A pair of hardworking Vancouver musicians are headed to bootcamp at the end of August.
Scott Perrie and Jeremy Breaks, who make up the band Redgy Blackout, won't be crawling through the mud or doing push-ups, but it's possible a banjo duel may break out. This bootcamp will be filled with other indie musicians who are all contestants in the Peak Performance Project, a contest run by radio station 100.5 The Peak.
"It's been a huge learning experience for us, and really, really positive," said Perrie, reached by phone at Greenhouse Studios in East Vancouver. "It really makes you look at your career and where you're at, and then where you can grow, where you can be better."
This is the second year the group has been chosen to compete with 19 other artists, picked from hundreds of entries from across the province. At stake is exposure, radio play and a top prize of $100,500. Along the way, the competing bands are critiqued and given advice about how to make it in the music business. Perrie and Breaks, who play at Concerts in the Square in North Vancouver on Aug. 18, are proof positive that in the Canadian music scene, it takes hard work and ingenuity to make a go of it.
Both play in other bands: Perrie in "a couple of cover bands - we do the weddings and casinos," and Breaks in the alt-country group Dallas Smith, where he plays the banjo. Perrie also picks up acting gigs and busks at Granville Island in the summer.
"I feel pretty lucky at times, when I look back at the last few years for sure, being able to essentially support myself through my art, through theatre, through music," said Perrie. "Because it's really tough."
The pair has played as Redgy Blackout for six years. They've brought together their different musical backgrounds to create their sound, a mix of pop, folk and rock.
Perrie describes himself as a choir boy from Coquitlam who played the guitar, trumpet and piano throughout high school. Breaks was influenced by heavy metal and had already played in a bunch of bands in his hometown of Prince George.
"It was interesting when he and I came together and started writing in a folk-rock genre," said Perrie.
Breaks' father, who owns a music store and has been known to throw the odd free amp the band's way, was also an influence.
"(Breaks is) influenced by so many types of music," said Perrie. "His dad was really into the blues and old rock, and his dad's a really great guitar player."
The band has released two albums, 2009's Meet You on the Other Side and a self-titled record in 2011. Perrie and Brooks are now working on two new songs they plan to release together as a double single.
"One of them is super, super summery and upbeat and fun . . in the pop-rock genre, and the other one has a more rootsy element to it for sure," said Perrie.
The band will go on tour this fall with Vancouver singersongwriter Christa Couture.
Redgy Blackout plays at 9 p.m., Aug. 18 at Concerts in the Square at Lonsdale Quay. Starting at 4 p.m., the lineup includes Badgerchild, Ben Sigston, Georgia Murray, Elaine 'Lil Bit' Shephard and Kyprios.