Photographic songs

Toronto-based trio Rituals is still finding a solid fan base

Rituals is a punk trio comprised of frontman Adam Seward, former bassist for Sailboats and White Matt Bourassa and drummer Leon Tahney formally of Sebastian Grainger.
Rituals is a punk trio comprised of frontman Adam Seward, former bassist for Sailboats and White Matt Bourassa and drummer Leon Tahney formally of Sebastian Grainger.
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Rituals frontman Adam Seward said he uses his own photos for song-writing inspiration.

The art school graduate bikes through Toronto trails and shoots photos. He tries to re-create the images in his songs.

“I’m a pretty visual person,” he said. “So a lot of my songs are based on visual elements.” Seward, a Halifax native, moved to Toronto in 2006, where he met bassist Matt Bourassa and drummer Leon Tahney to form the punk trio Rituals.

“It got to a point where the songs were ready to be played live,” he said. “I sent [the songs] to them and we started practicing. It seemed like it was gonna work well, so we decided to give it a shot as a band.”

Seward described the band’s sound as “shoegaze-pop and psychedelic infusions.”

Rituals played their first show at the Toronto clothing store Penny Arcade Vintage in July 2010.

“That was pretty awesome because my friend runs that store and it had only been open for a year previous to the show. So it was a cool venue to play a first show,” he said.

As a relative unknown in the Canadian music scene, Seward said the band has a difficult time gaining a solid fan base.

“It’s a struggle for sure because everybody who hears about you comes out to the show because of the hype, not really understanding what we’re about,” he said.

“So the show gets tense because people aren’t there because they like the music, but they’re there because they heard that they should be.”

According to Seward, the Toronto music scene offers variety, but can be segregating at times.

“It’s usually tight groups of people who follow a certain style or movement, but usually there’s an event where they all come together,” he said.

Rituals plays the Artel on Oct. 25.

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