Unbuttoned is a band that started roughly 3 years ago. Being fairly new, what they’ve accomplished in a few short years is impressive. They’re already a hit in Japan! Finding the time to juggle band rehearsals, work, school, tours, and a new album isn’t easy. In the upcoming months they will be releasing a new album, which will be available on their website (down below). The band members share a passion for music, but making music a full-time career is tricky. Artists need more than just talent to break into the industry. I had the opportunity to interview the band’s bass player Jonathan, about the band and what to expect.
The Voice. America’s Got Talent. So You Think You Can Dance. American Idol. What do these shows have in common? Some of these shows are in their 8th or 9th season and we have yet to see a shortage of talent. But how often do the winners make it to Billboard’s Top 100? They may have everything: the talent, the connections, and even a record label – but there’s no recipe for becoming a star. So, here’s a look the rising band ‘Unbuttoned’ and how they are finding their own way towards stardom.
Unbuttoned members include:
Jonathan Milner – Bass
Alexei Orechin – Guitar
Miles Gibbons – Drums
Casey MQ – Keys & Vocals
Kamilah Apong – Keys & Vocals
1. Do you mind telling the readers how long you’ve been together and how it all started?
Jonathan: We’ve gone through a few changes since the very beginning of the band, but the current incarnation of Unbuttoned has been together now for about 3 years or so. Casey is responsible for bringing us all together. Kami and I knew Casey from our time in high school together, Miles knew him from work, and Alexei just was destined to be a part of our ragtag group from the moment we first met him. While Kami might tell you she didn’t really have much of a choice in joining the band, the rest of just were excited to play together. And whether or not she was forced to or not, Kami certainly isn’t a begrudging member of the band. In fact, we’re more of an informal family with all its quirks that go along with it than just a band. We’ve been playing and writing ever since.
2. What was the inspiration behind your newest album and what are each of your favourite tracks?
Jonathan: There are few things that are reflected in this the new album. The album (Planes) plays on the double meaning of planes, referring to travelling as well as are more dimensional approach. The music reflects this concept. This album is definitely more varied and dynamic than our earlier music while maintaining a cohesive style and sound throughout. The lyrics written by Casey and Kami speak to the journey Unbuttoned has been on, as well as the individual struggles we’ve all had over the last few years as band. As such, the music is has a deeper, more emotional meaning which I feel can resonate with listeners. Though we each have our own favourite tracks, we much rather wait until everyone else hears the CD before we share them! Our first single off the album should be dropping sometime over the next couple of weeks along with a brand, spanking new video to go along with it, so stay tuned!
3. How will they be able to get ahold of your album?
Jonathan: The album will be released on June 24th and will be available from our website (www.unbuttonedmusic.com) as well as all the usual applications like iTunes, Bandcamp, etc. We are currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on the album and have recently embarked on a mission to raise the funds necessary to get our music out to all of you! We’re asking for help from anyone interested in our band/music by donating/pre-ordering our album from our Indiegogo project and to spread the word to all their friends and family! More information can be found on the Indiegogo page itself: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/planes-the-new-unbuttoned-album/x/7162895#home
4. Have you guys ever toured or performed outside of Toronto before? If so when and where?
Jonathan: We have. We’ve been pretty much all over Ontario from Hamilton to Barrie, and even to Montreal. Last year we had the privilege to go to New York not just once, but twice to play a series of shows down there. Unbuttoned is currently in the process of planning an Eastcoast tour following the release of our new album, Planes. The tour will take us through most major Canadian and American cities from DC to Montreal with our friends, The Rooks, who are from New York.
5. What are your next steps after this album?
Jonathan: At the moment, we’re primarily focusing on the now and getting this album out to everyone. It’s been a long and grueling process, but we really feel that we’re putting out a product that’s well worth all the work and late nights put into it! We’re hoping we can continue to tour especially across the pond in the UK, Europe, and Asia. We recently signed a distribution deal in Japan with Tugboat/P-Vine Records and have made connections and fanbase in these areas so the next step for us is to get out there personally!
While waiting for their new album release, check out ‘This Feeling’ from their EP:
Jonathan was even kind enough to give aspiring musicians a couple suggestions:
1) Finding your sound (it took us a while and A LOT of tries before we found what we now sound like, but its important to remember that it’s not something that stays stagnant and that it evolves and continues to evolve over time).
2) Accessing funds is obviously a huge one. It can be really, really hard to make it on your own without financial backing of some kind. But the most important thing is to keep grinding. It’s a lot of work to be in a band. I often liken it to working a fulltime job without the fulltime pay. It’s certainly not a “get rich quick scheme”. So be prepared to work hard, but never sacrifice the fun for all the stress it might bring you.
3) Most importantly, be brave. It can be daunting at times to be in a band, or work in a project like that. Don’t be afraid of change, but know when to stand your ground. Don’t be afraid of failure, it happens, just recollect yourself and try again. Enjoy the little successes, a good take while recording, that compliment you got after a show, etc. BUT stay humble, no one likes someone who thinks they’re better than them.”
There you have it folks! An interview with Jonathan Milner who’s part of an addicting band called Unbuttoned. Be sure to check them out I guarantee you’ll like their sound. Then when they become a hit band you can have bragging rights and say you were a fan before they hit stardom.