“The band’s story begins in late 2010 when four men met in an undisclosed hospital delivery room. No one will ever know what transpired that day other than that it inspired something big, something that could only be expressed through music.” This is plucked straight from the bio of Toronto’s Breached, a heavy melodic rock band who released their third EP Left Behind on October 22nd. That quote alone made it clear that this would be a fun band to interview, and guitarist Mike Diesel did not disappoint when he took the time to chat with Screamer.
The real origins of the band are a closely guarded secret. Maybe one of those, “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you” type of things. All Diesel would share on the subject, with a laugh, was: “We get asked that all the time and unfortunately are unable to say what really happened. But we can say it involved a crazy screaming lady and the song This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan.”
Whatever the true story, the band has been hard at work since that fateful day in 2010. Their self-titled debut EP was released in 2011, and they of course have being playing as many shows as possible. Their second EP, Revolution Sessions, recorded at Revolution Studios in Toronto, was released earlier this year and is an acoustic, or unplugged version of their debut, with a cover of the Alice in Chains song, No Excuses. To satisfy their fans, the boys posted in-studio videos to their YouTube channel of each of the songs.
While promoting Revolution Sessions on the road, Breached somehow found the time during the spring and summer months to record Left Behind. “Usually with our recording process, the songs are essentially written before we even get into the studio. Before we even get in there, we get everything written as a band, and then sit down with our producer Mike Langford and really pick apart anything we think should change, and explore all possible options,” says Diesel. “Once that’s done, we hop over to Mike’s studio (the Pawnshop Studios) and start laying it all down! That’s really the fun part, when we finally get to see everything come to life.”
And the band is no stranger to fun. In August, they uploaded a video entitled “Best Infomercial Ever!” featuring drummer Neil Uppal belting out 90’s hits such as My Heart Will Go On, Kiss From a Rose, Pump Up the Jam, and Good Vibrations ( for only 4 payments of 19.95, plus shipping and handling). Says Diesel: “We just like to joke around and bring some comedy back to rock! We also like to see what we can get away with getting Neil to do! Those songs really are everyone’s guilty pleasures, and you all know the words.”
The comedians came out to play again when shooting the album cover, which features the band in their skivvies, being hosed down by men in haz-mat suits. “Someone thought it would be a good idea to go outdoors and strip down to nothing but our boxers in the middle of February and get hosed down by two fire hoses.” Diesel adds with a laugh, “Major shrinkage! Ryan thought it would be a good idea to wear white boxers, so our photographer had to do some frontal PhotoShop editing!”
But back to the music. Sometimes a band’s sound can be hard to define, but Diesel gives it a shot: “This is always a tricky question. I guess our sound is best described as late 90’s hard rock with a modern spin. Heavy guitar, soaring vocals, and driving rhythm. It’s also been called baby making music.” Vocalist Bobby Noakes has also spoken of the band in perhaps a more serious manner. “We feel that there is a lot of music out there that fails at one major thing-triggering emotions,” says Noakes. “We want people to connect with our music not only because it has a great sound, but because of the lyrical content and emotion we put into the songs.”
Diesel went on to explain what each of the band members bring to the Breached mix. He says, “Neil (Uppal, drums) I would have to say is like our own Russell Peters! He is definitely our comic relief, but damn, can he play the drums and he is the man who makes all of our websites work! Ryan (Alexander, bass) is like our poster child who brings the bass lines and snacks to jam! Bobby Noakes(vocals)- He is definitely team captain. I can’t say enough good things about this guy–he does everything you could ask from a lead singer and more. Really goes the extra mile. As for me, I guess I bring sexy back,” Diesel says with a laugh. “But seriously, this is the best group of bandmates a guy could ask for and I feel privileged to play with them.”
Of the five songs on Left Behind, the title track is also the first single. Says Diesel, “I think we would have to say the title track, Left Behind, is the song we are most proud of right now. This song has gotten us a lot of attention with industry, radio, media, and is being used by Sirius Xm Canada in CFL’s (Canadian Football League) highlight reel. That being said, we can’t wait to see what happens with our next single, Piece by Piece.” Noakes describes the title track this way:”It’s a song that describes the struggles and frustration of moving forward from what you thought you needed.”
When asked how Left Behind compares with their first self-titled release, Diesel says “I think with our first release we were just musically feeling each other out and developing our sound. This release is just another step towards the band we strive to be.” So far the band has only put out five-song EP’s, so the obvious question is when we can expect a full-length album from Breached. “We have a lot of new material we are working through right now,” says Diesel, “so who knows? Maybe sooner than our fans may think!”
Breached celebrated the release of Left Behind by holding a launch show during Indie Week Canada at The Rivoli in Toronto on October 19th. Diesel describes the night of playing to a hometown crowd: “The whole night was memorable. It had been awhile since we played a show at home, and it’s always nice to play a packed house with all our fans. It was also the first show with our new lighting rig, which went over really well.”
The band has no plan to sit back and take a break, and are charging ahead to a bright future in 2014. “We have a lot being planned, including another tour, new single, new music video (which will be the first of its kind in Canada) and some more great music!”
Still wondering what the real story is behind how the band met, though. Perhaps someday in the future, we will be watching a Behind the Music episode of Breached and get the facts. Either way, Breached is here to stay, with serious music, serious talent, and a lot of fun along the way.