Last year, the Vancouver-based band The Long War came out on top and won the 2017 CBC Searchlight competition. The group consists of Jarrett Lee (singer/songwriter), Chad Gilmour (vocalist/guitarist), Jess Lee (vocalist/keyboards), Neil Williamson (vocalist/drummer), and Carson Webber (bassist). Our team caught up with the band to hear more about the band’s journey and how Canada influences their sound.
“Winning CBC Search Light 2017 was very surreal,” says lead singer Lee. “The Searchlight was actually our fourth show so obviously as we progressed through the contest it was very jarring, to say the least.”
Prior to being a part of the band, Lee studied film and journalism at Carleton University and lived life as a solo artist in Ontario. After almost 10 years on his own, he trekked over to the west coast where he joined the flourishing music community.
Vancouver’s music community is known to have it own unique sound, however, only one of the bandmates are from the area. “I’m actually the only one who’s actually from Vancouver,” says Webber. “As you move across this country as a touring band, there’s so much space between the cities. There’s not a lot of population density. Just the vastness of this country influences the type of music that we play.”
Thank you @cbcvancouver, we had a blast again this year! BIG Thanks to everyone who came out and spent your lunch hour with us at the CBC Musical Nooners 🙌❤️ . . . #vancouvermusic #cbcmusic #cbcmusicalnooners #cbcvancouver #livevancouver We look forward to sharing more music and seeing you all again at our Rickshaw Theatre performance this Saturday! Info in bio link☝️. Thank you again for all your support. We had an amazing time! 🙌
With all of the members coming from different parts of the country, it helps the band give them their own sound.
“I think that Canadians just have this wonderfully unique openness about them,” says guitarist Gilmour. “They’re open to any ideas or any possibilities and I think that creeps into your music when you’re writing. You don’t have to go a certain way with it. It can be whatever comes to the table.”
If you want to learn more about The Long War, you can check out their social media pages below.