Two rappers. One singer. One bassist. One drummer. One DJ. One stage. No, this is not a Rifflandia afternoon line-up. First profiled as a “boy band” in 2003, Down With Webster (DWW) is a far cry from the second coming of The Backstreet Boys. Band members Andrew “Marty” Martino (drums), Bucky Seja (vocals), Cam Hunter (vocals), Pat Gillet (vocals and guitar), Tyler Armes (bass and keys) and Dave “Diggy” Ferris (turntables) bring together rock, hip-hop, pop and more in an energetic live show.
It’s easy to believe this band had its genesis when the guys were in junior high – years of pounding the pavement is paying off. Despite their long history, the band’s first full-length, label-released album Time to Win, Vol.2 dropped a mere four months ago following the success of Platinum-selling singles “Your Man,” “Whoa is Me” and “Rich Girl$”.
These guys don’t stray far from the stereotype of humble Canadians, even while earning the praises of music industry heavyweights Timbaland and Gene Simmons. With a passionate fan base north of the 49th parallel, Marty says DWW is just starting to get recognition in the States and can’t afford to sit back.
“Until you’re at that Drake status, I think in the back of your mind there’s always that ‘Oh man, what if?’ You’re always thinking back to the last thing you did and how does that compare to what’s out now. We’re always trying to do better.”
With numerous Juno and Much Music Award nominations, DWW also plays events like the annual youth humanitarian initiative “We Day”. Their continual work ethic may explain why they’ll just as soon play a 9 a.m. show like “We Day” as a 9 p.m. show.
Opening act Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers (USS), also offers a high voltage performance; as vocalist Ash Boo-Schultz puts it, “We do the right thing to the room.”
Both groups hail from the Greater Toronto area and have connections going back almost a decade when Boo-Schultz, playing mid-’90s hip hop covers, would open for DWW.
Genuine friendship and work ethic seem to be common threads for both Down With Webster and USS.
“When you’re on the road with people 24/7, in the hotel room, at the library, at the bowling alley, it’s got to be about the person first and then their ability,” Boo-Schultz maintains.
Marty agrees and makes it clear that his bandmates are singular in their goals.
“It’s a good thing we have to prove ourselves all the time…I know, deep down, we know we can be doing better. We’re always on our grind, we’re not prima donnas; there are no big egos over here.”
They put everything they have into each performance. So be warned, this is not a sit down, cross your legs show – you will be expected to get up off the seat and go nuts. It’s the least you can do when you see how the guys attack the stage each night. M
Down With Webster
with Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS)
Thurs, Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm
Tickets $45 available at rmts.bc.ca or by phone at 250-386-6121