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Ottawa welcomes rockers Radio Caroline

An interview with Radio Caroline, a hard rock and roll band from London, Ontario.

While sitting in an Ottawa Bridgehead, the members of Radio Caroline proved to be a unique band, not only as musicians but performers as well.

“I definitely can’t say I’ve seen any rock bands rocking floral bell-bottoms recently,” said Craig Gignac, vocalist, who proudly wears said floral bell-bottoms during each show.

Musically, the band stands out as well.

“We play in B standard,” said guitarist Scott Rossignol. “We play with baritone guitars and five string basses.”

Having non-standard guitars and bass gives the band a noticeably lower, punchier tone and wider range. Combined with Gignac’s crescending vocals creates a unique harmony not heard in a typical rock band.

“It’s a nice juxtaposition, being super low and gritty, but then playing more rock and roll, old school kind of tunes,” said Jeff Gonsalves, bassist.

As individuals, each member of the band has a different taste in music; from punk, to classic rock, and even blues. They believe this also helps develops their unconventional sound.

“I feel like it definitely constructs it as the building blocks of our overall sound,” said Gignac. “I have huge blues, rock and roll foundations.”

“That’s the number one factor, that it creates a more unique sound,” said Gonsalves. “If I’m thinking of it from this perspective, while you’re thinking of it like that, you won’t get a generic, radio rock, cookie cutter sound.”

Radio Caroline has created three EP’s, the most recent being Take It All, released in October through Bulwark Records.

“It was a lot of work for sure, but it paid off,” said Gignac. “Writing the songs, it took a lot of time to construct.”

The EP was recorded over a three day period. Having a small time frame created a challenge for the band.

“It was crazy because I was in Montreal for Heavy Fest just before we were recording so I got off the train, hopped in a car, and went to the studio,” said Gonsalves. “It was interesting to throw everything together with the little time we had.”

The band’s sound has noticeably changed over the course of their three EP’s, with this album in particular, while still keeping their rock and roll sound.

“The song structures have gotten more complex, as far as time signatures, key changes, and tempo changes,” said Rossignol. “Take It All is by far the most complex we’ve ever written.”

“I’m more inclined to say it’s a more technical but a lighter album,” said Gonsalves. “Do What You Want is very melodic, for example.”

The band has future plans to continue travelling and release more music.

“We’re organizing some more shows,” said Gignac. “Hopefully we can put some more new music out this year. We’re hoping to do a split [EP] at some point.”

Radio Caroline’s music can be found on Bandcamp.

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