Left of Centre was founded in the summer of 2005 by three high school friends from Hamiota, Manitoba (population 900). Cory Badger (vocals/bass), Travis Woloshen (guitar), and Ben Hodges (drums) started their dream as rock musicians as every other group does; jamming in their parents’ basements and garages. None of the guys having previously played their instruments before forming the group, the band practiced religiously for two consecutive summers to hone their skills before ever performing in the public eye. They credit the lack of early formal direction as contributing heavily to the unique sound that Left of Centre produces as a group. Once they were of age, the band began gigging on a semi-regular basis at regional bars in the area, and garnering a loyal fan base.
In the fall of 2007, after a high intensity performance at the University of Manitoba, it became apparent to the band that they had something special. It was at that very moment where they pushed the ‘casual musicians’ title aside, and started taking things more seriously. Left of Centre focused more heavily on song writing, resulting in an impressive slate of original material. However, it became apparent that they were missing that one piece that would complete them as a band. They began canvassing the area in search of a second guitarist to thicken their sound and add to their live intensity. They found exactly what they were looking for in Alex Hammond, an aspiring young guitarist who had been a fan of the band and attended some of their live performances. The newly formed group wasted no time and promptly continued writing music and tightening their live show. In the spring of 2008, after university classes had finished for the year, Left of Centre hit the road to share their unique brand of rock with the region. After countless live performances, Left of Centre had put their name on the map, so to speak. The summer culminated with a pair of sets at Rockin’ the Fields of Minnedosa, a classic rock festival held yearly in western Manitoba. At RFM, the band was fortunate to earn an opening gig for Colin James, a major Canadian figure in the music industry.
The following spring, the band made arrangements to record an EP at Studio 11 in Winnipeg. The resulting tracks impressed the band enough for them to produce the EP on a much larger scale than was originally planned. The summer was spent in a similar fashion as the last, infusing their sound into more and more niches throughout the province. The band had become a fixture in both the Brandon and Winnipeg music scenes by the time the ‘Pushover’ EP was officially released on Aug. 1st, 2009, both independently and worldwide on iTunes. In the summer of 2010, the band pushed themselves even further into surrounding markets, as they began to perform out of province for the first time. In addition to the expanding fan base, LOC managed to win the Rockoff competition at that summer’s RFM festival, giving them the opening gig for Bif Naked and Wide Mouth Mason.
In the summer of 2011, the band completed a small western Canadian tour in support of the ‘Pushover’ EP. The 17-day tour took the band from Winnipeg, MB to Medicine Hat, AB and back again. All ten shows featured Left of Centre performing as a single act over three hours. To date, the ‘Pushover EP’ has sold over 700 hard copies and many more online, largely due to the band’s dedication to travel and play live. The EP's singles, 'Halfway is a World Away' and 'Left to Burn,' garnered college radio airplay in both Winnipeg and Brandon. 'Halfway is a World Away' was also re-released as a prominent track on 272 Records' compilation disc, 'Riot on Sunset vol. 21,' which was distributed among many college radio stations in the US.
Left of Centre began recording their first full length album late in 2011 at Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg. They once again enlisted the help of James Humberstone, an independent producer, to help with the recording process. The goal was to create an album that captured the band’s greatest asset; the raw energy of their live performance. The group really focused on the purity of their tracks, trying to achieve a replication true to their live sound. Despite a handful of scheduling hiccups along the way, the band finally had their album by the fall of 2012, titled ‘Hwy 21.’ The band quickly got to work promoting the album, with a cluster of CD release shows, one in each of their home regions. This culminated with an indoor attendance record of over 300 people at The Great Canadian Roadhouse nightclub in Brandon. Left of Centre followed this up with the international release of ‘Hwy 21’ through iTunes on October 11th, 2012. With over 80 live performances to their name, a continuously expanding fan base, and an increasing radio presence over western Canada, the band hopes that their debut album will open the doors on a career in the music industry.
Band MembersCory Badger - Vocals, Bass
Alex Hammond - Guitar, Vocals
Travis Woloshen - Guitar, Vocals
Ben Hodges - Drums