Peak Performance Project Band Camp: DANNY ECHO

Peak Performance Project HeaderLocal band Danny Echo was selected as one of 20 finalists in the Peak Performance Project. Chosen from a pool of 450 applicants, Danny Echo underwent a rigorous selection process and was judged on several factors: musicianship, vocal performance, songwriting ability, live performance, artist benefit description, and suitability for AAA radio format. After returning from a weeklong band camp, Mark (rhythm guitar) and Ian (guitar, keys, backing vocals) of Danny Echo talk to Backstage Vancouver about their experiences and excitement.

Upon arriving at the camp, Danny Echo was given a large binder, which included their schedule which filled up their entire week from 9am to midnight. “It was pretty well organized,” says Mark, “like real boot camp… There were always about three hours of ‘free time,’ where you could go on the zip-line or swimming, but after the second day we had to use that time to complete assignments; we had to write, rehearse and record a song, all on the fly. You had to do online blogging during the day, and promotional stuff.”

Keynote speakers were experts in their respective fields, and included the following (to name a few):
– Bob D’Eith (Executive Director, Music BC)
– Ken Beattie (Publicist, Killbeat Music)
– Grant Lawrence (Host, CBC Radio 3)
– Tamara Stanners (100.5 The Peak)
– Janine Verreault (Editor, Youthink)
Barney Bentall (rock veteran)
– Shaun Verreault (musician, Wide Mouth Mason)
– Kevin ‘Chief’ Zaruk (manager, Nickelback)

“For the most part, we had a lot of new information,” explains Mark. “It was overwhelming, we were so busy the whole time. It just reminds you how much has to be done to make a band successful. It is a team effort, and when you’re just starting you don’t have that team.” “You have to do all of it yourself,” agrees Ian. Luckily, Danny Echo’s foundational core (Dan, Mark and Ian) know how to work together to complete the various assignments; Dan talks and tweets, Mark

Backstage Vancouver: What was the most valuable thing you learned?
Mark: We improved on our ping pong game! That’s what we did in between band sets.
Ian: Priorities, priorities.
Mark: For me, finding out what to focus on based on what stage the band is in.

At the end of the week, each band was awarded $3500. Mark explains that their first thought was to make a music video, “but after going through the whole week, we realized that it would be best to market our existing music.” Since Danny Echo played last on the last night, the response to their big song “Tomorrow Today” changed the game yet again. “Everyone was really excited about our song. Tamara and James from the Peak loved it,” which inspired the guys to put the money towards producing an even better version of the song, for better radio play and promotion.

“All of the artists were awesome,” says Mark, “so anyone could win. We’re judged on all aspects, so we have to use the knowledge and contacts we’ve acquired over the week… We can go so much farther after this week than we ever could have before… Playing [at the Peak Performance Project Band Camp] was like the dream gig, because everyone is of such high calibre. Everyone was so amazing, already rock star calibre.” Ian agrees, “Some of those performances were really special, too.”

Stay tuned to Backstage Vancouver for more detailed information about Danny Echo’s experience.

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  1. […] Project is still on every Thursday until November 12th so stay tuned. You can read about Danny Echo’s experience at the Peak Performance Project Band Camp, as well as a review of another live […]