Saying goodbye to local rockers Van Damsel

Beloved Kamloops indie rock band is breaking up at the end of 2016, but not before one final show

Van Damsel's frontman Sebastien Ste Marie, seen here in 2014. (Kim Anderson/The Omega FILE PHOTO)

Van Damsel’s frontman Sebastien Ste Marie, seen here in 2014. (Kim Anderson/The Omega FILE PHOTO)

On Nov. 4, Van Damsel announced on their Facebook page that this was it – the band members would be going their separate ways at the end of this year.

Sebastien Ste Marie, the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, said that after seven years of creating music together the band members have agreed to pursue new projects on their own.

“Being in a band’s a grind, unless you’re Coldplay or slightly smaller. Most levels are quite a grind, and we just wanted to try something different. A couple of us are going travelling, another one of us is moving to the coast,” Ste Marie said.

Ste Marie also said that they are all leaving on good terms, and there is no ill-will between any of them.

“We might be closer than we’ve ever been, because we are really just enjoying these last moments of being together as a band. We will be leaving as good of friends as ever. It’s bittersweet,” Ste Marie said.

Even if fans of Van Damsel are sad about the news of this breakup, there still might be some hope.

“We’re all going to be involved in music forever it’s in our blood, to use the cliché. All of us have our own individual projects going on. There will be some collaboration with other musicians, but we’re also looking at achieving some other personal goals,” Ste Marie said.

Although Ste Marie says that he is going to continue to create new things after the band’s breakup, there are still things he is going to miss about being apart of Van Damsel.

“My two favourite things are both creating, being in the studio and playing live. I love performing and part of performing is connecting with your supporters, both while you’re performing and after when you get to mingle. I don’t know if I’ll get another opportunity to play the types of shows that we’ve been able to with this type of project, playing in front of hundreds and occasionally thousands of people. It’s really a special experience and I’m really going to miss that aspect,” Ste Marie said.

The band’s four members Sebastien Ste. Marie, Richard Bregoliss, Matthew Barron and Matthew ‘Renny’ Rennehan all grew up in Kamloops. Ste. Marie says that this makes playing in Kamloops even more fun and special for the band.

“Our shows in Kamloops are always the best. There is just some sort of connection with being at home that brings it to an even bigger level than our standard shows,” Ste Marie said.

Ste. Marie added that although the news of the breakup may have been shocking for some fans, they wanted to go out on top.

“We had a pretty solid year, but it just sort of felt right. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we sort just looked at the path ahead and which direction we wanted to go in, and it just didn’t work in terms of the four of us. The four of us have sort of our own individual goals, and we decided that we wanted to go off on top. Like Seinfeld I guess, [just] maybe not at the same level,” Ste Marie said.

Ste. Marie says that he is so thankful to all the band’s supporters who have helped them get to where they are today. He hopes that anyone who is in town, can make it to their final show.

“This is going to be extra emotional, because it’s the last time we’ll play together. We’re going to bring back some oldies, from our older projects. So, stuff that we didn’t tour outside of Kamloops, basically for our original supporters and family and friends. We’re going to put everything into it and really revel in the moment,” Ste Marie said.

Van Damsel will be playing their final show with Little India and Windmills at CJ’s nightclub on Dec. 9 and tickets will be $15 each at the door.