"Draw a line in the sand and promise yourself that if you cross that line there will be no turning back. "
For singer/songwriter Brad Fillatre, crossing that line was symbolic of a promise he kept to never give up. The result: a collection of songs reflecting his truth, life, love and loss from years spent tirelessly pursuing his craft.
Brad was born in the small town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Made up of endless forests, dark mountain terrain and a rugged North Atlantic coastline, it was these intense landscapes that engrained themselves into the fabric of Brad's creative consciousness. With much of his early life spent traveling the province alongside his mother and father as they tended to their funeral business, the significance of the west coast of Newfoundland on Brad's music was monumental, "The mountains, ocean, vast emptiness and harsh climate effect you," Fillatre reflects, "that environment is magical, and foreboding. It casts energy that I've never experienced anywhere else."
From an early age, Brad gravitated toward music. Whether it was the old piano in his grandmother's house or a guitar on display, his unwavering curiosity persuaded the purchase of his first guitar by his mother. It was from this moment on that Brad would take over the small shed nestled within the trees of his backyard and begin to nurture his abilities. First on the agenda, a mastering of Metallica songs! However, not having much luck as a technical guitar virtuoso, Brad turned his focus to coming up with his own material. "I always looked at the guitar as a means to express myself. Initially there was some interest in learning other people's material but it soon became an obsession to create my own music and to hone the skills of being a great songwriter. My dream became this, and this only." The shed would become a significant space for Brad. A place of solace, it was where he began timidly writing his first songs, jamming with friends, and where he formed his first bands.
The Evelyn Room was molded from these very sessions with close friends and musical peers. A band whose sound developed out of a heightened interest in instrumental and atmospheric music, The Evelyn Room drew comparisons to bands such as Iceland's Sigur Ros' and Radiohead. The Evelyn Room was the playground for Brad's maturing talents, as he uncovered sounds and styles of music that would greatly influence his writing in years to come. This was also Brad's first attempt at being the singer in a band. "I don't think I would have defined myself as a "singer" at the time but I was definitely learning, putting myself out there and trying ...even if my talent had not caught up to my ambition. I had also gained enough experience by then and was beginning to understand that relying on others to realize my own aspirations might be doubtful." The Evelyn Room played shows in Corner Brook, and on occasion made the eight-hour drive to St. John's, performing to small yet surprisingly receptive crowds. Most notably, one of these shows came in the form of an invitation to play at the International Sound Symposium. The event offered Brad a new sense of encouragement and remains a highlight of his early carrier in Newfoundland.
It was perhaps this new sense of confidence that facilitated Brad's decision to relocate to Toronto during the summer of 2005. It was time to focus all of his energy on a potential musical career, despite apprehension or distance. With a collection of songs already written, Brad banded together some other newly relocated Newfoundlanders and formed the second incarnation of The Evelyn Room. He then recorded an independently released self-titled EP in 2008.
Off the strength of the EP and their intensely charismatic live show, The Evelyn Room went on to showcase at NXNE in 2009 and made the short list of top 60 bands to watch for that year. In addition, 2009 brought the band several nominations at the XM Radio Verge Awards, which resulted in radio play for both live and recorded performances. This drew far-reaching sales from places like California, the UK, South America, and even Australia proving the music itself could draw fans worldwide. That same year, Brad had begun to amass a collection of songs that didn't quite fit the mold of The Evelyn Room's heavier rock sound. Unsure about going out on his own he began to collaborate with others, trying to make sense of what to do next. Then finally in 2011 he decided it was time to try something new, to record an album on his own.
In February 2011 Brad began to record and produce the songs to be featured on his first solo effort For Your Weakness at Orchard Studio in Huttonville, Ontario. He enlisted the help of Adam Ferri to engineer and mix.
With a lifetime of influences including; Radiohead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, and U2, For Your Weakness provides listeners with a unique emotive auditory experience. Remaining true to his core, Brad's songwriting resonates a raw emotion, a blending of sounds that bring his east coast upbringing into the mix. Spectral vocal reverberations are layered with swooping electric guitar, thumping percussive displays echo alongside the subtleties of a refreshing vocal tone and lyrically honest perspective. For Your Weakness is not only heartfelt but also heartbreakingly beautiful and rings hopeful in its delivery.
Brad is unsure of the response his debut solo effort will garner, but he is excited to send these songs off into the world and begin this new chapter. The six song EP was released Tuesday October 16, 2012 on Sparks Music.