It’ll be a happy homecoming for drummer Tyler Reimer when his Calgary band Zoo Lion performs on Thursday night at The Vat.
Not only will Reimer be returning to the place where he grew up, the Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School graduate will be coming back with some success under his belt.
His rock group just placed third out of 96 Canadian bands at Indie Week in Toronto, which promotes undiscovered musical talent. Reimer recalled the judges praising Zoo Lion for being original, with a classic rock sound that’s not heard much anymore. “They also liked our stage presence.”
The band has already been approached by music industry promoters and booking agents.
Zoo Lion, which is influenced by Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and the Tragically Hip, was also voted No. 2 local band in a Calgary newspaper’s Best of Calgary contest. “That was really nice to be picked for that, because it was a fan choice,” said Reimer.
The drummer honed his musical education with the Lindsay Thurber honour and jazz bands and jazz choir before attending Red Deer College’s music program in 2001. That’s where he met fellow band member Craig Aikman, Zoo Lion’s lead singer/guitarist.
Reimer later graduated with a jazz music diploma from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.
The Red Deer native reunited with his friend Aikman after returning West to be closer to his family. And the two formed the band in 2006 with former Saskatchewan musicians Matt Tysowski on bass and Mark Heit on lead guitar.
Zoo Lion, which has produced two full-length albums, recently issued a six-song EP, Black Rhino.
Reimer said his group wanted to bring something fresh to Indie Week, so quickly recorded some recently written material. “It allowed us to have something new to promote.”
The EP contains Darker Days, an atmospheric song that some people say is reminiscent of The Who. Reimer said, “It’s got loud, ringing guitars and, hopefully, some catchy vocals.”
Tidal Wave was written after Aikman had an unfortunate experience with the forces of nature. “He wanted to become a surfer but he almost drowned off the coast of Victoria,” said Reimer.
The musician, who also plays in some Calgary-area jazz groups, looks forward to seeing some familiar faces at the Red Deer show. “It’s exciting to be back. I haven’t played there for a while.”
For more information about Zoo Lion’s 9 p.m. concert, call The Vat at 403-346-5636.