Calgary Psychedelic-Rock group, Woodhawk, is set to rock the Northern on the night of May 13.
Lead guitarist-vocalist Turner Midzain, 26, and bassist-vocalist Mike Badmington, 27 have been playing together for 12 years. Woodhawk was the result of the two musicians not wanting to put down their instruments after their previous band, Shotgun Dolls, broke up three years ago.
Woodhawk released their first EP as a new group in 2014. With this new band, the name wasn’t the only aspect that changed. Given an opportunity to create a new name for themselves, Midzain and Badmington veered away from the world of Punk-Rock and into the genre of Psychedelic-Rock. Now able to experiment with the more melodic genre Psychedelic-Rock is, the group quickly felt at home under the label of their new-found sound.
“With the Psychedelic genre, there’s a lot more freedom within it,” said Midzain. “I found that when I was playing punk-rock, it was more quick-and-to-the-point-less.”
Lyrically, Midzain believes this isn’t as much of a defining factor as the melody.
“People are still going to write what they want to write,” he said. “For us, there’s no set genre (pertaining to) what our lyrics are about.
Woodhawk’s music revolves around what’s going on in their lives, whatever is affecting them that day.
As a psychedelic-rock band, people often mistake the group as Stoner-rock, a close relative of their genre. However, no members of the group are stoners, and Midzain believes there’s a bigger difference between the two than people realize.
“When I think of psychedelic-rock, I think of Pink Floyd,” said Midzain, who admits the two do have a fairly even crossover. “I think the stoner rock genre… it’s just been watered down as a little more fuzzy, and low-and-flow.”
Regardless of this confusion between the two, the group is well-accepted within both Calgary music scenes, and at their root, consider themselves lovers of all aspects of rock.
Within the last five years, countless stoner-rock albums have been released. Midzain believes this genre has become very sought-after label in the music industry due to its up-and-coming popularity.
As times change, so does terminology. Black Sabbath is now being referred to as the ‘original stoner-rock’ band, however they indentified as a heavy metal band in the 1970’s.
Midzain believes psychedelic-rock is making its way into the pop-music scene. He believes it’s growing now more than ever.
Woodhawk shifted around their drummer a few times when they were first getting started. After they found 33-year-old Kevin Nelson, the group knew he belonged.
Originally from Calgary, the group toured out west for the first time in the spring of 2016. During this time, they travelled to Victoria and back.
When Midzain and Badmington played for Shotgun Dolls, their goal was to get as famous as they possibly could, and tour as much as they could.
“We just thought that if we toured all the time and wrote catchy punk songs, that we’d be a little bit more successful than we were. We realized that we just weren’t that good, it wasn’t really what we wanted to do, and we had the wrong mindset going into it,” said Midzain.
Now more seasoned and experienced, Midzain has shifted from this vision of ultimate success. Now, the group plays smarter, with their main goal being enjoyment.
The group just released a new album on April 7, titled Beyond The Sun. This has been a work in progress since the tail end of 2015. In this time, they filtered down from 16 songs down to nine.
“In short, I guess we would say it’s a compilation of our best stuff. But I think the overall theme was about the growth that we’ve taken over the last few years such as gaining Kevin, changing as a band and as people,” said Midzain.
On the same day it was released, Beyond The Sun was picked up by a rock channel on YouTube and received over 50k views.
Woodhawk will be present to rock the house at The Northern on May 13 at 10 p.m., preceded by friends and fellow rockers, Dead Quiet. Tickets are $10 at the door.