The Wet Secrets 2015 · Victoria BC

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Yup, that’s a head-balanced bass guitar. Say hello to The Wet Secrets.

20150710 - The Wet Secrets-0001Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 18 mm · 1/350 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200

Preamble: the radio stations I work for were bought by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group in 2006. In 2009, our cousin station in Vancouver, The Peak, launched a Canadian talent development initiative called the Peak Performance Project, which assists emerging BC artists with education, promotion, and cash money. Last year, another The Peak launched in Calgary, and the PPP was extended to include AB artists.

The winners of the inaugural Alberta project was a band called The Wet Secrets. This name, of course, immediately caught my attention (as designed, I reckon), but then I saw some photos of them. THEY PERFORM IN MARCHING BAND UNIFORMS.

I knew right then and there that I wanted to do a promo shoot with The Wet Secrets. I waited patiently for them to make their way to the island and, finally, a “victory tour” with the BC winners, Good for Grapes, was announced for Lucky Bar.

Opening the show was a Zone Band of the Month, Aztec. I hadn’t seen them live before, and they gave a performance worthy of about ten times the audience they had as first act.

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Good for Grapes closed out the night, and I paid close attention based on friend Mia‘s recommendation. She was right. They were incredible, and I must definitely seek me out more grapey goodness.

20150710 - The Wet Secrets-0003L: Canon EOS 70D · Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM · 125 mm · 1/350 s · f/2.8 · ISO 3200
M: Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 18 mm · 1/250 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200
R: Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 35 mm · 1/250 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200
And isn’t it weird how my fave shots of each of these folks is when they’re bent down a bit?

But I was at that show to see The Wet Secrets. To see how well their latest album, Free Candy (which I’d been playing on loop, and still run regularly) translated live. To see the horn section, ’cause I love me some bands with a horn section. And to see just how the H-E-double-toothpicks human beings play a rock show in marching band uniforms.

This is Lyle Bell: founding member, bass guitarist, singer, graphic designer, and photographer. I was in touch with him a month in advance to see if I could arrange a promo shoot with the band while they were in town.

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This is Trevor Anderson: founding member, drummer, singer, and filmmaker (he directed the video for TWS’ song Nightlife, starring SCTV’s Joe Flaherty as his Count Floyd character).

20150710 - The Wet Secrets-0005L: Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 26 mm · 1/350 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200
R: Canon EOS 70D · Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM · 70 mm · 1/250 s · f/2.8 · ISO 3200

Left is Emma “The Kid” Frazier: trombone, singer. Right is Kim Rackel: founding member, trumpet, singer.

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This here is Paul “Peerie” Arnusch: keys, congas, and vocals. He’s also adept at defying gravity while hanging on to street sign posts.

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And the newest member of the marching band is Christan (like piston) Maslyk: saxophone, timbales, tambourine.

20150710 - The Wet Secrets-0008Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 23 mm · 1/180 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200

Rockstar point. Rockstar boots.

20150710 - The Wet Secrets-0009Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM · 18 mm · top: 1/350 s / bot: 1/250 s · f/1.8 · ISO 3200

Trevor framed in Lyle’s legs.

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It’s hard work being in a marching band.

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The promo shot didn’t pan out because, due to a series of very unfortunate events, the band’s time in Victoria was nothing short of disastrous. However, it was just announced this week that they’ll be returning to Victoria as part of BreakOut West, a music conference with performances, conference panels, and an awards gala, bringing over 60 bands to Victoria in addition to however many are here for the Rifflandia Festival, which runs concurrently with BOW, September 17–20.

Lyle and I are hoping for a much smoother time for the band in YYJ come September, with my ideal result being some great promo photos we can both be proud of.

=)

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