Stabilo Boss nominated for the 2003 Canadian Radio Music Awards

This year, more than one Lower Mainland-based rock band will be represented at the 2003 Canadian Radio Music Awards in Toronto. Joining Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger in the March 1st “annual event honouring Canada’s hottest rising stars” will be newcomer Stabilo Boss.

Home-grown in the Fraser Valley, this acoustic-sounding group consists of Jesse Dryfout, Chris Moerman, Karl Williaume and Nathan Wylie, the first three of whom have attended Trinity Western University. Singer/songwriter and guitarist Chris Moerman, the last member still at TWU, will be graduating this spring with a multi-disciplinary degree in English and Philosophy.

Nominated for Best New Rock Group, indie band Stabilo Boss will be up against Theory of a Dead Man, Simple Plan, Not by Choice and Full Nine—all represented by either Warner or Universal.

“The nomination itself is a huge validation,” says Moerman. “We’re especially proud of it because we’re independent, and the other bands are backed by major labels with videos and everything. We’re just this little indie band that somehow snuck in there. So yeah, it’s motivation to keep going,” he says.

Though Moerman might see it as “sneaking in”, Stabilo Boss’s resume has been rapidly growing with shows all across Canada. Since first being recognized for their radio play on Vancouver’s XFM, the band has toured with Jack Union, opening for bands like Matthew Good, the Headstones and Wide Mouth Mason.

Moerman, Dryfout and Wylie have been playing together since high school—first as Molly, then as Stabilo Boss. When Moerman came to TWU, he met their fourth member, bass player Karl Williaume, and they solidified as the Stabilo Boss seen and heard today. According to Moerman, the university has been part of the band’s evolution and maturation.

“I think TWU actually played a pretty big part—especially my first year,” he says. “It gave us a bigger and more supportive fan base. We started to see people apart from our friends coming out to hear us play and that really gave us the boost of confidence we needed.”

On a personal level, TWU has helped Moerman mature as a songwriter and as an individual. "Studying Philosophy and English at TWU has expanded my thinking and allowed me to view the world with a broader perspective. I think my education in philosophy has helped to articulate some of the larger questions I have about life and this is reflected in my songwriting to some degree,” he says.

Without a major label to promote or market them, Stabilo Boss has emerged as one of Canada’s five top new rock groups, resulting directly from the amount of radio play they received. That air time was decided largely by the massive amount of requests for Stabilo Boss’s hit song, “Everybody.”

But Stabilo Boss is no one-hit-wonder. They’ve already turned down significant record label offers; waiting for one that will best suit their goals. “We want to be more singer/songwriter focused, so we hope we won’t be kicking ourselves in a year,” says Moerman.

Not likely. Stabilo Boss is currently shopping their material to both Canadian and American labels and will be performing a showcase Thursday, February 20th at the Royal Hotel on Granville. The place will be packed with record label representatives from virtually every major Canadian label and over a half dozen from the States.

So what is the group looking for? “Well it depends,” says Moerman. “Big labels are nice because they have the reputation and the money—but bands can also get lost in the shuffle. I think I’d rather play for a more medium label that believes in us and is willing to push for us.” The band also wants to be able to maintain their uniqueness of having both Dryfout and Moerman share the role as lead singer and song writer.

“Record labels are all about the lead singer,” says Moerman. That’s another thing where we’re just going to have to stand up and say, ‘this is who we are, this is the kind of music we make and if it’s not right for you guys then we’ll try to find somebody else.’”

Perhaps the deciding factor that will give Stabilo Boss the ability to call the shots will be the reception of their new album. Recorded at Mushroom studios, the not yet titled album will be out this spring. “I’m excited about it,” says Moerman. “John Wozniak owns the studio and basically just gave us free time there. So there was no time pressure, we just got to experiment. We’re really excited about the final product.”

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping