author: mason sliva | a&c editor
These four sad boys are here to stay
After rocking the Mercury last week alongside Grovner, Blue Youth, and Oiseaux, Said Sadly has a lot to say. The group has taken Regina by storm and their unique style is beginning to turn heads. I had a chance to ask them a bit about their music and what it means to them.
Can you tell me about your band, Said Sadly?
We play shoegaze-y punk stuff. On vocals is Liam Caul, drums is Mitchell Kolybaba, bass is Nolan Vansteelandt, and on guitar is Brayden Dreger.
How did the band members meet?
BD: I met Nolan through a failed project in 2015 and then we reconnected summer of 2017 and we were both like “let’s start a band again.” Then he set up a jam with Mitchell and we’ve been jamming ever since. Then we brought Liam in to do vocals.
NV: I met up with Brayden through a friend at school about three years ago now. Musically, I really enjoyed his style and it really allowed me to open up my bass playing more and try some different stuff that just didn’t fit with the genres of music my other projects were playing. So, when I found him at a show in Regina in 2017, I knew I wanted to get back into making music with the guy. He seemed just as receptive to the idea so I set up some jam time with a couple of my buddies I knew from around the area. Mitchell and Liam stuck and we’ve been writing music and playing shows since.
MK: I met Nolan and Liam in high school. We sometimes got together and jammed, but didn’t know what we were doing until Brayden joined us.
What are the main influences for your group?
Bands such as Joyce Manor, Nothing, Wavves, Smashing Pumpkins, Turnover, Remo Drive, Nick Reinhart, and anything written by Rivers Cuomo.
How does your song-writing process work?
MK: It just takes one idea; a chord, a riff, a baseline or a beat, and then whatever happens next when we jam it out together for a bit. Typically, a song is written and nearly finished after we jam out an idea for the first time.
What are some of the main themes behind the music?
BD: I would say our music is fairly sad (especially on my guitar end), but that’s because I love sad music. I don’t know what it is about minor scales, but they’re amazing. Like, don’t get me wrong, happy music is needed, but sad/weird-sounding music is my jam.
Said Sadly’s sound uniquely blends elements of a variety of genres. How did you first come up the group’s sound?
BD: I listened to a lot of City and Colour in high school, so I was obsessed with capo placements. With that, I slowly started adding distortion, reverb, and delays to incorporate more shoegaze aspects.
MK: I don’t think we’ve ever given any thought to the way we sound. While playing, we just let the music take us whichever way it wants, and each song is a reflection of what we were feeling at the time. Each of us all have very different styles of playing, as well. Brayden gravitates toward shoegaze, Nolan enjoys pop-punk, and I very much enjoy funk, so there are many different styles we tend to mix together.
NV: Our sound is never something we tried to concrete, but there is definitely a bit of a mold there for what we do. We are a mix of styles from all across the spectrum, and that’s really what I like about the band. Brayden loves to use weird, dreamy chords and shapes, which I like to put an ambient background on through use of bass chords or even just a few big notes with a solid tone. Liam comes from Regina’s hardcore scene and everyone knows it. Due to the amount we feed off of each other in the song-writing process, we’ve taken a bit of a turn to probably the heaviest Brayden has ever played a guitar in his life. We make the chorus bits and pieces a little bit dirtier than the rest of the track, which really gives us a chance to let loose. Mitchell can get some pretty crazy grooves and fills, and I can get out some solid punchy bass lines, while Liam is given some space to sort of bring out a little bit of the growl in his voice that we all know so well.
What are your group’s plans for the future?
BD: Open for Weezer.
NV: Write as much as possible and hope to get some more shows and maybe get a bit more studio time somewhere.
How has the local music scene helped you get your name out there?
BD: Knowing people in the music scene has helped a lot because of how close the community is. Everybody has an idea of everyone and supports each other.
How has Regina, and Saskatchewan in general, influenced you?
BD: It’s cold and depressing, and when it’s -40 out, it’s really easy just to stay inside, make tea, and mess around on a guitar.
MK: The weather gives me an excuse to stay in the basement and play drums all day.
NV: I agree with the other guys, there’s nothing to do here. If I didn’t live in a small town outside of Regina with nothing to do, I probably never would have gotten my first guitar.