Let me just say off the bat that I am not usually a fan of heavy metal; I prefer indie and acoustic singer-songwriters that are more often seen at an open-mic night than at a rock music venue. None of that stopped me from enjoying the music of This Day Burns, a Victoria-based band that has been playing in the area for years. Their emotionally driven lyrics and music clearly display the passion and vulnerability of the people behind the instruments—which makes it easy for the audience to relate.
Jon Sinclair, the guitar, bass, and drums player of This Day Burns, explains that, as a band, they try to keep things diverse and interesting for their listeners.
“We just like to write whatever we feel that day. It’s fun not to be stuck in a box,” says Sinclair.
All of the band members play a wide range of instruments, which helps to keep their sound fresh, adding a special dynamic to their live shows as well.
“We’re always switching [instruments] live . . . it makes for a unique experience for the crowd, although it does make it tricky to plan a set list,” Sinclair says.
This Day Burns was not always the dynamic band that it now is. Formed in 2010, the group went through two different lineup changes before reaching where they are now, with UVic student Jasmine Wietzke as lead vocalist, and Skye McLean, Chris Heretic, and Sinclair filling the roles of drummer, bassist, and guitarist interchangeably.
Though their music demonstrates technical proficiency and wide-ranging talent throughout, it is really the voice of Wietzke that makes This Day Burns shine. Reminiscent of an angrier Evanescence, her feminine vocals add a sense of balance to the generally dark and heavy music. Wietzke’s range and the emotion she puts into her singing is what had caught my attention in the first place—and I’m not the only one.
“I remember Chris and I were both blown away when she first sang for us. She left the room at one point and we looked at each other [and said], ‘I hope she doesn’t realize she’s better than us.’ And so far she hasn’t,” says Sinclair.
When I spoke to Sinclair on Sept. 25, the band had just returned from a weekend in Vancouver, where they shot a music video for their song “Still Bleeding,” which Sinclair says was the best experience he’s had with the band thus far. The band plans to work on promotion and on making new recordings when the video is done.
Though there are perks to spending your time playing in a band, Sinclair admits that there are also some downsides.
“The lack of respect that you get from some clubs and bars for what we do gets to me sometimes,” Sinclair explained. “I don’t think people realize how much work this actually is and how much we sacrifice to do what we love.”