Oshawa rock band making a name for themselves

Photo by Cristina Nikolic

Jason Nicoll (left), Kyle Wilton (middle), Trevor Bowman (right) make up the band Excuses Excuses.

Making it into the music industry is a big challenge but three local guys are doing their absolute best to make their dreams come true.

Excuses Excuses is an alternative punk rock band based in Oshawa that writes music about mental illness, drug use and the uncertainty of the future.

The band has been together for two years and is a group of three: lead singer Kyle Wilton, 21, drummer Jason Nicoll, 21, and bassist Trevor Bowman, 21.

Wilton and Bowman have played in bands together since they were 15. The pair grew up just outside Waterloo and have known each other since the age of three.

The band formed while studying in Kingston. Wilton was studying engineering at Queen’s University while Nicoll and Bowman were at St. Lawrence College studying musical production and electrical engineering.

Wilton and Bowman recorded their first EP with a different drummer. But the band took shape when Bowman and Nicoll started hanging out at school.

“After our other drummer left, we went through a couple people and nothing seemed to work out and then out of nowhere Trevor and Jason started hanging out at their college,” said Wilton.

After the band formed, the three of them relocated to Oshawa, where Wilton is a second-year Music Business Management student and Nicoll is a second-year Video Production student. Bowman currently works full-time for Clark’s Basement Systems.

The band’s first EP, Frame of Mind, was released in November 2016.

Wilton says the band draws inspiration from Canadian music.

“We definitely think that Canadian music is some of the most powerful music out there right now and it’s highly underrated throughout the rest of the world and we definitely want to be part of changing that,” said Wilton.

Growing up, the three had similar musical influences. Wilton grew up listening to AC/DC and Black Sabbath, while Nicoll and Bowman both grew up with bands such as Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age.

After growing up into a rock music atmosphere, the band created its music with influences such as Billy Talent, Hollerado, Mother Mother and July Talk – all Canadian rock bands.

The band frequents the Moustache Club in Oshawa and has a big following in Waterloo and Kingston.

Away from making music, Wilton is an avid skateboarder and has been since he was 11. Nicoll likes to spend his time doing digital production and Bowman spends the majority of his time at work.

“Drinking beers, hanging out, spending time together and getting to know one another is what we like to do together, while listening to music,” Wilton said.

While the band is working hard to make music a full-time job, Wilton and Nicoll are still in the works of graduating from Durham College this year and Wilton says it’s difficult to manage time between class and practicing.

“It’s totally a balancing act for me. A lot of what I do in school I can apply to the band, but I have to do it separately,” Wilton said. “Finishing assignments and getting in as much practice time as we need is quite a difficult process, but it’s definitely do-able.”

The band is working towards a new EP and is hoping for a June release.

“The new EP is a lot more mature, the lyrics mean a lot to us and our sound has grown,” said Nicoll.

Wilton also says Nicoll plays a huge role in the band’s music becoming more developed than what it used to be.

“With Jason as our drummer we’ve inherited more of a rock sound and we feel like our music has matured a lot in two years,” said Wilton.

Although Nicoll and Wilton are full-time college students, Wilton says the band hopes to tour full-time in March and April across Ontario on weekends.

After school, Wilton believes anything is possible for the band.

“The future for the band is to bring this together as a full-time career option, which is a lot easier said than done,” Wilton says.

As for what’s next, the band will continue to try to get signed to a record label and will be touring across Ontario all summer – and hopefully across Canada, with a dream to make it across the world and spread the passion that come from their music.