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Peak Performance Project Finalist: The Tourist Company

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The Tourist Company. The experimental folk rock group will be competing for $102,700 at the Commodore Ballroom on November 20

As an avid concert goer, I am one of many music junkies in Vancouver that are excited to attend the 2014 Peak Performance Project Finale on November 20th at the Commodore Ballroom. (Sorry minors!)

For those of you living under a rock (or if you just don’t listen to local indie music) the Peak Performance Project is an annual contest held by 102.7 The Peak FM radio station. It’s basically like a Battle of the Bands but with local talent from B.C. The winning band or artist gets a whopping $102,700. Second and third place receive $75,000 and $50,000 respectively.

I got in touch with the bands competing in the upcoming Finale to give Link readers a brief look on what show goers can expect to see at the Commodore.

In no particular order, the second band finalist is The Tourist Company

For those who have no idea who you guys are, explain a bit about yourself? 

Taylor: We are an experimental folk rock group from North Vancouver, BC. We formed in February of 2013 when Brenon and Jill joined me  in the studio to record an album of songs I had been working on in secret for a number of years. When our engineer asked what our band name was, we had to think quickly and came up with The Tourist Company from a long list of ideas that Brenon had written.  We love experimenting with time signatures and sounds that are unexpected and interesting. We also love ice cream and puppies and making fun of Jill whenever we get the chance.

What was your immediate reaction when you heard the news? 

Jill: I was at work – I work in an orthodontic office as a dental assistant – with the radio on as loud as possible while still being able to talk to patients, and they had already announced the first band of the top 3, so I was on edge. When they said our name I’m pretty sure I yelped, and then all my co-workers started screaming and cheering. The patients were SO confused, haha.

Brenon: I jumped out of my chair, yelled loudly, and ran out the door and down the street with my arms in the air!

Taylor: I was at home cleaning the kitchen trying to distract myself when announcement time came. My wife and I finally sat on our stairs with the radio on and I literally fell over when I heard the words, “from North Vancouver… The Tourist…” I was basically passed out on the ground from relief, but my wife was jumping around like crazy.

Josue: I was on my honeymoon with my beautiful wife Lauren. We could not have had a better setting to hear the good news! So many things to celebrate!

What has been the greatest struggle for you guys as an up-and-coming band in Vancouver?

Taylor: Becoming a name that is recognized is a tall order in our city. There is such a huge music scene in Vancouver, which is awesome, but that means it’s also difficult to distinguish yourself amongst all the other amazing bands.

Up until now, what has been the bands greatest accomplishment?

Jill: This! Placing in the Top 3 of the PEAK Performance Project, for sure.

What has been your favourite band moment?

Jill: Mine was probably the moment that we found out we were in the Top 12 selected for the PEAK Performance Project this year. That was so unexpected and such an amazing adrenaline rush! We were at the Fortune Sound Club at the big announcement, and they announced us first, so we weren’t ready at all! We were prepared for a nail-biting couple of hours of waiting with baited breath, and possible disappointment.

Taylor: I think I’d have to agree with Jill… Although it’s pretty tough to beat the Top 3 Announcement!

Brenon: The moment we finished our PEAK Performance Project Showcase at the Fortune Soundclub. We all went side-stage, looked at each other, and hugged. I think we knew we had pulled off a great show and it felt really good.

Josue: Chilling and chatting over lunch at a band meeting the day after we submitted our PEAK Final Report.

Did you expect to make it this far? Why or why not?

Jill: Certainly not this quickly!

Taylor: We didn’t really expect to make it in to this year’s PEAK Performance Project, let alone the Top 3. Our band has only been functioning since September 2013, so we definitely felt a little overwhelmed by the strength of the competition. There were so many quality bands in the Top 12, and we thought our inexperience would factor against us. We set out to learn as much a possible throughout the project and improved as much as we could. It’s still hard to believe we’re here!

What do you plan to do with the money?

Taylor: We need to get out on the road and tour a lot more this year, so a lot of our money will go towards traveling. We’re also planning on using some of the money to finish the new record we’re working on.

If you guys weren’t in the top 3, which other bands do you think deserve a top spot?

Taylor: Everyone! All the bands are so talented, creative, and hard-working.

Brenon: I agree with Taylor. Altered By Mom, David Newberry, Shred Kelly, Wild Romantics, Jodie Pederson, Damn Fools, Miss Quincy and the Showdown, Jon Bryant, Goodwood Atoms are all fantastic bands.

 What can The Tourist Company fans expect to see in the future?

Taylor: Placing in the Top 3 has given us the ability to finish the album we’ve started working on, so we’ll hopefully be releasing a full-length record next year! We’re incredibly grateful to all our fans who have supported us throughout this crazy year. Expect to hear bizarre touring stories, and see lots of meticulously photographed Instagrams by Jill.

Final thoughts? On anything… the contest, the band, tips, advice, life, whatever?

Jill: Appreciate the little things, celebrate the small victories, and listen to music.

Taylor: Forgive Jill for her corniness… And a huge thanks to everyone at The PEAK 102.7 and MusicBC for an incredible experience.

Good luck to The Tourist Company! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep updated on the band’s status. I’ll be attending the Finale on Nov. 20 to give a recap of what went down, but those interested in checking out the music for themselves, tickets to the event are currently available online.