Speed Control is developing a reputation as the hardest working band in Whitehorse. After spending much of the winter performing multiple shows per day, the post-hardcore band has started another tour.
These guys have recently quit their jobs – they are committed to making a living in playing their music, a combination of pop punk, math rock and high-energy rock’n’roll.
They’re also my friends and occasional collaborators, so consider this story the inside scoop.
Graeme Peters, the band’s guitarist, vocalist and 15-year touring veteran, lists the tour’s itinerary.
“We’re playing Whistler Street Festival, Smithers Summer Music Festival, and one in Mission, they do an outdoor music series, playing in this big amphitheatre so that will be great,” Graeme says. “And then we’ve got club shows. And that’s just July.
“In August, we fly out to Ontario and we do a two week residency at the Stratford Summer Music Festival and then we whip out home to the west coast and do a 10 day tour up from Vancouver through Alberta and back home.”
They’ll also host rock camps, teaching kids of all experience levels how to play rock ‘n’ roll.
“The rock camps are a miniature version of Jack Black’s School of Rock, but awesomer, because there’s three of us,” Graeme says. “We teach them instruments throughout the week or three days, however long we’re there. And we have a big rock concert at the end.”
It’s a grueling schedule and as a result, the band members have no time for the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Jody Peters, Graeme’s younger brother and the band’s high jumping bassist, explains:
“We don’t really ascribe to it too much. For teaching rock camps we have to be up so early, at the latest 10 o’clock. We sometimes do two school shows a day and then a club show at night, there’s no way you can stay out and party, then repeat that schedule three shows a day. We’d be wrecked in a week.”
Instead, the trio fills their time off with bacon and exercise. Jody and drummer Ian March began bodybuilding and spread it to Graeme.
“He was tired of being the fat one in the band,” Jody says of his brother.
Gentle ribbing aside, Jody has no problems riding in cramped vans for weeks on end with his brother.
“We’ve discovered that I’m the only one who works well with Graeme, because I know when not to talk, and when to go to the gym and work out,” says Jody. “It’s easy.
“We’ve had disagreements, but it’s usually about where to eat. We’re a pretty easy-going band. And presenters like that.”
Ian March is the band’s heartthrob. After their school performances, girls crowd around the tall drummer for autographs and photos.
He’s also the newest member of the band, having replaced original drummer Spencer Cole a few years ago.
He picked up the band’s speed and odd time signatures quickly.
“The more you listen to it, the more you play it, the easier it becomes, right?” Spencer says. “I’ve always been a fan, I idolized Graeme as a drummer in Friend Called Five. It’s a lot of fun now.”
Their dedication to music and their work with kids have already paid off. Yamaha Canada provides the band with instruments and a sound system. They also sponsors the rock camps — working with local music stores to provide instruments, which students can buy at discounted prices.
Locally, Whitehorse Motors have provided a Ford Flex for them to travel in comfort, and Tait Trailers have given them a deal on an equipment trailer.
Look for Speed Control in town sometime between their tours.
Speed Control’s music can be found on iTunes and CDBaby, and streaming on music.cbc.ca. Check out their website at speedcontrol.ca.