Burlington, Ontario, Canada has long been the spawning point of talented up-and-coming bands. breathe. is no exception. The band recently recorded new material with producer Sylvia Massy-Shivy (Tool, Powerman 5000, Econoline Crush) and is constantly touring Southern Ontario, expanding its ever popular fan club.
With the group performing modern rock music that is so emotionally moving, it is hard for listeners to avoid becoming involved mentally in the music, giving the listener a strong foothold into the band's ever contstant emotional struggles and successes. Take a listen, and you will see for yourself.
The group consists of: Mike Olivieri, singer, guitarist and songwriter; Matt Trotter, who makes up one half of the rhythm section playing bass guitar and Steve Tevyaw making up the other half on drums. Together, the three have been able to complete any goals they have set for themselves, while maintaining an explosive sound and stage show.
With the current success Modern Rock music and the success of Canadian acts on the international scene, breathe. is ready to take their music to the next level and begin showing the world why they are leading the next BIG wave in modern rock.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BREATHE.
Breathe. (Correctly spelt with the period), have been doing something right from the start. Going back to the Mid 90's in the small Canadian city of Burlington, Ontario, the founders of the band Mike Olivieri and Steve Tevyaw formed a group to play their first gig at a high school concert. Mike, who loved songwriting continued to do so with Steve and in the summer of 1996, the pair recorded an 8-song demo with Mike singing, and playing both the guitar and bass parts and Steve playing the drums. It wasn't until then did they realize they had some really great material. At that point the two of them began looking for a permanent lineup. Many musicians came and many left, but in February 1999, they finally came across Matt Trotter, a local bass player who filled in the gap. Rehearsals began and Matt started to learn the 60+ song catalog Mike had written over the past 3 years. At this point, the fans had found exactly what they wanted and fan support began to grow exponentially as word of the group began to spread.
By the summer of 2000, breathe. got its first opening gig with Canadian rock legend David Wilcox. The group admits playing that show to a capacity crowd, and tasting success for the first time, made them want it even more. Playing a steady 60-80 shows a year ranging from 30 minute opener to 3 hour endurance gigs gave the band their tightness they are now known so well for. During this time the band recorded a 5 song EP with Juno Award winning engineer Anton Kwiatkowski, known mainly for his work with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The EP was entitled "See What The Day Brings". It sold well locally and kept the band afloat for the next year.
By this point in the bands career, they felt it necessary to find suitable management in order to further achieve their goals. The search began and halted rather quickly. With the countless rejection letters beginning to pile up, and other local acts getting signed, most groups would see this as a serious set back and would lose hope. But in the face of optimism, the letters began covering their rehearsal space's walls, and became another source of emotion for performing. "It let us know that we didn't need a big name behind us, and that everything was going to be o.k." said Matt. Proof of that came in 2001 when the band was asked back by David Wilcox to open for him, and they found out that the last run of stagnant tickets sold only after the breathe. name hit the bill. Once again to a sold out crowd, breathe. stood triumphant.
The band was now debating its next step. Release another EP or record a full length album. The self-titled debut full-length, nicknamed by fans "The White Album", was born. Breathe. was given an offer they could not refuse by an aspiring engineer. The group went right into the studio and recorded over 14 tracks on the first day alone. Unfortunately, the engineering side of the album took a little longer. Over a year later with countless hours spent on postproduction and experimentation in the engineer's 1 bedroom basement apartment, "The White Album" saw daylight. The band had a CD release party and paid to have busloads of avid fans shipped off to The Horseshoe Tavern in downtown Toronto to watch the album be performed. The album was a success and received many great reviews from local critics.
After running a few short self-guided tours in 2002 to the eastern edge of Canada, breathe. began to lay the groundwork for its sophomore release "Ether". They recorded 13 songs and spent less than 3 days in the studio recording and mixing. During this time, they also started to think about a possible move south of the border to enter a realm they had left unexplored. Not soon after, the band got a phone call from a promoter in California asking them to play an industry showcase in Hollywood at the Hard Rock Café® The band took that as a sign and began trying to make contacts across the southwestern states. Wanting to take new material to the U.S., the band had a close friend master the album and push it through the presses. In April 2003 while in Las Vegas, breathe. received their first box of "Ether". Excited and relieved, the band headed to California. Using the networking skills the band had acquired from years on the road and beating the pavement, breathe. was able to score gigs at "The Whisky A GoGo", "The Roxy", "The Garage", and "The Gig" with show dates all within a week of arriving, and all without the help of management or booking agents. Breathe. had now leaped a hurdle many bands were unable to overcome, and that left a powerful feeling within the group. When they got back to Burlington, they were pleased to find out that the local record store was selling "Ether" so fast they had trouble keeping them in stock.
The earlier "White Album" was described by the band as more of a search for sound through sonic experimentation. "Ether" unlike its predecessor, has a more concentrated aggressive rock feel revealing the bands influences ranging from Faith No More and Tool to Korn and Metallica. The introspective lyrics on "Ether" describe the flaws and successes in everyday life and relationships giving listeners a solid foothold into the groups ever present emotional struggle. From the chilling beginnings of "Myths & Legends" to the all out assault on "Swallow This Down" and ending the album with a hidden acoustic version of the emotional "Let's Pretend", "Ether" brings something to the table few other independent recordings can touch. Since the release of "Ether", the breathe. fan club has continued to grow and the band continues to wow audiences wherever they travel to.
The band is now working with famed producer Sylvia Massy-Shivy, best know for her work with Tool on the "Opiate" and "Undertow" records as well as Powerman 5000's debut. They have recorded a 12 song full-length album in May 2004 which will be a big change from the usual "get in, and get out" method of recording they are used to. The album was released independently in the winter of 2004 with raving success and the band is currently looking for national & international distribution.
Breathe. in short is a band that has done what some think to be the impossible, but all along the way proving that friendship and determination are able to conquer anything.
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3. Beat Me Down
5. Myths & Legends
6. I Don't Need You
9. Let's Pretend
10. Not My Problem
11. Pull Through