Across The Board – Sonic Boom
Across The Board (ATB) is an award-winning Canadian alt pop-rock/band of multi-instrumentalist musicians, who seamlessly combine creative talents to push their pop-rock sounds to the edge of the rock ‘n roll envelope with harmonious power vocals and catchy electric guitar riffs.
Forged from garage jams and basement YouTube sessions, “Across The Board” finally broke out of the internet box with their debut album “JANE ON FIRE” in 2016, followed quickly by their successful EP “AMENDS” in 2017, that earned ATB critical acclaim, FM and college radio play, and won them four independent international music awards along the way.
Their newest release is the full-length album “SONIC BOOM” chronicling the “breaking” of a rock band through a series of story-telling tracks that make up a modern “rock opera”. “Sonic Boom”, the title track off the new album is being released in music video format on Labor Day, 2018, with a montage of novel video illustration mixed with an obstacle course of confetti canons, smoke bombs, paint guns, and cream pies—all to reflect the idea of making a “big noise” – a SONIC BOOM.
Artist: Across The Board
Genre: Pop/rock band
Location: Toronto Canada
State your reason for choosing music as a career.
Music is not only our creative outlet but the place where we find peace. It’s the most amazing thing to be able to absolutely love one’s job so that it’s not only a vocation but one’s avocation.
Tell us how you write the lyrics to your song.
Lyrics for us come about 2 ways—either immediately from a concept we are trying to get across—like our song “Sonic Boom” which was written about the idea of “breaking a band” and making a noise for the world to hear, or simply spontaneously out of the blue like the song “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard” which just popped into my head one day as I was procrastinating completing my incomes taxes!
Share your press release and reviews with us.
OOOH! We have so many lately thanks to our awesome PR manager Michael Stover of MTS—check this out:
Award-winning Toronto-based rock band, Across The Board have released a new song, “She’s Listening” and 5 song EP, in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Along with the music, we are here to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest women’s cancers. In Canada, we lose 5 women a day to ovarian cancer.
“Across the Board are really hitting on all cylinders with Sonic Boom and it’s clear the momentum is building for them to make a big splash on the global music scene. This eight-song album is a long, entertaining step into their future.”
ANTIMUSIC.COM “SINGLED OUT”
“Across The Board’s Sonic Boom was a top story on Monday: Canadian band Across the Board are releasing their new album Sonic Boom this Friday (May 4th) and to celebrate we asked leader singer Jacqueline Auguste to tell us about the title song. Here is the story…”
MUSIC TALKS XYZ “NEW MUSIC FRIDAY”
“ Award-winning Canadian rock band, Across The Board (ATB), releases their newest album “SONIC BOOM” – an eight-track collection of infectious pop-rock songs that chronicle the breaking of a rock band and the highs and lows along the journey to success – is ATB’s second full-length album, on the heels of their EP “AMENDS” and cross-Canada tour this past year.
“Sonic Boom consolidates Across the Board’s reputation as one of the more intelligent and musically rich acts working in the indie scene today…Sonic Boom’s eight songs are among the best guitar-oriented pop-rock you’ll hear in 2018.”
“Across the Board will greatly expand both their following and reputation with this album and there’s no question that these songs will adapt well to the band’s live act and prove to be setlist standards for years to come.
THE INDIE SOURCE:
“If there’s any justice in the music world, Sonic Boom will end 2018 rating high on a lot of lists as one of the best indie releases this year. Jacqueline Auguste and her bandmates turn in a breathtakingly unified effort with this eight-song collection that combines real rock and roll entertainment with a clearly elevated, intelligent approach to album construction and songwriting that marks them as distinctly different from their contemporaries.”
NO DEPRESSION: “deeply satisfied by the diverse sonic architecture powering what seems to be, initially, a high-velocity pop-rock album…Sonic Boom will have an explosive impact on Across the Board’s fortunes and one can only hope that the exposure it provides allows them to further expand their touring reach. This can be a very big, international band if enough people hear what they’re doing.”
SKOPE MAG “I think this may be one of the more potentially under the radar gems I’ve heard in recent years and, based on its merits, deserves remembering at the end of the year when people start compiling best-of lists for the year…Across the Board are definitely making a bid for widespread recognition with this album and it will likely net them their goal.”
“deeply satisfied by the diverse sonic architecture powering what seems to be, initially, a high-velocity pop-rock album…Sonic Boom will have an explosive impact on Across the Board’s fortune and one can only hope that the exposure it provides allows them to further expand their touring reach. This can be a very big, international band if enough people hear what they’re doing.”
“There’s an element of orchestration, as well, in the musical framework of the album that never sounds self-indulgent and, thanks to Darnell Toth’s production, sounds brilliant from beginning to end. Sonic Boom’s eight songs provide plenty of entertainment in slightly different guises and remain intelligent and passionate alike from beginning to end.”
CANADIAN BEATS PUBLISHED
“Since breaking into the music scene a few years back and releasing their debut album Jane On Fire last year, ATB has been pretty successful. With their single ‘Indifference’ to be “their first track to hit the FM radio waves and launch them to a number one spot on the Reverbnation charts in Canada” and winning the “Akademia Music Award for best pop/rock/Americana song in 2016”, Across The Board are sure to have another great album under their belt. So what are you waiting for, go check it out!”
“Sonic Boom is the title track from the new album by Canadian rockers Across The Board. The melody feels like a bit of Aimee Mann, and some Chrissie Hynde; it’s a fantastic vocal performance from Jacqueline Auguste. The sound production is enormous, and with a verse beat made of almost all kick and tom, it feels like the drone of a war drum.
Added layers of washed-out electric guitar and a very versatile falsetto keep the mix dialed into premium pop levels. In between the front-and-center lead vocals, the reverb, and the cheeriness, there is a fashionable energy that makes this song feel like an instant classic. It’s a rallying cry for the new day. “
GRAFFIT VIBE PUBLISHED
EXPOSED VOCALS PUBLISHED
MIDDLE TENNESSEE MUSIC PUBLISHED
Four Star Review for SONIC BOOM on DIGITAL JOURNAL by MARKOS PAPADATOS
“stunning backing vocals, coupled by its warm lyrics.”
“an eight-track collection of infectious pop-rock songs that chronicle the breaking of a rock band and the highs and lows along the journey to success.”
Strap yourselves in – Across The Board are getting all kinds of ambitions on this second record. Rather than quickly cobble together some tracks to keep themselves out there, they’ve put together a genuinely cohesive and highly focused adventure with a storyline thread that ties the entire album together. One of those there concept-album thingies…you know I’ve always got time for that & they’re far too rare out there these days – ATB makes the magic happen & brings it back to life on Sonic Boom.”
“Across The Board are a band who, driven by a sheer passion for musicianship and performance, have been pushing further and further away from the small-scale jam sessions of their hometown, and off into the ever-expanding world of independent music and creativity. Not only does this latest project Sonic Boom attempt to document some elements of that transition, but it also sets in stone their absolute artistry – their ability to create and craft these colorful, thoughtful, expressive, warm songs, which in turn allow you to escape into some other story almost entirely as the music plays…This album manages to feel short and quite epic in proportions at the very same time. Fortunately, Across The Board put out new music and creative content as often as possible, so there’s a lot to look forward to, and there’s no question as to how mighty this level of experience allows their sound to be.”
“Sonic Boom” is our second full-length album; on the heels of our coast-to-coast tour in 2017 and a concept EP “Amends” also in 2017. “Sonic Boom” is the journey of how a band breaks–from the trials and tribulations of working hard to build a sound, a brand, and a reputation–to the difficulties we face as musicians in this new music industry–navigating our way as an independent act through social media, through booking, through collaborating and promoting our music.”
THE BANDCAMP DIARIES
“Across the Board have just released their much-anticipated album, “SONIC BOOM” which definitely won’t disappoint avid fans of this vibrant rock band. The epic scope and expressive outreach of this release are strongly reminiscent of artists the likes of U2, but with a heavier rock feel.”
Discuss your life outside the music world.
Well, outside the music world, Andy and Jackie (the two founding members of the band) both work in a hospital where they look after patients with orthopedic issues – Andy does custom bracing for primarily knee injuries and arthritis, and Jackie looks after sport medicine injuries and arthritic hips and knees. They met at the hospital over a decade ago—had an immediate connection both through the medical field and their music and Across The Board was eventually born!
Discuss your music career.
Our music career (Across The Board) started in 2013 as a YouTube band. We launched a popular cover series called “Pick Up & Play” which was a collaborative effort to learn a brand new song in one day, record it and shoot a music video all in the same day! There are over 100 videos on that playlist on our YouTube channel now and over 500 videos on YouTube ranging from Acoustic Jam sessions to original music videos, to Kitchen Sessions, Carpool Karaokes, and more! In 2016 we released our first original album, JANE ON FIRE, and started touring around Canada where we continue to tour to this day! We find ourselves in Dollywood USA as we answer these interview questions right now, ready to hit the red carpet at the Josie Music Awards after being nominated for 4 awards for our newest full-length album SONIC BOOM. We are excited about taking our show on the road in the States and Europe in 2019 and look forward to creating more music for video and for albums in the near future as we enter the studio this fall for our 4th release “HOWL AT THE MOON”
Elaborate on your artist’s name.
Our band started as an eclectic group of multi-instrumentalist musicians from different nationalities, age ranges, and backgrounds – the name “ACROSS THE BOARD” just seemed to fit us perfectly.
List your five favorite music videos with reasons.
Number ONE: THRILLER—Michael Jackson—combining awesome choreography, music, and a backstory and busting outside of the 4-minute video limit was such a groundbreaking and perfect move for Michael!
Number TWO: DON’T GO CHASING WATERFALLS – TLC – these women were walking on water and disappearing as water ghosts—the video was far ahead of the CGI and animation of its time.
Number THREE: MONEY FOR NOTHING – “Dire Straits” – combined cool animation with real video of the band for an amazing story and feel.
Number FOUR – RULE THE WORLD – Walk Off The Earth – this Canadian band has it going on—and this video using 360 cameras was super creative even for 2017!
Number FIVE – MORE THAN WORDS – INXS – Taking an acoustic track, showing us what appears to be a live one-shot video, raw up close smooth camera movements — this video is still as good as most music videos that aspire to achieve the same “realness” today in 2018/2019.
Tell us your source of inspiration.
My source of inspiration (Jackie) are my kids and friends —I have many musician friends, and I am constantly inspired by their struggles to bring their art to the world—they are some of the hardest working entrepreneurs on the planet.
Tell us your impression of dealing with paparazzi.
I love paparazzi (so far) – I think we have a symbiotic relationship with the press—and a good artist, a savvy artist —should not shy away from posing, speaking with, or entertaining them!
Elaborate on the recording of this song.
“Sonic Boom”- the title track on our new album was recorded at an indie studio in Toronto that we call “The 440” – 440 Dufferin Street—in an old warehouse of studios that is soon to be repurposed as a condo complex! It was produced and recorded by MC2MusicMedia in Toronto — a gang of two very creative guys, Matt Makarenko & Darnell Toth—who have subsequently taken us on as a management and media project here in Canada.
Darnell & Matt also played some of the instruments on the album and have co-written several of our new songs for the upcoming album Howl At The Moon.
Tell us about your future projects.
As I mentioned, we are going to be recording “HOWL AT THE MOON” this fall, having already written several songs for the project.
We will be taking a Canada-wide tour via trains, planes, and autos this winter and spring of 2019 starting with the Artist On Board program from Via Rail—traveling by rail from Toronto to Vancouver and back and entertaining passengers on board December 28 and Jan 8, 2019.
After this, we will be heading out to eastern Canada again to share our new music with the Maritimers and fans from Quebec.
List the names of those that have supported you so far.
Michael Stover – MTS – PR and Medial Management
Darnell Toth & Matt Makarenko – MC2 Music Media (indie label and producers)
Jessica Speziale – singer/songwriter and label mate with MC2 in Toronto
Tom Gerrits – Who Magoo Music Reviews Radio Show
Mike Wilkerson – Blastzone Mike
Silvy Starks – Queen Silvy
The Artists from Indigal – The Canadian Independent Artist Collective
The many indie bands and artists in Toronto who collaborate with us and co-promote
Our family and friends who tirelessly roadie, come out to shows, and share our music.
Tell us your point of view on vocal tuning.
Oh my goodness—this drives me crazy (Jackie) – first of all, let’s talk about production. Production quality requires few errors because those will be heard over and over again. And unless an untimed vocal is your “thing” – Bob Dylan — then the odd little inconsistency in recording a flat or a sharp on a big or bold note can be “massaged” a bit into place. However, in-line vocal tuning during a performance is just not a desirable way to “correct” a vocal — if an artist must rely on a tuner to deliver a performance, she/he should hand the mic to an artist who can hit the notes most of the time. A tuner does not replace hard work, training, practice, and experience. However, having said that, if you are going for the feel of an autotuner (Cher “Do You Believe” or many of the rapper-sung segments of current Hip Hop where the “autotuner” is part of the texture of the final product) then I get the “art” in it. Otherwise, do the work; learn to sing the notes.
Tell us your thought on quality and quantity for the release of songs.
I’ve changed my mind on this recently. I used to think we should focus on a few releases and a few shows each year, and really pour our efforts into those.
Now I feel that with the voracious appetite of the public; thanks to the sheer content they are used to scrolling through on a daily basis—on a minute-by-minute basis — that artists have the opportunity to create continuous content and draw attention.
We create one major album release a year for the last three years and are working on our fourth full-length album right now. We create daily video content online — Monday is a carpool karaoke series, Tuesdays is an acoustic jam series, Wednesday we release “ATB On Tour” footage from shows (one song at a time), Thursday is our long-standing cover series “Pick Up & Play” where we make music videos of new songs—usually as a collaboration. Fridays we do clips from our rehearsals, and Saturdays we publish our “Kitchen Sessions” show—a musical cooking show — now in reruns. Sundays is our “ATB LIVE” events on Facebook and Instagram — where we come to our fans and followers live from our home and perform, interact with them, and take requests. If we are away – such as this past weekend at the Josie Music Awards in Dollywood—then we try to come to our fans live on location in various forms, such as collaborations with local artists from where we are situated, or with online influencers—as with this past weekend when we took folks on a tour of Dollywood for our Sunday live show on the Blastzone Mike internet show. That was a “blast”.
Tell us your viewpoint on comparing a music career to a non-music career.
A career is a career — particularly if you are a business owner or entrepreneur in your non-music career.
There is brand marketing, bookkeeping, social medial marketing, customer service, production, quality control, finding new ways to earn income – all of these same business tactics are part of the music. Once artists see that simply making music is not going to get their music heard by a target fan — that’s when the “career” becomes a regular business venture (with a twist) — As musicians, I (Jackie) feel we are blessed to be able to work at something that we absolutely would do free! If you find yourself only thinking about the money, then music is likely NOT the best career for you. There is very little money in the early days as you build your fan base and your discography, as you build your social media following and reach. But until your fans become “super fans” one at a time, and truly start to invest in your music — sharing your posts, buying your albums, coming to your shows—you won’t see much in the form of monetary “fruits’.
Tell us your opinion on categorizing music into genres and sub-genres.
I like the categorization process. It helps us find our fans. It helps fans find us. Sometimes it’s difficult to pigeon-hole a band into a genre — we are “pop-rock” for one album (AMENDS), Americana and roots-rock for our first album (JANE ON FIRE), and “rock” for our newest album (SONIC BOOM) — overall we pick the alt-pop rock category or indie rock genre—but we cross genres typically.
I had a little revelation the other day as I was reading up on my friend’s band Dilly Dally who has been featured in Rolling Stone lately – they appeal to a genre of fan who loves heavy grunge rock (Hole, Nirvana influences sounds) — and they stick very true to their genre over their discography. They have die-hard fans and they put on an aggressive and often uncomfortably edgy performance. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the pop-reggae rock band Walk Off The Earth who has a huge global following of fans from all walks of life and nationalities—WOTE has a wider appeal to a more global audience and although we can define their genre—it seems to combine the pop and reggae vibe into something that anyone can sing back at them in the shower or car. Although I hate to think we have to limit ourselves or stay true to a particular genre, we also need a way to communicate with media and seek out fans — the genre is that language.
State the genre you despise most with reason.
I really don’t like SCREAM ROCK or SCREAM METAL—I get nervous and worried for the singers of these bands—the vocal strain alone can shorten a career.
List your five favorite movies with reasons.
Poltergeist I – just so scary with great effects and a tense storyline that has one on the edge of their seat for the entire movie.
Star Wars (any of them) – I love the idea of taking the human condition beyond Earth and what we know to be normal and seeing the same conflicts and tribulations befall alien and non-human civilizations.
Independence Day – You have to love it when a weaker and less advanced civilization (Earth) can kick some alien butt by working together and truly becoming one nation with one goal. It’s a great message.
Avatar – not only was this a beautiful movie, but it brought together the ideas of strength, family, and love being able to break through barriers and prevail in the face of such odds as disability, race, gender, and location. Dare to dream big!
Rain Man – another amazing message — family honor, love, and friendship — do the right thing and own it — blood is thicker than water.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
SONIC BOOM is the title track off our newest album “Sonic Boom”. Written as the opening song in a rock opera which chronicles the breaking of a rock band and the highs and lows on the road to success through this journey.
We wrote the track the title track as that moment in a young person’s life when they throw caution to the wind, and set out on their pie in the sky musical journey — no holds barred, full speed ahead, with all the dedication, determination, and drive of a wide-eyed kid.
The song pulls on influences from bands like U2 and the Cranberries, Broken Social Scene, and Oasis.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
The album SONIC BOOM contains 8 tracks—all of which are meant to work together cohesively in the order presented on the album’s cover art as a ROCK OPERA. The album as a whole describes the indie musician’s dream of a successful music career and sets the stage for the journey with the first song and title track “Sonic Boom”- “No one’s gonna stand in my way, take the sun from my day, try to rain on my parade — can you hear my sonic boom?!”.
We pictured the listener’s journey through the album like a piece of musical theatre — with a story, a heroine, and the trials and tribulations of a musical climax and anticlimax. The story is set in the small farming community outside of Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) where Auguste grew up. As a young musician, Auguste dreamed of taking her music to the ‘big city’ and the album echoes her journey by rail to Toronto where she eventually meets the characters who will either try to steal her dream or help her succeed.
The remaining tracks on the album follow a storyline that takes our heroine across the country on a train to Toronto where she meets her love interest – life partner and bandmate, Andy Ramjattan, to empty bars with scamming bookers and then finally to the realization that what’s important is writing music from one’s heart and not losing sight of your true self.
With SONIC BOOM, we wanted to show the evolution of our writing from an Americana and country-rock genre on first record JANE ON FIRE (2016) and through our second major release AMENDS (2017) which was more pop-rock- to where we find ourselves now—rock with a rootsy vibe. We realize these genres are often hard to define, but we feel our music always pushes the rock and roll envelope to the edge of pop, country, and blues—the foundations of the genre “rock”.