The Immigrants

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It's surprising to a lot of people, but Hamilton, Ontario's The Immigrants have been together for over seven years.

What's even more surprising to most will be the fact that the band has had one song or another in current rotation on Canadian commercial airwaves for over two years now - count them, six consecutive singles!

On top of that, the year 2000 saw the band chart a Top 20 single "Feel" and have the video for the song "Out on a Limb" in rotation on MuchMusic. Hey, it's surprising because this is a band that appears to be just at the start line - an indie band, a band still full of enthusiasm, a band positively ripe with musical invention!

This is not your average rock 'n' roll story. It is a story that is still just being written and has the first two records - 1995's debut In Between Before And After and 1998's follow-up, that John Switzer (Jane Siberry) produced, Awkwardly Mobile - in the can.

To hear Peter Zantingh (vocal/guitars), Paul Hogeterp (violin/vocals) and Rob vanHartingsveldt (guitars/vocals), the three principal members of the band tell it, the story, so far, goes something like this: "We're all friends and we just really like playing together!" Okay, true, but a little overdone a bit of cliche.

It's funny how some of the most successful bands on the stage these days seem to come up with similar answers. "We're the biggest fans - we all have our favorite acts and will truly get wound up about this or that upcoming release - we're great music consumers." This statement is more revealing - it really does have a lot to do with both this band's genesis and its ability to create new and fresh material. Listen to Out On A Limb the new five-song EP, the sonic transformation from the band's last full-length recording Awkwardly Mobile is readily apparent.

The band's live shows have been critically lauded from their very early days and the fan-base is both loyal and ever expanding. If ever there was a band poised to have a breakthrough hit it is this one. "I think we feel like our time is coming," states Rob. "We've gone through a lot of the growth periods that many bands just don't survive and we've managed to come out the other end a stronger and tighter unit. We're so excited to tour this new material and get in front of people again - if we're having this much fun, something good is bound to happen."

Plans for 2001 include both a national tour to support the EP Out On A Limb and later in the year, a brand new full-length disc.