Drop Top Alibi: Rock Search Winners Could Be Next Big Thing
The 97.7 HTZ-FM “ROCK SEARCH” competition has a long heritage of picking winners worthy of the hype that comes with being declared “the best” of an often mediocre lot of wannabe rock bands and artists. True gems like Finger 11, The Trews, The Standstills, Ray Lyell & The Storm, My Darkest Days and The Glorious Sons have all gone on to greater success, using the HTZ-FM competition as a springboard or as a small piece of industry validation to help secure label attention.
If their recent set at Canal Days is any indication, then 2019 Rock Search Champions DROP TOP ALIBI could be the latest band to emerge as a real force on Canada’s hard rock music scene. Formed in June of 2016 by singer/guitarist Brandon Gregory and guitarist Dylan Wykes, DTA is already flying in rarified air, having recorded their debut single “Holding the Gun” at Metalworks studio with former GNR guitarist Gilby Clark and counting Finger 11 guitarist James Black as a long-time friend. Acquaintances aside, it was the sheer force of the song “Burn” that caught the attention of the Rock Search judges, helping the band win the competition and earning DTA a spot in the music rotation at HTZ-FM. For a band working hard to catch a real break, the victory at Rock Search came at the perfect time for DTA to hit the reset button and rethink their plans for world domination.
“When we won, it was like, let’s pause and rethink this,” said Gregory, a vocal powerhouse in the vein of Robert Plant and Chris Cornell whose chops are wonderfully showcased in the band’s recent single, “Heavy Metal Baby.” “This changes everything. People who I’ve been reaching out to for the last year without any real response sent me emails in the first 48 hours after winning. We’re kind of the black sheep in the Toronto scene. We’re not metal enough for the metal guys. We’re way too intense for the indie rock guys. To finally have such a big thing happen for us, it was like – here we go, now it’s in our hands finally. Being the hardest working and tightest band was finally good for something!”
Like a lot of bands that seemingly come out of nowhere, DTA members have individually been paying their dues for nearly a decade. “We’re 10 years in the making,” said Gregory. “Dylan and I have been playing in clubs since we were 17. If we are super successful, we’ll be one of those bands that took 10 or 15 years to become an overnight success.”
With bassist Luc Ricci and drummer Jeff Cox rounding out the line-up, DTA delivers a scorching hard rock hybrid that showcases the band’s obvious musical talent. It’s the songs, however, that demand an audience: DTA originals seamlessly weave together classic rock sensibilities with modern rock influences for a sound that’s both familiar and entirely original – even if there are hints of Soundgarden, Wolfmother, Zeppelin, Alice in Chains and more.
“We’re lucky enough to have grown up with great music,” said Gregory. “Dylan and I have vivid memories of the late 90s British rock like the Smiths and Ween, but also bands like AC/DC and the Sex Pistols. It’s always been a concoction. We kind of all discovered grunge individually. And we all had the eureka moment when we realized Chris Cornell is the greatest fucking singer of all time, end of story. Dylan and I, when we first met, we were playing in a kind of Metallica/Iron Maiden rip off band. Then it turned into an Aerosmith era rock and roll band. We realized we had the dynamic of like a Led Zeppelin or an Alice in Chains, both the light and the dark. It was like, how do we combine this? Right now it’s groove-based guitar-driven rock and roll.”
Since winning the Rock Search competition, Drop Top Alibi has continued to do what they love to do most: hit the road and play. They’ll be on stage August 23 at Hamilton’s Corktown, and performing at a winner’s house as part of the HTZ-FM Block Party Contest. With new music on the horizon, including the killer single “Summer Nights and City Lights” (produced by five-time Juno Award and Grammy nominated producer/songwriter and former Glass Tiger member, Michael Hanson), the band is ready to do what it takes to rock the world – with no alibis for failure.
“We want to tour. We want to be The Stones, Aerosmith, AC/DC, and spend three glorious years on the road, come back, record an album, and get right back on the road, play the United States three times over. That kind of old road dog mentality is where we want to be. Getting to Europe is a big priority. We want to be the hardest working touring band to come out of Canada. We feel confident that people who hear us play are at least going to stop and stare.”
Looking for things to do in Niagara? Need Niagara event listings? Searching for Niagara’s best entertainment, music and theatre? Want to search Niagara concert listings? Before you GO out, BE informed. Log onto www.GoBeWeekly.com.