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Toronto: One in the Chamber

These hard-rockers demand you play them loud.

Photo credits: Keelan Nightingale (Left to right: Mike Biase, Gerrod Harris, Cecil Eugene, Christian Dotto.)

One In The Chamber describe themselves as "dirty rock & roll straight from the heart of Toronto." The band; Mike Biase on lead vocals and guitar, Cecil Eugene on lead guitar, Christian Dotto on bass, and Gerrod Harris on drums, are heavily inspired by classic rock groups such as Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, and Soundgarden.

Dotto and Harris discovered music at a young age.

"I listened to rock music my whole life, but it wasn’t until I saw Chad Smith of The Chili Peppers perform at a drum clinic that I seriously wanted to play the drums," said Harris. "Before then, I didn’t know what a drummer actually did, but afterwards, that’s all I wanted to do."

Photo credits: Keelan Nightingale

"I got introduced to music by my parents and soon fell in love with rock and metal music," said Dotto. "It wasn’t long before I was hooked on bands like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, and Led Zeppelin. I was around 13 when I got my first guitar from an older cousin who was in a band, and I started playing drums and bass in high school. In my early 20s, I’d decided that learning other people's music just wasn’t enough, so I started composing my own pieces."

Dotto says that while the members come from different musical backgrounds, they all have a passion for good old rock n' roll.

"I listen to a wide array of music, and I like to incorporate a bit of everything into my bass playing," said Dotto. "Think of a love child between Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica- particularly their late bassist, Cliff Burton, and Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler."

"It’s always interesting getting into the writing process with the band," said Harris. "Like Chris said, he’s a big metal head, Mike is just as into classic rock as I am, and Cecil is as equal parts a metal head as he is a jazz musician - I don’t think I’ll ever understand his taste. I think it's such a drastic combination in influences that makes this band so exciting to play with. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock like The Stones, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, and Bowie, but I also listened to a lot of Prince. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that my drum teacher introduced me to a ton of 90s rock and grunge - Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Deftones, and Pearl Jam. I went to York University to study jazz and, oddly enough, I discovered a deep love for hip-hop."

Biase and Eugene went on the hunt for a bassist and drummer to complete their blossoming band, and discovered Dotto and Harris.

"I knew Cecil from high school," said Dotto. "I found out that he was looking for a bassist for his new band- at the time, my last band had broken up and I was a couple months into auditioning for other bands as a drummer, but not much was coming from it. I was thrilled when I heard that there was an opportunity to play in another band again. So I learned the songs and went in for an audition."

"I was at a Christmas party after a jazz gig at The Ab, a bar at York University, and I got a call from the bartender," said Harris. "He, Cecil Eugene, had a singer, Mike Biase, and they were looking for a drummer for a rock band. That was all I needed to hear. We started to jam and write, and eventually Cecil got in touch with Christian about playing bass. After one practice together, it was clear we were a band and we would soon book our first gig in June, 2015."

One in the Chamber's first studio release was in 2018.

"Our debut studio EP, I’ve Got Something To Say…. was released in 2018 with music videos for “Bills To Pay” and “Itchin’ Back”," said Harris. "The EP was named Canadian EP of the Year by Canadian Beats, it was compared to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Queens Of The Stone Age, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and it completely blew us away. We recorded the five song EP in the fall/winter of 2017 and early 2018, at Phase One Studios with Murray Daigle and Mike Smith. I can still remember hearing the first mixes from Murray and being like ‘Holy shit, that’s us!’ It was the same feeling when we first got the masters for “Blow” back from Murray earlier this year."

The bandmates agree that their favourite gig so far was their first gig of 2020.

Photo credits: Keelan Nightingale

"It’s really tough to say," said Harris. "We’ve performed at some of the most revered clubs our city has, we’ve played as far as a bar in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, and we’ve opened for Scott Weiland at what was, sadly, his final performance. For me, I’d have to say it’s our first, and, so far, only 2020 performance at The Hideout, Toronto. That was a show that I left the stage blown away by what we’ve done - it’s an amazing feeling to get to regularly perform with musicians of this level." "I’m with Ger on this one," said Dotto. "My favourite shows are the ones where we really connect with the crowd. It’s a crazy feeling and in those moments where we manage to captivate a room of people, nothing can stop us."

For One in the Chamber, music is more than just a hobby.

"We absolutely hope to be doing this full-time one day," said Dotto. "For me, music became more than a hobby when I decided that I wanted to be like my favourite bands. Once I hopped on a stage to play my high school’s annual talent show, I knew I wanted to be a performer."

"I think for us as a collective, it was in 2016 when we first played The Opera House in Toronto when we all started taking this much more seriously then," said Harris. "It’s amazing to write, record, and perform with such a fantastic group of musicians. I think, or at least I hope, we are constantly growing in an organic fashion with our writing and performance."

The band recently released their new single, "Blow".

"We’re stoked to have just released our brand new single and music video for “Blow”," said Harris. "In under a month, the track has actually passed 16k streams on Spotify and we couldn’t be more thrilled and grateful for the support and love we’ve received for our work. There is more music to come this year, we can promise you that!"

Upcoming gigs:

(Post-poned due to COVID-19.)


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