By Chris Illich
It all started a year ago, just four friends and a couch. Cody Linthicum, Jordan Rutledge, Pete Chadwick and Arih Struger-Kalkman, decided to start an interview/performance based show to promote local bands within the Niagara Region.
“There are just so many good bands in the area. We’re all in bands and we realized that the scene here in Niagara is very unique. There is just an immense amount of talent. We’ve been doing two bands a week, and for some of them, it’s their first real recording, or first music video per se,” said Linthicum.
“We have really tried to create something that the bands can be proud of. We had the talent and the connections and we had the couch.”
They’ve hosted over 40 bands on their orange couch, and have brought their couch out to shows at Mahtay Café, Taps on Queen and in the street for the In the Soil music and arts festival, something their hoping to do again this spring.
“We had our little couch there next to the pedestrian bridge at the Meridian Centre and there were constantly at least 30 people in a swarm in front of it and it was so cool to see our couch and friends doing this,” said Rutledge. “It became the centerpiece of the street.”
What started as just an idea has now quickly grew into a widely recognized format for bands to promote themselves. Many of their videos have a significant amount of views, something they never imagined when they first started.
“We did not want to set any expectations for what Band on a Couch was going to be. We just wanted to have bands come into the house every week and play us tunes,” explained Rutledge.
“I thought we were going to just have our friends out and we’d be done in 10 weeks.”
“But then bands end up doing an episode, and their friends see the episode, and now it’s kind of blew up. We even had a band approach us from Australia called Steve Land and the Autocrats who were in town for Canadian Music Week and they asked us if we could do a segment,” said Struger-Kalkman.
Starting in December they are curating the music programming for Silversmith Brewing Company. They are also are planning the release of their first album on their newly founded Orange Couch Records by Berger, Blake and Goold. In addition, they are beginning work on their second season of their show.
The Mandevilles will be the stars of the season two opener, and the Mandevillian Christmas will be posted on December 23.
More information on Band on a Couch can be found at their website bandonacouch.com