DURHAM’S MUSIC SCENE: Wooly worries about local opportunities to play live

Wooly's website, woolyband.ca. Updates, shows and photos are posted there. Photo credit: Fiona Campbell

It’s ironic Whitby band Wooly has an upcoming show at the Oshawa Music Hall.

To say the least, the art-folk ensemble isn’t too fond of the current state of the live local music scene.

“I feel like right now the Durham music scene is severely hurting,” says 23-year-old Chris Caceres, a guitarist with the band.

Caceres, along with Jonah Kissoon, 22, and Amika Vie, 24, started the band in spring, 2017 but had collaborated on music long before that.

“We all went to the same high school (Sinclair Secondary School), and that’s where we started playing together,” says Kissoon, a guitarist and vocalist.

The band started playing shows as “Wooly” after releasing their EP ‘Time to Grow’ in June, 2018. They have played more than 40 live shows since.

Wooly’s first EP 'Time to Grow' on Apple music. Photo credit: Fiona Campbell

“I would really like to think of ourselves as a Durham Region band, I think there’s so much good music in Durham Region,” says Caceres.

However, the band says there is a lack of local opportunities for them to play.

“We probably do more stuff outside of Durham (region) because there’s not that much to do in Durham and it’s hard to get people to come out,” says Kissoon.

There are not many music venues and little money going into the local music scene, according to the band.

Wooly says it’s clear cities like London, Ontario actually invest in their music scene.

“There was this dude specifically in charge of organizing musical things for the city council (in London), I don’t know if we have that here in Oshawa,” says Kissoon.

“We definitely play bigger crowds in London than we do in Oshawa,” Caceres says.

Criticism of the local scene aside, the band says they enjoy playing locally when they can and wish there was more opportunity for artists in Whitby and Oshawa.

“It feels like people would rather go to Toronto to see shows which sort of makes sense, but at the same time it doesn’t…I think wouldn’t people want to see more music locally?,” Caceres asks.

The band says they haven’t given up on the Oshawa scene, though.

“We want to do more shows and events at Kops record shop in Oshawa this year,” says Kissoon.

Wooly Instagram
All updates on Wooly are posted to their Instagram. Photo credit: Fiona Campbell

“Our goals for 2020 are to just keep playing shows and keep making new music,” he also says.

Wooly announces all their upcoming shows on their website woolyband.ca.

“We try to keep it (the website) updated” says Kissoon.

Keep an eye out for Wooly at Oshawa Music Hall Feb. 27, when they play with the Birds of Bellwoods.