The Toronto-based indie band, Donalyn has been making their way into the industry with confident and dedicated strides. I spoke to leader singer Alistair Blaik Bundale about their big Toronto Independent Music Award (TIMA) win, being a band from Toronto, upcoming events, and more.
Raz Mataz MagaIne (RMM): Donalyn has made an incredible impact by being winners of the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards; how has such an achievement opened doors for you?
Alistair Blaik Bundale (ABB): After winning an award at the Toronto Independent Music Awards in 2010, Donalyn was able to expand quite a bit. It was after winning that Jen Benton (our bassist) joined the band. Up until that point, it had been just me and Brian Williams. It also gave us the opportunity to play a show at the 2012 TIMAs. I think winning an award gives you a little bit of leverage to use for things such as booking shows and getting your music out there. People start regarding you as serious musicians as opposed to ‘friends that play in this band’. There will always be a part of winning any award that people may regard as superficial, and there might be something to be said in that regard, but at the end of the day it is nice to have someone else appreciate your music, enough so that they believe you deserve to win an award. So it can also be a great confidence booster.
RMM: You three are individually very musically talented; does that ever clash when making music together?
ABB: Sometimes Brian and Jen get a little pissed because I kind of get into a tunnel vision when it comes to certain aspects of a song, and then can be stubborn about my point of view, but for the most part we gel very well as a group.
ABB: Realistically, your opportunities being in Toronto will be far greater than the opportunities if you live in a small community or rural area. I guess it’s just where the business centre lies, in places like Toronto or Montreal. I don’t think Toronto is necessarily the best place to be if you’re in the indie/rock scene, but regardless of your genre, it is still beneficial to be here. But I think that’s what makes this city kinda cool is the fact that you can go catch a show and here is a band playing indie/rock and another band is playing roots music. It’s pretty culturally dimensional, and many genres will cross over and influence other genres.
RMM: Reflecting on a very fortunate last year, what were some of your favorite moments?
ABB: Playing at the TIMAs was a lot of fun. And we released our EP, Donalyn II in July at Cherry Cola’s, which was a great night. I think, in general, just making some progress and being able to see that transformation from ‘playing in a band’ to being ‘a band’ was pretty cool.
RMM: Lastly, what are some upcoming projects that fans can expect from you this year?
ABB: We’re in production for a new EP, which should be out sometime in the fall. We’re going to have a few videos released, and are planning an East Coast tour sometime this fall/winter. Looking forward to a good year.
You can check out Donalyn’s music at their Facebook page.
Also hit up their gig at the Painted Lady in Toronto this Sunday!