Ottawa rockers to perform at Cheers

Ottawa-based heavy anthem rockers Project Mars have mapped out a string of Canadian tour dates with fellow rockers Riding Shotgun.

The tour sees both bands trek across Ontario to B.C. and back again with a stop at Cheers on July 23.

This is Project Mars’ first cross Canada tour, which will be in promotion of their upcoming debut CD and recently released single Don’t Hold Back.

The single is a dedication to Canadian troops and their good friend/former bassist Jordan Elliott who broke the news to them that he was going to be stationed in Afghanistan. Before he left he gave Project Mars guitarist Jason Connolly his guitar telling him that if anything were to happen to him that he wanted someone to write some good tunes and keep his spirit alive.

Also, the band wanted to write a song that described a soldier’s point of view of going into battle along with illustrating the fear that goes along with it and the thoughts of not knowing if you’ll return the same.

As to the band’s roots, what began as some plain good old banter on the job between three coworkers at a restaurant soon became prog rock band Sound Addiction, which morphed into a power trio and eventually evolved into the alt-rock band now known as Project Mars.

After purchasing all the gear to record a debut CD, tackling the learning curve that followed and playing a number of successful shows, a mix of unforeseen factors led to the dissolution of Project Mars a year later. But not too long after that is when, in 2010, a reunion between high school friends Connolly (guitars/vocals) and Ron Henry (vocals/guitars) resulted in the beginning of the resurrection of Project Mars.

Now, Project Mars is gearing up to release its debut Don’t Hold Back in September.

With the title track an ode to the band’s former bassist who left to join the Canadian army, the record deals with everything from war and politics to more personal struggles.

The band also is hoping to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis research via the CD and tour.