Since signing with Jade Tree Records earlier this year, Regina-based Despistado’s popularity has been steadily rising throughout North America. The re-release of their excellent Emergency Response EP has been met with nothing but praise from critics and new fans alike. This, along with their recent inclusion on a couple of high profile benefit compilations, should help to further establish their name with music lovers.
Last week Vagrant Records put out In Honor: A Compilation To Beat Cancer. Proceeds from the release are being split between The Syrentha Savio Endowment and The Sean McGrath Fund. Along with Despistado, bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Face To Face, Thrice and Thursday appear on the disc.
Next week Sub City will be unveiling the fourth installment of their annual Take Action! album. This time Despistado’s music will be presented alongside the likes of NOFX, Coheed And Cambria and The Dillinger Escape Plan to help raise money for The National Hopeline Network, a suicide prevention and crisis hotline.
Guitarist Leif Thorseth says that quartet’s involvement with the projects came as a result of Jade Tree being approached by both labels. He says that the band are very pleased with their new home and appreciates the expertise and knowledge that their new bosses are passing on to them.
"Life on Jade Tree has been really awesome," he says. "Tim Owen and Darren Walters have been so great to work with and our very supportive of what we are trying to achieve, which is to get our name out there and be a band."
Looking to take full advantage of the buzz that’s been building, the group will be releasing their debut full-length in early 2005. After their original plan of working with Phil Ek fell through, the band hooked up with Colin Stewart at Hive Studios in Vancouver to record the album last spring. When asked what people can expect from the album, Thorseth simply replies "a lot more oomph!"
Seemingly always up for another batch of tour dates, the group are playing a handful of Canadian shows on their way to the CMJ Music Festival in New York. Having already turned heads at this year’s SXSW and NXNE (where they snagged fourth place on ChartAttack’s 2004 NXNE Honour Roll) with their intense brand of post-punk you can bet the band will be going all out when they perform at the Jade Tree showcase. Joining them on the bill will be label mates These Arms Are Snakes and From Ashes Rise. According to Thorseth, Despistado really enjoys playing industry events if for no other reason than just to check out acts that may not visit Saskatchewan.
"Industry festivals are a lot of fun," he says. "Just because we get to meet a lot of people and especially since where we’re from we hardly get any bands coming through. I think that we approach these gigs quite similar and just play hard and have fun. Maybe we get a little bit more nervous for some unknown reason."