Many of our regular readers will recall my despondent tone cast at the lack of Saskatchewan representation in the JUNO Awards Metal/Hard Music category earlier this year. I took this stance as North Sask Music Zine's resident Metalhead and I was less than excited to be proven right in my summary when the upcoming JUNO Awards released their 2021 nominee list for the 2020 music year. While we had two amazing, absolutely deservant nominees representing Saskatchewan in both the Blues and Christian/Gospel music respectively in Dione Taylor and K-Anthony, Metal and the heavier, harder elements of Rock saw another award calendar streak by Saskatchewan's Metal talent.
Fear not, though, dear reader, for Saskatchewan has seen healthy representation in the Western Canadian Music Awards; with three out of the five nominees in the Metal & Hard Music Artist of the Year category for this award year. The artist representation runs as diverse in soundscape as the award's title would suggest too, running the whole gamut from more of a Doom-oriented Metal to the heavier end of Prog Rock and everything in-between.
Nominated are The Basement Paintings (Saskatoon), Black Thunder (Regina) and The Moon Runners (Swift Current).
With such great Metal and Hard Rock talent coming out of our neighbouring (and much more densely populated) western provinces, this is a big deal for two thirds of the WCMA's Metal category to be Saskatchewan artists. But, what does it mean to the band's represented? I reached out to them to find out.
THE MOON RUNNERS: "We are grateful to be nominated for a WCMA. We feel seen and appreciated and that is a very nice feeling for all of us."
Swift Current's The Moon Runners
THE BASEMENT PAINTINGS: "It feels great to be recognized for Antipodes at the Western Canada level. Writing this album was a grind, and I think we all had our vision of what it should be, and it never ceases to amaze me that we can agree on 60 minutes of music in the end. So it’s nice to know that at least a few people have enjoyed listening to it. Also with the shutdown of live music venues, the album didn’t really get a proper rollout, barely one at all actually. It’s nice that it’s being kept alive by winning Metal/Loud Artist of the Year at the SaskMusic Awards, and now for being nominated for the same category at the Western Canadian Music Awards. We are definitely going to have to fulfill our tour obligations once music venues are open again and thank everyone for the support!"
Saskatoon's The Basement Paintings
Here at North Sask Music Zine, we'll have our fingers firmly crossed for all three Saskatchewan nominees in the category, when the award ceremony rolls round. For now, however, you can stream all three bands on your favourite music streaming service or support them by purchasing physical media through their individual Bandcamp pages.