BY LAURA JASMINE
When Cannons, previously known as Autumns Cannon, won the Big Money Shot six years ago, the future was looking bright.
They released their first album, Open Letter, in 2013 and had frequent radio play across the country. The following year the band toured North America with the Goo Goo Dolls and ZZ Top.
The band’s guitarist and keyboardist Marty Sobb remembers the times after the BMS win.
“We got shit tons of money right away, we were staying in hotels, living it up real nice, but we felt like we were investing it on the band,” said Sobb. “Big tours are such huge productions. You play at arenas and theatres, there’s catering, there’s crew carrying your gear, there’s dressing rooms, and someone wiping your bum. It was fantastic.”
Guitarist Nick Beaton said it soon became evident that something was not right.
“We were given lots of opportunities. We worked with great producers and got a lot of festival runs. Playing in front of tens of thousands of people, the thrill of that is life altering, that’s what we all dream about,” he said. “But we found out after the fact that we weren’t really being managed properly.”
A year later everything the band had built came crashing down. The band parted ways with their record company, and lost the already recorded material for their second release.
Singer Shaun Francisco said it was a paralyzing experience.
“We were seven songs into a record and our manager jumped ship. We had to take a step back and wait until we felt we could start writing again. We found out we wouldn’t be able to get our songs back until 2017 according to the clause in our contract,” Francisco said. “For having to sit back for two years and being limited to terms was so depressing.”
The band talked about re-branding for months and they all came to the conclusion it was time to start all over. They applied and received a grant from FACTOR (The Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records), and invested a lot of their own money on recording, mixing, and mastering a new EP Written on the Wall, which will be released in October.
The band recorded two of the album’s six tracks with Gavin Brown of Billy Talent and Three Days Grace, two with John-Angus MacDonald of the Trews, and two on their own.
The EP has been written around the experience of losing everything that matters, and finding your way out to make your life feel right again. Compared to the first album, the songs are grittier and heavier, and also more raw lyrically, and reflects on the emotional experience the band went through.
“Statistically a lot of the bands who are in our situation don’t make it,” Beaton said. “There’s a lot of concerns about investing your own money and lot of external stimulants that can drag the band down. We fought it and showed perseverance and here we are. We are very proud and excited about this record.”
The band says they are looking forward to picking up where they left off. After balancing family life and late nights at the studio, everyone is ready to invest their time to get on the road again after the album release.
Francisco said the band is ready to get back at it.
“We are a unique group of guys with very different personalities, but with the same desire to write and play music for a living. Everybody’s very passionate about what they do.” Francisco said. “Our job is to entertain people. If you get a shot at reaching out to someone with the song you wrote, and to connect people in the audience you have made it. If you can’t do that, you fail.”
Cannons are playing at The Agriculture Museum Baconpalooza on September 10. •