A Rising Star in Montreal

| 1 Comment


Joel Massinon playing with Soap-box Assembly (Photo: Facebook)

Montreal is home to one of Canada's most diverse and flourishing music scenes; it is an overwhelming sea of genres and styles that has given birth to countless talented artists. Montreal is also home to 24 year-old Joel Massinon. The city is a prime destination for bands and artists on the rise, and regularly hosts already-successful bands (local or not) at its many diverse venues. Being such an important stronghold for new music in North America, it also attracts many others looking to become involved in the music industry: the producers, managers, record labels, etc. It was in pursuit of this dream that Joel first came to Montreal five years ago.

Joel stands a little taller than average (when not slouching) and emanates music from every bone in his body. His dark hair is non-chalantly brushed to the side, and he sports a neatly kept beard and a thick moustache. He often wears a plaid flannel and blue jeans, loose but not un-stylish. His pockets are filled with tuning keys, guitar picks, and occasionally a pair of drum sticks protrudes from his back-right pocket. He has a soft demeanour that matches his smooth, quiet voice, and hands that restlessly tap out rhythms whenever they are not busy holding something. He has the look of someone ambitious and passionate about their profession, but not without a sense of politeness and respect that was no doubt instilled in him from his humble upbringings.

Joel comes from a family of five, with two older brothers. Despite coming from Calgary, Alberta, Joel was raised bilingual as a result of his close relationship with his Francophone grandparents. He is now fluent in French and English, an asset that has served him well with his successes in Montreal's music scene. Growing up, Joel would find a way to make music by any means necessary. He would regularly assemble a drum kit out of industrial plastic buckets, old paint cans, and his mother's pots and pans. After years of this ritual, his parents finally recognized his potential and bought him his first drum kit. This was the start of a chain of events that ultimately led Joel to move to Montreal to study at Concordia University, where he dove headfirst into the foreign and wonderful music scene of Montreal.

Throughout his degree at Concordia Joel played music in a number of bands, the most notable being Soap-box Assembly (previously The Picture Show) for whom he played drums. The frontman of Soap-box Assembly and a friend of Joel's, Blake Unruh, was a very talented and active musician who poured out new material almost non-stop; but this didn't prevent Joel from having an active role in the band writing parts for guitar, bass, mandolin, and harmonica, as well as composing all the drum parts. Soap-box Assembly became moderately popular, hosting many shows with other local bands and managing to hold down a weekly gig at Honey Martin's, a bar in NDG where they would play a two-hour set every wednesday. When Joel graduated from Concordia in 2013, and Blake decided to move to the west coast to study music, Joel decided to do the same, but from the other side of things, here in Montreal.

Only a couple months after he had graduated, Joel had already enrolled and begun taking classes at RAC (Recording Arts Canada), a school for Audio Engineering in the Old Port of Montreal. It was here that he met his close friend and production partner, Marcus Reichenbach. Together they worked on projects for their classes, recording and mixing many local bands using the school's available facilities. Their material has been played on multiple radio programs, and their work has been favoured by members of Indica Records, notable for signing bands such as Half Moon Run and Priestess.

Since graduating from RAC in August of 2014, Joel has enjoyed playing in the local progressive-rock band Noko, and has worked together with Marcus Reichenbach to record, mix, and produce Noko's album "It Comes, It's Calm, It's Gone," released on October 25th. Joel continues to confer with his former professor and head of Indica records on his upcoming projects, and is constantly recording, mixing, producing, and releasing new material for numerous different artists. In Montreal's expansive and ever-changing music scene, it takes hard work and dedication to make a name for yourself; but as Joel has proven, once accomplished, there is an endless future of successes and new developments that awaits.

1 Comment

Paragraph on his description was perfect! I can see him in my mind.

Leave a comment