Canadian Indie Music · featured artist: The Free Press
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The Free Press


Toronto, Ontario, Canada
member since: Feb 27, 2005


The idea is simple. Focus on what's important: memorable melodies, captivating stories, stark honesty and an unrelenting commitment to where the music grows; the live show.

Formed in Toronto in 2003, band members have been friends and collaborators for years but decided to work together out of mutual respect for each other's writing style, musical influences and a similar inability to imagine doing anything else with their lives.

The Free Press are: Alex Oliveira, Len Ottesen, James Dallas Smith and Michael Torbay. Everyone in the band sings. A lot. Because each member has a different voice and carries a unique story. Oliveira is an award winning comedian and singer. Ottesen is a former political analyst. Smith is a professional actor. Torbay is a top rated commercial jingle writer. They use these varied backgrounds in everything from their compositions to the live presentation.

They have played aggressively around Ontario in some of the area's top venues including: The Horseshoe Tavern, The Kee to Bala, The Reverb and many more. Recently The Free Press was happy to have been named finalists in both the 2004 Kee to Bala Rockstar Search and The 2005 Eclipse Concerts Bandwarz competitions.

On the small screen The Free Press recently made a featured appearance on Protocol Entertainments' acclaimed evening drama, Metropia. The band performed two songs in support of The Free Press' own James Dallas Smith who plays the role of "Garth". Be sure to check out the part where Mick appears like he's going to knock over the steadicam operator. His normally rock-solid concentration is momentarily weakened by the horror of damaging three hundred thousand dollars worth of high-definition video equipment. Hilarity ensues.

The Free Press are proud to announce the release of their debut 6 song EP, STORMS. This impressive freshman offering was produced by veteran producer, Lurch, who is perhaps best known for his work with Sum 41, The Tragically Hip and Ron Sexsmith. Industry legend J. Richard Hutt - who was the 2000 CCMA Producer of the Year and has been romantically linked with The Northern Pikes, The Skydiggers, Tom Cochrane and almost everyone in Canadian Country Music - mastered the album and added the finishing touches. STORMS will be available on, and select retail outlets.

For more information, fun and frolic go to The Free Press website (