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5M2M ‘island rock’ music powers film fest promos

Sunday, September 29, 2013
5 Miles 2 Midnight. Photo courtesy 5M2M

The T&T Film Festival is on and that means a focus on the audiovisual industry as well as films from all over the world. However, the focus for some has been less on the visual and more on the audio, with the festival’s media launch announcement that music from T&T band 5 Miles 2 Midnight (5M2M) would be the backing track for this year’s promotional festival videos. The band’s spokesman and drummer Rhys Thompson refers to their genre as “island rock.” “Songs we have written as a band are a real mixture of influences, but primarily the genre is island rock. Island rock is rock music with a hint of island flavour.” The band’s uptempo power guitar sound has been scaling its way up from the underground local music scene with an impressive resumé of performances and collaborations, such as with soca and dancehall artistes Fay Ann Lyons, Machel Montano and Marc Hardy. The band has opened for Maroon 5, Evanescence, Life House, Far East Movement and Stephen Marley. Nine years old, the band’s sound has set it apart. 


Powering the selected clips from the impressive line-up of films at this year’s festival is the song Don’t Regret (Using Government Substances) or DRUGS. The song was written by band members Alex Burt Ou Young (guitarist) and Dale Dolly (keyboardist). It was released earlier this year and is played daily on local radio stations such as STAR 94.7 FM, Hott 93 FM, online radio Xplicit Entertainment and international radio stations like Funk Gumbo Radio in the US, HCF, and the Dave Boucaud Show Urban Underground Jazz in London. Thompson revealed the secret of their radio success: “To be honest, the six of us really push the band. We have a close network of supporters, but I think the reason we’ve been getting radio airplay and general support is because we’ve increased the quality of the music. By quality I mean mixing and mastering, the technical quality, thanks to Marc Thavenot.” 


The studio in Westmoorings where the band records is called Random Design Studios. The drums were recorded at Napa with the assistance of Maarten Manmohan and Dion Howe. The song itself is an almost plaintive call by the smooth vocals of lead singer Liam King in a possible personal struggle against any oppressive, restricting force. King sings: “These superficial vices, all this entices me is to be free. I just wanna be so free from all these things that are holding me so, free. From all the things that are binding me, so free.” Festival editorial director Jonathan Ali explained how the song was selected. “While considering this year’s options, one of our team members suggested songs by a number of local artists. We listened to them all, and decided on 5 Miles 2 Midnight’s Don’t Regret (Using Government Substances). It was a unanimous decision, incidentally. “This is the second straight year music by a local band has been used in our trailers. Last year the song was Return to Babylon, by Kin Sound System. The trailers last year were a great hit, and that very catchy song had a lot to do with that,” said Ali. The band is talking to music video directors to work on treatments for DRUGS. 5M2M also has a seven-song EP coming up, which should be out before the end of the year. 


• BC on TV returns next week.


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