author: mason sliva | a&c editor
Stepping Stone help to put Regina hardcore on the map
Local hardcore group Stepping Stone return from a Western Canadian tour, having taken a step in the right direction. The group is comprised of frontman Luke Trithart, guitarists Nathan Daschuk, and Brett Wyatt, drummer Ross Bart, and bassist Jesse Holmes. The group speaks highly of their travels, and have high hopes for the future.
- How long have you guys been playing together? How did you meet each other? Is this the original line up?
LT: We have been a band for about three years now and Stepping Stone was started by Nathan, Ross and myself. Nathan and I played in a band together at the time called Birch Hills. I was the drummer and Nathan was on vocals. Nathan had known Ross from high school and I had met him from going to local shows. Since the start of the band we have had two bass player switches and added a second guitar.
RB: Nathan and I actually went to different high schools down the street from another. We’ve known each other for years before actually starting up a band. I met the other guys from mutual friends at shows over the years and just going to shows in general.
- What are some important influences for the group?
LT: We started off not knowing much about what we were really going for. The band got kicked off as somewhat of a joke band, but we knew we wanted to play hardcore.
Nathan had brought song ideas to jam and the early songs formed fast. Really at that time we were still pretty new to hardcore (hc), and really bit from bands we were just discovering like Expire, and Terror.
In our writing now we for sure have more of an idea of what we are going for, and I would say bands like No Warning, Leeway, and Cruel Hand are big influences to me at least vocally. I think musically the guys would say similar bands. Writing the new EP right now we for sure want to have some straight rock influence thrown in there with more of an early 2000s straight up hardcore sound.
RB: Yeah, rocking. We are into rocking.
- How does the songwriting process work?
RB: When it comes to songwriting, everyone has their share of ideas. The main foundation really is Nathan bringing the riffs and song structures. We all form ideas around what’s going on, but Nathan really writes a lot of the parts. Also, having Brett Wyatt join as our second guitarist has added a lot of new dynamic to the song writing process.
- What are some of the recurring themes in the music?
RB: Bringing energy to the songs for me is important. For the drumming in the songs I try to push some boundaries where not everything has to sound like another “fast part” or a two-step. I’m sure all of the guys in the band would say the same.
LT: Ross absolutely shredding kit.
- How has Regina helped to influence the group?
LT: Regina is small and so is the hardcore scene. We all know we have to work hard and travel to play other areas. It’s a good thing really, it has really put is on the spot to book tours and make connections in other places instead of just playing shows in town or close to us.
- How many albums/EPs has the group released?
LT: A demo in 2015, Pit em All; an EP, Test of Character; and a single, “Slip 2 the Crypt.”
- Are you currently working on a new release, or planning to begin working on a new release?
LT: We’ve been playing two new songs on recent runs and plan on finishing writing some more for an EP we plan on recording this winter.
- Can you comment on your recent tour? Has the group noticed increased popularity outside of Regina?
LT: Last tour was really insane. We hit what I would say would be our “home run of shows” (Western Canada).
The show in Regina was one of the best hardcore shows in the last two years with a very sick newer band called Jesus Piece (JP) from Philadelphia. We played with them the next day in Calgary, which was great, and then followed them to Vancouver to watch their set there.
Mortality Rate and Trench from Calgary were on both of those shows and they rip. Also shout out Vancouver hc Wasted Breath and Your Problem (they played that JP show in Vancouver as well).
The next day in Vancouver we got to play along with World View, Putrid Brew, Odd Man Out, and Trapped Under Ice. I would say that was the best show we as band have ever been a part of. It was a packed room and there was so much energy for every band that went up. Shout out to DPK for all the work they do for shows in Vancouver. We ended off our run with shows in Kelowna, Portland, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho. Those shows were all very sick as well.
- Where is the group planning to tour next?
LT: No plans yet but probably nothing until the spring. The main focus this winter will be working on the new EP.
RB: Kind of quiet stuff in the works right now for us, but it’s all pushing towards something. The focus right now is on writing.
- What else does the future hold for Stepping Stone?
LT: Sending it.
- Does Stepping Stone plan to remain based in Regina for the foreseeable future?
LT: I think Stepping Stone will always stay Regina-based. Western Canada really feels like it’s turning into one big hardcore scene right now, so no matter what we will always travel to those cities for shows.
RB: Being from Regina gives us an advantage in a way since people out of country get to be like “Oh, Saskatchewan? Never heard of that place before.” In a way it gives our home a little more exposure, which I think is really tight.
- What is the most memorable show you guys have played?
RB: I’m still living off our last set of shows we played, mainly because they just wrapped up. The gig with Trapped Under Ice, playing shows with our friends from all over Western Canada, the hometown show with Jesus Piece, and all of our friends. Nothing really beats home, and Western Canada just feels like home.
All of our music is free at steppingstonehc.bandcamp.com and keep an eye out for a release date of the new EP. There will be a show announcement for December very soon as well. Support all different scenes in Regina local music and start bands.