THUNDER BAY – Entertainment – Thunder Bay, ON – After almost 5 years of breakin’ hearts on the dance floor, Thunder Bay pop-rock band Vega has decided to call it a day. They will be throwing one last bash, Friday, April 5 at Black Pirates Pub to unveil their debut album, Port Arthur Democracy, and say goodbye to their fans. Opening the show will be very special guests, Bottom Rockers (rock n roll), Tapout (hardcore), and Don’t You(,) Mean People? (post-rock).
Vega – Port Arthur Democracy
Forming in 2008, Vega has been part of the backbone of the Thunder Bay music scene, playing a number of local festivals and headlining gigs around the city. This homegrown quintet, made up of Jessica Hochins (vocals), Shawn Hartviksen (guitar), Dustin Saarinen (guitar), Rob Hibberd (bass), and Jimmy Wiggins (drums) came together to create a new sound after leaving previous music projects – Hartviksen and Wiggins parted ways with shock-rock act, Jordana Divinorum, while Hochins left her role behind the keyboard with psychobilly band, Forever Dead to take on center stage. While drawing from influences of bands like Circa Survive, Paramore, and Killswitch Engage, each member of Vega brought in their own musical and personal touch to each song, blending elements of rock, pop, punk, and heavy metal into one unique soundscape.
After several months of writing new material, the band played their first show at an open jam night in June of 2008. From there, they went on to open for such Canadian acts as Ten Second Epic (Edmonton, AB), Silverstein (Burlington, ON), Farewell to Freeway (Guelph, ON), Midway State (Collinwood, ON), Red October (Montreal, QC) and MuchMusic disBand winners, These Kids Wear Crowns (Chilliwack, BC). They’ve also been asked to perform at several local events and festivals, including Superior Youth Fest, Canada Day at the Marina, Music for the Masses, the Hunger, Wigginstock, Harbourfest, the Marc Emery Farewell Tour, and the Von Tramps’ Boom-Boom Burlesque Show. In June of 2010, Vega performed at Cover Show VII as pop icon, Lady GaGa in one of the most theatrical and over the top performances in Cover Show history.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Vega. Over the years the band has had to go on hiatus after hiatus as members had to temporarily relocate to pursue their education. These obstacles have put delays on the bands plans to tour as well as record their material. In May of 2010, Vega finally began the recording process for their first full-length album. Hartviksen and Saarinen took charge of recording their own guitar tracks, while local engineer, Rob Nickerson, handled drum tracking. From there, the band went to Dave Angell and Chris Dorota at Dining Room Studios to finish vocal and bass tracking. One-man band, Jean-Paul De Roover was brought in to help Hochins with vocals. After 3 long years, the final product titled, Port Arthur Democracy is set for release. The title of the album is a tongue and cheek reference to Guns & Roses’ Chinese Democracy, which took 10+ years to finally be released. The new album consists of 9 original songs, including fan favorites like, “The Deviant”, “A Lie In Your Hand”, and “Safety Of Arms”.
Sadly, the members of Vega have decided to call it quits and disband after the release of Port Arthur Democracy. “I think we’re all just in different places in life right now,” explains Wiggins, “we have a lot of really great memories making music together, but I think its just time to move on to other things”. Vega will be performing for the very last time together on stage with the original lineup for the highly anticipated debut CD release show. Port Arthur Democracy will be for sale at the show for $5 along with various other Vega merchandise (while supplies last).
Doors open at 10pm. Cover is $5. Age of majority required.