Views / Ottawa / Backstage Pass Ottawa

Double Experience: 6 countries, 500 shows, 100,000 miles and you still haven't heard of them

As their official biography boasts, Ottawa-based rock band Double Experience have toured across six countries, performed more than 500 shows across more than 100,000 miles — and you’ve still never even heard of them.

"There has been a bit of a method to that madness, if you will,” says lead singer Ian Nichols.

"We kind of wanted to build and own our craft and put in our 10,000 hours as musicians and then leave the cave of obscurity and start getting our head out into the world and see what happens.”

Just weeks after forming under a different name in 2011, the band recorded and released their debut offering, One Big Quicksand.

Last year, the self-confessed video game rock nerds released a follow-up, 721835, exclusively in the form of trading cards, prior to the full-length physical release this summer. The album showcases a unique sound influenced by everything the band loves: namely comic books, trading cards and gaming.

“For us, that’s just an extension of who we are,” says Nichols.

But what is a video game rock band? Technically, they are just a rock band, but their music is heavily influenced by geek culture and sounds as though it would fit on any video game soundtrack. Think of bands such as Fall Out Boy, Queens of the Stone Age or Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.

“On tour, one of the things we love to do is collect people’s PlayStation Network ID tags and their XBox 360 tags so that, when we’re not on tour, we can go back and play video games with our fans. For us, as a video game rock band, it just seemed right because that’s who we are as people to begin with.”

Double Experience is wrapping up an Ontario tour with a show at Zaphods at the end of the month, a rare appearance in the guys’ hometown.

Nichols admits the band only plays the Capital once or twice a year.

“I grew up in the Ottawa music scene, playing in a ton of other bands. Through past experience, when you’re an Ottawa band, living in Ottawa, the more you play here, the more you wear it out,” he explains.

“We always want to make Ottawa special, because it is our hometown, so normally we don’t add an Ottawa tour date when we’re going out touring because, when we do things in Ottawa, we want to make it an event — something that’s more than just a stop on the road.”

See the show

Who: Double Experience with Iconoclast

When: Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

Where: Zaphod Beeblebrox (27 York St.)

Tickets: $5 in advance, $8 at the door

More on