When Chris Bryant was a teenager, he would often travel from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury, just to see bands perform at the Towne House.
His friend Brian Nori, who also grew up in the Sault, remembers Greater Sudbury as an audio-arts hub. “Sudbury’s known for its music (scene),” he said.
Even though the city’s filled with talent, it’s not easy to keep up with who’s playing where, what they’re working on and when fans can expect new releases. Websites like MySpace and ReverbNation give artists a place to share their tunes with the world, but it doesn’t allow them to share news within their own community.
That’s why Bryant, Nori and their roommate Corey Pascall, began Sudbury Music Scene (SMS) — a website dedicated to music in Sudbury.
It is free for local musicians to make profiles and add music, biographies, photos, show dates and even start their own discussions on the site. Fans can also sign up to browse local talent, stay up-to-date with their favourite bands and even converse with them.
“We really wanted to make a community,” Nori said. Bryant added that there are already a number of active websites and groups discussing ways to improve Sudbury’s music scene, but said there was still a need for “some unity” among them all. “Let’s take what everybody’s got, and put it under one roof,” Bryant said.
Since launching the site at the beginning of January, close to 50 bands have already signed up.
James Rowlings, singer and guitar player in Set, signed his band up the day SMS began. He said he likes the ability to network with other musicians in Sudbury and promote his band’s music. “You want to be known in your local community,” he said.
Musicians with accounts on SMS play all sorts of music, from hip-hop to heavy metal to blues.
Anyone who makes any kind of music is welcome to sign up, Bryant said. Featuring all genres has helped the trio discover new music. “We’re loving music we’ve never heard before,” Pascall said.
The site has already proved to be practical, too. When they didn’t know how to spend a Friday night, Bryant said they logged on to SMS to find out which local bands were playing.
“We are full users of our product,” Bryant said, with a laugh.
For more information about SMS, visit www.sudburymusicscene.com.