Written by: Rob Latham
If you thought good old classic rock’n'roll died with the disappearance of epic bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who then think again, because promising young Canadian rockers Dean Lickyer fit the mold exactly.
The four-piece hailing from Hamilton, ON, are an energetic, exuberant blast of, in their words, ‘authentic rock’n'roll’ which sounds like an impressive fusion of Led Zeppelin and Guns’n'Roses.
I met up with front man Joshua Alvernia, 20, and guitarist Sean Royle, 19, at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom the day after the first of their two gigs supporting Irish rockers Flogging Molly at the venue. Speaking to them it is clear the inspiration that drives their music comes predominantly from all the great bands of the 50s, 60s and 70s.
As Alvernia explains: “Music back then seemed a lot more thought out and dedicated to the craft. There are some bands who are still dedicated to their craft like Dr. Dog (Philadelphia rock band) and Kings of Leon and those are bands now we really look up to.
“When we first started out we sounded a lot more like Guns’n'Roses and we were a five-piece but now we’ve moved into a more retro, psychedelic style.”
The band is on its first ever tour with other bands having previously toured Canada by themselves and they are now enjoying life on the road with a major band. But they explain that their sole focus in their lives is the music, which comes across dominantly in their dynamic on-stage presence.
Alvernia said: “We gave up everything just so we could focus on he band, to give it a go while we’re young and at our prime. Right now everything is just about music or the band.
“I guess what we’re trying to do is write as much as we possibly can, so anything that sparks our interest we’re trying to make into a song.
“Especially at our age, apparently the peak of our creative edge where you have the most development is between 19 and 22, so it’s a case of writing as much as we can to develop our craft and do our best work.”
Dean Lickyer got a great reception form the Vancouver audience and explain they enjoy playing to a crows who have come solely to see the main event, in this case Flogging Molly.
Alvernia said: “It’s always a really good vibe here, it’s kind of exciting to be a new band and the reception is positive.
“A lot of the time some of the Flogging Molly crowd are very rough and tumble kind of people but they always warm up to us by the end, usually at least by the second song they’re like ‘okay, these guys aren’t imitators.’”
And imitators they certainly are not, Dean Lickyer is a band with bags of talent, an awesome live act and likable, down to earth characters, all of which means this is a name to look out for in the very near future. The band plan to release a new EP next year, following the completion of their current tour.