Artist of the Week: Bry Webb

With a big constantines reunion happening this summer and a solo record out this spring, it's time to learn more about Bry Webb

The Beginning
Bryan or “Bry” Webb was born on June 22nd, 1977 in London, Ontario. Webb’s musical career started in 1995 with the “emo” group Shoulder. The band lasted a few years, eventually parting ways leaving Webb and bandmate Doug Macgregor looking for a new project. The two got together with Steve Lambke and Dallas Wehrle and in 1999, the Constantines were born.

04-0509_constantinesThey chose the Constantines while watching the Art Bell show Coast to Coast. In the episode, Bell was playing recordings of ghost voices that were filled with static and one of the ghost’s names happened to be Constantine. Though the band formed in London, they started to take off after moving to Guelph and not long after that, Toronto. It was then the band would release their Juno nominated self-titled debut record.

Constantines received a generous amount of airplay from campus radio stations and scored a nomination for the Best Alternative Album at the Juno awards. In 2002 they saw their new keyboardist Evan Gordon come and go during the release of their The Modern Sinner Nervous Man EP. He was then replaced by Wil Kidman and in 2003 the group released Shine a Light on Sub Pop, their first album to be released outside of Canada. In 2005 ‘The Cons’ embarked on a cross-Canada tour with The Weakerthans and later that year their album Tournament of Hearts was released through Three Gut Records. In 2007, Three Gut met its demise and The Constantines flipped over to another Toronto indie label, Arts & Crafts. It was in 2009 that the band celebrated their 10th anniversary with a southwestern tour. Shortly after that tour had wrapped up keyboardist Wil Kidman left the band.

bry-web-1Webb became a father and started making music with his new project, The Harbour Coats, fuelling rumours that the band was breaking up. During a radio interview in 2010 Webb said, “I think we’re just slowing down. We’ll just say, ‘see you around.'” Webb’s debut solo record Provider was released on November 15th, 2011 with the Toronto label Idee Fixe Records. The album’s first single “Rivers of Gold” was inspired by the Constantines’ first time playing the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon in 2005.

This brings us to present day, 2014, and it’s an exciting year for Bry Webb. The Constantines announced they will be reuniting this year for a string of shows to celebrate the 11th anniversary of Shine a Light. You’d think a big reunion would be enough right? Not the case. He also has his sophomore solo record out on May 20th entitled Free Will. The solo LP will be ten tracks and two bonus songs, Webb says the album is about “responsibility, love, work, desire, art and will.”

Constantines – Constantines (2001)
Constantines – The Modern Sinner Nervous Man EP (2002)
Constantines – Shine a Light (2003)
Constantines – Nighttime Anytime EP (2003)
Constantines – Tournament of Hearts (2005)
Constantines – Kensington Heights (2008)
Bry Webb – Provider (2011)
Bry Webb – Free Will (2014)