Unfazed is a local band composed of Drew Osborne on drums and brothers Tanner Bolianatz on guitar and vocals, and Bryson Bolianatz on rhythm guitar. They recently moved from Regina to Saskatoon to further pursue music.
Having started their band at a very young age — with their first shows while they were in high school — they have experienced struggles to succeed as underage musicians. The Sheaf sat down with Unfazed to discuss the group’s evolution, past challenges and future goals.
Although Unfazed is still a young band, they have put in years of work to develop a mature sound. The group created a flag for their band before knowing how to play, and they have evolved into a powerful blend of fuzzy garage-rock guitars, metal influenced percussion and truly captivating lyrics.
Unfazed expressed the challenges of securing venues on tour and at home, but perseverance is what helped them cultivate the attitude that is the foundation of the band’s success. They told some stories of rejections and expressed genuine gratefulness for those who have supported them.
In Regina, the band saw immense support from the tightly-knit music community. Tanner expressed his gratitude for venues such as The Exchange, which aims to promote young artists.
“We were blessed with The Exchange, and we really figured out the dynamic of how things worked in Regina,” said Tanner. “It was really, really handy.”
Saskatoon on the other hand has posed to be more challenging for the group.
“When we were on tour, we couldn’t find a place here to play at all because so much of it is 19+ venues, so we just did it in a house,” said Osborne.
With a lack of viable venues in the city, the band has been searching for increasingly creative opportunities. When attempting to organize a New Year’s show, Unfazed was rejected by a warehouse space, they considered renting out house garages but ended up not being able to secure a venue for the night.
As usual, the band expressed an attitude of positivity, noting that they are always on the lookout for unique and eye-catching spaces to play.
On the rare occasion that the band is offered a gig at a 19+ venue, there are strict rules regarding the performance.
During their recent tour, Unfazed played a venue in Calgary where the 18-year-old Bolianatz brothers were allowed in but 17-year-old Osborne was required to enter 30 seconds before and leave 30 seconds after the set, having no choice but to sit in the van for the rest of the evening. In spite of this, he expressed gratitude for getting to play.
“Bottom line is, I just want to play shows, so if I have to sit in a van for three hours every night, goddamn it I will. We still get to play.”
Since coming to Saskatoon, the band has been trying to book a show. After contacting the Underground Cafe, they had their first show in the city on Jan. 10. Delivering a high energy and engaging set, the band immediately established themselves as a strong force in the Saskatoon rock community.
Unfazed went on to talk about their future and the community they are going to try and create.
Growing up in the music community as an underage band, they know the frustrations of being looked down upon. They aim to avoid this with other young artists that they come across and create a community in which all musicians feel accepted and validated.
The theme of their last album, Home Is Where It Smells Like Nothing, coincided with their recent move to Saskatoon, captivating the feeling of establishing a new home. They talked about their band feeling like a family and hope to create a community around them in which everyone feels the same way.
“It was just this big message of inclusivity, and that’s a really big pivotal point in the message our band came together with,” Tanner said. “Above all else, we’re playing music for everyone and that’s what it should be about.”
Unfazed is excited as they are currently booking a spring tour across Canada. The band is sure to make a large impact in the music community both through the music they put out and the way they interact with other musicians.
Wyatt Henley, Holly Gilroy
Photo: Supplied/ Darain Buzdar