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Canadian group hopes Columbus gets Down with Webster

Courtesy of Universal Canada

From a middle school talent show to record deal offers from the likes of KISS bassist Gene Simmons, Down with Webster has watched its rap-rock outfit go nowhere but up.

Down With Webster is scheduled to play at the A&R Music Bar at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 as part of its nationwide tour.

The band started as an end-of-the-year talent show in junior high. Co-founder Tyler Armes said he and the other members were surprised that they won.

“We didn’t suck — we won — so we decided to keep going,” Armes said.

The sound of Down With Webster isn’t one that can be classified as one particular genre. Each member in the band, Armes said, represents different styles.

Armes said he brings a mixture of rock, soul and hip-hop to the table.

“Their music combines all elements and styles of music without trying to replicate any one particular genre,” according to a “Toronto Music Scene” review.

Its all-over sound has gotten the band multiple record deal offers from big-name musicians, such as Timbaland and Simmons, Armes said.

There was a mixture of reasons that the band did not take either offer, Armes said.

The first was timing. Down With Webster had already committed to another agency when the new offers arose.

“We already had a prom date, and they were too late,” Armes said.

Armes said another reason for turning down Simmons was because of style differences. He said he did not think it would be a good fit.

Even though Down With Webster did not sign with Timbaland, it is hoping to collaborate with him later this year, Armes said.

The band’s song “Big Wheels” survived the Canadian Hot 100 list for more than 15 weeks and peaked at No. 51, according to Billboard.com, but the band’s standings don’t impress Armes.

“It doesn’t feel like much,” Armes said. “I don’t listen to the radio.”

He said he would rather have a real connection with fans than music charts.

Armes said Down With Webster’s fans can expect some old music, but the majority will come from its most recent album, “Time to Win, Vol. 2.”

Even though he said he believes the newest material is the best the band has come out with so far, Armes said he does not like it when artists only play their new music at shows.

Throughout the years, Armes said the band’s biggest achievement has been sticking together. After high school, members had opportunities to move far away, but they stayed close for the band.

“Everyone just believed in the project and believed in the music,” Armes said.

Tickets are $10 in advance through Ticketmaster and $12 day-of-show.

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