and quirky, that can help a lot when you’re stuck in the same car for hours at a time,” he said. “I think for some bands that’s the hardest part of the job is travelling.”
Following the tour, Kasper said Provinces plan to continue making music and videos and connecting with their supports. Kasper joked that “world domination” is on that list as well, but in the interim they’ll settle for Canada.
“We’re planning to do a cross-Canada tour next year,” Kasper said. “Mike is from Nova Scotia so the goal is to go all the way across from our people all the way to his people and back.”
WHAT’S ON … Provinces performs at the Nanaimo Bar, 2-75 Front St., on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. and at the White Room, 4 Church St., on Sept. 28. at 9 p.m. $10 cover both nights.