Ask any musician, hell, ask any random person off the street, “How long have you been interested in music?” and the answer is almost always, “My whole life”. Music touches every aspect of life. When we are young we listen to the music of our parents. Then we grow and develop our own musical tastes, find those other like-minded individuals who share our interests and forge bonds with them. It becomes the sound track to our highs and lows, and the not so extreme commute to work each day.
For many people, that is the entire relationship with music, but for others it inspires a little more. For some, it lights a flame to pick up an instrument, master it and create beautiful music of their own. If we are lucky, those people are willing to share their talent with the world and a musician is born, as is the case with Kirk Reed and his band The Reed Effect.
Reed, originally from Long Island, now resides in Toronto where he creates melodic rock with his two Toronto native band mates Melinda Uden and Alex Van Briggle. All three of these talented musicians had their start in music at an early age. Both Reed and Uden were introduced to piano in their childhood, and Van Briggle had the fortunate experience of learning from his father who was a touring musician. For Reed, the guitar piqued his interest in high school and he easily transferred the music theory learned through piano lessons to this new instrument.
Now in their adulthood, the members of The Reed Effect are working hard both on and off the stage. By day they work jobs that pay the bills and by night they pursue their passion on stage. When asked if there was a specific moment that inspired them to get into music as a potential career, Reed answered “Yes, when I saw Led Zeppelin’s movie/documentary ‘The Song Remains The Same’… I saw Jimmy Page playing his heart out in the film with so much passion and soul, I said to myself, ‘I have to do that!’”
Led Zeppelin, has been a large influence to Reed throughout his life along with Jimmy Hendrix and The Doors. His admiration for bands such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool are share between his band mates. The influence of these artists can be heard in the music of The Reed Effect, and yet they really make their music their own.
When asked about other musical influences, local Toronto indie bands such as The Rough Notes and Bella Clava made the list. Having local artists inspire one and other is one of the best aspects of the Toronto music scene. As Uden puts it “…roaming the indie scene in Toronto is tremendously entertaining and effectively humbling. Wicked talent in this city.”
That “wicked talent” is present within The Reed Effect and all the years of studying music, practicing and performing are paying off. This band puts on a fantastic live show as their set has the fluidity of a well-oiled machine. A few months back they played the Horseshoe Tavern and one very unique aspect of their show was that there was hardly a moment when music was not being played. In between songs when Reed was speaking to the audience, there was always a melody to back him up.
It’s clear that The Reed Effect is up on stage to entertain. When asked to divulge their strategies while arranging a set, Van Briggle said, “We’re always evolving as a band, continuing to develop a feel to the set that seems to work… It’s important to connect with the audience, keep things interesting without being too indulgent. Having brief breaks in the music can add to the show, you bring them down a little so you can bring them right back up.”
Off stage, The Reed Effect has just finished recording their new CD and is having the release party this Friday (May 11). This promises to be an amazing night and the perfect opportunity to check out these talented musicians in their natural habitat. The show is at the Bovine, is only five dollars and will be featuring performances of other incredible talent such as the Exitseekers, Charming Ruins and Bella Clava.
To learn more about the Reed Effect and check out their music, please visit their websites:
Peace out from the Rebel!