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Dropout Entertainment – Jun 1, 2017 Interview with Rob Higgins of Drop Dead Famous

Article published on Jun 1, 2017 online: http://dropoutentertainment.ca/2017/06/interview-with-drop-dead-famous/

So you’re from Windsor. Tell me the best and worst things about Windsor.

Windsor is a great home base filled with tons of talent and hard working people !

Being a border city allows us the opportunity to enjoy all the big city venues and events held over in Detroit while living in a smaller safer Canadian city across the river .

One downfall of living in Windsor is the original music scene is almost non existent . There are plenty of great original acts but very few venues to perform at .

You started as a cover band. What steps did you have to take to move from a cover band to forging your own sound, and did it cost you anything along the way?

Yes we had a blast being a cover band and for years it was fulfilling enough but eventually we all really wanted to write .

Every band has a process and it takes awhile to find that process that works for you . We used gig money to pay for studio time but it was all money well worth spending .

People may or may not know that you opened for Theory of a Deadman earlier in your career and caught some flack for it afterwards. How did that experience influence the direction of the band?

Yes we have actually opened for them a few times and it was always a great experience . The first time we opened for them we were still very much a cover band and a few other bands didn’t feel a cover band deserved to open for a national act . I honestly don’t have a problem with that because everyone is entitled to an opinion . We were in the process of writing at the time but we were not going to turn down an opportunity to open for such a great show cover band or no cover band . I think it may have fuelled us to work a little harder to show we can cut it as an original band too lol

You recently had an appearance on a local radio station, 99.1 CKXS FM. They featured you as their spotlight artist and you played live on air. How was that experience?

What a great crew they have at CKXS! It was a lot of fun and we received some great feedback . It’s so refreshing to see a radio station take a chance with some local talent .

You have a new video for “Find Myself”. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the song and the video?

Find myself is almost like a personal anthem for me. I’ve always been the problem solver , strong willed, work through anything type of guy but I was going through a real tough time in my life and that song helped me pull through it.

I did find my old self and things are rolling full steam ahead .

Congratulations are in order. Your song “You got it!” hit the top 10 chart for most downloaded indie singles released in Canada, compiled by the DMDS back in February. Can you give us a top 10 list of your collective current favourite songs?

Geez that’s a tough one . I am so all over the map with music . I get on county kicks then over to Motown back to pop rock then working and listening to new DDF stuff . I flat out just love music .

You’ve been called southern Canada’s best kept secret which is quite the compliment. Can you share your best kept band secret with us?

Well don’t tell anyone but Dave the Guitar player has a tail !

I see you’re booked to play the Fork and Cork Festival and the Full Moon Festival with some other big names like Finger 11. What’s another festival you would love to be part of and which bands would you like to share the stage with?

Ya what a honour to play these festivals with such great acts !

We love playing festivals for the big crowds and the big P.A’s they are just so much fun .

We all have our favourite acts we’d love to play with for me I’d love to share the Stage with Theory of a Deadman again .

I doubt any of us would turn down the chance to share the stage with the likes of The Killers, Foo Fighters , U2, Kings of Leon or Van Halen lol

I noticed in a press release from Biz X magazine that you said you’d like to give back to the community as much as possible if you make it really big. How would you give back and why are those causes important to you?

That has always been a dream to be able to make someone’s day just by showing up and playing a couple songs or spending some time . Obviously to be able to help out more financially with success would be amazing also . We are strong supporters of Harmony in action a local program that enhances the life of mentally challenged people along with continually teaching them life skills.

My sister Jenny attended there so the program is close to our hearts .

Last question. In a post from the end of March you say “things are starting to happen”. What new things are happening for you guys and what can we expect to see from you in the future?

We are making some amazing connections and our music is reaching more people in more places around the world than ever before. I don’t want to speculate because there is still a lot of hard work to be done but I am very excited for the future . At the end of the day we are already having the time of our lives and love what we do .

DDF and Rick LaBonte’ Unite for April Concert – Biz X Magazine – April 2016

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Biz X - April 2016 pt2of2

ON THE ENTERTAINMENT SCENE: Biz X Magazine – April/2016

DROP DEAD FAMOUS AND RICK LABONTE UNITE FOR APRIL CONCERT

By Liz Daniel

Biz X magazine April 2016. Vol 19. Issue 4

Playing local bars and events since 2010, many of us in Windsor Esses can remember the local band Drop Dead Famous for their covers of song by U2, The Killers, Kings of Leon, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, just to name a few.

They have a great fan base and following, and could have played gigs for years doing covers of their favourite musicians. But, as front man and lead singer Rob Higgins says, “wish all the passion and dreams Drop Dead Famous have, it was time to go to the next level.” With that, they began writing and recording their own original music.

Drop Dead Famous was formed six years ago when Higgins and Chris Blais (keyboards), formerly of Vibe-A-Tribe and No Ordinary Machine, joined talent with Dave Sinewitz (guitar) and brothers Scott Holmes (bass) and Chris Holmes (drums) formerly of Heat Mizer.

They have stayed together because they respect one another’s opinions and rely on each other beyond the band issues. They keep one another accountable and everyone has each other’s back. Combined, they have almost 100 years experience in the music industry.

As with most artists, the band members also have their day jobs. Higgins  is a Firefighter and Manager of The Hook and Ladder, 3690 Seminole Street. Scott Holmes is also a Firefighter and his brother Chris, an Engineer. Sinewitz is a Pharmacist who graduated from the University of Toronto. Blais is a Visual Arts Digital Technician and has produced music for television, radio and independent films.

Higgins recalls playing gigs as small as a wedding in Toronto, where they made sure everyone had a great time, to opening a sold out July 2014 show for Theory of a Deadman in Barrie at Sound Empire, which was like a dream come true for the band. They used this to drive them to want to be known for their own music and not just the covers they have been famous for in the area.

RobDrop Dead Famous has been recording original rock/pop song at SLR Studios for over two years and have 13 songs mastered. They release them electronically as they finish each song to get them into the hands of fans as soon as possible.

Blais  is a technology genius and works hard to their music good exposure. Their song are on “iTunes,” “Songkick” and many other sites and have downloaded all over the world, as far away as New Zealand.

The feedback has been extremely positive and it gives the band inspiration to keep working on their art. Singles on “iTunes” include: “Better Go,” “Find Myself,” “Lost your Way,” “Survive Tonight,” “For You,” and “Dream.”

One of their newest songs, “The Other Side,” was written to reflect all the losses of family and close friend the band members have experienced over the years.Dave

Higgins says, “The Other Side is a little heavier type of tune as it is okay to be sad and angry about losing loved ones. People will try and console you, tell you that in time it will get easier, it is all with great intentions. But, it doesn’t always help. The song goes out to everyone who has lost someone too young, too soon.”

They are very self-sufficient, handling their own marketing, digital presence, video sync for live performances, posters, programming and more.

When asked how long they will keep playing, Higgins states “every time we work on a new song, we start getting so excited. As long as we still get that feeling, we will keep going. I will be in a wheelchair still singing and hoping my false teeth don’t fall out! If we ever win the equivalent of the lottery in this industry, we want to give back as much as possible to the community.”

For the first time since June 2015, Drop Dead Famous will be playing a full-blown show with amazing lights and sound on Saturday April 30 at The Olde Walkerville Theatre, 1564 Wyandotte Street East. Fans are excited, not only to see the band, but each other as they have a tight following.The band is joining good friend Rick Labonte who is celebrating the release of his new record, “On A Mission.”

After the bands play, Drop Dead Famous’ own “DJ” Blais will be spinning tunes and the dance floor will open for more fun. The crowd will be full of many mature music lovers ready to dance and have a great time.

The concert will donate a portion of the proceeds to The Windsor Professional Firefighters Honour Guard and tickets are $10 in advance and available at The Hook and Ladder or at The Olde Walkerville Theatre. Tickets will be $15 at the door the night of the concert. Doors open at 7p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m.

Labonte will be performing with his band The Formula and other special guests at the “On A Mission” CD release party April 30. He wrote, arranged, produced and financed the album himself, recording at Polaris Recording Studio  in Windsor. The Formula includes Chris VanLare, Wayne Bracewell, Al Kenney and Dan Laframboise. Labonte has been fortunate to have 26 additional local great musicians on his album including Jeff Burrows of The Tea Party, with The Formula being the core band on the record.

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A self-described father, musician, singer/songwriter, trade unionist and social and environmental activist, Labonte’s day job is at FCA Windsor Assembly Plant.

He says “every song is different and so I brought in different musicians to suit each song. The support in the local musician community is incredible. With the economy the way it is and with less venues to play, you would think it would be more cut throat. But, there is so much solidarity, support and collaboration. I wanted as many of my friends on the record as possible. ‘On A Mission’ is a statement of my experiences along the way from 20 years in experience in the music industry.”

Drop Dead Famous and Rick Labonte are eager to play for their loyal fans and followers and celebrate their music together on one exciting night. Both bands can be found and liked on “Facebook” as well as the website: DropDeadFamous.org to keep up with current music releases and events such as the April concert.

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The Local Stream Magazine Premiere Issue 2015 – Drop Dead Famous – Interview

The Local Stream (cover) Premiere Issue 2015

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Drop Dead Famous Drops Their New Album

By: Daytona Hawkins

Windsor based band, Drop Dead Famous, made up of Rob Higgins (lead vocals), Chris Blais (keyboard), Dave Sinewitz (guitar),  and Scott Holmes (bass) has released their self-titled album.

Their new album – now available for purchase on iTunes includes tracks: Find Myself, Back on You, Dream with Me, Survive Tonight, Blue Rose, Ten-09, Again, For You, Surrounded and Lost My Way.

All songs on the album are a collaboration of the five members; Higgins and Sinewitz writing lyrics and sheet music, and Blais and Holmes brothers doing instrumentals. “We didn’t dedicate the first album to anyone specific because we are so lucky to have such a huge great support group around with family, friends and fans who became great friends that it would be impossible to single anyone out….one song in particular called Blue Rose was written about the passion of my special little sister Jenny; so in that case I would like to dedicate that to her…” say Higgins.

“Success comes in many forms and we all agree that to have found something we love to do and are able to do it is very rewarding…”

The band formed in 2010 when Rob Higgins and Chris Blais – formerly part of Vibe-a-Tribe and No Ordinary Machine – teamed up with Dave Sinewitz and bothers Scott and Chris Holmes of Heat Mizer and they have been creating music and stealing the spotlight of local music ever since.

The 2010 formed band has been a favourite at festivals such as: LaSalle Strawberry Festival, BeaverFest, and RockFest and recently opened for the band Theory of a Deadman at a sold out show in Barrie and have received fantastic response from their music playing on radio stations all over Ontario and the US along with great support at every one of their performances.

Their music sticks mostly to the rock/pop genre but many fans have said that they definitely ‘have their own sound’ and they are always looking to incorporate different sounds, vocal and instrumental techniques, and solid lyrics.

The band loves to write, record, and perform, but there is always a battle for time with all members having full time careers and families outside of the band. They are currently planning new, and upcoming events and shows.

“Success comes in many forms and we all agree that to have found something we love to do and are able to do it is very rewarding…”

Visit their website for links to their newest album and news on upcoming events:

www.dropdeadfamous.ca

Facebook:

facebook.com/DropDeadFamous

Come out and see us Jan 15th, 2015 (Doors at 7pm) @The Oasis Bar & Lounge (no cover charge) to support The Local Stream Launch Party!

Jan 15th/2015

Jan 15th/2015

 

 

 

Border City Entertainment Magazine – Vol 1 – Issue 1 – 2013

Simply Entertainment - Vol1 Issue 1 - 2013

(Taken online from: http://www.bordercityent.com/magazine/index.html)

By: Dawn Hawkins

Rob Higgins and Chris Blais formerly of Vibe-A-Tribe and No Ordinary Machine joined forces with Dave Sinewitz and brothers Scott and Chris Holmes of Heat Mizer in 2010 to form Drop Dead Famous.

With Higgins on lead vocals; Blais on keyboards; Sinewitz on guitar; Chris Holmes on drums and Scott Holmes on bass, the juggle work and family life with writing and performing. “The songs are a collaboration of all five member’s talents. One guy might write a lick or the lyrics for a song but in the end the final product wouldn’t be achieved if not for each members input,” said Higgins.

Higgins main focus has always been writing lyrics and melodies. As a full time firefighter for the City Of Windsor, his “day job” has given him the opportunity to chase his dream of reaching the next level in the music business. As lead singer/songwriter for more than half his life, his true passion for music shows both on the stage and in the studio. Blais is a fifth generation musician who has played throughout the United States and Canada, and has previously produced music for television, radio and independent films including “Nara” and “Baggage Claim.” Currently a full time visual arts digital technician a the University of Windsor, Blais is also a part time sound/light technician at Caesars Windsor. “It’s nice to focus on something that I feel proficient about; atmospheres and music through technology,” he said.

Sinewitz, a full time pharmacist and University of Toronto graduate, has been playing guitar since he was seven. He strives for that different chord or that cool little twist that allows his to create unique song arrangements. Drummer Chris Holmes’ day job as an engineer in the tool and die industry has allowed him the ability to play for the love of playing while keeping the back beat since the age of 13, playing in his first cover band at 17. Scott Holmes bought his first guitar from a friend in grade school and perfomed his first live gig in grade nice. As a professional firefighter by day and a musician by night, he is a sound engineer for the band as well as creating great riffs on bass.

With the drive, determination and talent all five possess, it’s only a matter of time before Drop Dead Famous is heard on mainstream radio. Self-promotion, great songs, sound and performances are all key factors to making it in the music industry and DDF are well aware and up to the task.

Upcoming shows include the Strawberry Festival, BeaverFest and RockFest. A CD release party is in the works, as well as current songs available on iTunes including: “Survive Tonight, Ten-09, Again, Surrounded, Lost Your Way and For You.”

Drop Dead Famous will be playing downtown at the Carparelli Sound Lounge (26 Chatham St. E) on Thursday, March 28th.

Visit their official website to hear latest songs and check out their schedule of events at www.dropdeadfamous.ca and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Drop-Dead-Famous.

Famous for being Famous – Windsor Star – July 18,2013

Drop Dead Famous, Drop Dead Famous band, Windsor Star, Famous for being FamousHaving the time of their lives

Famous for being famous

BY WINDSOR STAR JULY 18, 2013

Windsor’s Drop Dead Famous may have put the cart before the horse in calling themselves Famous.

But the way lead singer Rob Higgins looks at it, fame is only a matter of time.

“We’ve already got a solid reputation as a cover band and now we’re doing a lot more originals,” said the 44-year-old Higgins, who was in No Ordinary Machine and Vibe-a-Tribe before joining Drop Dead Famous, or DDF as some fans know them.

DDF has two shows in the works at The Kilt & Fiddle Irish

Pub, 28 Chatham St. E., this Saturday and again on Aug. 4. The August show is a benefit for Harmony in Action.

The band formed about three years ago when Higgins and keyboardist Chris Blais, both formerly of No Ordinary Machine, hooked up with onetime members of Heatmizer – brothers Chris and Scott Holmes on drums and bass, and guitarist Dave Sinewitz.

“We’ve been around the Windsor scene for 20 years or more,” said Higgins.

DDF has recorded eight original songs that are available for download on i-Tunes.

“It’s taking off,” he said. “The Rock (95.1 and 100.7 FM) and 89X (88.7 FM) have both played our music. The songs are also

up on our website.”

Are they famous? It depends whom you ask, but Higgins has been around long enough to know success seldom comes without a lot of hard work.

“If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, we’re still having the time of our lives.”

One thing’s for sure, Higgins is a lot less stressed-out doing this than he was as owner-operator of the defunct Chatham Street West tavern, Koko Pellies. The business shut down several months ago after 13 years as a mainstay on the strip between Ouellette Avenue and Ferry Street. In its early years, Koko Pellies was one of the city core’s hottest nightclubs. Higgins regularly booked Heatmizer, and knew

most of the musicians who played at his bar.

“There are so many people and agencies you have to answer to in the bar business, licenses for this, permits for that. Then, the economy didn’t co-operate. I’m a lot happier doing what I’m doing now.”

Higgins and fellow bandmate Scott Holmes are both Windsor firefighters. The rest all have full-time day jobs, too – Sinewitz is a pharmacist, Chris Holmes is a teacher-principal, and Blais is a technician at the University of Windsor.

“We don’t rely on the band for our individual incomes,” said Higgins. “When we do make a little money, we put it all back into the band and our studio time.”

Several DDF originals are available on i-Tunes, including Survive Tonight, Ten-09, Again, Lost Your Way and Blue Rose.

“We started out playing mostly covers,” Higgins said. “And that was great. We developed a good following. But gradually we’ve been playing our own songs, and the response had been terrific.” DDF approaches a club gig as it would a small theatre – it does 90-minute sets with six-to-eight originals.

This fall, Higgins and the band plan to assemble the more popular downloads into a CD.

You can find out more about the band and its concert schedule, as well as listen to clips of the songs at dropdeadfamous. org.

© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.
Article is also available online here:

http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/thescene/story.html?id=75c1a906-c001-46ac-8636-ba01bd4a5328