Local band cracks new markets

Acres of Lions off to a roaring start to the new year

Local pop-rockers Acres of Lions are kicking off another Canadian tour Sat., March 3 at Sugar with Lindsay Bryan and Sunhawk.

Fresh off a cross-Canada tour with Edmonton rockers Ten Second Epic and a third place win in the Peak Performance Project, local Victoria band Acres of Lions is off to  a roaring start to 2012.

The pop-rock band signed to local label Cordova Bay Records released its second album, Collections in September, and the single “Reaction” charted at #19 on the alt-rock radio charts in Canada and has more than 26,000 views on YouTube.

After a show Sat., March 3 at Sugar, Jeff Kalesnikoff (vocals, guitar), Tyson Yerex (guitar, keys, vocals), Dan Ball (bass, vocals) and Lewis Carter (drums) are heading out on another cross-country tour playing 10 shows between Victoria and Timmins, Ont. before ending up in Toronto where they’ll play a Music BC showcase at Canadian Music Week alongside Current Swell, The Belle Game, The Matinee, Portage and Main, and Maurice.

Straight from Toronto they’ll head to London, U.K. where they’ll do three days of press and  showcases (March 26-28) with their label Fierce Panda Records (label alumni include Coldplay and Death Cab For Cutie), who is releasing Collections in the U.K. in May. They’re hoping to start scheduling a U.K tour for later this summer.

On the other side of the world, Acres of Lions is releasing Collections in Japan on Bullion Records (label alumni include Goldfinger and Gaslight Anthem), who released their debut album Working in January. Yerex says they’re hoping to do a Japanese tour later this year.

It’s an exciting time for an exciting band. With so much on their plates it’s hard to believe that they’re all working other jobs because these guys also make time to do their industry homework.

After releasing two albums, Yerex says they’ve learned a lot. “We’re taking more control and now we know that you really need to be smart and be involved in as much of the decision making process as possible,” he says.

They’re reaching out to radio stations and magazines looking for promotion and networking opportunities. They even have a second song appearing on the TV show Degrassi this summer.

Yerex offers some advice: “When you’re reaching out to people, just because you don’t hear back doesn’t mean that they didn’t read it. You just have to keep on reaching out and eventually you’ll get to the point where you’ll find an opportunity that is mutually beneficial. Like now we’re at the point where booking agents are reaching out to us.”

“When you go to a conference or festival always make sure you go to the conference panels, figure out who’s on them and how they can help you and introduce yourself,” says Yerex.

That’s what he did when he heard Elliott Lefko, vice president of L.A.-based Goldenvoice (the company that brings us Coachella and Edgefest) would be part of the panel at last year’s Rifflandia Festival. Now Acres of Lions has a slot on the bill performing for more than 20,000 people at Edgefest in Toronto in July with Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979, Silversun Pickups, The Sheepdogs and more.

“And this is the tip of the iceberg. We want this to become our full time jobs.”

“This is the year of Acres of Lions,” says Yerex.

With all the gigs lined up and new markets to conquer, Yerex says the guys are looking forward to spending more time together, most of it in close quarters, honing their craft and talking business. “This is the first tour we’ll actually have a roadie …  and our van is on the smaller side so we have the two front seats, one bench and then the gear — so three guys on one bench is going to be kind of squishy, but we’re going to do it.”

“It’s great to be able to put your heads together not just twice a week but every single day.”  M

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