Man Made Lake, clockwise from left, Aaron Blair, Brent Gosse, Nate Bailey, Steve Parker, Colin Craveiro and Morgan Hradecky.

Man Made Music with Man Made Lake

If there’s one take-home from an evening with Man Made Lake – it’s that they do things differently.

Six men are slathering neon poster paint across their jugulars and philosophizing about the symbolic weight of a triangle.

One man, Man Made Lake’s lead singer-songwriter, Colin Craveiro is doling out most of the paint, while four others lie face-up, heads encircling a triangle smeared on a warehouse floor. Drummer Morgan Hradecky chimes in with notes on the power of the pyramid while hoisting our photographer to the rafters in an effort to capture a bird’s eye view of the psychedelic death scene – something he thought of when he was drunk.

In a half-hour, the colours washed from their faces will reemerge in soft hues; red lights and party lanterns warm the core of a former grain silo in Saanich. A drum kit, keyboards, guitars and a mess of cords leave just enough room for the six, next to a tower still filled with whole wheat flour.

If there’s one take-home from an evening spent with Man Made Lake – Hradecky, Craveiro, who also plays guitar, Nate Bailey on piano and synth, Steve Parker on lead guitar, Brent Gosse on the keyboard and synth and Aaron Blair on bass – it’s that they do things differently. From their start in China with punk Wu Wei, to polishing their harmonic rock tunes in a repurposed grain silo.

“We all wanted to make music our own way,” Craveiro says. “We didn’t really care whether we got known or not; it was like a therapy. This band’s kind of like a weird Alcoholics Anonymous – we are alcoholics and we all do drugs, but we don’t do it anonymously.”

The lack of concern over recognition couldn’t have been more apparent in the first chapter of the band’s story, the one where founding members Craveiro, Bailey and Gosse met twice a week for a year in Bailey’s parents’ basement without ever playing a show. When Craveiro decided to travel to China, he successfully convinced Bailey to come along and suddenly they had landed a Chinese drummer who spoke no English, a Californian bass player and a steady stream of show dates. The group hustled their way into opening for better-known Canadian acts on their way through China and soon they were immersed.

“You go to China and for people there it was a fucking party,” Craveiro says. “When a band was on stage rocking out, everyone’s just mosh pitting and dancing. Who gives a fuck? Beer was being splattered on the stage and there were real punks who live in squats. Everyone was smoking inside and it was a really hazy, gross atmosphere. No bouncers. No cover. It was just nuts.”

In other words: not Victoria.

Criticisms aside, they have been wholly embraced by the local music scene.

“There’s a West Coast vibe of music that’s very popular among lots of circles and that’s the predominant focus of the music scene in Victoria and that’s not at all what we’re trying to do,” Parker says. “So in one way it kind of alienates us but in another way, people see it as endearing because we’re doing something completely different.”

Dates throughout the summer – including June 14 at VIC Fest – are set to back their third album, Bodhicitta: The Shepherd, then they’re ready to leave again. The goal, Hradecky says: get the album heard, find management, tour the world.

“I don’t feel like I ever have time to reflect on it because it’s always changing,” Bailey says. “Right now I love where we’re at because it’s always moving and it’s shifting and changing, so there’s no complacency. It moves quick.”

Check in on Man Made Lake on Facebook or click here to listen.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BEHIND BARS: Relaxed and refreshed at The Palms

Sneak peek at Victoria’s freshest new bar

Ocie Elliott: Facing the Music

Victoria duo describes effects of COVID crisis

YOUR AUGUST HOROSCOPE: It’s Leo Season!

Georgia Nicols giving us insight on what lies ahead this summer

30 years later, Sue Medley’s hit ‘Dangerous Times’ more relevant than ever

Vancouver Island singer/songwriter reflects on her ’90s national hit

Psychological thriller filmed on northern Vancouver Island debuts on AppleTV

‘Woodland’ is set in Haida Gwaii, but was filmed around Port McNeill

Sand sculptor creates special eagle head in Qualicum Beach

Kaube fashions work behind Civic Centre

Parksville artist takes home Sooke Fine Arts People’s Choice Award

Francine Street’s winning piece is titled ‘Ken’

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Nanaimo Fringe Festival productions adapt to new online format

10th annual festival to be live-streamed due to COVID-19

Island pub wants people to ‘drop five’ to keep music alive

Royston’s Charlie Aiken thinks his plan can help artists and venues alike

First Arts Alive sculptures of 2020 now installed

Oak Bay’s annual public art exhibition starts anew

Nanaimo fantasy writer co-authoring Old Norse phrase book

Joshua Gillingham partnering with author and professor on ‘Old Norse for Modern Times’

Most Read