Acres of Lions are a three-piece original Victoria-based, alternative rock band that was formed in 2006. Dan, Tyson, Jeff and Shane are, as Jeff describes them “closer than brothers”. I had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Kalesnikoff, the vocalist and guitarist for Acres of Lions, about who they are, how they came to be and what being a musician is to him.
Jeff says that every song they write is incredibly personal to them but he really connects with Collections, the title track of their most current album, released in 2011. He says Collections is an abundance of events the band has been through together throughout the years. I asked him about the difference between each of their albums and he felt Collections has a more authentic indie sound to it than Working, which hosts a different, pop-esque sound.
We talked about what it was like being on tour and the major challenges of being a band on the road. He says that you have to be a specific type of person to go out on the road for many months, feeling grimy, homesick and risking relationships with family and friends in order to do what you love best. They’ve made sacrifices in the past with friends, relationships and family, but as they continue to grow as a band, they also manage to make it work with communication and understanding of each other’s situations.
I asked him what he’d want fans to know about Acres of Lions and he told me a story about the time Dan (their bass player) had a near death experience which resulted in their Van’s name. It was snowing a lot and Acres of Lions were on the road, when all of a sudden, they heard a strange noise coming from underneath the van. Dan says, “It sounds like the drums for ‘Hot for Teacher’ by Van Halen, so they stopped on the road so he could check the sound from underneath the van. Tyson (keyboardist) didn’t know Dan’s location when he was checking the van and he moved it, unbeknownst to Dan. Fortunately, Dan jumped out of the way. Because they hadn’t named their van yet and it’s like a curse not to, they decided then to call it Van Halen.
Acres of Lions will be playing in Nanaimo at Beban Park on October 9th for Jobfest. It’s a free show. We should also be hearing of a new album in April 2013.
– By Vegas