Montreal-based singer Jonas Tomalty (just call him Jonas) is completely pumped about introducing his new band Jonas & The Massive Attraction.
Riding high on the heels of last fall’s release Big Slice, the guys play The Vat March 17. The show is also being presented by the Central Music Festival. The band is also booked for the 2011 Festival which takes place Aug. 12-14 north of Red Deer.
Rounding out the group are guitarist/band leader Corey Diabo, bassist J.S. Baciu and drummer Martin Lavallee. It’s been a terrific season of connecting with fans over the past while as they’ve watched Big Slice hit the mark commercially and artistically.
Shortly after its release last September it shot into the Top 15 on Soundscan. The title track (also the first single) also soared to the Top 10 nationwide this past December.
Songs like Seize The Day, Burn Bright and The Deep End fit seamlessly alongside rockers What Type O’ Ride Are You and Addiction.
Seize the Day has special meaning, as it hearkens back to his early days. Ultimately the tune is about making the most of your days even when times aren’t entirely agreeable.
“I was brought up by two parents that worked hard every day to provide for my brother and I, and make sure that we had the chance to do whatever it was we set our minds to do in this life,” he explains. “I witnessed what the daily grind can do to your spirits and what it takes to rise above — to distribute the weight and pick each other up when in need.”
Jonas has long been a natural onstage, and it’s no surprise considering his upbringing. His dad insisted on a rock ‘n roll education in the blues and would sneak his son into jams in Montreal bars.
Jonas later gigged around Montreal himself in a number of bands, making his initial mark by snapping up the opening slot on Van Halen’s North American tour back in 2004.
The next year his debut self-titled disc was released, and notched nearly platinum status in sales. Jonas landed nominations for Rock Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the Junos.
In 2006 Jonas released Suite Life which featured the singles Here She Comes and Bows & Arrows.
While most famous front men break away from bands and go solo, Jonas did the opposite. Jonas & The Massive Attraction was born, and The Big Slice reflects the powers of collaboration that have been sparked since that time as well.
“We wrote this album with the intention that the songs stand strong in their most simple state,” he explains. “Great songs have a raw emotion at their core. We then layered the instruments to build up an album that’s big in sound and very much us in every way.”
Last spring, the band met with producer Thomas “Tawgs” Salter (Josh Groban/Lights) and the chemistry was instant. It was decided that “Tawgs” and Simon Wilcox would produce Big Slice.
Mike Fraser (AC/DC/Metallica) was brought on board to mix the singles and mastering legend Greg Calbi (U2/John Mayer/Deep Purple) added the final touches. The disc is a testament to the power of merging the right creative forces – from bold, flat-out rock anthems to gentler material that would slide easily into pop radio.
At the centre of it all like a driving force is Jonas’ compelling, gravelly and emotive vocals.
“I wanted to make sure that every song that was written on this album was both strong in its rawest form and told the autobiographical story of the two years of my life and the life of this band,” he says. “I wanted it to be a lyrical journey. If this album is anything, it is that.”