Fun-loving band gets serious with Pour Me Another

Group takes look at alcoholism, but wants to keep audience ‘moovin’ and groovin’’

A rock band from the Prairies is headed to Parksville with its brand-new album, and what could be a more sobering tune than their usual fare.

Bombargo will be playing at Realm Food Co. in Parksville on Sunday, May 14.

The band got its start at a music festival about two and a half years ago, front man and singer Nathan Thoen said as the band travelled into Banff on Tuesday.

Spencer Chilliak, who would become the lead guitarist and fellow founder of the band, was headed to the festival, and met Thoen after a friend of his decided not to attend.

“So I just jumped in with this stranger and then went and got our minds blown by a bunch of amazing musicians, and thought, heck, we should just start a band,” said Thoen.

And they didn’t let the fact that neither of them had every been in a band before, or even really play instruments, stop them. Chilliak bought a guitar, Thoen worked on his vocals and they started writing songs.

The only real plan for the band was to “make the world a better place,” said Thoen. “Just go out there, get to do our thing and spread positivity and get people stoked and dancing and having fun.”

Now it includes several more bandmates: Matt Folkerson on rhythm guitar, Sammy Folkerson on bass, Bryce Lemky on drums and Connor Newton on saxophone.

He describes the band’s sound as “movin’ and groovin’”, with some rock and even a touch of pop sound, but they are constantly working towards what their sound really is, he said.

The hope is that it helps people “put on pause some of the problems that they’re dealing with on their day-to-day lives. Hit that reset button and really just let go and enjoy and move and groove and feel the music.”

But with their latest single, Pour Me Another, which is also the name of the album they dropped on May 1, they’re hoping to talk with their audience about alcoholism.

It’s part of Thoen’s family history, and a substance he was taught to be careful with.

“We wrote the song to try to channel some of those stories from my grandparents and my uncles that had struggled with that,” he said. “The song itself is pretty high-energy and sometimes if you don’t listen to the lyrics closely, you could think it’s actually a drinking song.” And the band itself is not anti-alcohol, he said. But with the accompanying music video, the band wanted to drive home the message that “it’s always fun until it’s not fun, and for some people it isn’t, so you have to respect it.”

Bombargo plays at Realm Food Co. on Sunday, May 14. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.