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Spira was formed in 2003 in London, Ontario, out of jam sessions between guitarist/vocalist Richard Johnson and drummer John Tiessen. Friends since high school, John and Rich brought together a combination of musical influences and camaraderie that would form the foundation of Spira. After a few months of jam sessions, an ad for a bass player was answered by Myles DeRosse. Myles was the perfect fit for a third member, except that his heart was that of a guitar player, not a bassist.
After trying out a few fruitless bass players, Myles was put into contact with bassist Ian Sullivan through a friend of a friend. Ian brought experience, a positive attitude, and a solid bass style that turned out to be an uncanny match for the creative direction that Spira was headed in. In the fall of 2003, Spira had a solid line up and the creative process began in earnest.
New songs were written as quickly as they could be arranged and the boys headed into the studio at CHRW (the radio station of the University of Western Ontario) to record a demo to capture this creative energy. In My Home, the four song debut EP from Spira, was released in early 2004. In My Home was well received by fans and critics and more than one track could be heard on CHRW’s air waves in the months that followed. Spira began playing some shows in the London area from downtown clubs to the university pubs, and were even featured on “The Swamp,” a live to air radio-show on CHRW. Then, in the summer of 2004, Myles landed a job in Seattle and departed from Spira in August.
Rich, Ian, and John continued forward, focusing still on writing more songs while keeping an ear out for a replacement for the suddenly empty space Myles had left behind. In the winter of 2005 Spira hit the clubs again, receiving rave reviews at every stop. The highlight of these shows was an amazing performance at The Opera House in Toronto for the Underdog’s Ball. The show was reviewed by music industry representatives (Maple Records, MuchMusic, etc) and the unanimous opinion of all critics was that Spira was the standout act of the night. The trio spent some time working with a couple of different second guitarists, but didn’t find anyone who was just the right fit. They quickly came to the conclusion that being a three-piece act gave them the sound they’d been looking for all along. With shows under their belts as a threesome, the boys are riding a wave of positive energy with their sights set firmly on their musical vision.
Spira has a definite, but not overbearing, dark edge to their sound. They bring accessible, edgy rock that displays both strong songwriting skills and a passion from all members to deliver a strong, tight live performance. Their songs evoke emotion, covering everything from the metaphysical to their reactions to the grind of life around them. Never a group to try to follow the winds of current trends, Spira had made an effort to stand out and be original. Comparisons to such diverse bands as Billy Talent, Tool, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots among others leave Spira free from conventional classification.
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