Interview Music

Satisfaction guaranteed with Concordia’s rock ’n’ roll band The Satisfactory

An introduction to the rising local band, The Satisfactory.

Everyone wants to be a rockstar but not everyone can. Three of Concordia’s very own are coming closer and closer to being the exception. Salvador Vaughan (a.k.a Sal), Max Moller and Viva Anoush Egoyan-Rokeby make up the entirety of local up-and-coming rock band The Satisfactory. 

The trio lived in Concordia’s Grey Nuns downtown residence last year for their first year in Montreal coming from Toronto. This is where they all properly met each other. “Sal was my neighbour when we were in residence and he would practise like 8 hours a day so I knew all the songs before we even started as a band,” Egoyan-Rokeby explained.  

The Satisfactory came to life at the start of the summer once all three returned from Toronto. Spearheaded by singer-songwriter Sal on the electric guitar, backed by Moller on drums and Egoyan-Rokeby on bass, the band always gives a performance worth seeing despite only having done it eight times. When asked about what prompted his decision to write and form a band, Sal cited his love for music and his desire to transform it into something tangible through performing. Anyone who has seen them live can attest to the acumen of this decision. 

Despite Sal largely being the one in charge, Moller and Egoyan-Rokeby do not feel like anything is being taken from them and they do not resent him. In a tongue-in-cheek response to this, Sal compared himself to The Beatles’ Paul McCartney during the recording of the band’s White Album but unlike the famously argumentative quartet, this trio guarantees that they never have any issues and get along great, apparently they’re just getting closer. 

When asked about the origin of the band’s name, Sal explained that he discovered it while looking through a cocktail book while high and that he found it cool. He then scoured Spotify to make sure no other artists had already claimed it. Despite the name, be assured that they’re a lot more than just satisfactory.

Sal finds writing inspiration in a mix of three different things, namely looking at his own life through a positive lens. This creative approach is akin to his rock idols, Oasis, a band he heralds for their heartening music along with love and eccentric nonsensical things à la “I am The Walrus” by The Beatles. Sal further describes music as something that has always been a part of his life, but something he only started taking seriously at age 13. Since then, his world has revolved around music and writing alike. The Satisfactory songs are typically humbly written when he’s alone in his room, just him and his guitar.

“I just want to be in a band and I’m ready to work my ass off for it,” Sal said.  This drive, ambition and talent is exactly why The Satisfactory has only been moving closer and closer to their goal of rock stardom, one string and a beat at a time.

Concert Reviews Music

Festival Review: FungeonFest 2023

 “A safe space and the place to be.”

On March 18 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the underground (literally!) hidden gem in Mile End, The Fungeon held its first-ever festival, appropriately named Fungeon Fest. The DIY festival delivered 12 hours of indie/indie-rock performances from various bands, like Toronto’s John’s Cottage and Montreal’s Hole in Heaven, among many others.

Leading down to the fabled stage in the basement stood a room next door, decorated ceiling-to-tile with the various bands’ merch booths on one side and on the other, handmade art from talented independent sellers such as Muskoka’s lovable mother-and-son duo The Hippie Pocket, or Montreal’s Low Life High Road, and others. 

Due to the occasion, the customary basement-reserved venue was flowing through the entire apartment. It started with the regular lively gaggle of strangers and friends alike, smoking, talking, and laughing outside the back door, moving to the ticket setup in the kitchen and the temporarily empty living room, bathed in soft pink lighting along with host Morleigh Mo Ida Smith’s spellbinding visual art. The magic then moved into the previously mentioned art and band merch seller’s room, and then finally to the illusive star of the show, the basement. 

With a handwritten setlist crowning the entrance, the underground venue glowed. Multi Coloured Christmas lights on one pillar, twinkling fairy lights on the other, bright blue light projections in the corner, dining chairs neatly lining the back wall, and even more decorative art pieces graced the concrete walls of the unfinished room. As the night went on, more and more festival-goers passed through this local haven. The crowd consisted of city locals, non-locals, artists and art enthusiasts of all ages, genders, sub-cultures and walks of life. Everyone stood present under the basement’s tapestry-adorned ceiling. They were watching, listening, and occasionally headbanging to the earnest music of the artists in front of them. By 10:30 p.m., the night was coming to a close, and one last performance remained: The Fungeon’s very own host and owner Joe Cassis. 

Cassis moved to Montreal from his hometown of London, Ontario six years ago. He moved into The Fungeon’s address a few years later with his ex-fiancé and her two children. The Fungeon had come to life through the now-separated couple’s desire to remain in the local music scene while still staying at home with the children. Eventually, The Fungeon as we know it formally opened its basement doors for the first time on June 18, 2022, and has been making a melodious name for itself ever since.  Cassis describes the venue as a “safe space for people to f—ing play” and a beacon for others to make their own statements.  

Before beginning his set, Cassis gave a very humble thank you to the crowd that had gathered in his warm and welcoming basement. He then gave a deeply captivating performance of unplugged, raw, self-written songs, with the exception of “Everybody’s Talkin’” by Harry Nilsson which was performed in honour of his late father.

When detailing the Fungeon Fest, Cassis recounted crying in the arms of John’s Cottage lead singer Max, as they performed one of their more emotional songs. “That’s the thing about these bands being so genuine to themselves is that they have the potential to save people’s lives and the lives they’ll save the most is the kids,” he explained. “That’s what these bands are perpetuating. That it’s a safe space and the place to be.”

Graphic by James Fay @jamesfaydraws

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