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Ace of Wands explore fierce side and mental health issues on new CD

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Toronto Indie rock/ pop band Ace of Wands are looking forward to a fierce show at the Slice in support of their debut CD “Lioness,” April 19.
Lead singer Lee Rose created a couple lioness masks which appear in two of the three videos they have created  for the CD including the title track as well as 10,000 Feet. Though  The idea didn’t happen in time for the first video “ Grown For Good.”

Ace of Wands return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by David Waldman and Mike Rocha
“We had just  finished shooting that video, but the mask wasn’t done in time for it but it would have fit,” said Rose, noting the CD deals with some heavy issues about her own battles with anxiety and depression.


 “Every song I write is very personal. And every song is very visual, like the videos. We have the song Lioness  which is about being full of anger that goes along with anxiety and depression and the masks  we wear to cover them. A lioness is full of anger and energy, but at the same time, a lioness has a strong nurturing, motherhood quality. The song inspired the imagery. I also made cheetah and cougar masks for the video,” she said.


“ We don’t perform with them, because that’s  difficult. But they usually find their way on stage as props,” she continued.


“Though we wore them for our CD release party, but took them off to perform,” she added.


“This  music is about my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve been in bands for all my adult  life. I was in a band with my brother and when that fell apart, I was as going through a period of depression and self reflection,” she said, adding meeting guitarist Anna Mernieks and drummer Jody  Brumell inspired her to form a new band after her previous band broke up in 2014.


“ I just loved Anna’s energy. She was backing Ron Hawkins on a tour in 2017,” she said adding they recruited popular session drummer Jody Brumell.


“He‘s such a great person and he just bashes his drums, so we’re very loud,” she said.


Rose‘s voice is reminiscent of Sarah McLaughlin.
“II’ve never heard that before. Usually we get compared a lot to PJ Harvey and Florence and the Machine. I’m also influenced a lot by Elliott Smith, because he writes really pop sounding songs, but his lyrics are really dark. But we also get compared to the Cranberries a lot,” she said.

The CD came together really fast. They started recording it in January 2017 and released it  on Feb. 22 this year.


“ I’ve been involved with CDs that took years to record, but this care together really quickly. the energy is still fresh,” she said.


 They are named after the Ace of Wands tarot card, suggesting their supernatural feel.
“ I’m more influenced by the imagery of the card but not really fortune telling aspect of it.
 I got a Tarot card deck when I was going through a really depressed period and became interested in them. Just because of the questions I was asked. I was interested in them as a means of expressing my feelings,” she said.

Ace of Wands were in Lethbridge at the Slice on Dec. 2 and were excited to come back as soon as possible.
“We didn’t have the CD then. But we met so many amazing people. We met the people from Girls Rock Camp and we met such a supportive group. So we were excited to come back,” she enthused.

“And we wanted to keep our name spinning around in people’s minds,” she said, adding this is just a short tour over Easter Weekend.
“We’re just playing  Edmonton and Calgary and Red Deer and Lethbridge, then we‘re going back to Toronto,”  she continued adding they have a busy and fun year ahead of them.


“On May 31, we‘re opening for Lowest of the Low, a great ’90s alternative rock band,” she said, adding they are also  planning a tour of New York State and Massachusetts in September and have some big festivals planned as well including RiverFest in Aurora, Ontario.
She promised and “intense” show.


“I play bass, but it’s a synth bass, so I play bass pedals, but I’m also playing organ, guitar and violin. I’m always getting asked how I’m doing it. It takes a lot of practice, but it is a lot of fun. And I’m stuck behind the bass pedals, so Anna is playing guitar and interacting with the crowd and Jody is just smashing his drums. It’s a very interactive show. We’re a three piece, but we have a huge sound,” she said.
 Ace of Wands play the Slice, April 19 at 9 p.m. with Makiisma, J Blissette and Orchard. Admission is by donation.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Monday, 15 April 2019 14:52 )  
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