Yukon Blonde comes home

After moving away from Kelowna to chase their dreams of rock stardom in Vancouver eight years ago, Yukon Blonde was back in the city where it all started this weekend, playing the main stage at Center of Gravity.

The band flew in from Austin, Texas, taking a break from their American tour to play in their hometown.

Jeff Innes, lead singer of the band, said he loves getting the chance to play in Kelowna.

“It’s awesome. All our families are still here, so every time we’re back, it’s nice,” Innes said, after finishing their mid-day set. “I try and get back here about four or five times a year.”

Innes, Brandon Scott and Graham Jones began playing together as their first band, Alphababy, almost 10 years ago. Innes said the music scene in Kelowna was something special back then.

“It was amazing. Kelowna was the best. Everybody in the local scenes all around B.C. knew Kelowna as this really rad scene,” he said. “We’d rent out church halls and pack them, it was really easy for us. We would just throw up some posters around town and 500 kids would show up.”

The trio took the hype they generated to Vancouver and eventually formed Yukon Blonde. Three full albums later and the addition of two more members, James Younger on bass and Rebecca Law Gray on keys, and Yukon Blonde is one of Canada’s top rising bands.

And they have no plans to slow down.

Their latest album, On Blonde, was released June 16. Innes said it took six months to make.

“From the last record, it’s a little bit slower. I guess it ends up being a little bit more groovy, and there’s a bit more synthesizers in it,” Innes said. “The arrangements were really thought through. It’s the first record I’ve ever done that feels like a real record.”

After a stop in Toronto on Sunday, the band heads down to Denver, followed by Salt Lake City and Boise, to finish up their tour.


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