He’s sitting across from me, sipping an Americano in a downtown Ottawa café, and describing himself as “a coffee snob.” We’re laughing, because Stefan is far from haute couture, with his long hair, tattoos and The Kills t-shirt. The Kills are “arguably my favourite band,” he smiles. His rock n roll three piece, Onionface, calls their sound “raw and dirty;” Stefan is the lead vocalist and guitar player. His other project, a long-distance duo called All Day Breakfast, is keeping him busy, as the release date for their debut EP was March 23rd, 2017. Oh, and he’s also an audio engineer.
While Stefan does have a small home studio “for overdubs,” the vast majority of his time behind the board is spent in studios that local bands rent out, such as Pebble, Shoebox and Leaky B’s; the latter of where the All Day Breakfast EP, All The Rage, was recorded when other-half Alan Tweedley came up from Toronto. Alan and Stefan go back a long ways, both having graduated from of Algonquin College’s Music Industry Arts program (which this writer is currently in) – class of 2012. Alan then moved to Toronto, and All Day Breakfast was cooked up when Stefan crashed on his couch during a solo tour; they are a mix of indie folk and garage rock.
In fact, the All Day Breakfast tour is only going to cities where more than a few MIA alumni live and will come cheer them on. “Touring, [is] a really expensive endeavour. Having some sort of expected draw in a different city definitely helps quell fears of playing a dud show,” Stefan explains.
In the main band, Onionface, Stefan was doing all the business side for the longest time. For example with booking, he calls up venues and tries to avoid playing in areas where other events (especially festivals) are going on at the same time. Recently, however, a publicist in California, USA, approached him and they have been working together on shopping him to publications for reviews and press (for the record, him reading my work is what won me over for this piece, far more effectively than a publicist could have).
As advice to other artists, “Publicity is always incredibly important, and having someone else push your stuff holds a lot more weight than you doing it yourself, but I’d say the best time to seek someone out is when you’ve been playing for a while and have your image all sorted out. A strong sense of identity will make it easier for the publicist to effectively sell your product.” A little while ago, Onionface teamed up with Bandbox and tried a Twitter + Instagram campaign for their page, and were completely taken aback at the new audience that found them and sent “heartwarming messages” praising their work.