Breakout band hits Toronto but their rock dreams are still ‘Out of Reach’

Local rock band called Out of Reach is making waves on stage but not in their wallets

Inside Sneaky Dee's
A fan watches as Out of Reach slays on stage at Sneaky Dee's, Feb. 1, 2019. The band had merchandise made beforehand.  Trevon Smith/Toronto Observer

Have you ever wanted to be a rockstar? A local Toronto band traded their air guitars for real ones and have moved their band out of mom’s basement into the real world — metaphorically, that is.

Out of Reach is making waves in Toronto’s rock scene. Slippery bass licks, booming drums and squealing solos are on full display at their shows throughout the city

The band is a three-piece act featuring a drummer, bassist and lead guitarist. Since bursting onto the scene last December, they’ve notched some popular venues under their belt: Lee’s Palace, Sneaky Dee’s and Horseshoe Tavern.

With a gig booked at Tail of the Junction next month, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Watch Out of Reach perform:

Getting a show at these venues is “surprisingly easy,” according to Curtis Bradbury, the band’s drummer.

Camilo Martineau, the bassist, sang the same tune as he described getting their first gig at Lee’s Palace.

“I just sent an email to the guy,” Martineau said. After a quick back and forth, everything was set for their opening night.“That’s how we get most of our shows.”

Some venues aren’t as laid back. “A few places did turn us down. They looked at our Facebook page and said, ‘You guys only have like 50 or 60 people following you,” Martineau said.

Their Facebook page recently passed 100 likes.

Despite their success on stage, Out of Reach hasn’t seen that translate to their wallets.

Bradbury broke it down like this: the band usually makes $50 to $250 per show, then that’s split four ways. A share for each performing member and their manager.

“It’s not that bad,” Bradbury said. “But because of all the set up and bringing your stuff, if you divide it truly with all the work involved … it’s not much.”

Turnout is the biggest factor for how much a band will make for the night. Every venue has a door charge. The exact price differs, but each band is guaranteed a cut of it. The more people that come out to a show, means more money a band can make that night.

But even a big turnout can net a small return.

Listen to Out of Reach’s latest tracks:

“At Horseshoe Tavern, we had a huge turnout. We had 60 or 70 people show up for that. But none of the other bands that night seemed to have brought many people at all,” Bradbury said.

“[They] made a decent amount of money although they brought no one, and we made just as much as them although we had a great turnout.”

There are hidden costs with running a band as well. Costs like gas and transportation eat away from their take at the end of the night.

“It’s not easy to transport gear. Luckily we have Michael who drives … he does things like that and it costs gas money, parking downtown is expensive, tickets that he might get because of all the restrictive rules he sometimes doesn’t follow,” Bradbury laughed.

Instrument repairs, rent for recording rooms, merchandise production and professional videos for social media add up as well.

While the expenses pile up, Bradbury said he and his bandmates aren’t looking to get rich. Bradbury is a Drywall mechanic and contractor, while Martineau works as a graphic designer and camera man. Michael Nasello, the lead singer, works at The Keg steakhouse. 

“Although it’s a fun hobby and we enjoy doing it, we don’t do it for the money,” Bradbury said.

“If you want to make money, get a job,” he said, echoing something their metaphorical mothers might say.

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Posted: Apr 24 2019 8:36 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life Opinion