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Ready for something bigger

Laura Power
Northern News Services
Published Monday, October 29, 2007

FORT SMITH - After years of preparing, recording and practising, State of the Art is ready to rock.

The Fort Smith-based metal group was formed years ago when brothers Jamie Chabun, Brandon Kikoak and Aaron Kikoak of Inuvik were in Winnipeg looking for musicians to play with. They met Craig Allard, a bassist from B.C.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Fort Smith band, State of the Art is formed by Aaron Kikoak on guitar and vocals, Jamie Chabun on drums, Brandon Kikoak on guitar and vocals and Craig Allard on bass. - Laura Power/NNSL photo

They got some experience playing in the Winnipeg scene, including their gig as the opening act for Harlequin, but after two years of that scene they decided to move to Fort Smith.

"We were getting sick of the whole rat race in the city," said Brandon, guitarist and vocalist for the group.

In Fort Smith, the plan was to get their act together as a band and get ready to hit the national scene.

"You can really concentrate here," said Allard.

The guys have been keeping a fairly low profile up until now. Brandon said because the band isn't talked about publicly, it allows them to grow.

Since moving to the NWT, the band has already travelled with their music, including a tour they did in 2005 en route to Vancouver. In the meantime, they've played everywhere from Inuvik to Edmonton and Yellowknife to Calgary and have been featured on APTN.

At home, Brandon said, "we have our places to play here."

The band released a self-titled CD in 2005, which they recorded themselves in their studio in Fort Smith. They are now recording a 10-song album they say they would like to market on a larger scale. They also aim to get some Canada-wide recognition in the near future.

"We're ready for it now," said Brandon. "We're at the top of our game and we're ready to get out there."

The new album is expected to be complete in the spring, but the band plans to have a single recorded before a Northern tour they're planning in the early new year. Brandon said they would like to get out East during the tour, so they will likely include Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet in the lineup. If all goes as planned, there will also be several NWT stops including Yellowknife, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. It's possible they'll also play a few more stops including Whitehorse.

During the tour, they will begin shooting footage for a documentary being created about the band.

"It'll be about the band going from the minor leagues to whatever comes after that," said Chabun, the band's drummer.

As State of the Art plans for the upcoming tour, the musicians are keeping an eye out for bands to join them on the various tour dates.

Until then, it's back to preparing, recording and practising.