Living in Los Angeles has its benefits for Tyler Armes, bassist-keyboardist for the Toronto-bred pop-rap band Down with Webster.
There’s the weather that’s obviously warmer than the notoriously frigid Canadian winters. For Armes, too, it’s necessary for Down with Webster’s career, and something that may help the band achieve its goals.
“It’s a great place in terms of writing music and working with other artists,” says Armes, who moved to Los Angeles in 2014.
“It’s an inspiring place to be. We’d be down here to work with someone and I would never want to leave. There are so many bands that come through. There are so many artists. On any given week I could end up in the studio working with somebody really talented. It creates a lot of opportunities out here.”
Those opportunities include an increased number of U.S. tour dates as well as collaborating with an “international pool of artists.”
“I recently worked with a couple of younger female artists, who are amazing singers who were spotted on YouTube,” Armes explains. “The band’s always wanted to do a song that’s featured a female vocalist. That may happen, just by virtue of being out here.”
Armes and the rest of the band—rappers Camm Hunter and Martin Seja, vocalist/guitarist Pat Gillett, drummer Andrew Martino and DJ Dave “Diggy” Ferris—have been working on new material in Los Angeles with producer Matt Squire. Meanwhile, Down with Webster is pushing its fourth album Party for Your Life.
Breaking the United States is important to Down with Webster, who, in its home country, has been nominated for 22 awards, including 12 MuchMusic Video Awards (the equivalent of the MTV Awards) and six Juno Awards, Canada’s version of the Grammys. Its Canadian breakthrough track was 2009’s “Rich Girls,” a reimagining of the classic Hall & Oates song.
As part of the mission of conquering the States, the band is touring the country with Jonny Craig, a jaunt that includes a Saturday, January 17, stop at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix. At the gig, Down with Webster, who last played Arizona with Google employee-turned-rapper Hoodie Allen, will debut a couple songs from its forthcoming album. The collection’s format is still up in the air.
“I’m not sure if we’re going to do an EP or a full-length album,” says Armes, who’s been listening to a variety of music ranging from Chance the Rapper to Bombay Bicycle Club.
“The general consensus is we want to have more music out more often, instead of sticking with the old school model of putting out albums every year or two. It’s more important that people who want to hear our music can hear it. We’ll continue to play here, even though we haven’t had any real radio or video play. We’ve seen our live fanbase grow.”
“The Blueprint for Going in Circles Tour” w/Jonny Craig, Kyle Lucas and Captain Midnight, Joe’s Grotto, 13825 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602.992.1007, joesgrotto.com, Saturday, January 17, 6 p.m., $17 adv