Oshawa school friends band together to make music

Judgement practicing at the Rehearsal Factory in Oshawa Photo credit: Tara Sottile

The decision of starting a band came easy for a group of school friends.

The four members of Oshawa rock band Judgement – Evangelos Aivaliotis, Ryley Robertson, James Hack and Cameron Smith – started what used to be called ‘Poor Judgement’ about two years ago out of Maxwell Heights Secondary School.

“We’ve been friends since public school and we went to the same high school together. Music is something that myself, Evangelos and James have done for like our whole lives,” says the 23-year-old Robertson.

“Cameron has always been huge into music. He picked up bass for the purpose of our band about a year and a half ago.”

The group changed its name to Judgement from Poor Judgement after a year of growth as a band.

“We’ve just matured, grown musically, individually, and together as an entirety. We felt that Judgement was a little bit more appropriate going forward with our message,” says the 22-year-old Aivaliotis.

Aivaliotis, who is the lead singer, often writes the lyrics for all their songs. He says he finds inspiration from multiple places.

“First, it was about relationships, and then it was a lot of mental health-based. There’s a song about domestic violence, which really I haven’t gone through but I just researched a lot about it as I was writing the song,” he says.

“I took words that people would say or feelings that they would feel – I’m pretty good at putting myself in other people’s shoes, which is like a huge part of how I write as well.”

For Judgement, 2020 is going to be a big year. They plan to release a record they recorded last May.

Band members say they have some radio interviews coming up, including one at Riot Radio at Durham College, and some shows coming up in February. Their plans for next couple of years are to increase branding and expand recognition.

The band has been trying different musical styles since they started, and are still trying to distinguish their key sound.

“We kind of decided to go with a more mature sound, we transferred from pop-punk to post-hardcore, more emo sound and hard rock,” Aivaliotis says.

Judgement is headlining a mental health awareness-themed show at Oshawa Music Hall Feb. 1.

“All the proceeds go to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Mental health is something we write on, speak on and all believe in so it’s a big night for us,” Robertson explains.